op-ranked Kansas (1-0) heads east on I-70 to St. Louis to take on Memphis in a rematch of the 2008 NCAA National Championship game in KU's first round of the Basketball Hall of Fame Showcase. KU and Memphis will play at the Scottrade Center at 9 p.m. on ESPN. Kansas opened the season with a 101-65 win against Hofstra on Nov. 13 in Allen Fieldhouse. Memphis (1-0) started its season with an 82-53 home win against Jackson State at home on Nov. 13.
Kansas won its eighth-straight season opener and 37th-consecutive home opener with a 101-65 win against Hofstra Nov. 13. The Jayhawks extended the nation's longest home court winning streak to 42 victories with the Hofstra win.
Freshman guard Xavier Henry had 27 points in setting the KU freshman debut scoring record on Friday the 13th against the Hofrstra Pride. He was 8-for-12 from the field, including 5-for-8 from three-point range for the game.
Sherron Collins added 23 points in the blowout against the Pride, while Cole Aldrich added 11 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots in Fridays contest.
Memphis defeated Jackson State 82-53 in its season opener. The Tigers are picked to finish between second and fourth in Conference USA in most preseason polls and return one starter and six letterwinners from last year's squad which won 33 games (33-4 record) and advanced to the NCAA Tournament West Region semifinal (Sweet Sixteen).
En route to the Sweet Sixteen, the Tigers swept the Conference USA regular season and tournament crowns. Sophomore guard Elliott Williams had 19 points against Jackson State, while junior forward Will Coleman had 16 points and 10 rebounds off the bench. Joining Williams in the starting lineup was Wesley Witherspoon who had 13 points against JSU, senior forward Pierre Henderson-Niles who had five points, junior guard Roburt Sallie with seven points and seven rebounds and senior guard Willie Kemp with four points. Returning starter Doneal Mack, a senior guard, had eight points off the bench in the Tigers' opener.
Meet the Opposing Coach
Memphis coach Josh Pastner is in his first season as a head coach with a 1-0 record. At 32, Pastner is the youngest coach in NCAA Division I but he has already coached 12 NBA Draft lottery picks as an assistant at Memphis and Arizona. Pastner came to Memphis as an assistant coach in May 2008 after being part of the Arizona program from 1996-2008 as either a player, administrator or assistant coach.
Kansas leads the all-time series 4-2 with all five meetings prior to the 2008 NCAA National Championship coming in the decade of the 1980s. KU claimed the first matchup 59-49 at Memphis in 1981, and the last two - a 64-62 victory in the ECAC Holiday Festival in New York, N.Y., during the 1987-88 campaign and the 75-68 overtime thriller in the 2008 NCAA National Championship game in San Antonio. Other match ups include a Memphis win 64-58 at Lawrence on Dec. 18, 1982, a KU win 75-71 at Lawrence on Feb. 9, 1985, and a Memphis win 83-80 in overtime at Memphis on Jan. 4, 1986. Kansas has played 10 teams from the current membership of Conference USA and is 58-15 against the field.
Kansas has two current players who appeared in the 2008 NCAA National Championship game with senior guard Sherron Collins and junior center Cole Aldrich. Collins played 34 minutes in the game with 11 points and six assists. In KU's dramatic comeback, Collins had a key steal and then made his only three-pointer with an assist from Russell Robinson with just over a minute to play. Aldrich played four minutes in the game with no points. Memphis' Willie Kemp and Doneal Mack each played as well. Kemp logged four minutes with one steal, while Mack played two minutes and was 0-1 from three-point range.
With his 23 points against Hofstra, senior guard Sherron Collins moved past Mario Chalmers (2006-08) into 24th place on the KU scoring list with 1,353 career points. He is 20 points shy of Adonis Jordan (1990-93) for the 23rd spot. Collins ranks in KU's top 10 career stats in three-point field goals made (eighth with 166) and three-point field goals attempted (eighth at 436). He is six assists from becoming the 13th player in KU history to record 400 assists. Additionally, KU is 98-16 during Collins' stint as a Jayhawk. The best four-year win mark at Kansas is 123 victories from 2006-09.