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Kansas to Face Gonzaga and Saint Joseph’s in Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off, Nov. 26-27 in Florida

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids, and graduated from Valley Heights High School in May of 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications.After stops at KFRM and KCLY radio in Clay Center, he joined KNDY in 2002 as a board operator and play by play announcer. Derek is now responsible for the digital content of Dierking Communications, Inc. six radio stations.In 2005 Derek joined the staff of KCFX radio in Kansas City as a production coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, which airs on over 94 radio stations across 12 Midwest states and growing. In 2018 he became the Studio Coordinator at the Cumulus Kansas City broadcast center for Kansas City Chiefs Football.

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Kansas men’s basketball will face Gonzaga and Saint Joseph’s in the 2020 Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans Fort Myers Tip-Off, event organizers announced today. The Jayhawks will play Gonzaga on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26, and Saint Joseph’s the following day, Nov. 27. Both contests will be played at Suncoast Credit Union Arena in Fort Myers, Florida.

Kansas Jayhawk Basketball can be heard on Z-96.3 The Lake in North Central Kansas & Today’s Country 95.5 KNDY in Northeast Kansas & Southeast Nebraska.

FOX Sports will televise the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off opener on Nov. 26 at 12:30 p.m. CT, featuring a top-10 tilt between Kansas, last year’s No. 1 team in the final Associated Press poll, and Gonzaga, which was No. 2 in the final AP last year. FS1 will televise Game 2 of the Thanksgiving Day doubleheader between Saint Joseph’s and Auburn.

The second day of the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off will begin at 10 a.m. on Nov. 27 with FOX broadcasting the Gonzaga-Auburn tilt and conclude with Kansas facing Saint Joseph’s at 1 p.m. on FS1.

Led by Preseason All-American Marcus Garrett, Kansas enters the 2020-21 campaign as a consensus top-10 program. The Jayhawks returned to the top of the Big 12 last season and finished the season as the No. 1 ranked team in the Associated Press poll. Head coach Bill Self enters his 18th season with the Jayhawks and owns a 501-109 record with the program. Kansas has made three Final Fours, claimed the 2008 NCAA Championship and has never been lower than a four seed in the NCAA Tournament under Self. In addition to Garrett, Kansas returns juniors Ochai Agbaji and David McCormack, who started 31 and 18 games, respectively, for the Jayhawks last season. KU’s four newcomers include 2020 McDonald’s All-American guard Bryce Thompson along with junior college All-American transfer Tyon Grant-Foster.

Gonzaga, a 31-win team last year, welcomes back an experienced nucleus of talent, led by Preseason All-American Corey Kispert, along with all-conference caliber standouts Joel Ayayi and Drew Timme. The Bulldogs, which boast six 30-win campaigns in the last eight years – including each of the last four seasons – also add three top-100 freshmen to its roster, headlined by top-10 prospect Jalen Suggs. Head coach Mark Few, now in his 22nd season at the helm of the Gonzaga program, owns a 599-124 career record, an .828 winning percentage – a mark that ranks second all-time in NCAA history. Few has guided the Bulldogs to the NCAA Tournament every year, including the 2017 national championship game, and to a No. 1 ranking in three of the last four seasons.

Saint Joseph’s returns nearly every major contributor from its roster for the 2020-21 season, including its top five leading scorers from last year’s squad. Ryan Daly, who was a third team all-conference performer last year, finished the season as the A-10 scoring leader at 20.6 points per game, while adding 6.9 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game. Cameron Brown (10.1 ppg), Taylor Funk (9.4), Myles Douglas (7.8) and Rahmir Moore (7.3) return to make up the Hawks’ top five scorers from last season’s squad. Head coach Billy Lange enters his second season at the helm of the Hawks, coming to the program after spending six seasons as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Due to social distancing restrictions inside the arena, an extremely limited number of fans will be able to attend the 2020 Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off. There will be no public sale of tickets, but a small number of socially distanced pairs of tickets will be distributed. Fans interested in attending the event should submit a ticket request form at www.fortmyerstipoff.com/tickets. Fans will be contacted by a ticket representative on a first-come, first-served basis, based on the submission date of their ticket request form, for their opportunity to purchase tickets.

The health and safety of everyone involved in the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off is the event’s top priority. Event organizers are regularly monitoring developments regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and will implement safety measures based on prevailing guidelines from the Florida Department of Health and national health entities to help protect the health and safety all of players, coaches, fans and staff.

Broadcast Schedule (All times CT)

Nov. 26
Gonzaga vs. Kansas, 12:30 p.m., FOX
Auburn vs. Saint Joseph’s, 3:30 p.m., FS1

Nov. 27
Auburn vs. Gonzaga, 10 a.m., FOX
Kansas vs. Saint Joseph’s, 1 p.m., FS1

Matchup History

Gonzaga vs. Kansas

Series Record: Kansas leads, 1-0
Last Matchup: November 13, 1998: Kansas 80, Gonzaga 66
Notable: The 1998-99 season marked the first of 21 straight years the Bulldogs would advance to the NCAA Tournament, the fourth longest active streak in the nation. Kansas, with 30 straight NCAA Tournament appearances, holds the longest active streak in the country.

Kansas vs. Saint Joseph’s

Series Record: Kansas leads, 5-2
Last matchup: Dec. 6, 2005: Saint Joseph’s 70, Kansas 67
Notable: Saint Joseph’s has won both neutral site matchups in the seven-game history between the programs (67-65 on Dec. 29, 1958 in Manhattan, Kan.; 70-67 on Dec. 6, 2005 in New York City).

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