No. 4/5 Kansas to Host Gorillas Wednesday in Men's Basketball
Kansas Opens Exhibition Play
No. 4/5 Kansas opens 2015-16 exhibition play when it hosts Pittsburg State Nov. 4. 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/ESPN3.com. For more information on accessing Kansas video content, visit KUAthletics.com/TV.
Kansas is 75-9 in exhibition contests, including 43-2 under head coach Bill Self after its 10-0 run during the summer of 2015 at the World University Games. KU won two exhibition contests versus Canada at Sprint Center and then went 8-0 in winning the gold medal in Gwanju, Korea at the Games. This will be the first exhibition game of the season for both Kansas and Pittsburg State.
Kansas returns four starters and 11 letterwinners from last season’s 27-9 team that won KU’s 11th-straight, 15th Big 12 and NCAA-leading 58th overall conference regular-season title with a 13-5 league record. In 2014-15, the Jayhawks posted their 18th undefeated season inside historic Allen Fieldhouse by going 15-0 in the venue’s 60th year of existence. Additionally, KU led its conference in home attendance for the 29th-straight season, beginning in 1986-87, with an average of 16,383 last season. KU has sold out 227 consecutive regular-season games in Allen Fieldhouse dating back to the 2001-02 season.
Senior forward Perry Ellis is one of four returning all-conference Jayhawks from 2014-15. A Wichita, Kansas native, Ellis was an All-Big 12 First Team selection last season, leading Kansas in scoring (13.8 ppg) and rebounding (6.9 rpg). The 2014 Orlando Classic MVP, Ellis was also named to the 2015 Academic All-Big 12 First Team and the 2015 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Guard Frank Mason III, from Petersburg, Virginia, was an All-Big 12 Second Team honoree who was second on the team in scoring with 12.6 points per game and led Kansas with 142 assists and 50 steals in 2014-15. Mason’s 42.9 percent shooting from three-point range was best on the KU team last season. Guard Wayne Selden Jr., from Roxbury, Massachusetts, was a 2015 All-Big 12 Honorable Mention selection who led Kansas with 46 three-pointers made last year as he averaged 9.4 points per contest. Senior forward Jamari Traylor (4.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg in 2014-15) started 18 games last season for KU.
Junior forward Landen Lucas started 14 games for KU last season. He averaged 3.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game as a sophomore. Senior forward Hunter Mickelson (2.4 ppg, 1.8 rpg) also came on strong toward the end of 2014-15 and at the World University Games where he averaged 8.4 points and 4.9 rebounds for the gold medal USA team.
Sophomore Devonte’ Graham (5.7 ppg, 2.1 assists per game) should see minutes at the point guard spot, while junior Brannen Greene (5.7 ppg, 40 threes) and sophomore Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (2.8 ppg, six starts) are outside threats and will assist on the perimeter.
Forwards Cheick Diallo and Carlton Bragg Jr., and guard Lagerald Vick headline the incoming class for 2015-16. The 2015 McDonald’s All-American Game MVP, Diallo has yet to be cleared by the NCAA and may not play against Pittsburg State. Fellow McDonald’s All-American Bragg and Vick each earned valuable playing time at the 2015 World University Games.
About Pittsburg State
Located in Pittsburg, Kansas, with an enrollment of 7,127, Pittsburg State is playing its first exhibition game of the 2015-16 season at Kansas. The Gorillas are coached by Kevin Muff who is 76-67 entering his sixth season at PSU. Last year Pittsburg State went 20-12 and finished tied for third in the MIAA with a 12-7 record. The Gorillas won the 2015 MIAA Postseason Tournament.
Picked to finish fifth in the MIAA preseason coaches’ poll, the Gorillas return four players who started 13 or more games a year ago, as well as eight letterwinners from last year’s squad. Junior guard Josiah Gustafson (15.5 ppg, 3.6 rpg) returns after earning first-team All-MIAA honors last season. Senior guard Javis Flynn (6.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg) led the MIAA in assists (5.0 apg) and steals (2.4 spg) last year. Senior guard Trey Starks (12.3 ppg), the MVP of the MIAA Postseason Tournament, also is back for a full season.
Kansas has won all 10 meetings with Pittsburg State, including six exhibition contests. This series started in 1944 and every meeting has been played in Lawrence.
–Kansas has scored 100-plus points in 26 exhibition games, including 10 under Bill Self.
–Kansas has won 42-straight exhibition contests in Allen Fieldhouse. The last home loss in exhibition play was 93-82 to Australia on Nov. 29, 1993.
Kansas will continue exhibition play when it hosts Fort Hays State on Tuesday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. (Central). The game will be on the Jayhawk IMG Television Network and ESPN3 outside the state of Kansas. KU will host Northern Colorado on Friday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. The contest is part of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational.
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