No. 2 Kansas begins exhibition slate with Washburn Tuesday
Kansas Opens Exhibition Play
No. 2 Kansas opens 2016-17 exhibition play when it hosts Washburn Tuesday, Nov. 1, at 7 p.m. inside Allen Fieldhouse. The game will be televised on Jayhawk Television Network and can also be seen via the internet by fans outside of Kansas by visiting KUAthletics.com/ESPN3. For more information on accessing Kansas video content, visit KUAthletics.com/TV. Kansas is 77-9 in exhibition contests, including 45-2 under head coach Bill Self. This will be the first exhibition game of the season for both Kansas and Washburn.
Kansas returns three starters and eight letterwinners from last season’s 33-5 team which went 15-3 in Big 12 play, winning its unprecedented 12th-straight, 16th Big 12 and NCAA-leading 59th overall conference regular-season championships. KU also won the 2015 Maui Invitational and 2016 Big 12 Championship titles and was the overall No. 1 seed for the NCAA Tournament where it advanced to the Elite Eight. Additionally, Kansas head coach Bill Self was named the national coach of the year for the third time in his career reaping Associated Press (AP) and National Association of Basketball Coaches accolades in 2016-17. Self was also the 2016 Big 12 Coach of the Year by the AP, earning the conference honor for the seventh time.
Senior G Frank Mason III and junior G Devonte’ Graham return in the backcourt as starters, as does senior F Landen Lucas. All three earned All-Big 12 recognition last season with Mason garnering All-Big 12 Second Team for the second-straight season. Graham and Lucas were all-conference honorable mention in 2015-16. Mason and Graham were also named to the five-person the Big 12 All-Defensive Team.
Mason is Kansas’ leading returning scorer at 12.9 points per game, which ranked 12th in the Big 12 and is the second-highest returning scorer in the league for 2016-17. He led KU in assists at 4.6, which was fourth in the conference. Graham averaged 11.3 points per game and was the team leader in steals with 1.4 per contest. Lucas, who scored 5.8 points per game, started 19 of KU’s final 20 games and led the Jayhawks in rebounds at 6.8 per outing, which was seventh in the conference and is the second leading returner in the league for this year.
Sophomore F Carlton Bragg Jr., should play more of a key role this upcoming season. Bragg, who averaged 3.8 points and 2.5 rebounds per game, played in all 38 games for KU in 2015-16 in a backup role to Jayhawk All-American Perry Ellis. Other key returnees for Kansas in 2016-17 include junior G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (5.4 ppg, 37 3-pointers) and sophomore G Lagerald Vick (2.1 ppg). Junior F Dwight Coleby will also add depth to the inside. Coleby sat out last year after transferring from Ole Miss. He averaged 5.4 points and 4.8 rebounds per game his sophomore for the Rebels in 2014-15.
Led by No. 1 overall recruit Josh Jackson, Kansas’ newcomers rank as one of the highest recruiting classes in the nation entering 2016-17. Joining Jackson in the rookie class are center Udoka Azubuike and forward Mitch Lightfoot. Those three will be eligible this season. Two other newcomers – sophomore G Malik Newman (Mississippi State) and junior C Evan Maxwell (Liberty) – will practice with KU but will sit out the upcoming season due to transfer rules.
Jackson is the third overall No. 1 recruit to play at Kansas since 2010-11, joining Josh Selby (2010-11) and Andrew Wiggins (2013-14). Jackson and Azubuike were McDonald’s All-Americans last season as Azubuike was ranked No. 22 in the final ESPN100 rankings. Look for both to contribute immediately, while Lightfoot, the 2016 Arizona Gatorade Player of the Year, will also be a spark in the big man rotation.
Located in Topeka, Kansas, with an enrollment of 7,400, Washburn returns all five starters and 10 letterwinners from last season’s 15-13 team which tied for fifth in the 14-team Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) with an 11-11 league record. The Ichabods are coached by Bob Chipman who is 788-343 in his 38th season at Washburn. Prior to 2016-17, Chipman announced this will be his final season of coaching. For 2016-17, Washburn was selected to finish second in the MIAA Preseason coaches’ poll behind Northwest Missouri.
Sophomore G Javion Blake was the 2016 MIAA Freshman of the Year and is Washburn’s leading returning scorer at 13.4 points per game. Also back is 2016 MIAA Defensive Player of the Year junior F Brady Skeens. He averaged a double-double last season with 10.4 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. Junior G Cameron Wiggins was second on the team in scoring with 12.2 points per game and he made a team-high 58 3-pointers. Junior G Randall Smith (9.9 ppg, 4.3 assists per game) and senior F Jeremy Lickteig (4.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg) round out the returning starters. Other top returners for Washburn include sophomore F David Salach (4.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg) and sophomore G Tyas Martin (4.2 ppg).
Kansas leads the overall series with Washburn, 37-3, which includes a 7-0 record in exhibition play. The series dates back to 1906 and Kansas won the first six meetings. Washburn’s three wins game in 1913, 1928 and 1944 with all three victories in Topeka. Since 1944, Kansas has won 10 straight against Washburn, which includes seven exhibition battles.
A Kansas Win Would…
Make Kansas 78-9 all-time in exhibition games … Extend Kansas’ home exhibition winning streak to 45 games dating back to the 1994 season … Make Kansas 38-3 against Washburn, including 8-0 in exhibition games … Improve Kansas head coach Bill Self to 46-2 in exhibition play while at KU … Make KU 56-4 in exhibition games in Allen Fieldhouse… Make Bill Self 46-2 in exhibition games while at Kansas, including 27-0 in Allen Fieldhouse.
A Kansas Loss Would…
Break KU’s 44-game home exhibition win streak, marking the first loss in an exhibition game in Allen Fieldhouse since a 93-82 loss to Australia on Nov. 9, 1993 … Give Washburn its fourth win against Kansas and its first since 1944 … Make the KU-Washburn all-time series 37-4 in favor of the Jayhawks, 7-1 in exhibition meetings … Drop Bill Self 45-3 in exhibition play while at Kansas … Give KU a 55-5 record in exhibition play at Allen Fieldhouse and 77-10 all-time exhibition record.
• Kansas has scored 100-plus points in 26 exhibition games, including 10 under Bill Self.
• Kansas has won 44-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 enters the 2016-17 season No. 2 with one first-place vote in the USA TODAY Coaches’ Poll released Oct. 27. This is the highest ranking for the Jayhawks since KU was preseason No. 1 in 2009-10. Kansas is ranked in the preseason for the 25th time in time in the 28-year history of the poll. The No 2 ranking marks the sixth time KU has been preseason No. 2 or higher in the coaches’ poll. Additionally, it is the 11th time in the Bill Self era the Jayhawks have been preseason seventh or higher, including each of the last five seasons.
KU will face two nationally-ranked teams in its first two regular-season games of the 2016-17 season. The Jayhawks will play No. 12 Indiana on Nov. 11, in the State Farm Armed Forces Classic in Honolulu and will then play No. 1 Duke in the State Farm Champions Classic, Nov. 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Overall, KU will play seven games against teams in the coaches’ preseason poll this season.
Last season Kansas tied its previous season’s record by facing 16 ranked foes. The Jayhawks’ 12 wins against ranked teams was an all-time season high.
In 2015-16 Kansas opened the year No. 5 in the preseason coaches’ poll and ended No. 3.
Including 2015-16, Kansas has won 16 of the 20 Big 12 regular-season titles (includes ties), including the last 12, which ranks second on the NCAA all-time consecutive list. Kansas’ 59 conference titles are the most in NCAA Division I. Kentucky is second with 53 and Penn third at 37. KU’s 12-straight league titles are the longest active streak in NCAA Division I and the longest streak in school history. UCLA from 1967-79 holds the NCAA record of 13 straight, which was under two coaches. Kansas’ current run has been under head coach Bill Self.
Kansas is Preseason Big 12 Favorite
For the 15th time in the 21-year history of the Big 12, Kansas men’s basketball has been selected as the preseason favorite to win the conference regular-season championship. 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 65 points, followed by Texas (59), Iowa State (56) and Baylor (53). Oklahoma was sixth with 40 points, while Oklahoma State and Texas Tech tied for seventh with 32 points. Kansas State (20) and TCU (12) rounded out the coaches’ preseason poll.
Historically, the preseason favorite has gone on to finish first in the regular season 13 times, which does not include 1996-97 as a coaches’ poll was not conducted. Kansas has been the preseason favorite in 12 of its 16 Big 12 regular-season titles, missing 1996-97 (no poll), 2005-06 (third) and 2010-11 (second).
Jayhawks Earn Preseason Big 12 Honors
Kansas guards Frank Mason III, Devonte’ Graham and Josh Jackson each garnered recognition on the 2016-17 All-Big 12 Preseason Team as voted on by the league’s men’s basketball coaches, the conference office announced Thursday.
Mason and Graham were on the five-member All-Big 12 Preseason Team, while Jackson is an honorable mention selection as the recipient of at least one vote by the league’s coaches who could not vote for their own student-athletes. Jackson was also voted as KU’s fourth-straight Big 12 Preseason Freshman of the Year.
Jackson is the fourth-straight Jayhawk to be named preseason freshman of the year joining Cheick Diallo last season, Cliff Alexander in 2014-15 and Andrew Wiggins in 2013-14. KU has had eight Big 12 Preseason Freshman of the Year selections starting with Nick Collison in 1999-2000.
Fifteen Jayhawks on NBA Opening Day Rosters
A total of 15 Jayhawks were opening day rosters for the 2016-17 NBA regular-season which began Oct. 25.
Paul Pierce has the most tenure of the Jayhawks in the NBA, entering his 19th and final season of his hall-of-fame career. Pierce is in his second year with the Los Angeles Clippers. Oklahoma City’s Nick Collison, a member of KU’s 2002 and 2003 Final Four teams, is next entering his 14th season with the Thunder.
The Minnesota Timberwolves carry the most Jayhawks with Cole Aldrich, Brandon Rush and Andrew Wiggins. Aldrich, from Bloomington, Minnesota, returns home for his first season with the Timberwolves and his seventh season in an NBA uniform. He and Rush were members of Kansas’ 2008 NCAA National Championship team. Rush is also in his first year in Minnesota and his ninth in the league. He is one of four Jayhawks to have won both NCAA and NBA titles, as he was a member of the 2015 Golden State Warriors’ title team. Wiggins, the overall No. 1 NBA Draft selection in 2014, is entering his third season with Minnesota.
Also a member of the 2008 national champ Jayhawks is Darrell Arthur, who is in his eighth season in the NBA and fourth with Denver. Arthur missed 2011-12 due to injury.
Twins Marcus and Markieff Morris are entering their sixth year in the league. They have been separated as teammates for the past few seasons with Marcus on the Detroit Pistons, and Markieff with the Washington Wizards. Joining Markeiff on the Wizards is Kelly Oubre Jr., who is in his second season in the NBA.
Thomas Robinson (Los Angeles Lakers) and Jeff Withey (Utah Jazz) were part of KU’s NCAA runner-up team in 2012. The fifth overall NBA Draft selection in 2012, this will be Robinson’s first season with the Lakers as he joins fellow Jayhawk Tarik Black, who is in his third season with the franchise. Drafted in 2013, Withey begins his second year in a Jazz uniform and his third overall in the NBA.
Fourth-year player and No. 7 overall selection in the 2013 NBA Draft, Ben McLemore continues his career with the Sacramento Kings.
The No. 3 overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft, Joel Embiid suffered through injuries his first two seasons but is now healthy for the Philadelphia 76ers.
Cheick Diallo is the youngest Jayhawk in the NBA as he begins his rookie season with the New Orleans Pelicans.
In Bill Self’s 13 seasons at Kansas, the Jayhawks have led the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense nine times and finished no lower than fourth. Nationally, Self-coached Jayhawks have ranked eighth or higher in all but four seasons in field goal percentage defense and have ranked in the top five on eight occasions, including first in 2005-06 and 2011-12.
BIG 12 RUN NO CAKEWALK
Kansas ended 2015-16 ranked No. 1 in the NCAA Rating Percentage Index (RPI) and its strength of schedule second nationally. In Self’s 13 seasons, KU has ranked fifth or higher in the final RPI nine times, including each of the last seven years.
Some things to Look For in 2016-17
• Bill Self is 206-9 in Allen Fieldhouse. Ted Owens was 206-47 from 1964-65 to 1982-83. When Self wins his first game in Allen Fieldhouse this season, he will be the winningest coach in Allen Fieldhouse history. (Self 206-9, Owens 206-47, Williams 201-17, Brown 71-5, Harp 51-29, Allen 9-2).
• Bill Self has 385 wins at KU (15 shy of 400), 592 overall (eight shy of 600). When he won his 500th, Self tied for the ninth fastest in NCAA history. Self has coached 780 games, which is how many it took Phog Allen to win his 600th. Self will most likely end up 10th or 11th fastest to 600.
•KU is 744-109 all-time in Allen Fieldhouse, approaching win No. 750 in the venue.
•Kansas has the nation’s longest active home court winning streak at 42 games entering 2016-17; 40 of those in Allen Fieldhouse.
•KU has sold out of 243-straight games in Allen Fieldhouse, approaching 250.
•Kansas has won 2,186 all-time games, approaching 2,200, which is second all-time in NCAA history. Kentucky is first at 2,205.
•With a 216-43 (83.4 percent) record since 2010, Kansas is the winningest program, by percentage, this decade: 1. KANSAS (216-43, 83.4%); 2. Kentucky (217-47, 82.2%); 3. Duke (210-47, 81.7%).
•Should Kansas advance to the 2017 NCAA Tournament it would be its 28th-consecutive NCAA tourney appearance. The current 27 straight is tied for the NCAA Tournament longest consecutive appearance streak with North Carolina (1975-2001).
• Junior G Devonte’ Graham ranks third on the KU career 3-point field goal list (min. 200 attempts), currently at 43.8 percent. Milt Newton (1985, 1987-89) holds the record at 44.6, while Jeff Gueldner (19887-90) is second at 43.9.
• Senior G Frank Mason enters his final season No. 42 in KU career scoring (1,132 points), and No. 16 in assists (389). Mason is the 11th player in KU history to rank that high in both points and assists.
•Mason has started 74 straight games which ranks 10th on the KU career list.
This Date in Kansas Basketball History
Kansas is 2-0 all-time on Nov. 1, with both games being exhibition contests.
Nov. 1, 2007: Four different Jayhawks scored in double figures, including sophomore guard Sherron Collins, who scored a game-high 18 points to go along with five assists and four steals No. 4 Kansas kicked off the 2007-08 season with a 94-59 exhibition victory over Pittsburg (Kan.) State at Allen Fieldhouse. Junior guard Mario Chalmers added 14 points and five assists, while sophomore forward Darrell Arthur added 12 tallies and senior guard Rodrick Stewart chipped in 11. Kansas would win its first 20 games of the season en route to a school-record 37 victories, its fourth consecutive Big 12 regular season title, its third consecutive Big 12 Tournament championship and the 2008 NCAA National Championship.
Kansas will continue exhibition play when it hosts Emporia on Sunday, Nov. 6, at 7 p.m. (Central). The game will be on the Jayhawk IMG Television Network and ESPN3 outside the state of Kansas. KU will open the regular season in Honolulu when is plays Indiana on Nov. 11 in the State Farm Armed Forces Classic. The game will begin at 8 p.m. Central and will be televised on ESPN.
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