Six-time defending Big 12 Conference champion Kansas opens up the 2010-11 season by hosting Longwood, Friday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. on Jayhawk TV. Kansas is looking to win its 38th straight home opener at Allen Fieldhouse dating back to the 1973-74 season. Since 2001-02, the Jayhawks have won their last eight consecutive season openers. Longwood, an independent, is coming off a 12-19 season.
Kansas went 2-0 in exhibition play with a 92-62 victory against Washburn on Nov. 2 and a 90-59 win versus Emporia State on Nov. 9. Junior forward Marcus Morris led KU in scoring averaging 20 points in the two victories. His twin brother, Markieff Morris, averaged 13 points and led KU with 8.5 rebounds in the two exhibition wins. Markieff also shot a team best 71.4 percent (10-of-14) from the floor.
Junior guard Tyshawn Taylor had nine assists to lead the Jayhawks in the two games and averaged 11 points in exhibition play. In all, KU showed a balanced attack in exhibition action as it had seven players average 7.5 points or better.
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. Taylor averaged 7.2 points and 3.4 assists last season and joins Marcus as KU's returning starters.
Markieff Morris averaged 6.8 points and 5.3 rebounds in 2009-10. Senior Tyrel Reed averaged 5.1 points last season and made 44 three-pointers. Senior Brady Morningstar averaged 4.1 points as a top reserve last season and 6.5 points in his starting role in 2008-09.
Senior Mario Little was a redshirt last year who scored 4.7 points per game in 2008-09. Other key contributors for Kansas in 2010-11 will be redshirt sophomore Travis Releford who started the Emporia State exhibition game and had 12 points and sophomore guard Elijah Johnson who averaged 22 minutes in the two exhibition contests.
Kansas enters the season No. 7 in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today preseason polls. KU is the six-time defending Big 12 men's basketball champion entering the 2010-11 season. The Jayhawks have won or tied for 10 of the 14 Big 12 regular-season titles and seven postseason titles.
Located in Farmville, Va., with an enrollment of 4,098, Longwood opens the 2010-11 season at Kansas. The Lancers are coming off a 12-19 record in 2009-10. An independent who became NCAA Division I eligible in 2007, Longwood returns eight letterwinners and one starter from last season's team and added six newcomers to the program.
Senior guard Aaron Mitchell is the returning starter who averaged nine points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game last season. Other top returnees include juniors Antwan Carter and Martiz Washington. Carter is a center who averaged 14.6 points, posted 10 double-doubles and led Longwood with 8.5 rebounds per game in 2009-10.
Washington averaged 8.3 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists per outing last year. Redshirt junior guard Durann Neill sat out last season due to a preseason injury. Neill averaged 7.1 points and 3.9 assists as a starter for the Lancers in 2008-09.
Of the newcomers, guard Jeremiah Bowman is the lone junior college transfer who averaged 11.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game at Harcum JC in Philadelphia, Pa.
Kansas and Longwood are meeting for the first time in men's basketball. Other first-meeting games on the 2010-11 slate for Kansas include North Texas, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Colorado State and Texas-Arlington.
Kansas will host Valparaiso Monday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. on Jayhawk TV and ESPN Full Court. The game is the first of two home games in the Las Vegas Invitational. KU will then host North Texas on Friday, Nov. 19, and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Tuesday, Nov. 23. The A&M-CC game is the second of the Las Vegas Invitational.