Kansas and Missouri set to square off in Showdown for Relief
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas and Missouri men’s basketball teams will square off in a charity exhibition game on Sunday, Oct. 22 at 3 p.m., inside Kansas City’s Sprint Center in an effort to raise awareness and financial support for the hurricane relief efforts. The game, which is raising funds for relief organizations that the five living former U.S. Presidents have come together to support, will be streamed live via Pay-Per-View on ShowdownForRelief.com. Lief Lisec (play-by-play), Fran Frascilla (analyst) and Holly Rowe (reporter) will call the action.
- KU, MU and the Sprint Center, working in concert with the Kansas City Sports Commission, have collectively agreed that proceeds from the game will be donated to organizations assisting victims of the natural disasters that have occurred recently in the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
- Money raised from the game will be contributed to the organizations that the five living former U.S. Presidents have come together to support: the Houston Harvey Relief Fund, the Rebuild Texas Fund, the Florida Disaster Fund, Juntos y Unidos Por Puerto Rico and the Fund for the U.S. Virgin Islands.
- Showdown for Relief will be streamed via pay-per-view. Fans can access the telecast by visiting ShowdownForRelief.com and making a donation of $40. All revenue derived from the telecast will go to aid the victims of the recent natural disasters.
- Kansas returns two starters and four reserves from the squad that claimed the Jayhawks’ 13th-consecutive Big 12 regular-season title and advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.
- KU senior Devonte’ Graham is KU’s top returning scorer (13.4 ppg) and was selected as the Big 12’s Preseason Player of the Year. He was also named to the preseason All-Big 12 Team and was joined on the list by redshirt-sophomore guard Malik Newman.
- Kansas will meet Missouri on the hardwood for the first time since 2012. The Jayhawks lead the all-time series with the Tigers at 173-95, which includes a 17-6 edge in games played in Kansas City, Mo.
- The USA TODAY preseason coaches poll picked the Jayhawks at No. 3 on its top-25 list released on Oct. 19, marking the fourth-straight year KU has been among the top-five teams in the USA TODAY preseason poll.
Preseason top-5 in most publications, Kansas returns two starters and six letterwinners from last season’s 31-5 team, which won the Big 12 race with a 16-2 conference record. Senior guards Devonte’ Graham and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk return as regular starters, while junior guard Lagerald Vick was also in the rotation with six starts. Sophomore center Udoka Azubuike had six starts in his 11 games played in before an injury ended his 2016-17 season.
Expect to see returning sophomore forward Mitch Lightfoot’s minutes increase. Sophomore guard Malik Newman, who sat out last year after transferring from Mississippi State, will play a significant role as will guards Marcus Garrett and Sam Cunliffe and forward Billy Preston. Garrett and Preston are freshmen, while Cunliffe is a sophomore who will sit out the fall semester after transferring from Arizona State last December. Last season, Garrett was the Texas Gatorade Player of the Year, while Preston became KU’s 42nd McDonald’s All-American.
Graham is the 2017-18 Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year, as selected by the league coaches, while Newman is the league’s preseason newcomer of the year. Graham was a preseason all-conference first-team selection and Newman and Mykhailiuk were on the preseason league honorable mention team. Additionally, Graham is one of 20 listed on the preseason Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Watch List, an award won by KU’s Frank Mason III in 2016-17. Newman is one of 20 listed on the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Watch List entering 2017-18.
Located in Columbia, Missouri with an enrollment of 33,226, the Tigers enter their first year under head coach Cuonzo Martin. Martin takes the reigns of a Tiger program coming off an 8-24 record and a 14th-place finish in the SEC (2-16) in 2016-17. MU returns eight letterwinners from that squad and adds seven newcomers, including 6-10 freshman forward Michael Porter Jr. The Columbia native was named the SEC’s Preseason Co-Player of the Year and is also Preseason First-Team All-SEC. Senior forward Jordan Barnett is Missouri’s top returning scorer after averaging 12.2 ppg a year ago. Junior forward Kevin Puryear was the team’s leading rebounder in 2016-17, pulling down 6.0 boards per outing.
MU’s new head man, Martin, owns a nine-year head coaching record of 186-121 (.606), which includes a three-year mark of 62-39 (.614) at California. Prior to his time in Berkeley, he spent three seasons at Tennessee, where he guided the Volunteers to a 63-41 (.606) record and into the postseason each year (one NCAA, two NIT).
This series dates back to 1907 when both schools were pre-members of the Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association (1907-28), then the Big Six (1929-47), Big Seven (1948-58), Big Eight (1959-96) and Big 12 (1997-2012) when Missouri left the league following the 2011-12 season. Kansas leads the overall series, 173-95. From 2009 to 2012, the Jayhawks won six of the last seven meetings against the Tigers, with the last matchup being an 87-86 overtime win for No. 4-ranked Kansas over No. 3 Missouri in an epic come-from-behind win Allen Fieldhouse. In MU’s time in the Big 12, from 1996-97 to 2011-12, Kansas was 26-10 against Missouri – 23-9 in regular-season play and 3-1 in the Big 12 Championship.
Kansas City has played host to 23 KU-MU matchups with most being played in conference holiday and postseason tournaments. Kansas is 18-5 against Missouri in games played in KC. The last time KU and MU played in Kansas City was March 9, 1997, in the title game of the first Big 12 Championship at Kemper Arena. Top-seed Kansas won 87-60 over No. 10 seed Missouri.
Kansas is 83-9 in exhibition history and has won 18-straight exhibition contests starting Oct. 30, 2012. Included are two exhibition wins at Sprint Center against Canada as KU prepped for the 2015 World University Games in Gwajnju, South Korea, an event the Jayhawks won the gold medal at. This past summer, KU posted a 4-0 exhibition record while touring Italy in August.
Kansas has scored 100-plus points in 28 exhibition games, including 12 under head coach Bill Self. The Jayhawks are 51-2 in exhibition play in Self’s 14 seasons at KU.
KANSAS IN KANSAS CITY
Kansas City has been a second home for KU over the years. The Jayhawks’ first-ever game — a 16-5 loss to Kansas City YMCA on Feb. 3, 1899 — was played in Kansas City. The 2017 exhibition game against Missouri will mark KU’s 303rd all-time game played in Kansas City, and its 44th in Sprint Center. KU is 35-8 in Sprint Center including winning the 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2016 Big 12 Championships in the venue and the 2012 and 2016 CBE Hall of Fame Classics.
MORE ON KU IN KC
- KU is 220-82 in games played in Kansas City.
- KU played 106 games in Kemper Arena with an 81-25 record. Kansas went 26-4 in Kemper Arena from 1997 until 2006, when it played its last game in the venue. Included in that run were Big 12 Championship titles in 1997, 1998 and 1999.
- Kemper Arena was the host of the 1988 NCAA Final Four when the Jayhawks won the national championship.
- Kansas has won a mind-boggling 26 conference tournaments (13 holiday conference tourneys and 13 postseason league titles) with 24 of those in Kansas City. The lone two titles not in KC were in 2006 in Dallas and 2007 in Oklahoma City.
KANSAS NO. 3 IN PRESEASON USA TODAY COACHES’ POLL
Kansas men’s basketball enters the 2017-18 season No. 3 in the USA TODAY Coaches’ Poll released Thursday. This is the fourth-straight year the Jayhawks have opened the season in the top five.
Kansas is ranked in the preseason for the 26th time in time in the 29-year history of the poll. The No 3 ranking marks the eighth time KU has been preseason No. 3 or higher in the coaches’ poll. Additionally, it is the 12th time in the Bill Self era the Jayhawks have been preseason seventh or higher, including each of the last six seasons.
All four teams in the Nov. 14 Champions Classic are ranked in the top four of the coaches’ poll with No. 1 Duke, No. 2 Michigan State, No. 3 Kansas and No. 4 Kentucky. Last year, KU pulled a rarity and defeated the three other Champions Classic teams during the season.
Kansas will play 12 games against teams ranked or receiving votes in the coaches’ preseason poll this season.
In 2016-17 Kansas opened the year No. 2 in the preseason coaches’ poll and ended No. 4.
PRESEASON ALL-BIG 12
Kansas guards Devonte’ Graham, Malik Newman and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk each garnered recognition on the 2017-18 Preseason All-Big 12 Team as voted on by the league’s men’s basketball coaches, the conference office announced Oct. 12.
Graham was named the 2017-18 Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year, while Newman was dubbed the league’s preseason newcomer of the year. Graham was also a preseason all-conference first-team selection, while Newman and Mykhailiuk securing preseason honorable mention honors. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own student-athletes in the selection process.
PRESEASON BIG 12 POLL
For the 16th time in the 22-year history of the Big 12, Kansas men’s basketball has been selected as the preseason favorite to win the conference regular-season championship as the league released its coaches’ preseason poll Oct. 18.
Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams in the poll and KU received a unanimous nine first-place votes and a total of 81 points. West Virginia was second in the poll receiving 71 points, followed by TCU (64). Three teams – Texas (49), Baylor (47) and Oklahoma (43) were clumped in spots 4-6, followed by Texas Tech (36), Kansas State (27), Iowa State (22) and Oklahoma State (10).
Kansas has won, or tied for, 17 of the 21 Big 12 regular-season titles, including the last 13 consecutive, a streak which ranks tied for first all-time in NCAA Division I history with UCLA (1967-79).
Historically, the preseason favorite has gone on to finish first in the regular season 14 times, which does not include 1996-97 as a coaches’ poll was not conducted. Kansas has been the preseason favorite in 13 of its 17 Big 12 regular-season titles, missing 1996-97 (no poll), 2005-06 (third) and 2010-11 (second).
PRESEASON NATIONAL HONORS
Kansas guards Devonte’ Graham and Malik Newman have both been named to preseason watch lists by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Graham is one of 20 candidates for the 2018 Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award, while Newman is one of 20 on the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award. A national committee comprised of top college basketball personnel determined the watch lists for each award.
Named after Hall of Famer and former Boston Celtic and Holy Cross guard Bob Cousy, the annual honor, now in its 15th year, recognizes the top point guard in NCAA Division I men’s basketball. Graham is vying to become the second-straight Jayhawk to win the award as Frank Mason III was KU’s first-ever Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award winner last season.
Named after Hall of Famer and 1959 NCAA Final Four Most Valuable Player Jerry West, the annual honor, in its fourth year, recognizes the top shooting guard in Division I men’s college basketball.
BILL SELF INDUCTED INTO NAISMITH BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME
Kansas head coach Bill Self, along with 10 others, was officially enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame at a ceremony on Sept. 8 at Springfield Symphony Hall in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts.
Joining Self in the evening’s enshrinement festivities were the other 10 Class of 2017 inductees: Zack Clayton (player, posthumous), Nick Galis (player), Robert Hughes (coach), Mannie Jackson (contributor), Tom Jernstedt (contributor), Jerry Krause (contributor, posthumous), Tracy McGrady (player), Rebecca Lobo (contributor), George McGinnis (player) and Muffet McGraw (coach).
Self becomes the 19th person associated with Kansas basketball to be inducted, the last being coaching legend John McClendon, who was inducted in 2016 for the second time. As only the eighth coach in KU history, Self is the fifth KU mentor to be inducted into Hall joining James Naismith, Dr. F.C. “Phog” Allen, Larry Brown and Roy Williams. Kansas has the highest percentage of coaches in the Hall of Fame, 63 percent, than any other school. KU’s five matches North Carolina’s five for the most inducted in college coaching with St. John’s third with four.
Kansas will continue exhibition play when it hosts Pittsburg State on Halloween. The Tuesday, Oct. 31 game will tip from Allen Fieldhouse at 7 p.m. and can be seen on Jayhawk TV and ESPN3 outside the Jayhawk TV region. KU will conclude exhibition play on Tuesday, Nov. 7, when it hosts Fort Hays State at 7 p.m. in Allen Fieldhouse. That contest will also be televised on Jayhawk TV.
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