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November 18, 2010

KU to host North Texas on Friday night

Going for Record

Ranked No. 7 in the Associated Press and No. 6 in the ESPN/USA Today polls, Kansas plays its third game in a four-game home stand when it hosts North Texas on Friday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. on Jayhawk TV and ESPN Full Court. A victory against the Mean Green would mark the 62nd-straight win in Allen Fieldhouse, tying a school record set from 1994-98. North Texas is 2-0 after its 92-83 overtime victory against Texas Tech on Tuesday in Denton.


About Kansas:

Kansas is 2-0 for the fourth-straight season following its 79-44 win against Valparaiso on Monday. KU is using a nine-player rotation through its first two contests led by junior forward Marcus Morris, who is scoring 20 points per game. He is shooting 77.3 percent from the field and averages 6.5 rebounds per game.

Marcus' twin, Markieff Morris, leads KU in rebounding with a 14 rpg average and is scoring 13 points per contest. He has recorded a double-double in KU's first two games. Markieff also is tied for the team high with three blocked shots and four steals.

Junior guard Tyshawn Taylor is scoring 12.5 points per game, has 15 assists for a 7.5 average and is tied with Markieff Morris with four steals. He posted a double-double with 17 points and 10 assists against Longwood on Nov. 12.

Senior guard Tyrel Reed (11.0 ppg) and sophomore guard Travis Releford (6.0 ppg) round out the KU starters. Sophomore forward Thomas Robinson is tied with Markieff Morris with three blocked shots and is averaging 12 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.

Senior guard Mario Little (6.0 ppg) scored nine points against Valpo on 4-of-5 shooting. Little and senior guard Brady Morningstar (5.0 ppg) come off the bench, as does sophomore center Jeff Withey (5.0 ppg).


About North Texas:

Located in Denton, Texas, with an enrollment of 36,206, North Texas is 2-0 after defeating Big 12 foe Texas Tech 92-83 in overtime at the Super Pit in Denton, Texas, on Tuesday. UNT outscored TTU 18-9 in overtime to pick up the win.

The unanimous pick to win the Sun Belt Conference West Division by the league coaches, the Mean Green defeated Henderson State 92-66 in their season opener on Nov. 12. North Texas is a veteran team that starts four seniors and a junior.

Senior guard Josh White leads the team in scoring with 20.5 ppg. A Preseason All-Sun Belt first team selection, White scored 32 points against Texas Tech. Senior guard Tristan Thompson is next in scoring with 18 points per contest. He opened the year with 25 points versus Henderson State.

Senior forward George Odufuwa has not started either of the first two games, yet leads UNT in rebounds with 13 per contest. He had 11 rebounds in the season opener against Henderson State and 15 boards versus Texas Tech. Odufuwa is scoring 16.5 points per game and last season was one of 20 players in NCAA Division I to average a double-double with 11.5 points and 11 rebounds per outing.

Junior forward Kedrick Hogans sat out last season due to a shoulder injury but is now a starter who is scoring 9.5 points per game and leads the team with six blocked shots. Senior guard Shannon Shorter (2.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg) rounds out the UNT starters. Off the bench, senior guard Dominique Johnson averages 16.5 points per game, including 21 points in the opener.

Sophomore forward Jacob Holmen (6.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg) and junior forward Alonzo Edwards (4.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg) also are top reserves for the Mean Green. UNT went 24-9 last season and won the Sun Belt Conference Tournament before falling to Kansas State 82-62 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.


The Series:

Kansas and North Texas are meeting for the first time in men's basketball. The two teams did play in the same arena last season as both made their 2010 NCAA Tournament appearance in the Ford Center in Oklahoma City. Kansas has faced nine of the 12 members of the Sun Belt Conference and the Jayhawks are 17-3 all-time against the conference.


Team Notables:

--Kansas leads the Big 12 in scoring offense (96.0), scoring margin (+36.5), field goal percentage (58.3), assists (24.0), blocked shots (7.5) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.8).

--Under Bill Self, Kansas has led the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense all but one season and that year KU was second. The Jayhawks' field goal percentage defense through two games is 36.3 percent. Last year KU led the league and was fourth nationally with a 37.9 field goal percentage defense.

--Kansas' bench averages 33.5 points compared to its opponents' 19.5 ppg.


Individual Notables:

--Junior Marcus Morris leads KU in scoring at 20 ppg, which is fifth in the Big 12. Morris' 77.3 shooting percentage is second in the conference. He is tied for second in the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage at 60 percent.

--Junior Markieff Morris has two double-doubles in two games and leads the Big 12 in rebounding with a 14 rpg. He is tied for ninth in the conference in blocked shots at 2.0 and tied for eighth in steals at 2.0.

--Junior Tyshawn Taylor leads the Big 12 in assists with 7.5 per contest. Taylor is scoring 12.5 points per game compared to 7.2 ppg last season. Taylor ranks tied for eighth in the conference in steals at 2.0, ninth in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.1 and 12th in free throw percentage at 83.3.

--Senior Tyrel Reed has made seven field goals this season with five from three-point range. Reed is tied for third in the Big 12 in three-point field goals made at 2.5 per game.

--Sophomore Thomas Robinson's four blocked shots has him tied for ninth in the Big 12 in blocked shots at 2.0.

--Senior Mario Little has six assists and only three turnovers through two games. His 2.0 assist-to-turnover ratio is tied for 10th in the Big 12.

--Sophomore Travis Releford has started both outings for KU. A 2009-10 redshirt, Releford played in 32 games in 2008-09 with no starts.

--Senior Brady Morningstar pulled down three rebounds against Valparaiso after not recording a board against Longwood. Morningstar is the oldest player in the Big 12.


Up Next:

Kansas' second round opponent in the Las Vegas Invitational will be Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The Islanders will visit Allen Fieldhouse on Tuesday, Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. on Jayhawk TV and ESPN Full Court. The Jayhawks will then face Ohio University on Nov. 26 at 7 p.m. and Arizona on Nov. 27 at 9:30 p.m. at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. The Ohio contest will be televised on Jayhawk TV and ESPN Full Court, while ESPN2 will broadcast the Arizona contest.



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