No. 1 Kansas to Play Memphis Tuesday in St. Louis in Men's Basketball

Nov. 15, 2009

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Top-ranked Kansas (1-0) heads east on I-70 to St. Louis to take on Memphis in a rematch of the 2008 NCAA National Championship game in KU’s first round of the Basketball Hall of Fame Showcase. KU and Memphis will play at the Scottrade Center at 9 p.m. on ESPN.

KU and Memphis will play at the Scottrade Center at 9 p.m. on ESPN. Kansas opened the season with a 101-65 win against Hofstra on Nov. 13 in Allen Fieldhouse. Memphis (1-0) started its season with an 82-53 home win against Jackson State at home on Nov. 13.

About Kansas

Kansas won its eighth-straight season opener and 37th-consecutive home opener with a 101-65 win against Hofstra Nov. 13. The Jayhawks extended the nation’s longest home court winning streak to 42 victories with the Hofstra win. KU is anchored by Associated Press Preseason All-Americans and Big 12 Preseason Co-Players of the Year Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich. Collins is a senior guard who had 23 points against Hofstra and is KU’s leading scorer from last season with an 18.9 average. Aldrich, who will be an Academic All-America candidate this season, had 11 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots against Hofstra. The junior center averaged a double-double last season with 14.9 points and 11.1 rebounds per contest. He led the Big 12 with 2.7 blocked shots per game last season. Sophomore guard Tyshawn Taylor (9.7 ppg in 2008-09) had eight points, four rebounds and six assists in the opener and kept Hofstra standout guard Charles Jenkins in check until the game was out of reach. Freshman guard Xavier Henry had 27 points in setting the KU freshman debut scoring record. He was 8-for-12 from the field, including 5-for-8 from three-point range for the game. Sophomore forward Markieff Morris (4.6 ppg in 2008-09) started the opener and had six points, seven rebounds and two steals against the Pride. Markieff’s twin Marcus (7.4 ppg in 2008-09) had nine points on 3-of-5 shooting off the bench, while freshman forward Thomas Robinson scored five points and pulled down five rebounds. Freshman guard Elijah Johnson was 4-for-5 from the field with eight points and four boards. Expect junior guard Tyrel Reed (6.5 ppg in 2008-09) to also be in the rotation. He logged 15 minutes in the opener with three rebounds.

Kansas is the five-time defending Big 12 champion and finished 27-8 last season and won the league title outright with a 14-2 conference record. The Jayhawks advanced to their third-straight NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 before falling to NCAA runner-up Michigan State in Indianapolis.

About Memphis

Memphis defeated Jackson State 82-53 in its season opener. The Tigers are picked to finish between second and fourth in Conference USA in most preseason polls and return one starter and six letterwinners from last year’s squad which won 33 games (33-4 record) and advanced to the NCAA Tournament West Region semifinal (Sweet Sixteen). En route to the Sweet Sixteen, the Tigers swept the Conference USA regular season and tournament crowns. Sophomore guard Elliott Williams had 19 points against Jackson State, while junior forward Will Coleman had 16 points and 10 rebounds off the bench. Joining Williams in the starting lineup was Wesley Witherspoon who had 13 points against JSU, senior forward Pierre Henderson-Niles who had five points, junior guard Roburt Sallie with seven points and seven rebounds and senior guard Willie Kemp with four points. Returning starter Doneal Mack, a senior guard, had eight points off the bench in the Tigers’ opener.

The Series

Kansas leads the all-time series 4-2 with all five meetings prior to the 2008 NCAA National Championship coming in the decade of the 1980s. KU claimed the first matchup 59-49 at Memphis in 1981, and the last two – a 64-62 victory in the ECAC Holiday Festival in New York, N.Y., during the 1987-88 campaign and the 75-68 overtime thriller in the 2008 NCAA National Championship game in San Antonio. Other match ups include a Memphis win 64-58 at Lawrence on Dec. 18, 1982, a KU win 75-71 at Lawrence on Feb. 9, 1985, and a Memphis win 83-80 in overtime at Memphis on Jan. 4, 1986. Kansas has played 10 teams from the current membership of Conference USA and is 58-15 against the field.

Up Next

Kansas will host Central Arkansas on Thursday, Nov. 19, in the second game of the Basketball Hall of Fame Showcase. The Central Arkansas game will tip at 7 p.m. and be televised on Jayhawk TV. KU will then host Oakland on Nov. 25 and Tennessee Tech on Nov. 27 in the final two games of the Basketball Hall of Fame Showcase. Both games will tip at 7 p.m. and be televised on Jayhawk TV.