Nationally ranked No. 13, Kansas men's basketball opens its exhibition season playing host to Pittsburg State on Tuesday, Nov. 1, at 7 p.m. The game will be televised on Jayhawk TV and can also be seen via the internet for those who subscribe to AT&T Jayhawk All-Access on KUAthletics.com. Kansas is 55-7 in exhibition contests, including 23-0 under head coach Bill Self who is entering his ninth season at KU.
A three-year starter, senior guard Tyshawn Taylor (will not play) is KU's returning leading scorer from 2010-11 with a 9.3 points per game average. Juniors Thomas Robinson, Travis Releford and Elijah Johnson (will not play) were also regulars last season. Robinson is a forward who is Kansas' leading returning rebounder (6.4 rpg), which complemented his 7.6 scoring average. Robinson has appeared on many national preseason honors lists heading into the 2011-12 season.
Releford (3.6 ppg in 2010-11) is a redshirt junior who started four games last year. Johnson (3.4 ppg, 64 assists) had six starts his sophomore year and made 40 percent of his three-pointers attempted. Other returning letterwinners include senior guard Conner Teahan, a 2010-11 redshirt who has appeared in 61 games while at KU, junior center Jeff Withey (2.3 ppg, 19 blocked shots) and walk-on guards Jordan Juenemann, a senior, and sophomore Niko Roberts.
On Sunday, Oct. 30, KU head coach Bill Self announced that Taylor and Johnson will not play in KU's two exhibition contests due to violations of team rules which occurred during the offseason.
Newcomer-wise, junior forward Kevin Young should have an immediate impact for the Jayhawks. Young played two seasons at Loyola-Marymount and sat out last year before coming to Kansas. He averaged 10.7 points and 5.7 rebounds per game his sophomore year in 2009-10 and broke several LMU freshman records the previous season when he scored 9.1 points and pulled down 7.2 rebounds per outing.
Sophomore forward Justin Wesley was a redshirt on the Kansas roster last season. The younger brother of KU great Keith Langford, Wesley is a transfer from Lamar who has added 20 pounds to his frame since arriving at Kansas, coming into the season weighing 220 pounds.
KU has five freshmen on this season's roster with guards Naadir Tharpe, Merv Lindsay, Ben McLemore, Christian Garrett and forward Jamari Traylor. Tharpe is described as a true point guard who played at Brewster (N.H.) Academy last year, guiding his team to a 35-5 record and a prep school national championship. Lindsay averaged 15.0 ppg and 10.2 rpg his senior year at Canyon Springs (Calif.) HS, while Garrett scored 14 points per game and averaged seven assists as a teammate of Traylor before coming to Kansas last January.
McLemore and Traylor were declared partial qualifiers by the NCAA and will not dress out for 2011-12. The duo will be able to practice with the team following the fall 2011 semester.
About Pittsburg State:
Located 140 miles south of Lawrence in Pittsburg, Kan., Pittsburg State, like Kansas, opens up its season on Tuesday. The Gorillas return four starters and nine letterwinners from last season's 13-13 team which tied for eighth in the NCAA Division II Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA).
The four returning starters are seniors with guard Eric Ray (12.2 ppg in 2010-11), forward Andra Bailey (9.2 ppg, 8.2 rpg), forward Eric Marshall (9.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg), and guard Drake Green (6.4 ppg). Bailey and Ray each earned All-MIAA Honorable Mention honors last season. Other key returners for Pitt State include forward JaVon McGee (8.8 ppg, 7.0 rpg) and guard Courtney Ingram (9.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg).
Kansas leads the overall series with Pittsburg State 8-0, including a 4-0 record in exhibition games. This series dates back to 1944. KU last faced Pitt State on Nov. 10, 2009, and defeated the Gorillas 103-45 in an exhibition contest in Allen Fieldhouse. This will be the fifth exhibition battle between the two schools.
--Kansas has won 37-straight exhibition contests.
--Kansas is 55-7 all-time in exhibition contests.
--Under Bill Self, Kansas is 23-0 in exhibition games, including a 6-0 record in two Canada trips (2004 and 2008).
--Kansas has scored 100-plus points in 23 exhibition games, including three of its last five.
Three Additional Men's Basketball Games to Air on AT&T Jayhawk All-Access:
Kansas Athletics has added three regular-season men's basketball games to the schedule of games available this season on AT&T Jayhawk All-Access via kuathletics.com.
Jayhawk fans around the country will be able to log on to Jayhawk All-Access to watch the Nov. 11 game against Towson, the Nov. 30 game vs. Florida Atlantic and the Dec. 29 game vs. Howard. As previously announced, Jayhawk All-Access will also televise the Jayhawks' two men's basketball exhibition games - against Pittsburg State (Nov. 1) and Fort Hays State (Nov. 8).
All five games will be available on the Jayhawk IMG Television Network (JTV) in the state of Kansas. JTV affiliates include KSMO in Kansas City, Mo., WIBW in Topeka, Kan., KSNW in Wichita and Cox Communications in Southeast Kansas. Tipoff time for the games is 7 p.m. (Central) from historic Allen Fieldhouse.
The three non-exhibition games on All-Access and JTV will also be available on ESPN Full Court.
This marks the eighth consecutive year that AT&T Jayhawk All-Access will broadcast Kansas Athletics events either with video, audio or both. In addition to the men's basketball games, fans who subscribed to AT&T All-Access this year have also seen:
• Late Night in the Phog, the annual tipoff of basketball practice
• Legends of the Phog, the KU men's basketball alumni charity game in Allen Fieldhouse in September
• The home football opener vs. McNeese State.
This year's Jayhawk All-Access schedule also includes:
• Football, men's basketball and women's basketball coaches' weekly television shows
• Football Coach Turner Gill's postgame press conferences after home games
• Football Coach Turner Gill's weekly press conferences
• Home women's basketball games
• The Kansas Relays and much more, including postgame interviews in many of Kansas' 18 varsity sports
Fans who subscribe to Jayhawk All-Access may also listen to:
• The complete radio broadcasts of KU football and men's basketball contests, including pre- and post-game shows and post-game interviews with the coaches
• Men's basketball coach Bill Self's weekly press conferences
• Weekly "Hawk Talk" radio shows with Turner Gill, Bill Self and women's basketball coach Bonnie Henrickson
• Rock Chalk Sports Talk, a weekly hour-long radio show highlighting Kansas Athletics.
In addition, KU fans can watch home volleyball matches and baseball games free of charge. To subscribe to Jayhawk All-Access go to www.kuathletics.com and clicking on the AT&T Jayhawk All-Access button on the right. Jayhawk All-Access subscriptions are only $9.95 per month or $79.95 per year.
Noting Kansas Basketball:
--Kansas has 2,038 all-time victories, second most in NCAA Division I.
--Over the last five seasons, Kansas has averaged 33 victories per year with four 30-win seasons.
--Kansas has held 144 of its last 148 opponents to under 50 percent shooting. Kansas State (Feb. 14, 2011) shot 56.3 percent, Missouri (Feb. 7, 2011) shot 51.7 percent, Oklahoma State (Feb. 27, 2010) shot 60.4 percent and Baylor (Jan. 20, 2010) shot 52.1 percent from the field to end a 91-game string of KU holding foes to under 50 percent shooting. Before Baylor, the last team to shoot above 50 percent against Kansas was Louisiana-Monroe (.510) on Nov. 9, 2007, the first game of the 2008 NCAA National Championship season.
--KU has held opponents to fewer than 100 points in 334 consecutive games. The last team to score 100 on Kansas was Texas on Feb. 11, 2002, a KU 110-103 overtime victory.
--Kansas has sold out its last 164 games in Allen Fieldhouse dating back to the second game of the 2001-02 season.
--Each KU senior class since 1986-87 has won at least 100 games. Tyshawn Taylor's three-year record is 95-14 entering the 2011-12 season. A four-year senior last season, Tyrel Reed's record of 132-17 tied for the second-most wins in a four-year span in NCAA Division I history.
--Kansas has won 23 or more games in each of the last 22 seasons dating back to 1988-89 and has 22 victories 26 times in the last 27 years starting in 1984-85.
--Bill Self has won 23 or more games each of his last 13 seasons as a head coach.
--Kansas is the only team in the Big 12 to have a winning series record against every conference foe.
--KU has led its league in home attendance each of the last 25 seasons dating back to 1986-87 and 30 times in the last 34 years.
--Kansas' 2002 team remains the only squad in Big 12 history to go undefeated in conference play at 16-0.
--Kansas is first in the conference in wins with a 202-39 record in Big 12 regular-season games. Texas is next at 168-73. Including the league postseason championship, Kansas is tops at 232-46, while Texas is second at 187-88.
--Kansas is the only Big 12 school to have won a regular-season championship with two different coaches (Roy Williams and Bill Self).
--Under Bill Self, Kansas is 60-4 (93.8 percent) in Big 12 home games: 8-0 in 2004, 7-1 in 2005, 7-1 in 2006, 7-1 in 2007, 8-0 in 2008, 8-0 in 2009, 8-0 in 2010 and 7-1 in 2011.
--Kansas has won 10 or more league games for the last 17 seasons and 49 times overall.
--Kansas has won 42-straight home games against non-conference competition.
--Under Bill Self, Kansas is 39-6 following a loss. The Jayhawks have won 21-straight games following a loss.
--Kansas leads the Big 12 with 46 all-time Academic All-Big 12 selections since the inception of the conference in 1996-97. Texas is second with 36 all-time selections.
--KU has 36 Academic All-Big 12 First-Team selections and 10 second-team selections. KU's 36 first-team selections are 16 more than Texas and Kansas State's 20 each.
--In the Bill Self era, Kansas has had 23 Academic All-Big 12 selections for an average of almost three per year (2.9 average).
--In December 2010, KU alum David Booth bought the original rules of basketball by the inventor of the game and KU's first coach James Naismith. Booth plans on bringing the rules to Lawrence and Allen Fieldhouse.
Kansas continues exhibition play when it hosts Fort Hays State next Tuesday, Nov. 8, at 7 p.m. The game will be televised on Jayhawk TV and can also be seen on AT&T Jayhawk All-Access. KU will then host Towson on Friday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. to open its 2011-12 regular season. Jayhawk TV and ESPN Full Court will broadcast the game, which is the first contest of the EA Sports Maui Invitational.