Ranked No. 7 in the Associated Press and No. 6 in the ESPN/USA Today polls (Nov. 15), Kansas (3-0) plays its fourth game in a four-game homestand when it hosts Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the iBN Sports Las Vegas Invitational on Tuesday, Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. on Jayhawk TV, ESPN Full Court and ESPN3.com. A victory against the Islanders would mark the 63rd-straight win in Allen Fieldhouse, breaking a school record set from 1994-98. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi is 1-3 after its 83-70 loss at Ohio Sunday.
Kansas is 3-0 for the fourth-straight season and sixth time under head coach Bill Self following its 93-60 win against Sun Belt preseason favorite North Texas on Friday. KU is using a nine-player rotation through its first three contests led by junior forward Marcus Morris, who is scoring 20 points per game. He is shooting 72.7 percent from the field and averages 5.3 rebounds per game.
Marcus' twin, Markieff Morris, leads the Big 12 in rebounding with a 12.0 rpg average and is scoring 13 points per contest. He has recorded a double-double in two of KU's first three games. Junior guard Tyshawn Taylor is scoring 11.3 points per game and has 21 assists for a 7.0 average.
Senior guard Brady Morningstar (5.7 ppg) had his first start of the season against North Texas and responded with seven points, 10 assists and four steals. Senior guard Tyrel Reed (9.7 ppg) was 3-for-4 against UNT. Sophomore guard Travis Releford (5.3 ppg) is 6-for-10 from the field through three games.
Sophomore forward Thomas Robinson is second on the team with 9.0 rebounds per game and pulled down 10 boards against North Texas. He is tied with Jeff Withey (4.7 ppg) for a team-best four blocked shots. Senior guard Mario Little (6.3 ppg) had seven points on 2-of-3 shooting against UNT.
About Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Located in Corpus Christi, Texas, with an enrollment of 10,000, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi brings a 1-3 record into Allen Fieldhouse after its 83-70 loss at Ohio Sunday. The Kansas contest will be Texas A&M-Corpus Christi's third game against a Big 12 team this season.
The Islanders lost to Texas A&M 86-65 on Nov. 15 and at Oklahoma State 68-58 on Nov. 17. TAMUCC will also play at Texas Tech on Jan. 2. Senior forward Demond Watt is averaging a double-double with 17.0 points and 10.8 rebounds for the Islanders. Watt also has a team-high six blocked shots.
Sophomore guard Terence Jones is next in scoring at 12.5 points per contest and has a team-best eight three-pointers. He is 14-for-17 from the free throw line through four games. Junior guard Garland Judkins (7.5 ppg), senior forward Horace Bond (6.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg) and senior forward Justin Reynolds (6.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg) round out the Islander starters. Bond has a team-best eight steals, while Reynolds leads TAMUCC with nine assists in 2010-11.
Top reserves for the Islanders include senior guard Antonio Topps (4.0 ppg), junior guard/forward Chris Mast (4.3 ppg) and junior center Jawan Nelson (4.5 ppg). Topps and Nelson are tied for second on the team with four three-pointers each.
Kansas and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi are meeting for the first time in men's basketball. Kansas is 2-0 against current membership of the Southland Conference. KU defeated Texas-San Antonio 109-69 on Dec. 22, 1990, and more recently defeated Central Arkansas 94-44 on Nov. 19, 2009. Both games were in Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas will host Southland foe Texas-Arlington on Dec. 29.
--Kansas leads the Big 12 in scoring offense (95.0), scoring margin (+35.3), field goal percentage (58.6), assists (23.7) and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.0).
--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 three games is 38.3 percent. Last year KU led the league and was fourth nationally with a 37.9 field goal percentage defense.
--Kansas' bench averages 34.7 points compared to its opponents' 20.3 ppg.
--Junior Marcus Morris leads KU in scoring at 20 ppg, which is third in the Big 12. He has scored 20-plus in each of his last two games. Morris' 72.7 shooting percentage is second in the conference. He leads the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage at 71.4 percent after his 2-for-2 effort against North Texas Nov. 19. Marcus is tied for 12th in the league with 1.7 three-pointers made per game.
--Junior Markieff Morris has two double-doubles in three games and leads the Big 12 in rebounding with a 12.0 rpg average. He is shooting 56.5 percent from the field and averages 2.0 assists per contest. His 13.0 ppg ranks tied for 20th in the conference.
--Junior Tyshawn Taylor is second in the Big 12 in assists with 7.0 per contest. Taylor is scoring 11.3 points per game compared to 7.2 ppg last season. Taylor is sixth in the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.1 and tied for 11th in free throw percentage at 80 percent.
--Senior Tyrel Reed has started all three games and has made 10 field goals with five from three-point range. Reed is tied for 12th in the Big 12 in three-point field goals made at 1.7 per game.
--Sophomore Thomas Robinson has pulled down 10 rebounds in each of his last two games and his 9.0 rpg is tied for sixth in the league. Robinson has narrowly missed double-doubles in each of his last two games, scoring eight against Valparaiso and eight versus North Texas. Robinson is tied for 11th in the Big 12 with 1.3 blocked shots per game.
--Senior Mario Little has 16 points in his last two games and is averaging 6.3 ppg on the season. He is 7-for-11 (63.6 percent) from the field and is averaging 2.3 assists through three games.
--Sophomore Travis Releford started KU's first two games and is scoring 5.3 points per contest. Releford is 6-for-10 (60 percent) from the field. A 2009-10 redshirt, Releford played in 32 games in 2008-09 with no starts.
--Senior Brady Morningstar had a career-high 10 assists against North Texas on Nov. 19 and also scored seven points and had four steals against the Mean Green. Morningstar is fifth in the Big 12 in assists with 4.7 per game, eighth in steals with a 2.3 average and second in assist-to-turnover ratio at 4.7.
--Sophomore Jeff Withey is scoring 4.7 points per game and is tied for the team high with four blocked shots. He is tied for 11th in the Big 12 with 1.3 blocked shots per game. Withey averages 9.7 minutes per game compared to 3.0 last season.
Kansas will play Ohio University on Friday, Nov. 26 at 7 p.m. (Central) and Arizona on Saturday, Nov. 27 at 9:30 p.m. (Central) at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas in its third and fourth games of the iBN Sports Las Vegas Invitational.
The Ohio contest will be televised on Jayhawk TV and ESPN Full Court, while ESPN2 will broadcast the Arizona contest. Kansas returns to Allen Fieldhouse on Thursday, Dec. 2, facing UCLA in the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series.