KU Men's Basketball to Host Pittsburg State Monday

Nov. 12, 2005

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Kansas continues exhibition play against in-state foe Pittsburg State Monday at 7 p.m. in Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks opened exhibition play with a 96-62 win against Fort Hays State on Nov. 9. Kansas has won 23 straight exhibition games dating back to 1995 and is 41-7 overall in exhibition competition. The Jayhawks have also won 23 consecutive exhibition games in Allen Fieldhouse. Pittsburg State opens its exhibition season at KU and is coming off a 23-7 record in 2004-05. The Gorillas – an NCAA Division II school – finished third in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association with a 13-7 record in 2004-05.

About Kansas
Kansas returns eight letterwinners from last season’s 23-7 and 12-4 Big 12 championship team. Included are three seniors – Jeff Hawkins, Christian Moody and Stephen Vinson. Moody is the lone returning starter from last season’s team. He is KU’s leading returning scorer at 5.8 points per game and rebounder at 4.7 rebounds per contest. Hawkins is KU’s leading returner in three-pointers, shooting 48.6 percent from behind the arc last season. With no juniors on the roster, there are 11 sophomores and freshmen to round out the squad. Big men C.J. Giles, Sasha Kaun and Darnell Jackson highlight the sophomores along with guards Jeremy Case, a 2004-05 redshirt, Russell Robinson and Rodrick Stewart – a transfer from Southern California. All will be looked upon for immediate assistance. The four freshmen – Mario Chalmers, Micah Downs, Brandon Rush and Julian Wright – all came in highly touted. Chalmers, Downs and Wright were high school McDonald’s All-Americans last season and Rush was ranked the No. 13 overall player by rivals.com coming out of Mount Zion (N.C.) Academy.

About Pittsburg State
Pittsburg State advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division II Tournament last season with a 23-7 record and returns only four letterwinners for 2005-06. PSU finished third in the MIAA with a 13-7 record. Pittsburg State’s lone returning starter is 2004-05 NCAA Division II All-America selection Eddie Jackson. The 5-11 guard led the MIAA in scoring last season at 21.1 ppg and three-point field goals made at 115. Jackson scored 30 or more points seven times in 2004-05. Senior Andy Wachter (nephew of KU CFO Susan Wachter) joins Jackson in the backcourt. Anchoring the inside is junior forward/center Daniel Blair (6-6), who averaged 7.6 points and 5.3 rebounds in 2004-05.

The Series
Kansas is facing Pittsburg State for the second time in exhibition play and the sixth time overall. KU has won every meeting dating back to 1944. All the matchups have been played in Lawrence with four of them since the 1995-96 season. KU won the initial matchup 35-21 in 1944. In the other four meetings — since 1995 — KU has won by an average score of 102 to 64 in the series.