Lawrence, KS (SportsNetwork.com) - The second-ranked Kansas Jayhawks will
begin the Battle 4 Atlantis on Friday night, as they entertain the Towson
Tigers at Allen Fieldhouse.
This is a preliminary event before the Jayhawks travel to Paradise Island,
Bahamas next week to continue in the event.
Towson was one of the better teams in the Colonial Athletic Association a
season ago, and it has set a similar tone in the early going this season with
a 3-1 start. After three straight wins at home, however, Towson ventured on
the road for the first time last Sunday and was trounced by Villanova, 78-44.
Kansas has been on top of its game under head coach Bill Self, as it has won
nine consecutive regular-season Big 12 Conference championships and has
advanced to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Tournament in six of the last seven
years. The Jayhawks have another elite unit this season, as they have shown
with wins over ULM (80-63), Duke (94-83) and Iona (86-66).
Kansas won both previous matchups versus Towson, most recently claiming a
100-54 win at home on Nov. 11, 2011.
In the Tigers' latest outing, Villanova streaked out to an 18-4 lead less than
eight minutes in and they could never recover and they shot a dreadful 30.9
percent from the field (including 2-of-17 from 3-point range) in the 34-point
blowout loss. It was a lost afternoon for much of the roster, although
Jerrelle Benimon managed to make the most of it with 11 points and six
Despite that awful performance, Towson still has respectable offensive
numbers, as it shoots 42 percent from the field for 71.5 points per game,
nearly five points more than it allows. Benimon is one of the CAA's best
players and he has proven in the early going with 17.5 points, 11.8 rebounds
and 3.5 assists per game. Rafriel Guthrie (11.3 ppg) and Marcus Damas (10.7
ppg) are solid complimentary scoring
The Jayhawks had no trouble running past Iona earlier in the week, as they
outshot the Gaels from the floor, 56.9 percent to 38.6 percent, and dominated
the rebounding battle (40-26) en route to the 20-point victory. Freshman
sensation Andrew Wiggins has made headlines in the early going, and he had
another strong game with 13 points and seven rebounds, but it was fellow
first-year player Joel Embiid who dominated in the win, tallying 16 points (on
7-of-7 from the field) and 13 rebounds off the bench. Perry Ellis led the way
with 21 points, while Naadir Tharpe got his teammates involved with 10
KU's deep, well-rounded squad has paid dividends thus far, as it has scored
86.7 points per game on an outstanding .557 field goal percentage. Ellis (19.0
ppg) has been red-hot from the floor at 21-of-29 and also rips down 8.0 boards
per contest. Wiggins' (17.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg) highly-anticipated season has
started as expected. Wayne Selden, Jr. (10.0 ppg) is the only other player in
double figures, but Embiid (9.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg) and Tharpe (6.0 ppg, 7.5 apg)
are integral pieces to the puzzle as well.
The Sports Network