Jayhawks to Battle Gaels Sunday at Disney


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Courtesy of Kansas Athletics

ORLANDO, Fla. – In a battle of hall of fame coaches, No. 4/3 Kansas (4-1) will face Iona (6-1) in the consolation finals of the ESPN Events Invitational on Nov. 28, at 12 p.m. (Central) at HP Field House on the campus of Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex. The game will be televised on ESPN.

Kansas head coach Bill Self was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017. Iona head coach Rick Pitino was a 2013 inductee.

Both teams are coming off their first loss of the season, with KU falling to Dayton, 74-73, on Nov. 26, and Iona losing to Belmont, 72-65. Kansas is 103-15 following a loss in the Bill Self era, which started in 2003-04, including 6-2 in 2020-21. Incredibly, since 2012-13 KU is 50-6 after losses.

Through six games, Kansas averages 81.4 points per game and has a +15.8 scoring margin. The Jayhawks lead the Big 12, and are 12th nationally in field goal percentage, shooting 51.5 percent. KU pulls down 33.8 rebounds per game with a +3.0 rebound margin. KU averages 16.0 assists, 4.2 blocked shots and 6.8 steals per game.

Senior guard Ochai Agbaji leads the Big 12 and is fifth in the NCAA with a 23.6 ppg scoring average. Agbaji has made a team-best 14 three-point field goals and leads the league with 2.8 threes made per game. Junior guard Christian Braun is next in scoring at 13.0 points per game and he leads Kansas with a 7.2 rebound average. Super-senior guard Remy Martin is scoring 12.2 ppg and he pulls down 5.4 rebounds per contest. Senior David McCormack leads Kansas with 10 blocked shots. He averages 7.2 points and 5.2 rebounds per contest. Redshirt-sophomore Dajuan Harris Jr. (2.8 ppg) rounds out the starters and leads KU with 20 assists and is tied with Braun for the team lead with six steals.

Other KU regulars include freshman forward Zach Clemence (5.6 ppg, five 3FGs), super-senior forward Mitch Lightfoot (4.4 ppg, 2.6 rpg), super-senior guard Jalen Coleman-Lands (4.4 ppg), redshirt-sophmore Jalen Wilson (4.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg), freshman guard Bobby Pettiford (2.6 ppg, nine assists), sophomore guard Joseph Yesufu (2.4 ppg) and freshman forward KJ Adams Jr. (4.3 minutes per game).

Following the ESPN Events Invitational, Kansas will play at Saint John’s in the Big East-Big 12 Challenge on Friday, Dec. 3, at 6 p.m. (Central) at UBS Arena in Elmont, New York. The game will be televised on FS1.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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