Kansas to Face Ohio and Arizona in iBN Sports Las Vegas Invitational Friday and Saturday

Nov. 24, 2010

Kansas notes for iBN Sports Las Vegas Invitational in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

iBN Sports Las Vegas Invitational

Following two home victories in the iBN Las Vegas Invitational, No. 6/6 Kansas (4-0) heads to Las Vegas to play Ohio on Friday, Nov. 26 at 7 p.m. (Central) and Arizona on Saturday, Nov. 27 at 9:30 p.m. (Central). It is the 10th year of the iBN Las Vegas Invitational and Kansas won the title in its only other apprearance in 2006.

About Kansas

Kansas is 4-0 for the third time in the last four years after its 82-41 win against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Tuesday. The victory was historic as it set the KU home court winning streak record at 63 games, the longest active streak in NCAA Division I. KU is using a nine-player rotation through its first four contests led by junior All-American candidate Marcus Morris, who is scoring 18 points per game. He is shooting 67.4 percent from the field and averages 5.3 rebounds per game. Marcus’ twin, Markieff, is second in the Big 12 in rebounding with a 11.5 rpg average and is scoring 12 points per contest. He has recorded a double-double in two of KU’s first four games and had 10 rebounds and nine points against Texas A&M-CC Tuesday. Junior guard Tyshawn Taylor is scoring 10.3 points per game and leads the Big 12 with 7.5 assists per contest. Senior guard Brady Morningstar (5.8 ppg) has started the last two games and leads Kansas with 11 steals. Morningstar is second on the team with 15 assists. Senior guard Tyrel Reed (8.8 ppg) is a starter who has made a team-best seven three-pointers. Sophomore forward Thomas Robinson is a top reserve who is scoring 11.8 points per game and is second on the team with eight rebounds per contest. Senior guard Mario Little scored 11 points against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and is averaging 7.5 points per game for the season. Sophomore guard Travis Releford (6.8 ppg) is coming off an 11-point performance against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. He is 11-for-16 (68.8 percent) from the floor through four games. Sophomore center Jeff Withey (3.5 ppg) has a team-best six blocked shots.

About Ohio

Located in Athens, Ohio, with an enrollment of 28,442, Ohio is 3-1 on the season after its 78-75 home win against Valparaiso Tuesday. The Bobcats average 78.8 points and 7.8 three-point field goals made per game. Ohio is the preseason pick to win the Mid-American Conference (MAC) has a +5.5 rebound margin. Sophomore guard D.J. Cooper leads Ohio with 15.5 points per game, 37 assists for a 9.3 average and 13 steals for 3.3 per game. Senior forward DeVaughn Washington is next in scoring at 13 points per game followed closely by senior guard/forward Tommy Freeman at 11.8 ppg. Freeman leads Ohio with 12 three-point field goals made, while Washington averages 5.3 rebounds per contest. Sophomore forward Reggie Keely is scoring 10.8 points per game and is second on the Ohio team in rebounds with 6.5 per contest. Keely leads Ohio with six blocked shots. Sophomore forward Ivo Baltic (9.8 ppg) leads the Bobcats in rebounds with 7.3 per contest. Freshman guard Nick Kellogg has five three-pointers made and he averages 6.3 points per contest. Other regulars include freshman guard Ricardo Johnson (5.3 ppg) and senior guard/forward Asown Sayles (5.5 ppg).

About Arizona

Located in Tucson, Ariz., with an enrollment of 38,800, Arizona is 4-0 on the season heading to Las Vegas after its 78-45 win against Bethune-Cookman Tuesday. The Wildcats will face Santa Clara Nov. 26 in the iBN Sports Las Vegas Invitational before taking on Kansas Nov. 27. Both games will be played in the Orleans Arena. Arizona is scoring 86 points per game and giving up 53.3 for a +32.7 scoring margin. UofA crashes the boards as it holds a +16.5 rebound margin. The Wildcats also average 19 assists per contest. Sophomore forward Derrick Williams leads Arizona with 19.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. Williams is shooting 74.3 percent from the field. Junior guard Kyle Fogg is next in scoring at 9.3 points per game and he leads the Wildcats with 22 assists and nine steals. Sophomore forward Solomon Hill averages 8.8 points per contest and 5.8 rebounds per game. Hill has 10 assists and six steals on the season. Senior forward Jamelle Horne (8.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg) and sophomore guard Lamont Jones (5.5 ppg, 3.0 apg) round out the Arizona starters. Off the bench, junior guard Brendon Lavender leads Arizona with nine three-pointers made. He is scoring 8.5 points per contest. Other top reserves include freshman guard Jordin Mayes (7.0 ppg), junior forward Jesse Perry (6.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg), sophomore center Kyryl Natyazhko (5.5 ppg) and sophomore forward Kevin Parrom (4.8 ppg).

The KU-Ohio Series

Kansas is 2-0 against Ohio, including a 1-0 record during the Bill Self era. The Jayhawks defeated the Bobcats 49-38 on March 14, 1985, in South Bend, Ind., in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Calvin Thompson paced KU with 12 points while Greg Dreiling and Ron Kellogg also reached double figures with 10 points each. Dreiling had eight rebounds in the victory. Kansas defeated Ohio 88-51 in the M&I Bank Kansas City Shootout on Dec. 15, 2007, at the Sprint Center. Darrell Arthur and Darnell Jackson scored 14 points each, while Arthur pulled down 10 rebounds for a double-double.

The KU-Arizona Series

Kansas leads the heated series with Arizona, 7-4, and the Jayhawks and Wildcats are 3-3 in their last six meetings since 2001. This series dates back to 1979 and five of the 11 matchups have been at neutral sites, including three NCAA Tournament clashes. Five of the 11 meetings were played three consecutive calendar years. Kansas defeated Arizona 83-80 on March 22, 1996, in the NCAA Tournament West Regional semifinal in Denver. The following year, Arizona returned the favor with an 85-82 win in the Sweet 16 of the Southeast Regional on March 21, 1997, in Birmingham, Ala., en route to its NCAA Championship. The next fall, KU defeated UA, 90-87, in the Great Eight in Chicago on Dec. 2, 1997. In 2003, Kansas lost to Arizona 91-74 on Jan. 23 in Allen Fieldhouse, yet later that season defeated the Wildcats 78-75 in the NCAA West Regional Finals to advance to the Final Four. Expect a close game, as six of the 11 meetings have been decided by eight points or less and four of those have been three-point nail biters. The two teams split their Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series matchups with both claiming home court victories. Kansas won the 2007 meeting in the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series matchup 76-72 in overtime in Allen Fieldhouse and Arizona won the following year 84-67 in Tucson.

Kansas in the Las Vegas Invitational

Kansas is appearing in its second iBN Sports Las Vegas Invitational and is 6-0 all-time in the event. The Jayhawks won the 2006 Las Vegas invite going 4-0 with home victories against Towson and Tennessee State. KU then defeated Ball State 64-46 at the Orleans Arena and in one of Las Vegas’ most exciting basketball games ever, the Jayhawks defeated the then-No. 1 and later national champion Florida 82-80 in overtime before a sold out crowd.

Team Notables

–Kansas leads the Big 12 in scoring offense (91.8), scoring margin (+36.8), field goal percentage (59.0), three-point field goal percentage defense (20.5), assists (24.3) and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.2).

–Under Bill Self, Kansas has led the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense all but one season and that year KU was second. The Jayhawks’ field goal percentage defense through three games is 36.5 percent. Last year KU led the league and was fourth nationally with a 37.9 field goal percentage defense.

–Kansas’ bench averages 36.5 points compared to its opponents’ 19.0 ppg.

Individual Notables

–Junior Marcus Morris leads KU in scoring at 18 ppg, which is fifth in the Big 12. He has scored 20-plus in two of his last three games. Morris’ 67.4 shooting percentage is third in the Big 12.

–Junior Markieff Morris has two double-doubles in four games and narrowly missed his third with nine points and 10 rebounds against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Tuesday. Markieff is second in the Big 12 in rebounding with a 11.5 rpg average. He is shooting 53.3 percent from the field.

–Junior Tyshawn Taylor leads the Big 12 in assists with 7.5 per contest after his nine assists against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Tuesday. Taylor is scoring 10.3 points per game compared to 7.2 ppg last season. Taylor is third in the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio at 3.0.

–Senior Tyrel Reed has started all four games and has made 12 field goals with seven from three-point range. Reed is 11th in the Big 12 in three-point field goals made at 1.8 per game and 11th in three-point field goal percentage at .350. He was 2-for-4 from beyond the arc against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Tuesday.

–Sophomore Thomas Robinson has pulled down 10 rebounds in two of his last three games and his 8.0 rpg average is tied for seventh in the league. Robinson is coming off a 15-point, five rebound performance against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in which he played only 16 minutes. He was 7-for-8 from the field against the Islanders. Robinson is tied for 13th in the Big 12 with 1.3 blocked shots per game.

–Senior Mario Little scored a season-high 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Tuesday and is 11-for-15 (73.3 percent) from the field in his last three games. Little, 6-6, has five blocked shots on the season and is 4-for-5 (80 percent) from the free throw line.

–Sophomore Travis Releford has a season-high 11 points against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on 5-of-6 shooting. It marked the first double-figure scoring game in Releford’s career. Releford started KU’s first two games and is scoring 6.8 points per contest. A 2009-10 redshirt, Releford played in 32 games in 2008-09 with no starts.

–Senior Brady Morningstar has eight steals in his last two games and a team-high 11 for the season. He had a career-high 10 assists against North Texas on Nov. 19 and also scored seven points and had four steals. Against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Tuesday he had six points on 3-of-4 shooting with four steals. In his last two games, Morningstar is 6-for-9 (66.7 percent) from the field. Morningstar is eighth in the Big 12 in assists with 3.8 per game, fourth in steals with a 2.8 average and second in assist-to-turnover ratio at 3.8.

–Sophomore Jeff Withey leads Kansas with six blocked shots and his 1.5 blocks per game are tied for seventh in the Big 12. He is scoring 3.5 points per game. Withey averages 8.8 minutes per game compared to 3.0 last season.

Holiday Clinic Set for Dec. 31

Kansas men’s basketball will hold its annual Men’s Basketball Holiday Clinic for boys and girls ages first through sixth grade on December 31, 2010, at Allen Fieldhouse. The clinic will give youth the unique opportunity to learn the game of basketball and interact with all of the Kansas basketball players and coaches. The clinic will include an autograph session and participants will also receive an official camp T-shirt, a poster and a ticket to the KU vs. Miami (OH) game on Sunday, Jan. 2, 2011, at 5 p.m. Parents can purchase extra KU/Miami (OH) tickets at registration – $35.00 per ticket. All tickets are general admission and it will be cash only for extra tickets purchased at the clinic. The cost of the clinic is $75 and pre-registration MUST be done on-line at at www.billselfbasketballcamp.com. No walk-up registration will be taken on date of clinic. Check-in begins at 9 a.m. and lasts until 9:45 a.m. at the North end of Allen Fieldhouse. The clinic takes place from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and parents are welcome to watch and take pictures from the second level of Allen Fieldhouse. For more information, please log onto www.billselfbasketballcamp.com.

Up Next

Following the iBN Sports Las Vegas Invitational, Kansas returns to Allen Fieldhouse on Thursday, Dec. 2, facing UCLA in the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series. Last year the Jayhawks defeated the Bruins 73-61 in Los Angeles. KU is 2-1 in the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series.