No. 23/24 Kansas Men's Basketball to Open Season vs. UMKC Sunday at 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 14, 2008

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Defending NCAA Champion Kansas opens up the 2008-09 season by hosting UMKC in the first round of the O’Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic, Sunday, Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m. KU will then host Florida Gulf Coast on Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 8 p.m. in the second round of the event. Both games will be televised on ESPNU. Kansas went 5-0 in the exhibition season with three wins in Canada over Labor Day weekend and two victories at home – 98-79 vs. Washburn (11/4) and 103-58 vs. Emporia State (11/11). Kansas is looking to win its 36th straight home opener at Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks have won their last six consecutive season openers dating back to 2001-02. UMKC opened its 2008-09 season with a 61-56 loss to North Dakota on Friday. Florida Gulf Coast will be opening its season at Allen Fieldhouse. FGCU was 10-21 last season.

Unveiling 2008 National Championship Banner on Nov. 18

A fifth national championship banner honoring the 2008 Kansas NCAA title will be unveiled prior to the Florida Gulf Coast contest at approximately 7:45 p.m. (Central), next Tuesday (Nov. 18). The banner will be hung at the north end of Allen Fieldhouse. Fans are encouraged to show up early for this ceremony. General admission tickets are still available for the contest via the KU ticket office at 785.864.3141, 800.34.HAWKS or Earlier this year, a 2008 Final Four banner was raised at the south end of Allen Fieldhouse during Late Night in the Phog.

About Kansas

Kansas is coming off a 103-58 win against Emporia State Tuesday in its final exhibition game of the preseason. Every Jayhawk who suited up scored in the contest as junior guard Sherron Collins led the team with 22 points. Sophomore center Cole Aldrich recorded a double-double in the game with 17 points and 10 rebounds to go along with three blocked shots. Sophomore guard Brady Morningstar had 13 points, while freshmen Marcus Morris (11 points) and Travis Releford (10 points) also scored in double figures. Morris also pulled down six rebounds for the game. In KU’s two full-team exhibition contests – the Morris twins did not compete in Canada – Collins led the team with a 22.0 scoring average. Morningstar was next with 14 points, while Aldrich scored 12.5 ppg and led KU with a 9.5 rebound average. Freshman forward Quintrell Thomas (7.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg) and sophomore guard Tyrel Reed (9.5 ppg, 6-11 3FGs) also stood out in exhibition play.

KU enters its 111th year of college basketball. Last season, KU won its 51st league title, most in NCAA Division I. The Jayhawks return eight letterwinners from last season’s 37-3 team, yet less than 20 percent of almost every statistical category.

About UMKC

UMKC opened the 2008-09 season with a 61-56 loss to North Dakota on Friday at the Swinney Rec Center. Sophomore guard Reggie Hamilton led UMKC with 22 points, including going 4-for-7 from three-point range. Sophomore forward Spencer Johnson had 15 points and senior guard Dane Brumagin 11 in the game. The Kangaroos return two starters and four letterwinners from last season’s 11-21 team. UMKC went 6-12 in Summit League play and finished eighth. Brumagin is the lone senior and he and Hamilton are the returning starters. Brumagin averaged 17.1 points and 4.8 rebounds last season, while Hamilton scored 11.7 points per contest with 3.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists. Sophomore forwards James Humphrey (4.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg) and Spencer Johnson (1.8 ppg) also return for UMKC. All of the seven eligible newcomers for UMKC are either freshmen or sophomores.

About Florida Gulf Coast

Like KU and UMKC, Florida Gulf Coast is rebuilding. The Eagles lost 11 and return two letterwinners from last season’s 10-21 team, which tied for eighth in the Atlantic Sun Conference race with a 6-10 record. FGCU is led by lone senior guard Delvin Franklin who started 19 games with a 9.2 scoring average last year. He averaged 12.3 ppg in conference games. Sophomore forward Chad Lutkenhaus (1.3 ppg) is the other returning letterwinner for FGCU. Head coach Dave Balza has 12 newcomers on the team, including four junior college transfers. In its lone exhibition game, Florida Gulf Coast defeated NAIA Ave Maria 89-58 on Nov. 4. Four Eagles scored in double figures led by Franklin with 16 points. Junior guard Ben Vega had 14, while freshman guard Reggie Chambers had 11 and junior forward Kyle Marks added 12. Freshman forward Ed Rolax led the Eagles with nine rebounds for the game.

The Series

Kansas has won all four meetings with UMKC, including an 85-62 victory last season. For the game, KU returners Sherron Collins, Tyrel Reed and Cole Aldrich saw time. Collins had 10 points and seven rebounds, while Reed (nine minutes) and Aldrich (three minutes) did not score. This series dates back to 1992. The Jayhawks defeated the Kangaroos 108-62 in Kemper Arena in 1992 in the Golden Harvest Classic in their first meeting. KU later faced UMKC in back-to-back seasons with a 79-68 win on Dec. 28, 2001, in Allen Fieldhouse and a 100-46 victory at Kemper Arena on Jan. 4, 2003. Kansas is 14-4 against the current formation of the Summit League, formerly known as the Mid-Continent Conference – 7-4 vs. Oral Roberts, 4-0 vs. UMKC, 1-0 vs. Western Illinois, 1-0 vs. Centenary and 1-0 vs. South Dakota State.

Kansas and Florida Gulf Coast are meeting for the first time in men’s basketball. KU has only faced one current member of the Atlantic Sun Conference. The Jayhawks are 3-0 against East Tennessee State with the last meeting in 1996, a KU 108-73 win in Allen Fieldhouse.

CBE Classic Notes & Schedule

The 2008 O’Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic will feature four regional sites (Lawrence, Syracuse, N.Y., Gainesville, Fla., and Seattle, Wash.) and culminate with the championship rounds Nov. 24 and 25 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. KU will face Washington on Nov. 24 and either Florida or Syracuse on Nov. 25 in Kansas City. The event is formally known as the Guardians Classic and started in 2001. last year, #2 UCLA defeated #10 Stanford 68-63 in the CBE Classic at the Sprint Center. This is Kansas’ first appearance in the event.

Like Father, Like Son

Kansas veteran play-by-play announcer Bob Davis and son Steven Davis will both be on the radio broadcast when Kansas faces UMKC. Bob is in his 25th year calling play-by-play for Kansas football and basketball and 41st season overall in the broadcast booth. Davis also serves as host for the weekly radio call-in program – HawkTalk, featuring the Jayhawk football and basketball coaches. A 2005 KU graduate, Steven is in his first season of play-by-play for UMKC. He is also the voice for the Kansas City Royals Double-A affiliate, the Northwest Naturals Professional Baseball Club, in Springdale, Ark. Prior to his current post, Steven also called play-by-play for Kansas women’s basketball for both the TV and radio broadcasts from 2005-08. He was a KU men’s basketball student manager for four years as an undergrad. This is not the first time the Davis duo has called the same game. Steven subbed for the Idaho State radio network play-by-play when the Bengals came to Allen Fieldhouse on Nov. 18, 2005.

Up Next

Kansas will play its second game of the O’Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic Tuesday, Nov. 18 vs. Florida Gulf Coast. The Nov. 18 game will be part of ESPN’s 24-hour basketball broadcast. At 11 a.m. that day, the Kansas women’s team will play Iowa on ESPN. Later that day the KU men’s team will host Florida Gulf Coast at 8 p.m. on ESPNU. Kansas will then play Washington in the CBE Classic semifinals Nov. 24 at 9 p.m. at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. The following day KU will face either Florida or Syracuse in the championship or consolation game.