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November 24, 2009
Game notes: Kansas vs. Oakland
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No. 1 Kansas continues its four-game home stand when it hosts Oakland in the third game of the Basketball Hall of Fame Showcase, Wednesday, Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. on Jayhawk TV. The Jayhawks are 3-0 for the third-straight season after defeating Central Arkansas 94-44 on Nov. 19. At press time, Oakland is 2-2 on the season after winning at Tennessee Tech 77-56 on Monday. The Golden Grizzlies are the preseason favorite to win the Summit League in 2010.
Kansas extended the nation's longest home court winning streak to 43 games with its 94-44 win against Central Arkansas. The top-ranked Jayhawks average 84 points per game and are giving up 54.7 points for a +29.3 scoring margin. KU is shooting 51.8 percent from the field, while its opponents are shooting 32.6 percent.
Freshman guard Xavier Henry leads the team with a 16.7 scoring average. Senior guard Sherron Collins is at 15.7 points and he leads the team with six steals. He and Xavier Henry each have seven three-point field goals to lead KU.
Junior center Cole Aldrich is scoring 12 points per game. He leads the team with eight rebounds per game and 12 blocked shots. Sophomore Tyshawn Taylor (4.7 ppg) leads KU with 13 assists, while sophomore Marcus Morris (10.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg) rounds out the starters.
Marcus' twin, Markieff Morris, started the first two games and he is scoring six points per game. Markieff and freshman Thomas Robinson (4.3 ppg) are tied for second on the team with 5.7 rebounds per contest.
After not scoring in the first two games, junior guard Tyrel Reed had 12 points against Central Arkansas on 4-of-5 shooting from three-point range. Freshman guard Elijah Johnson (5.0 ppg) is also in the KU rotation.
Kansas is the five-time defending Big 12 champion, finished 27-8 last season and won the league title outright with a 14-2 conference record. The Jayhawks advanced to their third-straight NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 before falling to NCAA runner-up Michigan State in Indianapolis.
Located in Rochester, Mich., with an enrollment of 18,169, Oakland is 2-2 after its 77-56 win at Tennessee Tech Monday, Nov. 23. OU averages 73.2 points per game and is giving up 64.5. The Golden Grizzlies are outrebounding foes 41.8 to 35.2 per game. Junior center Keith Benson leads Oakland in scoring with 16.3 points per game. He has a team-best 10.3 rebounds per game and a team-high 15 blocked shots. Senior forward Derick Nelson had 20 points at Tennessee Tech and is scoring 14.8 points and pulling down 7.3 rebounds per game. Senior guard Jonathan Jones is scoring 13.8 points per game and leads the team with six three-point field goals, 24 assists and 11 steals. Junior guard Larry Wright (8.5 ppg) and junior forward Will Hudson (6.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg) round out the starters. Sophomore guard Blake Cushingberry (5.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg) and Drew Maynard (5.0 ppg) are the first players off the bench. Oakland is the preseason pick to win the Summit League in 2010 as the Golden Grizzlies return five starters and eight letterwinners from last season's 23-13 team. The 2008-09 season came close to being a banner year for the Golden Grizzlies. Head coach Greg Kampe led Oakland to a D-I era-best 23 wins, second most all-time, and an appearance in the inaugural CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. OU fell in the final seconds of the Summit League Tournament, 66-64, and suffered another tough loss in the quarterfinals of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament, losing on a 75-foot buzzer beater at Bradley, 77-76.
Kansas and Oakland are meeting for the first time in men's basketball. The Jayhawks are 15-4 against current membership of the Summit League and last faced a Summit League member when they defeated UMKC 71-56 in the 2008-09 season opener.
KU will continue its home stand when it hosts Tennessee Tech on Friday, Nov. 27 in the final game of the Basketball Hall of Fame Showcase. The game will tip at 7 p.m. and be televised on Jayhawk TV. KU will then host Alcorn State on Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. on Jayhawk TV before going to UCLA on Dec. 6 (4:30 p.m. Central tip on Fox Sports Net) in a Big 12/Pac-10 Harwood Series match up.