Kansas Men's Basketball Pregame Notes for Saint Joseph's
Nov. 22, 2004
Kansas’ men’s basketball schedule is considered one of the toughest in the nation. The Jayhawks are facing 10 teams that participated in the 2004 NCAA Tournament, including two from the Final Four, one from the Elite Eight and two from the Sweet 16. Saint Joseph’s fits the high caliber mold KU will face this season. Only five teams were ranked No. 1 during the 2003-04 season by Associated Press and Kansas and Saint Joseph’s were two of those.
Last Game – Kansas 68, Vermont 61
Then No. 1-ranked Kansas started the season off with a tough 68-61 home win over visiting Vermont, Friday night at Allen Fieldhouse. The Catamounts led 58-56 with 3:32 remaining, before sophomore J.R. Giddens nailed a three to give the Jayhawks the lead for good. In the hard-fought first game for both teams, there were 10 lead changes and seven ties. Kansas senior and preseason All-American Wayne Simien had his hands full with Vermont senior Taylor Coppenrath. The two battled on the floor and in the box score with Simien scoring a game-high 25 points and grabbing a game-high 14 rebounds. Coppenrath also had a great first outing with 23 points and seven boards. The KU bench had a big night outscoring Vermont 20-9. Giddens came off the bench to score 12 points, while freshman Darnell Jackson added eight. Senior Keith Langford rounded out the KU double-figure scorers with 12 points. Fellow senior Aaron Miles dished out a game-high nine assists to go along with seven rebounds. The Jayhawks held Vermont to just 22-of-65 from the field.
About Saint Joseph’s
One of the best college basketball stories of the 2003-04 seasons, Saint Joseph’s opens its defense of the regular-season Atlantic 10 title at Kansas. The Hawks posted a 30-2 record and went undefeated in the regular season last year. SJU returns three starters and 10 letterwinners from last season’s No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. After posting a 27-0 regular season record, Saint Joseph’s fell to Xavier 87-67 in the first round of the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament and later to Big 12 foe Oklahoma State 64-62 in Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. The OSU contest was later called the game of the season by ESPN. Seniors Pat Carroll and John Bryant and junior Dwayne Jones are the Hawks’ returning starters. Carroll is a guard who averaged 10.1 points last season, while Jones is a center who averaged seven rebounds per contest. The Hawks are coached by Phil Martelli who is in his 10th season at SJU with a 179-99 record. Martelli was the consensus National Coach of the Year last season.
Kansas continues with its second of 10 straight regular season home games to start the 2004-05 season tonight against Saint Joseph’s. The Jayhawks enter the year predicted to win their fifth Big 12 Conference regular season championship by the media. KU won the first two league titles in 1997 and 1998, became the only team to go undefeated (16-0) in Big 12 play in 2002 and won the 2003 league crown as well. Kansas has a deep team as was demonstrated in its 11 players used in the season opening 68-61 win against Vermont. The KU bench outscored the Vermont bench 20-9 for the game. Senior Wayne Simien’s 25 points and 14 rebounds against Vermont marked his 23rd career double-double. Preseason Wooden and Naismith candidate Keith Langford had 12 points as did sophomore J.R. Giddens. Bill Self is in his second season as head coach at KU. Self’s teams have advanced to the NCAA Tournament and have finished either first or second in league play in each of the last six seasons.
Kansas is 4-1 against Saint Joseph’s as this series dates back to 1942 with the last meeting in 1970. The first three meetings – all played in Philadelphia – were won by Kansas. Saint Joseph’s won the fourth meeting 67-65 in Manhattan, Kan., in 1958. Kansas won the last match up 80-65 on Dec. 18, 1970 in Lawrence. Additionally, KU is 29-9 against the Atlantic 10 Conference.
Kansas Head Coach Bill Self Update
Kansas coach Bill Self (Oklahoma State, 1985) is in his second season at Kansas where he is 25-9. Last year KU posted a 24-9 record and finished tied for second in the Big 12 race at 12-4. KU advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament for the third straight year falling to Georgia Tech in overtime 79-71 last year. Self’s 24 wins tied Dick Harp for the most wins by a KU coach in his debut season at Kansas. Self is in his 12th season overall where he is 232-114. He is 2-0 against Saint Joseph’s with both wins at Tulsa. Self’s Golden Hurricane defeated the Hawks 66-55 in the 1998-99 season opener in Tulsa and 79-73 the following season in Philadelphia. Prior to KU, Self led Illinois to two Big Ten titles and three straight NCAA Tournament appearances. Before Illinois, he guided Tulsa to two WAC championships in 1999 and 2000 and was The Sporting News National Coach of the Year in 2000. A four-time Naismith Coach of the Year Award finalist, Self began his coaching career at KU in 1985-86 and was an assistant at his alma mater – Oklahoma State – from 1986 until 1993. His first head coaching stint was at Oral Roberts where he guided the Golden Eagles to the NIT in 1996-97, their first postseason appearance since 1983-84.
Simien Collects 600th Career Rebound
Kansas senior Wayne Simien is etching his name up the KU career charts every game. The Leavenworth, Kan., forward pulled down his 600th career rebound in the season opener against Vermont to move into the Top 20 on the Kansas career rebounds list. Last year Simien was second in the Big 12 with 9.3 rebounds per game. Should he keep that pace he could become only the seventh player in school history to record 900 career rebounds.
Simien Earns Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week
Simien scored 25 points and pulled down 14 rebounds as the Jayhawks defeated two-time America East champion Vermont, 68-61. The senior forward shot 53.3 percent (9-of-10) from the field and hit nine of 10 shots from the free throw stripe. He had a double-double in the first half, recording 10 points and 11 rebounds in the first 20 minutes. It was the 23rd double-double of his career and the 18th time he has scored 20 points or more in a game.
Kansas senior guard Aaron Miles has started all but one game during his career at KU and that game was Senior Day his freshman year. Miles enters his final season having ranked in the top two assists average in the Big 12 each season – second his freshman and sophomore years and first last year. He is second on the Kansas and Big 12 career assists list at 747. The Portland, Ore., native is 46 assists shy of the Big 12 mark of 793 held by Doug Gottlieb of Oklahoma State and 57 assists behind former KU great Jacque Vaughn at 804. Miles holds three of the top five single season assists records at KU. He enters his senior season 262 assists from becoming only the fourth player in NCAA Division I history to amass 1,000 assists for his career.
Giddens Lighting it Up
Sophomore J.R. Giddens was 3-for-5 from three-point range against Vermont in the season opener. At his current career percentage of 41.0 (77-187), the Oklahoma City guard would rank in a tie for seventh on the KU career three-point list. Giddens’ three treys against the Catamounts marked the 23rd time in his brief career that he has made multiple three-pointers.
Did You Know?
Kansas leads the Big 12 with 47 conference regular season championships in men’s basketball. The 47 more than doubles runner-up Texas who has won 23 league titles.
Following Thanksgiving, Kansas plays host to Nevada Monday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. The game will air on the Jayhawk Television Network.
Valentine Jersey Retirement Changed to Jan. 1
The game retiring Darnell Valentine’s jersey has changed to January 1 against Georgia Tech. Valentine is one of five former KU men’s basketball greats who will have their jerseys retired during the 2004-05 season. Bill Bridges starts the jersey retirements at the December 9 game against TCU. Walt Wesley will be honored on December 18 when KU hosts South Carolina. Valentine is next on January 1 against Georgia Tech followed by Bud Stallworth January 31 versus Missouri and Dave Robisch February 27 against Oklahoma State.
Kansas senior guard Aaron Miles has now started 108 consecutive games…Miles is now in sole possession of 10th place ahead of Cedric Hunter (107 starts) on KU’s all-time games started list…Junior forward Christian Moody made his first career start for the Jayhawks…Senior guard Michael Lee, who started three contests last season, made his first start since Feb. 15, 2003 at Nebraska…With his 14 rebounds senior forward Wayne Simien surpassed Scot Pollard for sole possession of seventh place on the KU all-time list with 24 career double-figure rebound games…Simien’s 11 rebounds in the first half marked the second most in a single stanza for the senior…Simien had 12 in the first stanza against UC Santa Barbara on Dec. 20, 2003…Simien also notched his 23rd career double-double and sits at third on KU’s all-time double-doubles list…Simien passed Charlie Black for 34th place on KU’s all-time scoring list with 1,090 points…Simien’s 25 points were the most for a Jayhawk in a season-opener since Drew Gooden netted 31 points against Ball State on Nov. 19, 2001…Freshmen Darnell Jackson (eight points, four rebounds) scored his first points and pulled down his first career rebound against the Catamounts.