There will be a short ceremony honoring Kansas University seniors Jordan Juenemann, Conner Teahan and Tyshawn Taylor and their parents before today’s KU-Texas game in Allen Fieldhouse.
The trio will speak to 16,300 fans after the 8 p.m. contest.
In between, the Jayhawks (25-5, 15-2) hope to take care of business against a Texas “bubble” team (19-11, 9-8) that is not yet considered a lock for the upcoming NCAA Tournament.
“I was just watching something on them the other day. They may need a couple wins to get in,” KU point guard Taylor said of the NCAAs. “They’ll be hungry and ready to play. We have to be ready, too.”
The Longhorns, who have won six of their last eight games, fell to KU, 69-66, on Jan. 21 in Austin. In that game, Texas junior guard J’Covan Brown scored 24 points off 7-of-26 shooting. He hit three of eight threes, seven of seven free throws, dished seven assists and had six rebounds.
“J’Covan always goes nuts against us, so we’ll have to do a good job there,” KU coach Bill Self said.
A preseason All-Big 12 pick, Brown leads the league in scoring (19.6 ppg) and also leads the team in steals (40) and minutes (35.1) and ranks second in assists (3.9). He has cashed 41 percent (193-of-463) of his field-goal tries, including 74 of 194 (.381) from three-point range.
Brown has scored 30-plus points three times, topped the 20-point mark 16 times and reached double figures in 28 of UT’s 30 games.
“I think that he is so good that he is going to get points. You just have to limit his good looks,” Self said. “I think in the first game he got off 26 shots. A lot of those were desperation late, so they don’t really count, but we did a pretty good job on him, and he still got numbers. What we have to do is eliminate transition. They killed us in transition defense in the second half.”
Self is well aware KU and Texas have had some epic battles in recent seasons.
“They could beat us, there is no question. They could easily come in here and rock our world,” Self said. “When you look at Senior Nights around the country, sometimes on Senior Night you can flip it, because some guys are nervous about postgame speeches or you’ve got so much family in town. Certainly they could get us and it would be a nice résumé builder for them.”
This, that: KU leads the all-time series, 19-7. ... KU is 9-1 vs. UT in Lawrence. The Longhorns defeated KU, 74-63, last season in Allen. ... Eight of UT’s 11 losses have come by six points or less (or in overtime). Texas’ three double-figure defeats have come at North Carolina (82-63), at Missouri (84-73) and at Oklahoma State (90-78). ... Five losses have come against AP Top-10 opponents (three in true road games). Seven losses have come against AP Top-25 opponents (four in true road games).
Seniors: Juenemann will make his first start tonight on Senior Night. Teahan started the Long Beach State game earlier this season. “It’s a good thing coach Self does that and that all the seniors get to start,” Taylor said. “I’m sure he (Juenemann) is going to love it, and I’m sure he’s going to take full advantage of however long he’s in there.”