Kansas Men's Hoops Heads to Kansas City for CBE Classic

Nov. 21, 2008

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Kansas at CBE Classic

No. 24 Kansas takes a 2-0 record into the championship rounds of the O’Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic Nov. 24 and 25 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. KU will face Pac-10 foe Washington (2-1) in the semifinal Nov. 24 at 9 p.m. The Jayhawks will play either No. 18 Florida (3-0) or Syracuse (2-0) in the consolation/championship round Nov. 25. Tip times are 6:45 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. on Nov. 25.

These four teams bring a rich tradition of college basketball to this year’s event. Kansas and Washington played in the 1953 NCAA Tournament semifinal, a KU 79-53 win. Kansas, Florida and Syracuse represent four of the last six NCAA National Champions with Syracuse winning the 2003 title – defeating Kansas in the championship game (81-78) – Florida in 2006 and 2007 and Kansas in 2008.

About Kansas

Kansas is 2-0 for the second straight season and fourth time under Bill Self following its 85-45 win against Florida Gulf Coast in the second round of the O’Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic Tuesday. Kansas is scoring 78 points per game and allowing 50.5 ppg. The 24th-ranked Jayhawks are shooting 48.7 percent from the field, while their opponents are at 26.5 percent. KU is also winning the battle of the boards with a +11 rebound margin through two games. Junior guard Sherron Collins is coming off a career-high 25 points against Florida Gulf Coast and leads the team with a 20.5 scoring average. Collins is making 60 percent of his shots from the field. Sophomore center Cole Aldrich is next in scoring at 12.5 ppg and he leads KU with four blocked shots. Sophomore guard Tyrel Reed is scoring 10.5 ppg, while freshman Travis Releford is at 7.0. Freshmen twin forwards Markieff Morris (10.0 rebounds per game, 6.5 ppg) and Marcus Morris (6.5 rpg, 3.5 ppg) lead Kansas in rebounds with Aldrich and freshman forward Quintrell Thomas (3.5 ppg) each pulling down 5.5 rpg. Redshirt sophomore guard Brady Morningstar leads KU with seven assists, while Collins, freshman guard Tyshawn Taylor (6.0 ppg) and Marcus Morris each have four steals through two games.

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 national championship team, yet less than 20 percent of almost every statistical category.

About Washington

Washington is 2-1 on the season and brings a two-game winning streak to Kansas City. The Huskies lost at Portland 80-74 in their season opener, then defeated Cleveland State 78-63 on Nov. 18 and Florida International 74-51 on Nov. 20 in the first two rounds of the O’Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic. Senior forward Jon Brockman is the Pac-10 Conference Preseason Player of the Year and leads the team in scoring with 20.3 points per game and in rebounding with an 11.3 average. Senior guard Justin Dentmon is next in scoring at 15 points per game and he leads the team with four three-pointers and four steals. Freshman guard Isaiah Thomas is scoring 12.3 ppg and he has a team-high 10 assists through three games. Junior forward Quincy Pondexter is second on the team with 7.3 rebounds per game to complement his 7.0 scoring average. Freshman forward Darnell Gant rounds out the starters for the Huskies. Washington is scoring 75.3 points per game and allowing 64.7. The Huskies are outrebounding foes by 18 boards per game (50.0 to 32.0).

About Florida

No. 18 by Associated Press and No. 19 in the coaches poll, Florida is 3-0 on the season after its 64-50 win against Southern Utah Nov. 20. The Gators defeated Toledo 80-58 on Nov. 14 and Bradley 81-58 Nov. 16. Florida is averaging 75 points per game and giving up just 55.3. UF has 20 more steals than their opponents through three games. Sophomore guard Nick Calathes leads Florida in scoring at 15.7 points per game, in rebounding at 6.0 rpg, in assists with 17 and in steals with nine. Junior forward Dan Werner is next in scoring with 15 points per contest. Senior guard Walter Hodge lead UF with seven three pointers to go along with his 9.3 ppg. He has seven steals, as does freshman guard Ray Shipman (5.0 ppg). Sophomore forward Alex Tyus (8.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg) and sophomore forward Chandler Parsons (6.3 ppg. 5.3 rpg) round out the Gator starters.

About Syracuse

Syracuse is 2-0 on the season and plays host to Oakland on Nov. 21. The Orangemen defeated Le Moyne 85-51 in its season opener on Nov. 16 and Richmond 76-71 Nov. 18 in the first two rounds of the O’Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic. Syracuse scores 80.5 points per game and yields 61. The Orange are controlling the boards with a +9 rebound margin. Sophomore guard Jonny Flynn leads the team in scoring at 22 points per game. He is second on the team with 11 assists. He also has four steals in two games. Senior guard Eric Devendorf is scoring 18 points per contest and he leads SU with five three pointers. Junior forward Arinze Onuaku is scoring 14.5 points per game and he is second on the team with 6.5 rebounds per contest. Junior forward Paul Harris leads SU with 7.5 rebounds per game to go along with his 9.5 scoring average.

The Series

Kansas leads the overall series with Washington 7-1, yet the teams have not faced each other since the 1987-88 season. KU won the first meeting, 79-53, in the semifinals of the 1953 NCAA Tournament at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City. KU would go on to finish runner-up to Indiana, 69-68, in the title game. KU won the first four meetings from 1953 through 1957. Washington’s lone win in the series came in the 1974-75 season, a 74-64 win in Allen Fieldhouse. KU has won the last three – 69-64 on Nov. 24, 1985, 82-68 on Dec. 4, 1986, and 67-57 on Jan. 4, 1988.

Representing the last three NCAA National Champions, Kansas leads Florida in the all-time series 3-1. The two teams first met in 1994 with KU winning 69-63 at Allen Fieldhouse. KU won the following season, 69-54, in Gainesville, Fla., on Jan. 11, 1996. Florida won its lone series game, 83-73, in the consolation game of the 2002 Preseason NIT in New York on Nov. 29, 2002. In the last meeting, then-No. 10 Kansas defeated then-No. 1 Florida 82-80 in overtime in the championship game of the Las Vegas Invitational on Nov. 25, 2006. There are currently nine NBA players who participated in that game. For Kansas – Darrell Arthur, Mario Chalmers, Darnell Jackson, Brandon Rush and Julian Wright. For Florida – Corey Brewer, Taurean Green, Al Horford and Joakim Noah. Current Jayhawk Sherron Collins played seven minutes and had three fouls in the game.

The Kansas-Syracuse series is tied at 2-2 with three of the four meetings coming in the NCAA Tournament. KU won the first game 71-41 in Allen Fieldhouse on Dec. 14, 1968. Syracuse then won the NCAA West Regional Final over Kanss 60-57 on March 24, 1996, in Denver. In 2001, KU defeated SU 87-58 in the NCAA Midwest Regional second round game in Dayton, Ohio. In the last meeting, then-No. 13 Syracuse defeated then-No. 6 Kansas 81-78 in the 2003 NCAA Championship game in New Orleans.

Team and Player Notables

–Kansas’ scoring percentage is as follows – sophomores 39 percent; freshmen 34 percent; juniors 27. Note: KU’s seniors – Brennan Bechard and Matt Kleinmann are walk-ons and have combined for one point.

–Kansas has the nation’s longest winning streak, currently at 15 games.

–KU is 72-8 (90 percent) in its last 80 games.

–Kansas’ 26-game home winning streak ranks fourth nationally.

–KU has outshot both opponents this season. Last year, KU outshot 39 of 40 opponents.

–Kansas has held 112 of its last 115 opponents to under 50 percent shooting, including both in 2008-09.

–On the season, the Jayhawk bench has outscored its opponents 47-25 for a 23.5 to 13.5 (+10) advantage per game.

–Markieff Morris’ 15 rebounds against UMKC were the most by a Jayhawk since Nick Collison had 21 boards against Syracuse in the 2003 national championship game.

–Markieff is averaging 10 rebounds per game. The last freshman to lead KU in rebounds was Brandon Rush with a 5.9 average in 2005-06.

–Five Jayhawks – Sherron Collins (60 percent), Cole Aldrich (78.6), Tyrel Reed (53.8), Travis Releford (63.6) and Tyshawn Taylor (50) are shooting 50 percent or better from the field through two games.

–Sherron Collins is averaging 20.5 points through two games. The last Jayhawk to average 20-plus points in a season was Wayne Simien (20.3 ppg) in 2004-05.

KU in Kansas City

Kansas City has been a second home of sorts for Kansas over the years. KU’s first ever game — a 16-5 loss to Kansas City YMCA on Feb. 3, 1899 — was played in Kansas City. Monday’s game will mark KU’s 265th game all-time in Kansas City, and its fifth in the Sprint Center. Last season, KU defeated Ohio, 88-51, on Dec. 15 in the Kansas City Shootout and won the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship going 3-0 en route to it NCAA national championship. KU played 104 games in Kemper Arena. KU is 189-74 in Kansas City, including a 5-0 mark in the Sprint Center and 80-24 record in Kemper Arena. After the win against Ohio last season, KU has won 27 straight regular-season games in Kansas City.

More Notes on the Jayhawks in Kansas City

–Kansas went 26-4 in Kemper Arena from 1997 until 2006, when it played its last game in the venue. Included in that run were Big 12 Tournament titles in 1997, 1998 and 1999.

–Kemper Arena was the host of the 1988 NCAA Final Four when the Jayhawks won the national championship.

–When KU faces UMass on Dec. 13, 2008, at the Sprint Center for the M&I Bank Kansas City Shootout, Kansas will have played at least one regular-season game in Kansas City in 18 of the last 20 seasons. The team hasn’t dropped a regular-season game in Kansas City since losing to Ohio State, 64-61, on Jan. 2, 1983.

Up Next

Kansas returns home for four straight games, including three games in six days. KU will play Coppin State on Friday, Nov. 28, at 7 p.m. The game will be televised on Jayhawk TV. The Jayhawks will then host Kent State on Monday, Dec. 1 at 8 p.m. on ESPNU and New Mexico State on Wednesday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m. on Jayhawk TV. The fourth game of the homestand is against Jackson State on Dec. 6 at 1 p.m. on Jayhawk TV.