Men’s Hoops Opens Exhibition Play Monday
Kansas Opens Exhibition Play
No. 5/5 Kansas opens 2014-15 exhibition play when it hosts Washburn Nov. 3. The game will be televised on Jayhawk IMG TV and can also be seen via the internet by fans outside of Kansas by visiting KUAthletics.com/ESPN. For more information on accessing Kansas video content, visit KUAthletics.com/TV.
Kansas is 63-9 in exhibition contests, including 31-2 under head coach Bill Self, who is starting his 12th season at KU. The Kansas contest will be the first exhibition game for Washburn this season. The Ichabods will also play at Big 12 foes Oklahoma, Nov. 7, and Kansas State, Nov. 9, in exhibition play.
Expectations are always high for Kansas men’s basketball and that is status quo for the 2014-15 season as KU coach Bill Self enters his 12th season at the helm with an 82.5 (325-69) winning percentage, the highest winning percentage in school history.
Kansas went 25-10 in 2013-14 and won its unprecedented 10th-straight Big 12 and NCAA-leading 57th regular-season conference championship. Self brings back nine letterwinners, including two starters, from the team that advanced to the round of 32 in the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
Losing the No. 1 and No. 3 overall selections in the 2014 NBA Draft, Self looks to reload for 2014-15. Kansas has been ranked as high as third in the preseason rankings, returning starters Perry Ellis, a junior forward, and Wayne Selden, Jr., a sophomore guard. Ellis is KU’s leading returning scorer at 13.5 points per game in 2013-14, and rebounder at 6.7 boards per contest. Selden averaged 9.7 points per game his rookie season at KU and both he and Ellis were named to the 2014 All-Big 12 squad with Ellis a third-team selection and Selden honorable mention. The duo also earned weekly conference honors during the 2013-14 season.
Other key returnees include junior forward Jamari Traylor and sophomore guards Frank Mason III and Brannen Greene. Traylor averaged 4.8 points and 3.0 rebounds in 2013-14. Included was his first career double-double with personal highs in points (17) and rebounds (14) in KU’s opening round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament against Eastern Kentucky. Mason averaged 5.5 points and 2.1 assists last season and started three games at the point. Greene appeared in 28 games and scored 2.4 points per outing.
Sophomore Landen Lucas (1.5 ppg, 1.4 rpg in 22 games last season) and redshirt junior Hunter Mickelson, a transfer who sat out 2013-14 but practiced with the team at KU, will add depth to the inside. Mickelson started 25 games in two seasons at Arkansas, from 2012-13, where he averaged 5.3 points, 3.6 rebounds with 111 blocked shots. His 72 blocks in 2011-12 set the Arkansas freshman record.
Walk-on guards Christian Garrett, Evan Manning and Tyler Self also return. Garrett is the lone senior on the KU squad, while Manning, son of KU legend Danny Manning, is a junior and Self, son of the KU head coach, a redshirt sophomore. Self injured his foot in preseason practice prior to the 2013-14 season and did not play.
Excluding Mickelson, who has been in the KU system for a year, Self welcomes five newcomers to the roster, including McDonald’s All-Americans Cliff Alexander and Kelly Oubre, Jr. A power forward who was ranked No. 3 by ESPN100, Alexander was the 2014 Naismith High School National Player of the Year and Mr. Basketball USA. Oubre was ranked No. 11 by ESPN100 and both he and Alexander competed for Team USA at the Nike Hoop Summit and the Jordan Brand Classic in the spring 2014. Additionally, Oubre was invited to work at the Kevin Durant Skills Academy and the adidas Nation’s camps in the summer of 2014.
Highly-rated guards Devonte’ Graham and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk round out the KU freshmen for 2014-15. Graham led Brewster Academy to the 2014 national prep championship and New England prep title. At 17, Mykhailiuk is the youngest player in the Big 12 Conference. His international experience is extensive as he has represented his home country, Ukraine, for the past few years at events such as the 2013 U16 European Championships, the 2014 U18 European Championships and the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup. He was an opponent of Alexander and Oubre at the 2014 Nike Hoop Summit. Walk-on freshman guard Josh Pollard, nephew of former KU center Scot Pollard, rounds out the Jayhawk newcomers.
Located in the state capital, Topeka, Kansas, with an enrollment of 7,002, Washburn was picked third in the 2014-15 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) preseason poll in a vote by the conference coaches. Central Missouri was selected first followed by Fort Hays State. The Ichabods are coached by Bob Chipman who is 757-314 in 35 seasons at Washburn. Last year the Tigers posted a 17-10 record and finished tied for sixth in the MIAA with a 9-9 league record. Washburn returns three starters who are all senior guards in 2014-15: Alex North, Kyle Wiggins and Korey Fisher. North averaged 16.1 points and 10.0 rebounds last season, while Wiggins scored 15.0 points per contest and Fisher 7.0 ppg. Overall, Washburn has seven returning letterwinners and 10 newcomers for 2014-15.
Kansas leads the overall series with Washburn, 36-3, which includes a 5-0 mark in exhibition contests. This series dates back to 1906 and KU has won the last 10 meetings dating back to Dec. 8, 1944. Four days prior was the last WU win versus KU on Dec. 4, 1944, a 40-35 win in Topeka. KU head coach Bill Self is 6-0 versus Washburn, with five of those games in exhibition play, while WU coach Bob Chipman is 0-9 against Kansas.
–Kansas has scored 100-plus points in 24 exhibition games, including eight under Bill Self. The last KU 100-point game was 101-52 versus Fort Hays State on Nov. 8, 2011.
–Kansas has won 40-straight exhibition contests in Allen Fieldhouse. The last home loss in exhibition play was 93-82 to Australia on Nov. 29, 1993.
In the Polls
Kansas men’s basketball enters the 2014-15 season at No. 5 in both the Associated Press the USA Today Coaches’ polls. This marks the third-straight year, and the fifth time in the last six seasons, that the Jayhawks have entered the season No. 7 or higher by AP and the ninth time in the Bill Self era that the Jayhawks start the season slotted seventh or higher. Self, the three-time national and five-time conference coach of the year, is entering his 12th season at KU where he has a 325-69 (82.5 percent) record. Additionally, this is the 23rd time in the 26-year history of the coaches’ poll the Jayhawks have been ranked.
Last season, KU entered the season No. 5 by AP and ended 10th and No. 6 in the coaches’ poll and finished at No. 14. The Jayhawks were ranked in the top-10 for 14 times by AP and 13 weeks by the coaches during the 2013-14 season.
In 2014-15, Kansas could potentially play nine games against teams ranked in the preseason coaches’ poll: No. 1 Kentucky, No. 7 Florida, No. 10 Texas (twice), No. 14 Iowa State (twice), No. 18 Michigan State and No. 19 Oklahoma (twice). Along with KU, Michigan State is competing in the Orlando Classic, Nov. 27-30.
Kansas’ 2014-15 men’s basketball schedule potentially includes 13 opponents which advanced to the 2014 postseason (10 NCAA, three NIT), including five that won their way to the 2014 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 or farther.
The 10 NCAA participants on the KU schedule for 2014-15 include Big 12 foes Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas. Kansas’ non-conference opponents which went to the NCAA Tournament are Florida and Kentucky and, potentially, Tennessee and Michigan State. Kentucky and Florida each advanced to the 2014 Final Four, while Michigan State went to the Elite Eight and Iowa State and Tennessee the Sweet 16. Big 12 member West Virginia participated in the 2014 NIT as did KU non-conference opponents Georgetown and Utah. Tennessee and Michigan State are potential opponents in the 2014 Orlando Classic, Nov. 27-30.
Besides the Orlando Classic, Kansas will play Kentucky in the fourth-annual Champions Classic with this year’s site being Indianapolis on Nov. 18. For the second-straight year, the Jayhawks will face Florida in the Big 12/SEC Challenge with this season’s meeting on Dec. 5 in Allen Fieldhouse.
This will mark the fourth-consecutive year of Big 12 Conference round-robin competition to determine one true champion in men’s basketball. Kansas went 16-2 in winning the title in 2012, tied Kansas State going 14-4 in 2013 and won it outright with a 14-4 record in 2014. The Jayhawks have won 10-straight Big 12 regular-season titles, which ranks tied for third all-time in NCAA Division I history.
For the ninth-straight year, and 15th time since the inception of the Big 12, KU will be featured on ESPN’s Big Monday four times: Jan. 19 vs. Oklahoma, Feb. 2 vs. Iowa State, Feb. 16 at West Virginia and Feb. 23 at Kansas State. In the Big 12 era, Kansas is 52-17 all-time on Big Monday (29-1 at home and 3-16 on the road), including 33-9 under Self.
Historic Allen Fieldhouse Celebrating 60 Years
Kansas enters the 60th season in historic Allen Fieldhouse, which has been deemed the greatest place to watch a college basketball game. The Jayhawks have sold out of 212-straight games in the Fieldhouse and are 713-109 (86.7 percent) all-time in the facility. At 175-9 (95.1 percent) in 11 seasons, Self has won more Big 12 titles (10) than lost home games (9) in Allen Fieldhouse.
Kansas will conclude exhibition play when it plays host to Emporia State on Tuesday, Nov. 11. Tip time is set for 7 p.m. (Central) and the game can be seen on Jayhawk IMG Television, ESPN Full Court and ESPN3 outside the state of Kansas. KU will then open the regular season on Friday, Nov. 14 against UC Santa Barbara at 7 p.m. That contest is also on the Jayhawk IMG Television, ESPN Full Court and ESPN3 outside the state of Kansas.
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