Jayhawks and Gorillas to Clash in Men's Basketball
Nov. 9, 2009
Five-time defending Big 12 Conference champion Kansas continues the 2009-10 exhibition season hosting Pittsburg State Tuesday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. The game will be televised on Jayhawk TV. Kansas is looking to win its 35th-straight exhibition contest and is 20-0 in exhibition games under head coach Bill Self. Pittsburg State opened its exhibition season with an 89-53 loss at Kansas State Sunday.
Sherron Collins, with a game-high 19 points, and Cole Aldrich, with a double-double, paced Kansas to a 107-68 victory against Fort Hays State in its season-opening exhibition basketball game Nov. 3. In all, six Jayhawks scored in double figures and all 10 players who saw action scored. 2009 starter Tyshawn Taylor came off the bench to record 15 points, a team-high five assists and a game-best four steals. Markieff Morris was one rebound shy of a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds. His brother Marcus Morris added 10 points, six rebounds and four assists. The night marked the collegiate debut of highly-touted freshman Xavier Henry, who drew a starting assignment. He scored 14 points on 3-of-7 shooting, which included 2-of-4 from three-point range.
Preseason No. 1 in most national polls, Kansas returns its top nine scorers, including all five starters from last season’s 27-8 team, which won its fifth straight and ninth overall Big 12 regular-season championship. The Jayhawks advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 before falling to eventual NCAA runner-up Michigan State. Senior Sherron Collins and junior Cole Aldrich are the Big 12 Preseason Co-Players of the Year for 2009-10 and were named Associated Press preseason All-America Nov. 2. Collins led KU in scoring last season with 18.9 points per game, while Aldrich averaged a double-double with 14.9 points and 11.1 rebounds. Both Collins and Aldrich were All-Big 12 First Team selections last year. Sophomore guard Tyshawn Taylor is a returning starter who averaged 9.7 points and 3.0 assists per game in 2008-09. Sophomore forward Marcus Morris is another returning starter who averaged 7.4 points and 4.7 rebounds his freshman year. Kansas’ top reserves from last year include Tyrel Reed, Markieff Morris, Mario Little and Travis Releford. Expect freshmen guards C.J. Henry, his brother Xavier Henry, Elijah Johnson and freshman forward Thomas Robinson to also vie for playing time for KU.
About Pittsburg State
Located in Pittsburg, Kan., with an enrollment of 7,127, Pittsburg State returns two starters and five letterwinners from its 2008-09 squad, which posted a 10-17 overall record. Senior guard Spencer Magana and senior forward Rodney Grace lead Pitt State’s elder statesmen. Magana (6-4, 192), a native of Dewey, Okla., averaged 12.4 points per game, starting 26 games as a junior in 2009. Grace (6-6, 195), from Omaha, Neb., contributed 10.2 points and 5.7 rebounds in 23 starts for Pitt State a year ago. Senior forward Henry Rogers (6-7, 195) also started a pair of games, averaging 2.6 points and 2.5 rebounds per game last year.
In its 89-53 exhibition loss at Kansas State Sunday, Pitt State’s leading scorer was junior Quincy Owens with 14. He and freshman Javon McGee shared the lead on the boards with seven apiece. McGee added seven points for PSU, as did Grace.
Kansas leads the series with Pittsburg State 7-0, including three exhibition contests. KU and PSU last met in the 2007 exhibition season, a KU 94-57 win in Lawrence. This series dates back to 1944 when Kansas defeated Pittsburg State 35-21 in Lawrence. The next meeting was 1995 and all seven contests have been played in Lawrence.
Kansas begins the 2009-10 regular season when it hosts Hofstra on Friday, Nov. 13, at 7 p.m. on Jayhawk TV. KU will then play Memphis in the Basketball Hall of Fame Showcase in St. Louis on Tuesday, Nov. 17, at 9 p.m. on ESPN. The game is a rematch of the 2008 NCAA National Championship game. Two days later, KU will host Central Arkansas in the second game of the Basketball Hall of Fame Showcase.