Kansas plays its second game in four days when it hosts Valparaiso on Monday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. on Jayhawk TV. The game is the second of four-straight home contests for Kansas to open regular-season play. Kansas played host to Longwood in its season opener on Friday, Nov. 12, defeating the Lancers 113-75.
The Valparaiso contest is the first of two home games in the Las Vegas Invitational. Kansas will host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the second game of the event on Nov. 23 and play Ohio University on Nov. 26 and Arizona on Nov. 27 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. Kansas won the Las Vegas Invitational in 2006 following its 82-80 overtime victory over then-No. 1 Florida.
Kansas won its 10th-straight season opener with a 113-75 victory versus Longwood on Nov. 12 to extend the nation's longest active home court winning streak to 60 games. KU showed a balanced attack as it had five players in double-figure scoring and every Jayhawk that played tallied at least two points.
Junior forward Marcus Morris led KU in scoring with 18 points in the win, while his twin brother, Markieff Morris, recorded his second career double-double with 14 points and a career-high-tying 15 rebounds.
Marcus Morris is KU's leading returning scorer (12.8 ppg) and rebounder (6.1 rpg) from last season and is on numerous preseason All-American teams. Junior guard Tyshawn Taylor, one of two returning starters from 2009-10, had a double-double with points and assists against the Lancers as he dished out 10 dimes to go along with 17 points.
Sophomore forward Thomas Robinson contributed a career-high 16 points and seven rebounds. Senior Tyrel Reed was the fifth Jayhawk in double-digits adding 11 points in the victory. Redshirt sophomore Travis Releford made his first career start in KU's season opener and responded with seven points and two rebounds.
Redshirt sophomore Jeff Withey added eight points in just 12 minutes of play, while freshmen Niko Roberts and Royce Woolridge made their first appearances in a Jayhawk uniform. Seniors Brady Morningstar (4.1 ppg in 2009-10) and Mario Little (redshirt who scored 4.7 ppg in 2008-09) also logged significant minutes against the Lancers.
Located in Valparaiso, Ind., with an enrollment of 3,980, Valparaiso opened its season with a 111-64 home victory against IU Northwest on Nov. 12. Valpo returns four starters and 10 letterwinners from last season's team, which went 15-17 and tied for fourth in the Horizon League with a 10-8 record.
Valpo returns 82.8 percent of its scoring and 91.2 of its rebounding from last season. Junior Brandon Wood leads Valpo after being named the Horizon League Newcomer of the Year and second-team all-conference last season. He scored 20 points versus IU Northwest and led the Horizon league in scoring with 17.7 points per game last season.
Top reserves from last year, senior guard Howard Little and sophomore guard Ryan Broekhoff, added 17 points and 18 points, respectively, against the Redhawks. Senior forward Cory Johnson, a second-team all-league performer in 2009-10 who averaged 15.6 ppg and 5.8 rpg, opened the 2010-11 season with 17 points.
Other returning starters include senior forward Michael Rogers (5.1 ppg in 2009-10) and sophomore guard Tommy Kurth (1.9 ppg in 2009-10). Valpo also boasts a 7-1 redshirt freshman center in Hrvoje Vucic.
Kansas has won both meetings with Valparaiso in men's basketball. Behind 21 points from All-American Bud Stallworth and 17 points from Dave Robisch, the Jayhawks defeated the Crusaders 74-58 on Jan. 24, 1970, in Allen Fieldhouse.
Drew Gooden scored 30 points and pulled down 18 rebounds, and Nick Collison also notched a double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds in Kansas' 81-73 win versus Valparaiso on Jan. 2, 2002, in Allen Fieldhouse.
Aaron Miles paced KU with eight assists in the game. Kansas is 14-1 all-time against current membership of the Horizon League (7-1 vs. Loyola [Ill.], 3-0 vs. Detroit, 2-0 vs.
Valparaiso, 1-0 vs. Illinois-Chicago and 1-0 vs. Wisconsin-Milwaukee). Detroit was the last Horizon League foe Kansas faced during the 2006-07 season, a 63-43 win on Dec. 28, 2006.
Kansas will host North Texas on Friday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m. and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Tuesday, Nov. 23. The A&M-CC game is the second of the Las Vegas Invitational. KU will then travel to Las Vegas to play Ohio on Friday, Nov. 26, and Arizona on Saturday, Nov. 27, to conclude the Invitational.