How Kansas and Kentucky match up

April 1, 2012 

Point guard

Marquis Teague had one of his most difficult games in UK's first matchup with Kansas, committing six turnovers in what was his second college game. The Kentucky freshman is a different player now and has averaged 13.2 points with a 2-1 assist-turnover ratio (26-13) in the NCAA tourney.

KU senior Tyshawn Taylor (16.5 ppg, 4.8 assists) is both talented and erratic but has had his best college season in 2011-12. The 6-foot-3 Taylor, however, is shooting only 38.1 percent in the NCAAs and has never made a three-point shot in a domed stadium. He is capable of brilliance or bust — and maybe both — Monday night.

Advantage: Kansas

Shooting guard

Doron Lamb continues to lead Kentucky in scoring in the NCAAs (15.4 ppg) but is only 7-for-16 from the floor in UK's past two games. Surprisingly for an 82.5 percent foul shooter, Lamb has missed six free throws in the past two contests.

Junior Elijah Johnson has been stellar in the NCAAs, averaging 13.4 points and 5.0 rebounds and shooting 54 percent from the floor in the Dance. The 6-4 junior from Las Vegas is averaging 10.1 points and shooting 43.2 percent for the season. He leads the Jayhawks in steals (54) and made three-pointers (66).

Advantage: Even

Small forward

"Big-game" Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was in foul trouble and making little contribution for 30 minutes against Louisville in the semifinals. But with the outcome on the line, he scored nine points down the stretch. MKG had 12 points and nine rebounds against Kansas in the first meeting.

Travis Releford is considered KU's defensive stopper, but the 6-6, 210-pound Kansas City product has been scoring lately, too, having made nine of 13 shots combined in Kansas' last two NCAA tourney wins over Ohio State (15 points) and North Carolina (11 points).

Advantage: Kentucky

Power forward

Terrence Jones struggled for three-fourths of the Louisville game in the semifinals, but played strong down the stretch and finished with six points and seven rebounds. If the game is close late, Kansas could look to send Jones to the foul line. After going 0-for-3 against U of L, the 6-8 sophomore is now 0-for-8 in his career on Final Four free throws.

Thomas Robinson (17.7 ppg, 11.7 rpg) was named National Player of the Year by ESPN.com and Big 12 Player of the Year after a stellar junior season. The 6-10, 237-pound Washington, D.C., product has 26 double-doubles, tops in the nation. He figures to be especially motivated after Anthony Davis edged him out for the Wooden Award, the Rupp Award and most other national player of the year honors.

Advantage: Kansas

Center

Against Louisville, Anthony Davis displayed the offensive growth he's achieved by scoring on an array of hook shots, a move he did not have earlier this year. In the NCAA tourney, Davis is averaging 15.2 points, 11.6 rebounds and 4.6 blocked shots.

In 7-foot junior Jeff Withey, Kansas has a center who has actually blocked more shots in the NCAA Tournament than Davis (27-23). The transfer from Arizona snuffed seven shots against Ohio State, three against North Carolina and 10 against North Carolina State. Withey has also been on the glass, with eight rebounds each in Kansas' last two games.

Advantage: Kentucky

Bench

Darius Miller hit a huge three-pointer that gave Kentucky second-half breathing room against U of L. For the Dance, the senior from Mason County has hit 21 of 36 field-goal attempts and 17 of 18 free throws. Freshman Kyle Wiltjer hit a big three-pointer and made a steal late in the first half against Louisville. UK could need his shot-making if Kansas resorts to a trick defense.

Kansas sixth man Conner Teahan (tee-HAN) is a three-point-shooting specialist. On the season, 75 percent of his field goals have been treys. He has not shot well in the NCAAs, however, making only four of 19 three-point tries. Kevin Young, a 6-8 junior transfer from Loyola Marymount, has been a plus for the Jayhawks on the glass with five rebounds against Ohio State and eight boards against UNC. He has missed his last six shots in the tournament, however.

Advantage: Kentucky

Intangibles

Will Kentucky be drained after its intense Armageddon against Louisville in the semifinals? Or with that emotional ordeal behind the Cats, will they let loose with a big effort?

Kansas, as much as college basketball Rockefeller as Kentucky, is cast in the role of plucky underdog. But it is hard to imagine the basketball gods allowing John Calipari to lose another national title game to the same coach, Bill Self, whose 2008 KU team denied Cal and Memphis with a miracle rally in the NCAA Championship.

Advantage: Kentucky

Kansas

32-6, 16-2 Big 12
Roster
Coach: Bill Self
 Pos.Ht.Wt.Yr.Hometown
0 Thomas RobinsonF6-10237Jr.Washington, D.C.
1 Naadir TharpeG5-11170Fr.Worcester, Mass.
2 Conner TeahanG6-6212Sr.Leawood, Kan.
4 Justin WesleyF6-9220So.Fort Worth, Texas
5 Jeff WitheyC7-0235Jr.San Diego
10 Tyshawn TaylorG6-3185Sr.Hoboken, N.J.
15 Elijah JohnsonG6-4195Jr.Las Vegas
20 Niko RobertsG5-11175So.Huntington, N.Y.
21 Christian GarrettG6-3185Fr.Los Angeles
22 Merv LindsayG6-7205Fr.Moreno Valley, Calif.
23 Ben McLemoreG6-5185Fr.St. Louis
24 Travis RelefordG6-6210Jr.Kansas City, Mo.
25 Jordan JuenemannG6-3195Sr.Hays, Kan.
31 Jamari TraylorF6-8215Fr.Chicago
40 Kevin YoungF6-8195Jr.Perris, Calif.
Statistics
PlayerFG Pct3pt PctFT PctRPGAPGTOBlksSPPG
Robinson.510.500.67711.71.9103344217.7
Taylor.477.377.6892.34.813365116.5
Johnson.432.335.6963.33.66925410.1
Withey.547.000.7946.30.748136239.1
Releford.506.321.6574.31.8377458.6
Teahan.366.338.8392.11.1361275.6
Young.480.333.6733.00.62915203.5
Juenemann.444.167.3330.50.12111.3
Wesley.567.000.4231.60.0111461.2
Lindsay.556.333.0000.30.10110.9
Tharpe.289.273.5000.30.722070.9
Garrett.000.000.0000.30.11000.0
Roberts.000.000.0000.30.42020.0
KANSAS.475.343.69237.715.249721727973.9
Opponents.379.338.72031.911.252212624961.6
Schedule
DateOpponentResult
Nov. 11a-TOWSONW, 100-54
Nov. 15b-KentuckyL, 75-65
Nov. 21a-GeorgetownW, 67-63
Nov. 22a-UCLAW, 72-56
Nov. 23a-DukeL, 68-61
Nov. 30FLORIDA ATLANTICW, 77-54
Dec. 3SOUTH FLORIDAW, 70-42
Dec. 6LONG BEACH STATEW, 88-80
Dec. 10OHIO STATEW, 78-67
Dec. 19c-DavidsonL, 80-74
Dec. 22at Southern CalW, 63-47
Dec. 29HOWARDW, 89-34
Dec. 31NORTH DAKOTAW, 84-58
Jan. 4KANSAS STATEW, 67-49
Jan. 7at OklahomaW, 72-61
Jan. 11at Texas TechW, 81-46
Jan. 14IOWA STATEW, 82-73
Jan. 16BAYLORW, 92-74
Jan. 21at TexasW, 69-66
Jan. 23TEXAS A&MW, 64-54
Jan. 28at Iowa StateL, 72-64
Feb. 1OKLAHOMAW, 84-62
Feb. 4at MissouriL, 74-71
Feb. 8at BaylorW, 68-54
Feb. 11OKLAHOMA STATEW, 81-66
Feb. 13at Kansas StateW, 59-53
Feb. 18TEXAS TECHW, 83-50
Feb. 22at Texas A&MW, 66-58
Feb. 25MISSOURIW, 87-87 (OT)
Feb. 27at Oklahoma StateW, 70-58
March 3TEXASW, 73-63
March 8d-Texas A&MW, 83-66
March 9d-BaylorL, 81-72
March 16e-DetroitW, 65-50
March 18e-PurdueW, 63-60
March 23f-North Carolina StateW, 60-57
March 25f-North CarolinaW, 80-67
March 31g-Ohio StateW, 64-62
DateOpponentTime
March 23 g-Kentucky9:23 p.m.
a-Maui Invitational; b-at Madison Square Garden, N.Y; c-at Kansas City, Mo.; d-Big 12 Tournament at Kansas City, Mo.; e-NCAA Tournament at Omaha, Neb.; f-NCAA Tournament at St. Louis, Mo.; g-NCAA Tournament at New Orleans


Kentucky

37-2, 16-0 SEC
Roster
Coach: John Calipari
 Pos.Ht.Wt.Yr.Hometown
1 Darius MillerG6-8225Sr.Maysville
3 Terrence JonesF6-9252So.Portland, Ore.
4 Jon HoodG6-7215Jr.Madisonville
5 Jarrod PolsonG6-2185So.Nicholasville
10 Twany BeckhamG6-5205Jr.Louisville
13 Sam MaloneG5-11190Fr.Scituate, Mass.
14 Michael Kidd-GilchristF6-7232Fr.Somerdale, N.J.
20 Doron LambG6-4210So.Queens, N.Y.
23 Anthony DavisF6-10220Fr.Chicago
25 Marquis TeagueG6-2189Fr.Indianapolis
30 Eloy VargasF6-11244Sr.Moca, Dominican Rep.
32 Brian LongG5-9150Fr.Dumont, N.J.
33 Kyle WiltjerF6-9239Fr.Portland, Ore.
 
Statistics
PlayerFG Pct.3pt Pct.FT Pct.RPGAPGTOBlks.SPPG
Davis.639.150.71110.21.2381805114.4
Lamb.471.465.8252.71.54321913.5
Jones.499.333.6287.21.360664812.4
Kidd-Gilchrist.489.260.7457.51.986363911.9
Miller.475.374.7972.72.156113310.1
Teague.414.312.7162.54.810711379.9
Wiltjer.441.438.8151.80.4271755.1
Malone.500.000.0000.30.24001.0
Vargas.333.000.3081.80.161030.9
Long.000.000.5000.20.00000.2
Polson.000.000.2500.40.15020.1
Beckham.000.000.0000.50.11010.0
KENTUCKY.490.377.72338.813.344233323877.6
Opponents.374.316.69432.110.545712821260.6
 
Schedule
DateOpponentResult
Nov. 11MARISTW, 108-58
Nov. 15a-KansasW, 75-65
Nov. 19b-Penn StateW, 87-45
Nov. 20b-Old DominionW, 62-52
Nov. 23RADFORDW, 88-40
Nov. 26PORTLANDW, 87-63
Dec. 1ST. JOHN'SW, 81-59
Dec. 3NORTH CAROLINAW, 73-72
Dec. 10at IndianaL, 73-72
Dec. 17TENN.-CHATTANOOGAW, 87-62
Dec. 20SAMFORDW, 82-50
Dec. 22LOYOLA (MD.)W, 87-63
Dec. 28LAMARW, 86-64
Dec. 31LOUISVILLEW, 69-62
Jan. 3c-Ark.-Little RockW, 73-52
Jan. 7SOUTH CAROLINAW, 79-64
Jan. 11at AuburnW, 68-53
Jan. 14at TennesseeW, 65-62
Jan. 17ARKANSASW, 86-63
Jan. 21ALABAMAW, 77-71
Jan. 24at GeorgiaW, 57-44
Jan. 28at Louisiana St.W, 74-50
Jan. 31TENNESSEEW, 69-44
Feb. 4at South CarolinaW, 86-52
Feb. 7FLORIDAW, 78-58
Feb. 11at VanderbiltW, 69-63
Feb. 18MISSISSIPPIW, 77-62
Feb. 21at Mississippi StateW, 73-64
Feb. 25VANDERBILTW, 83-74
March 1GEORGIAW, 79-49
March 4at FloridaW, 74-59
March 9d-LSUW, 60-51
March 10d-FloridaW, 74-71
March 11d-VanderbiltL, 71-64
March 15e-Western KentuckyW, 81-66
March 17e-Iowa StateW, 87-71
March 23f-IndianaW, 102-90
March 25f-BaylorW, 82-70
March 31g-LouisvilleW, 69-61
DateOpponentTime
April 2g-Kansas9:23 p.m.
a-at Madison Square Garden, N.Y.; b-at ­Uncasville, Conn.; c-at Freedom Hall, Louisville; d-SEC Tournament at New Orleans; e-NCAA Tournament at Louisville; f-NCAA Tournament at Atlanta; g-NCAA Tournament at New Orleans

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