▪ WHEN/WHERE: 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence
▪ TV/RADIO: CBS (Chs. 5, 13); KCSP (610 AM)
▪ ABOUT KANSAS (10-2): The last time Kansas faced a Mountain West program in its nonconference finale, San Diego State entered Allen Fieldhouse and handed Bill Self one of his nine home losses ever at KU. That was last January. Self said this week that he doesn’t need to remind his team about what happened last year, but he will anyway. “We don’t have to say that,” Self said, “but we will say that.” The Jayhawks, meanwhile, are 4-0 all time against UNLV, with the last victory coming in the second round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament. After Kansas’ 78-62 victory over Kent State on Tuesday, Self said freshman Kelly Oubre had solidified himself as the Jayhawks’ starter at the three spot. But Self is also hoping for more productivity from sophomore guard Wayne Selden, who has scored in double figures just once in KU’s last five games. Sophomore guard Frank Mason has picked up some of the scoring slack. Mason has been in double figures in nine straight games and is coming off a sterling performance against Kent State. He scored 14 points, snared five rebounds and handed out five assists. Will freshman forward Cliff Alexander return to the starting lineup? Self has stopped answering questions about his starters, but Alexander finished with eight points off the bench against Kent State after being replaced in the starting lineup by junior Jamari Traylor.
▪ ABOUT UNLV (9-4): UNLV sophomore Christian Wood, a 6-foot-11 forward, is projected to be a first-round NBA Draft pick whenever he decides to leave school. Wood is averaging 15.7 points, 9.8 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game. He had 24 points and 10 rebounds in UNLV’s 71-67 upset over No. 3 Arizona on Dec. 23 and is averaging 25 points and 10.3 rebounds in his last three games. “If you watch tape, this Christian Wood is different than anybody you’ve ever seen,” Self said, “because he’s really a guard that’s 7-foot tall.” With Wood anchoring the middle, the Runnin’ Rebels rank fifth in the country with 7.2 blocks per game. Freshman big man Goodluck Okonoboh has 33 blocks, one reason the Rebels rank 67th nationally in defensive efficiency. But UNLV has struggled to score at times. Freshman guard Rashad Vaughn — a former McDonald’s All-American who was recruited by KU — leads the team with 17.9 points per game while shooting just 43.9 percent. The Rebels’ four losses came against Stanford, Arizona State, Utah and Wyoming.
| Rustin Dodd, firstname.lastname@example.org