No. 2/3 Kansas to Host Towson in Battle 4 Atlantis
Battle 4 Atlantis Begins
No. 2/3 Kansas begins the Battle 4 Atlantis by hosting Towson on Nov. 22. Kansas is 3-0 on the season after its 86-66 win versus Iona on Nov. 19. Towson (3-1) suffered its first loss of the season at Villanova 78-44 on Nov. 17. The KU contest will be the second for Towson in the Battle 4 Atlantis Mainland. The Tigers will later face The Citadel and Abilene Christian, while Kansas will head to Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas, for three games in the event starting with Wake Forest on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28. The Jayhawks will face Villanova or USC on Nov. 29 and either Iowa, Tennessee, UTEP or Xavier on Nov. 30.
Kansas averages 86.7 points and has a plus-16 scoring margin through three games. The Jayhawks have been equally dominant on the boards, averaging 38.3 per game for a plus-12.7 rebounding margin. KU is also winning the efficiency battle, having outshot its three opponents 55.7 percent to 44.5 percent. Kansas leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage (55.7), rebound defense (25.7), rebound margin (+12.7) and assists (19.3). KU has shown its depth with nine players averaging 10-plus minutes per game. KU’s bench averages 32.7 points per game.
Sophomore F Perry Ellis leads Kansas in scoring at 19.0 points per game and has 20 points in each of his last two games: a career-high 24 versus then-No. 4 Duke (11/12) and 21 against Iona (11/19). Ellis is tied with freshman C Joel Embiid for the team lead in rebound average at 8.0 boards per game. Embiid is coming off his first career double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds against Iona (11/19). He is averaging 9.0 points per game off the bench. Freshman G Andrew Wiggins is second on the team in scoring at 17.0 ppg. He is third on the KU squad with 6.0 rebounds and has a team-best five steals. Joining Ellis and Wiggins in the starting lineup are freshman G Wayne Selden, Jr. (10.0 ppg, 13 assists), junior G Naadir Tharpe (6.0 ppg, team-high 15 assists) and senior F Tarik Black (3.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg). Joning Embiid off the bench are freshman G Frank Mason (9.0 ppg, three steals), sophomore G Andrew White III (6.0 ppg, team-high four threes), sophomore F Jamari Traylor (3.3 ppg, team-high four blocked shots) and freshman G Conner Frankamp (2.7 ppg).
Located in Towson, Md., with an enrollment of 21,646, Towson opened the year 3-0 for the first time since 1972 before falling at Villanova 78-44 on Nov. 17 in the first round of its Battle 4 Atlantis bracket. The Tigers are coached by Pat Skerry, who is in his third season at Towson with a 22-45 record and his fifth season overall with a 46-70 record. Towson averages 71.5 points per game and gives up 66.8 for a +4.8 scoring margin. The Tigers dominate the boards with a +8.3 rebound margin and average 5.8 three-pointers and 5.8 blocked shots per game.
Senior forward Jerrelle Benimon leads the team in scoring with 17.5 points per game and rebounding with 11.8 boards per contest. He has two double-doubles in three games this season and has a team-high 13 assists and seven blocked shots. Senior forward/guard Rafriel Guthrie is next in scoring at 11.3 points per game. Guthrie comes off the bench for the Tigers. Senior forward Marcus Damas is a starter who averages 10.8 points per game, is second on the team with six three-pointers made and is tied for the team-high with four steals. Other starters include senior guard Mike Burwell (9.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg), sophomore guard Jerome Hairston (6.3 ppg, nine assists, four steals) and sophomore forward Timajh Parker-Rivera (3.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg). Joining Guthrie off the bench are sophomore guard Four McGlynn (6.5 ppg, team-best eight threes) and freshman forward/center Walter Foster (2.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg).
Kansas and Towson are meeting for the third time with KU winning both previous contests. The Jayhawks defeated the Tigers 87-61 on Nov. 19, 2006, in Allen Fieldhouse. The game was part of the Las Vegas Invitational, which KU went on to win. Two seasons ago, Kansas defeated Towson 100-54 in Allen Fieldhouse on Nov. 11, 2011. That meeting was part of the EA Sports Maui Invitational and KU went on to finish runner-up in the event.
Kansas will continue the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament when it travels to Paradise Island, Bahamas, to play Wake Forest on Thursday, Nov. 28 at 2:30 p.m. Kansas will face either Villanova or USC on Nov. 29 and play its third-round game in the Bahamas on Nov. 30. KU will then go on the road to Colorado (Dec. 7) and Florida (Dec. 10). Kansas will play New Mexico on Dec. 14 in the Kansas City Shootout at the Sprint Center and return to Allen Fieldhouse on Dec. 21 against national power Georgetown.
Battle 4 Atlantis * Imperial Arena (Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas)
Thursday, Nov. 28
Game 1: Villanova vs. USC (live at 12 p.m. CT on AXS TV)
Game 2: KANSAS vs. Wake Forest (live at 2:30 p.m. CT on AXS TV)
Game 3: Xavier vs. Iowa (live at 6 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Network)
Game 4: Tennessee vs. UTEP (live at 8:30 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Network)
Friday, Nov. 29
Game 5: Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 loser (live at 12 p.m. CT on AXS TV)
Game 6: Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser (live at 2:30 p.m. CT on AXS TV)
Game 7: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner (live at 6 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Network)
Game 8: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner (live at 8:30 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Network)
Saturday, Nov. 30
7th-8th Place: Game 5 loser vs. Game 6 loser (live at 12 p.m. CT on AXS TV)
5th-6th Place: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner (live at 2:30 p.m. CT on AXS TV)
3rd-4th Place: Game 7 loser vs. Game 8 loser (live at 6 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Network)
1st-2nd Place: Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner (live at 8:30 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Network)
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