No. 3/2 Kansas armed and ready for season opener against No. 11/12 Indiana

 State Farm Armed Forces Classic
 #3/2 KANSAS (0-0, 0-0 Big 12) vs.
 #11/12 Indiana (0-0, 0-0 Big Ten)
Date Friday, Nov. 11
Time 8 p.m. Central
Location Honolulu, Hawaii
Arena Stan Sheriff Center
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Radio Jayhawk Radio Network
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Notes Game Notes (.pdf)

Two nationally-ranked teams with a rich tradition of basketball meet up when No. 3/2 Kansas plays No. 11/12 Indiana in the State Farm Armed Forces Classic, Friday, Nov. 11, in Honolulu. The 2016 Armed Forces Classic will be held on Veterans Day – just under a month from the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Arizona will play Michigan State at 6 p.m. CT (2 p.m. HT) followed by the Kansas-Indiana contest, scheduled at 8 p.m. Both contests will be televised on ESPN and played at the Stan Sheriff Center on the campus of the University of Hawaii.

Kansas is starting its season away from Allen Fieldhouse for the first time in the Bill Self era and the first time since the Jayhawks lost to Ball State, 93-91, in the opening round of the 2001 Maui Invitational. KU went on to place fifth in the 2001 Maui Invitational, win the 2002 Big 12 title with a 16-0 league record and advance to the 2002 Final Four in Atlanta.

• Kansas ranks second in NCAA Division I all-time victories at 2,186, while Indiana is 10th with 1,783 wins.
• Kansas and Indiana have each won five national championships in men’s basketball. Kansas has won two Helms Foundation (1922, 1923) and three NCAA (1952, 1988, 2008). Indiana has won five NCAA (1940, 1953, 1976, 1981, 1987). Indiana won the 1940 and 1953 championships by defeating Kansas in the title games.
• The two teams have combined for 22 Final Four appearances (Kansas 14, Indiana eight).
• The two teams have combined for 81 conference regular-season titles (Kansas 59, Indiana 22).

This will be the fifth annual State Farm Armed Forces Classic, which began in 2012 at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. Kansas will be participating in its first Armed Forces Classic.

2012 (Ramstein Air Base, Germany)
Connecticut 66, Michigan State 62

2013 (Pyeongtaek, South Korea)
Oregon 82, Georgetown 75

2014 (U.S.C.G. Air Station Borinquen, Aguadilla, Puerto Rico)
Louisville 81, Minnesota 68

2015 (Okinawa, Japan)
Pittsburgh 37, Gonzaga 35 (postponed)

Veterans Day is an official United States public holiday, observed annually on November 11, that honors military veterans; that is, persons who served in the United States Armed Forces. It coincides with other holidays, including Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, celebrated in other countries that mark the anniversary of the end of World War I; major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect. The United States previously observed Armistice Day. The U.S. holiday was renamed Veterans Day in 1954. (source: Wikipedia)

About Kansas
Kansas opened up the 2016-17 season with exhibition victories against Washburn, 92-74 on Nov. 1, and Emporia State, 104-62 on Nov. 6. Senior G Frank Mason III led Kansas in scoring, rebounding and assists in the two exhibition wins averaging 19.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 7.0 assists. Junior G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk averaged 16.0 points in the two contests and made a team best six 3-pointers. Freshman G Josh Jackson also averaged double figures, scoring 12.5 points per game and his 5.5 rebounds were second to Mason.

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 2015-16. Self was also the 2016 Big 12 Coach of the Year by the AP, earning the conference honor for the seventh time.

Masonand 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 honors 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 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 Jackson, the 2016 No. 1 overall recruit nationally by many recruiting services, 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 Bloomington, Indiana, with an enrollment of 48,514, Indiana went 2-0 in exhibition play with a 98-65 win against Hope College on Nov. 1 and a victory over Bellarmine University, 73-49, on Nov. 5. Sophomore F OG Anunoby paced IU in the two exhibition games averaging 20.1 points, shooting a combined 16-for-20, including 7-for-11 from 3-point range. Sophomore C Thomas Bryant averaged 13.0 points and led IU with 9.5 rebounds in the two contests. Junior G Josh Newkirk had a team-best 11 assists in the two games.

Under head coach Tom Crean, the 2016 Big Ten Coach of the Year, Indiana went 29-8 last season, won the Big Ten regular-season title with a 15-3 league record and finished ranked 14th by Associated Press. Crean is 148-119 entering his ninth season at IU.

Indiana returns three starters and nine letterwinnners, led junior G James Blackmon Jr. who averaged 15.7 points and 5.0 rebounds last season. Bryant was not far behind averaging 11.9 points and 5.8 rebounds in 2015-16. Junior G Roberts Johnson scored 8.5 points per game last season, while senior F Collin Hartman (4.1 ppg) is also back for the Hoosiers. Newkirk sat out last season after transferring from Pittsburgh, while Anunoby averaged 4.9 points per game in 2015-16.

The Hoosiers lead the overall series with Kansas, 7-6, but the Jayhawks have won six of the last seven meetings. KU and IU last met in 1995 in Kansas City with the Jayhawks claiming a 91-83 victory on Dec. 16. This series dates back to 1940 with the first two meetings, both IU wins, in the NCAA title game in 1940 and 1953.

Make Kansas 1-0 for the 15th-consecutive season … Tie the Kansas-Indiana series at 7-7, giving KU seven series wins in the last eight meetings … Make Kansas 72-38 against ranked teams in the Bill Self era … Improve Self to 386-83 at Kansas, 593-188 overall and 5-3 against Indiana (1-0 while at Kansas)  … Make KU 2,187-836 all-time.

Break KU’s 14-game opening-game win streak … Give Indiana an 8-6 series advantage over Kansas … Make Kansas 71-39 against ranked foes in the Bill Self era … Make Self 385-84 while at KU, 592-189 overall and 4-4 against Indiana (0-1 while at KU) … Make KU 2,186-837 all-time.

Kansas enters the 2016-17 season No. 2 in the USA TODAY Coaches’ Poll released Oct. 20 and No. 3 in the Associated Press poll released Oct. 31.

In the coaches’ poll, 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.

KU will face two nationally-ranked teams in its first two regular-season games of the 2016-17 season. KU 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.

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.
The AP ranking marks the highest preseason rank for the Jayhawks since entering the 2009-10 season No. 1.
This is the fourth-straight season KU has been ranked No. 5 or higher by the AP. KU was No. 4 last season in the AP preseason poll and No. 5 in 2014-15 and 2013-14. It is also the seventh time in the last eight seasons that the Jayhawks have entered the season No. 7 or higher by the AP.

Under Self, this is the 11th time that Kansas enters the season ranked seventh or higher in the AP preseason poll and historically, the No. 3 ranking marks the 19th time since the 1992-93 season that Kansas will enter the season seventh or higher.

Last season, KU entered the year No. 4 nationally in the Associated Press poll and ended at No. 1. The AP’s final poll is released prior to the NCAA Tournament. The Jayhawks were ranked in the top 10 every week during the 2015-16 season.

Kansas has been ranked in each of the last 143 polls dating back to the 2008-09 season, which is the longest active streak in NCAA Division I.

On Nov. 1, adidas and Kansas Athletics unveiled basketball uniforms the Jayhawks will wear during the fifth annual Armed Forces Classic near Pearl Harbor, honoring America’s bravest on Veterans Day. The uniforms pay homage to the stars of the American flag while upholding the aesthetics of one of college basketball’s most iconic programs.

To commemorate the upcoming 75th anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor, the back of the jerseys display an emblem featuring “REMEMBER PEARL HARBOR” alongside two anchors, an eagle and a star, which take inspiration from Navy medals and accolades.

The Armed Forces Classic uniforms display a digital camouflage pattern inspired by military fatigues. Bold contrasting is present along the jersey collar and waistband, using white terrycloth material for sweat management and optimal performance during the game’s critical moments.

The Jayhawks will don an all-blue uniform featuring white stars mirroring the American flag along the side. The iconic elements of the five-time national championship winning program are highlighted with customary white name, numbering and KU logo. The names of each player will be replaced on the backs of the game jerseys with the word “Honor” to commemorate those who fought in Pearl Harbor.

The Jayhawks will lace up adidas’ latest basketball footwear, stylized in a special Veteran’s Day colorway that evokes the spirit of the armed forces. Drawing inspiration from the footwear worn by elite forces of the U.S. military, primarily black and grey camouflage top off the homage instilled by the uniforms.

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.

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).

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.

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.

The Kansas trio of Frank Mason III, Devonte’ Graham and Carlton Bragg Jr. have been named candidates for three respected national honors the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Named one of 20 candidates, Mason is on the 2017 Bob Cousy Point Guard Award list and Graham was named to the 2017 Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award list. Bragg is one of 20 candidates on the 2017 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award, an honor Perry Ellis was a finalist for in both of the last two seasons.

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.

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.

In 2015-16, Kansas posted a season-high 12 wins against Associated Press Top 25 teams. The mark surpassed the previous season, 2014-15, of 10. In the Bill Self era, Kansas is 76-38 against ranked opponents and has only had one non-.500 record, that being his first in 2003-04. Each of the past two seasons, Kansas has played a season-high 16 games vs. ranked foes.

In 2015-16, Kansas made a season-record 304 3-pointers. The Jayhawks’ 41.8 percent from 3-point range tied for second best in school history.

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 III 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.

Kansas is 6-0 all time on Nov. 11
Nov. 11, 2006: No. 3 Kansas opened the 2006-07 season defeating Northern Arizona 91-57 in Allen Fieldhouse. Preseason All-America sophomore G Brandon Rush had 21 points and six rebounds to lead KU. Kansas’s scorching defense limited the Lumberjacks to 33 percent shooting, while forcing 21 turnovers, which resulted in 28 points in the first half. Kansas had five players score in double figures.  Sophomore F Julian Wright contributed 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field and tied a career high with eight rebounds. In his first career start, freshman Sherron Collins scored 14 points. Kansas went on to finish 33-5 in 2006-07 winning the Big 12 regular-season and tournament titles and advancing to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.

Kansas will fly directly from Honolulu to New York City to play No. 1 Duke in the State Farm Champions Classic, Nov. 15 at 8 p.m., on ESPN. The contest will be played in historic Madison Square Garden. KU will have its home opener when it plays host to Siena on Friday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m., on Jayhawk TV/ESPN3. The KU-Siena contest is a home contest for the CBE Hall of Fame Classic. The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.