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Kansas vs. Syracuse Preview

Kansas vs. Syracuse at CBE Classic

No. 24 Kansas takes a 3-0 record against 4-0 Syracuse in the championship round of the O’Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic Tuesday at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. KU defeated Pac-10 foe Washington 73-54 in its semifinal, while Syracuse defeated No. 18 Florida 89-83. The game is a rematch of the 2003 NCAA national title game in which Syracuse edged Kansas 81-78 at the Superdome in New Orleans. Kansas is looking to go 6-0 overall at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. The Jayhawks went 4-0 in the facility last season with a regular-season win against Ohio and a sweep of the Big 12 Championship, its 10th league tourney title.

About Kansas

Kansas is 3-0 for the second straight season and fourth time under Bill Self following its 73-54 win against Washington Monday in the championship semifinal of the O’Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic. Kansas is scoring 76.3 points per game and allowing 51.7 ppg. The 24th-ranked Jayhawks are shooting 49.1 percent from the field, while their opponents are at 27.5 percent. Junior guard Sherron Collins has led the team in scoring all three games this season, including 18 points against Washington. Collins is averaging 19.7ppg and is second on the team with 10 assists. Collins is making 56.8 percent of his shots from the field, including 46.2 percent from three-point range. points per game - sophomore guard Tyrel Reed (7.7 ppg), freshman guard Tyshawn Taylor (7.3 ppg), freshman forward Marcus Morris (6.7 ppg, 5.0 rpg), freshman guard Travis Releford (6.0 ppg) and freshman forward Markieff Morris (5.7 ppg, 8.7 rpg). Sophomore guard Brady Morningstar is a starter who is scoring four points per game and leads the team with 12 assists. He and Aldrich are tied for the team high with five steals. KU is in its 111th year of college basketball. Last season, KU won its 51st league title, the most in NCAA Division I. The Jayhawks return eight letterwinners from last season’s 37-3 national championship team, yet less than 20 percent of almost every statistical category.

About Syracuse

Syracuse is 4-0 on the season after its 89-83 win against No. 18 Florida Monday. Syracuse scores 84 points per game and yields 67.8. The Orange are controlling the boards with a +10.3 rebound margin. Sophomore guard Jonny Flynn leads the team in scoring at 20 points per game and in assists with 19. Junior forward Arinze Onuaku is scoring 14 points per game and he is second on the team with 7.5 rebounds per contest. Senior guard Eric Devendorf is scoring 13.8 points per contest. Junior forward Paul Harris leads SU with 8.8 rebounds per game to go along with his 12 points per game. Junior guard Andy Rautins leads SU with nine three pointers while Flynn has eight and Devendorf seven through four games. Rautins and freshman forward Kris Joseph lead Syracuse with seven steals each.

Roster info, notes and quotes after the jump...I won't be here for the open thread tonight but please feel free to participate and ryanwk, your more than welcome to join as Cole and Co. dominate the tangerines!!!


The Series

The Kansas-Syracuse series is tied at 2-2 with three of the four meetings coming in the NCAA Tournament. KU won the first game 71-41 in Allen Fieldhouse on Dec. 14, 1968. Syracuse then won the NCAA West Regional Final over Kansas 60-57 on March 24, 1996, in Denver. In 2001, KU defeated SU 87-58 in the NCAA Midwest Regional second round game in Dayton, Ohio. In the most recent meeting, then-No. 13 Syracuse defeated then-No. 6 Kansas 81-78 in the 2003 NCAA Championship game in New Orleans.




2008-09 Kansas Roster (*last game starters)

No. Pos. Name Cl.-Exp. Ht. Wt. Hometown (Previous School)

2 G Conner Teahan So.-1L 6-5 215 Leawood, Kan. (Rockhurst HS)

*4 G Sherron Collins Jr.-2L 5-11 200 Chicago, Ill. (Crane HS)

10 G Brennan Bechard Sr-2L (TR) 6-0 185 Lawrence, Kan. (Lawrence HS/Barton Co. [Kan.] CC)

11 F Quintrell Thomas Fr.-HS 6-7 240 Newark, N.J. (Saint Patrick HS)

*12 G Brady Morningstar So.-1L(RS) 6-3 180 Lawrence, Kan. (Free State HS/New Hampton [N.H.] Prep)

14 G Tyrel Reed So.-1L 6-3 185 Burlington, Kan. (Burlington HS)

*15 G Tyshawn Taylor Fr.-HS 6-3 180 Jersey City, N.J. (St. Anthony HS)

21 G Markieff Morris Fr.-HS 6-9 232 Philadelphia, Pa. (Prep Charter HS/APEX Academy [N.J.])

*22 F Marcus Morris Fr.-HS 6-8 225 Philadelphia, Pa. (Prep Charter HS/APEX Academy [N.J.])

23 G Mario Little Jr.-TR 6-5 210 Chicago, Ill. (Washington HS/Chipola [Fla.] CC)

24 G Travis Releford Fr.-HS 6-5 200 Kansas City, Mo. (Bishop Miege HS)

32 G Tyrone Appleton Jr.-TR 6-2 203 Gary, Ind. (Harmony Prep/Midland [Texas] College)

40 G Jordan Juenemann Fr.-HS 6-4 195 Hays, Kan. (Hays HS)

41 G Chase Buford So.-1L 6-3 210 San Antonio, Texas (Alamo Heights HS)

*45 C Cole Aldrich So.-1L 6-11 245 Bloomington, Minn. (Jefferson HS)

54 C Matt Kleinmann Sr-3L (RS) 6-10 250 Overland Park, Kan. (Blue Valley West HS)



Upcoming games


25 Syracuse (ESPN2)... 9:15 p.m.

28 COPPIN STATE (JTV) .......... 7 p.m.


1 KENT STATE (ESPNU) ......... 8 p.m.


6 JACKSON STATE (JTV) ....... 1 p.m.



Bill Self quotes:

On Florida and Syracuse:

"I've seen them a little bit on TV so far. I haven't studied them like I will, but they both look very good. Florida can really shoot, and they're long and they really get the ball up and down. Syracuse is the same way. They've been playing quite a bit of man so far, and everybody's told me that they might play some 2-3 zone, too. I say that jokingly because we all know they will do that. How we attack their length will be a huge factor if we have an opportunity to play them. Both teams are very good and definitely should compete and have a chance to win their respective leagues, which is saying quite a bit coming from both of those leagues (SEC, Big East)."


On what he thinks of the Sprint Center:

"I love it. I think it's a great venue. The lighting is good, and it's one of the few big arenas where you feel like the fans are pretty much on top of you. Back behind in the bowels of the arena, the locker rooms and everything couldn't be better. It is definitely a player/coach-friendly type environment. It's about as good as I've ever been in, in that regard."


On if he has a feel for what the rotation will be this year:

"I think I have a better feel. But the whole thing is I can't go into Kansas City playing against these caliber teams thinking I have to get everybody in the game. Our rotation may vary week to week, at least early on, but I can't go into these games thinking we have to look at different combinations. We need to find something that we feel most comfortable with and go with that. We may end up playing 10 or so, but we can't just try to get everybody minutes to see what's working. I think the competition is way too stiff to be doing that."