Nov. 28, 2004
LAWRENCE, Kan. – This season, Kansas is facing four teams that defeated the Jayhawks in 2003-04 — Nevada, Georgia Tech, Texas and Oklahoma State. The first match-up comes against Nevada Monday night at Allen Fieldhouse. The Wolf Pack handed KU its second loss of the 2003-04 season, 75-61, in the championship game of the Dodge Holiday Classic in Reno, Nev. Monday marks the second straight game KU will appear on ESPN2. KU’s only other appearance on the network this year will be against Texas on Jan. 29. Kansas is 12-2 on ESPN2 and takes a seven-game winning streak on the network into tonight’s game.
Nevada is 3-0 after defeating Georgia 58-47 Friday night in Athens, Ga. Three Nevada players scored in double digits and were led by Nick Fazekas’ 16 points. The Wolf Pack won the Jim Thorpe Classic in Reno, Nev., Nov. 20-21 with victories against Colorado-Colorado Springs (88-33) and Georgia State (76-55). The Wolf Pack tied for first in the Western Athletic Conference last season with a 25-9 record an went 13-5 in league play. They return six letterwinners from last year’s Sweet 16 team, which fell to NCAA runner-up Georgia Tech 72-67. Nevada was preseason picked fourth in the WAC by the media and Fazekas, a sophomore forward, was a second-team preseason all-league selection. He was named the WAC Player of the Week after earning MVP honors and scoring 27 points in back-to-back games at the Jim Thorpe Classic.
Nevada Coach Mark Fox
Mark Fox is in his first season as head coach of the Wolf Pack. He was an assistant under former Nevada head coach Trent Johnson for four seasons and took over the Wolf Pack helm after Johnson left for Stanford on May 25, 2004. Fox is familiar to KU basketball as he was an assistant coach at Kansas State from 1994-2000. Fox also earned his master’s degree in Athletic Administration/Sports Psychology from Kansas in 1996.
Kansas continues with its third of seven straight regular-season home games to start the 2004-05 campaign tonight against Nevada. KU is 2-0 for the third straight season and 14th time in the last 15 years dating back to 1991-92 after its 91-51 win against defending Atlantic 10 champion Saint Joseph’s last Tuesday. The Jayhawks are predicted to win their fifth Big 12 Conference regular season championship by the league’s media and coaches. 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 11 players used in the season opening 68-61 win against Vermont. Additionally, 11 Jayhawks played 11 or more minutes in the victory over Saint Joseph’s.
Kansas Head Coach Bill Self Update
Kansas coach Bill Self (Oklahoma State, 1985) is in his second season at Kansas and is 26-9 with the Jayhawks. Self is 0-1 against Nevada as a head coach. 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. Self’s 24 victories tied Dick Harp for the most wins by a KU coach in his debut season at Kansas. Self is in his 12th season as a coach overall and is 233-114. 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.
Last Game – Kansas 91, Saint Joseph’s 51
The No. 2-ranked University of Kansas men’s basketball team shot 63 percent en route to a 91-51 win over visiting Saint Joseph’s Nov. 23 at Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks never trailed in the game. Senior Wayne Simien, who sat out a majority of the second half, recorded the 24th double-double of his career by scoring a game-high 20 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. Three other Jayhawks joined Simien in double figures. Senior guard Michael Lee scorched the nets off the bench with 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field. Fellow senior Aaron Miles chipped in with 11 points and freshman Russell Robinson had 10 points to go along with a game-high five assists. At the break, the Jayhawks led 50-19, holding the Hawks to just 19 percent from the field. Saint Joseph’s put three players in double figures. Junior guard Dwayne Lee led the Hawks’ charge with 12 points. Junior center Dwayne Jones added 11 points and a game-high 14 rebounds, while junior forward Chet Stachitas also chipped in with 11 points. The KU bench stepped up big, outscoring the Saint Joseph reserves 47-8. Freshmen C.J. Giles and Darnell Jackson each scored eight points. Giles added five points and three blocked shots. Kansas scored 46 points in the paint and hit 6-of-11 from three-point range.
Kansas-Saint Joseph’s Leftovers
Freshmen Alex Galindo (four points), C.J. Giles (eight points) and Sasha Kaun (four points) each scored their first career points in a KU uniform…Galindo saw his first action as a Jayhawk…Kansas was a perfect 5-for-5 from behind the arc in the first half… The last time the Jayhawks achieved this was in the first half against North Carolina State on Dec. 10, 1994…Saint Joseph’s five field goals made in the first half were the lowest by a KU opponent since Kansas held Colorado to just five first-half baskets on Jan. 25, 2004…Saint Joseph’s failed to make a three-pointer in the first half … The last time a Jayhawk opponent went without a made three-pointer in a half was on Jan. 6, 2003 against Iowa State…Senior Michael Lee’s four steals marked a career-high.
Tonight is Kansas’ third of seven straight games at Allen Fieldhouse to open the season. The Yellow Book Shootout — formerly the Feist Shootout — on Dec. 22 at Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Mo., is a home game for KU season ticket holders but it is a neutral site. The last time Kansas opened the season with seven straight home games was 1977-78 under head coach Ted Owens. KU’s longest homestand to open the season is 10 games which dates back to the 1917-18 season under head coach William O. Hamilton.
This series dates back to January 1, 1948 with Kansas holding a 3-1 advantage. Three of the four meetings have been played in Reno, Nev., including last year’s 75-61 Wolfpack win against KU on December 21. Kansas won the other three meetings – 52-45 in 1948, 93-75 in 1979 (Lawrence) and 91-73 in 1980. KU has faced eight of the 10 current members of the Western Athletic Conference in men’s basketball. The Jayhawks are 51-11 all-time against the WAC with winning records against seven of those eight foes.