First place in the Big 12 standings is up for grabs, as No. 1 Kansas (14-1 overall, 3-0 Big 12) plays at No. 11 West Virginia (14-1, 3-0), in the Jayhawks’ most difficult road game to date.
The pace at which West Virginia plays means both KU and WVU should have plenty of shots tonight, but both teams hope their defense makes it difficult for the other team to get up in the range of their typical scoring nights (KU averages 89.8 points and WVU scores 86.6 a game).
The Jayhawks come in with a field-goal percentage defense or 39.3% while WVU is at 41.6%.
From 3-point range, WVU is especially stingy — 25% 3-point FG% defense. Kansas has held opponents to 33.1% on 3’s.
It’s obviously very early in Big 12 play, but it’s cool that the winner of tonight’s game gets first place (for now) all by itself, atop the league standings.
Here are the Big 12 standings coming into today:
West Virginia 3-0
Iowa State 1-2
Texas Tech 1-2
Oklahoma State 1-2
Kansas State 0-3
West Virginia has defended the 3-point line very well thus far (25% 3-point FG% defense). But Kansas might be one of the few teams in the nation capable of cracking the Mountaineers’ perimeter defense.
KU has made 7-plus 3-pointers in 12 of its 15 games.
With 11 3’s against Baylor and Oklahoma, Kansas has hit double figures in 3-pointers 6 times this season.
No. 1 Kansas has seen its share of ranked opponents this season and tonight’s matchup with No. 11 West Virginia marks the fifth ranked foe for KU — and third in the past 4 games, now that Big 12 play has begun.
The Jayhawks are 3-1 against top-25 teams this season, with a loss to Michigan State at the Champions Classic in mid-November.
Senior forward Perry Ellis comes into the WVU game 3 points away from 1,400 in his career. Last week he reached 700 career rebounds. According to the KU media department, Ellis is on pact to become the 8th player in program history to crack the top 15 in both career points and rebounds.
Ellis would join Danny Manning, Nick Collison, Raef LaFrentz, Clyde Lovellette, Dave Robisch, Mark Randall and Wayne Simien — a pretty legit list.
Kansas plays just its third road game of the season tonight. What better time to take a look at Bill Self’s record in road games in his time at KU.
Of course, the Jayhawks are 2-0 so far this year. In road venues past seasons under Self they went…
5-6 last season
5-6 in 2013-14
7-2 in 2012-13
8-2 in 2011-12
9-1 in 2010-11
9-2 in 2009-10
6-4 in 2008-09
8-3 in 2007-08
8-2 in 2006-07
6-2 in 2005-06
6-3 in 2004-05
5-5 in 2003-04
Expecting a big night from junior KU guard Frank Mason tonight. Last season vs. WVU, Mason played better than any of the other returning Jayhawks.
Mason had 18 points (7/13 FGs, 3/5 from 3) in a narrow road loss and 19 points (4/10 FGs, 11-12 FTs) with 7 rebounds in KU’s OT home win.
Big man Devin Williams opens with a bucket for WVU.
Selden is open for 3 from the right side on KU's first possession. Drills it.
Devin Wiliams going beast-mode early, taking it right at Mickelson. 4 quick points.
Both Mickelson and Ellis attack the offensive glass and Ellis gets a tip-in. Feeling like a high-scoring, entertaining game tonight.
Selden's second 3 attempt is on the left side and he misses it.