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November 4, 2012
Kansas Continues Exhibition Play
No. 7/7 Kansas concludes exhibition play when it hosts Washburn Nov. 5. The game will be televised on Jayhawk IMG TV and can also be seen via the internet for those who subscribe to AT&T Jayhawk All-Access through www.kuathletics.com.
Kansas defeated Emporia State 88-54 on Oct. 30 in its last exhibition contest. This is actually the Jayhawks' sixth exhibition contest for the 2012-13 season. In August 2012, Kansas went 2-2 in exhibition play with two victories against the Swiss National Team and two losses to AMW France while touring Switzerland and Paris. Both foreign opponents' rosters were made up of professional players.
Kansas is 60-9 in exhibition contests, including 28-2 under head coach Bill Self, who is starting his 10th season at KU. The Kansas contest will be the third for Washburn this season. The Ichabods lost at Kansas State 81-61 on Oct. 30 and play at Oklahoma Nov. 3 before making the short trip to Lawrence.
Kansas went on a 19-1 run midway through the first half to defeat Emporia State 88-54 in its exhibition game on Oct. 30. Freshman forward Perry Ellis led the team with 15 points, including a 5-for-5 effort from the field. Ellis pulled down seven rebounds in the contest, which trailed only freshman forward Landen Lucas' team-high nine. Senior guard Elijah Johnson scored 12 points and had a team-high five assists, while freshman guard Ben McLemore chipped in 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting and pulled down six rebounds. Freshman guard Andrew White also reached double figures with 10 points and he had five rebounds.
Kansas returns three starters off a spectacular team that advanced to the NCAA championship game, won the school's eighth-straight Big 12 regular-season title with a 16-2 record and finished 32-7 overall. KU welcomes nine freshmen, once again making the Jayhawks one of the youngest teams in the nation for head coach Bill Self -- who enters his 10th season at KU with a 269-53 record for an 83.5 winning percentage.
Three seniors comprise the returning starters in guards Johnson and Travis Releford and center Jeff Withey. Johnson is KU's leading returning scorer averaging 10.2 points per game in 2011-12, while Releford scored 8.5 points per contest and averaged 4.2 rebounds per outing. Last season, Withey, the 2012 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, broke the Kansas and Big 12 Conference single-season blocked shots record with 140 blocks, including an NCAA Tournament-record 31 blocked shots in six games.
Withey averaged 9.3 points per game as well as 6.3 rebounds and 3.6 blocked shots per contest to make him the returning stat leader in each of those categories. Other KU regulars from last year include senior forward Kevin Young (3.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg), junior forward Justin Wesley (1.2 ppg, 1.6 rpg) and sophomore guard Naadir Tharpe (0.9 ppg, 0.7 apg). Walk-on guards Niko Roberts and Christian Garrett will provide depth on the perimeter for Kansas in 2012-13. Young broke his right hand and had surgery on Oct. 26. He missed the Emporia State game and is not expected to play against Washburn.
Kansas has nine freshmen on its roster this season with two - McLemore and Jamari Traylor - who were NCAA partial qualifiers last season. The redshirt duo practiced with the team following the fall 2011 semester. Both started the Emporia State exhibition game.
Five of the other seven freshmen on the roster are on scholarship: guards Rio Adams and White and forwards Ellis, Lucas and Zach Peters. White led Kansas in scoring at 11.0 ppg in KU's four games in Switzerland and Paris in August 2012. Ellis was second in scoring during the trip at 10.3 ppg and made 65 percent of his field goals. Lucas averaged 3.8 points and 3.0 rebounds in Europe.
Peters has a rotator cuff injury and has not practiced since Oct. 15. Additionally, freshmen walk-on guards Evan Manning and Tyler Self also provide depth in the backcourt. Manning has been hampered by a right ankle injury and, along with Young and Peters, will most likely not suit up against Washburn.
Located in Topeka, Kan., with an enrollment of 7,500, Washburn enters the season ranked No. 4 in the NABC preseason top 25 coaches poll and the coaches pick to win the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA). The Ichabods are coming off a great season in which they went 25-8, won the with a 15-5 league record, won the MIAA Tournament and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division II Tournament.
The Ichabods are coached by Bob Chipman who enters his 34th season at WU with a 721-296 record. Washburn returns nine letterwinners, including all five starters from last season's team. Included is 2012 All-American senior guard Will McNeill who averaged 20.2 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game last year. Other returning starters for WU are senior forward Bobby Chipman (7.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg), junior forward Alex North (6.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg), senior forward Zack Riggins (6.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg) and senior guard Martin Mitchell (10.2 ppg, 3.6 assists per game).
Washburn is 0-2 in its fall exhibition play with an 81-61 loss at Kansas State on Oct. 30 and a, 83-66 loss at Oklahoma on Nov. 2. Through the two exhibition contests against Big 12 foes McNeill leads the team with a 15.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg and an 81.0 free throw percentage. Senior forward Joseph Smith is averaging 11.0 points and 5.5 rebounds, while Chipman is second on the team with 6.5 rebounds per game. He has averaged 3.5 points versus the two Big 12 schools. Like Kansas, Washburn took a Europe exhibition trip in August 2012 and went 3-0 while touring Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia and Denmark.
Kansas leads the overall series with Washburn 31-3, including a 4-0 exhibition record. This series started in 1906 and KU has won the last nine meetings dating back to 1944. Kansas has scored in the 90s in each of the last four meeting with Washburn.
--Kansas has scored 100-plus points in 24 exhibition games, including four of its last seven.
--Kansas has won 37-straight exhibition contests in Allen Fieldhouse.
In the Polls
Kansas enters the 2012-13 season No. 7 in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches' preseason polls. The AP ranking is the seventh time in the Bill Self era that the Jayhawks enter the season slotted seventh or higher, including two of the last three years: No. 1 in 2009-10 and No. 7 in 2010-11. The No. 7 AP ranking marks the 15th time since the 1992-93 season that Kansas will enter the season seventh or higher. Last season, KU entered the year No. 13 nationally in the Associated Press poll and ended at No. 6. The AP's final poll is released prior to the NCAA Tournament. The Jayhawks were ranked in the top 10 in each of the final nine AP polls of 2011-12.
Much like the AP poll, the coaches' ranking is the seventh time in the Bill Self era that the Jayhawks enter the season slotted seventh or higher. Last season, KU entered the year No. 13 nationally in the coaches' poll and ended up No. 2. The Jayhawks were ranked in the top 10 in each of the final 11 coaches' polls of 2011-12.
Fourteen Jayhawks on NBA Opening Day Rosters
Fourteen former Kansas men's basketball players were on NBA opening day rosters for the 2012-13 season. Ten of the 14 played under current head coach Bill Self. Last season, Mario Chalmers of the Miami Heat became only the second Jayhawk to win both NCAA and NBA titles, joining Clyde Lovellette who was the Most Outstanding Player (MOP) of the 1952 NCAA Tournament in which Kansas won in Seattle. He later won three NBA titles with the Minneapolis Lakers in 1954 and the Boston Celtics in 1963 and 1964.
Chalmers was the MOP of Kansas' 2008 NCAA National Championship team which won in San Antonio. Joining Chalmers on NBA opening-day rosters include: Cole Aldrich - Houston Rockets; Darrell Arthur - Memphis Grizzlies; Nick Collison - Oklahoma City Thunder; Drew Gooden - Milwaukee Bucks; Xavier Henry - New Orleans Hornets; Kirk Hinrich - Chicago Bulls; Marcus Morris - Houston Rockets; Markieff Morris - Phoenix Suns; Paul Pierce - Boston Celtics; Thomas Robinson - Sacramento Kings; Brandon Rush - Golden State Warriors; Josh Selby - Memphis Grizzlies; and Tyshawn Taylor - Brooklyn Nets.
Kansas will open regular-season play when it hosts Southeast Missouri State on Nov. 9 in the opening round of the CBE Classic. Tip time from Allen Fieldhouse will be 7 p.m. and the game will be televised on the Jayhawk IMG Television Network.
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