KU-UMKC Notebook

News and notes on KU's regular-season opener against UMKC Sunday night, while wondering if sophomore guards Tyrel Reed and Brady Morningstar will get the starting nod.

Tyrel Reed and Brady Morningstar started the two exhibition games, and would become the first players from the state of Kansas to start a regular-season game at KU since Wayne Simien. A Leavenworth native, Simien started 69 of 106 games from 2002-05, including 57 of 58 games his junior and senior seasons.

Morningstar was a standout at Free State High in Lawrence, while Reed starred at Burlington High.

ALL IN THE FAMILY

Kansas legendary play-by-play announcer Bob Davis won’t have to go far to find his son, Steven, Sunday night. Steven Davis will join his father on press row as the radio play-by-play announcer for UMKC. A 2005 KU graduate, Steven is starting his first year calling UMKC games. He is also the voice for the Kansas City Royals Double-A affiliate, the Northwest Naturals Professional Baseball Club, in Springdale, Ark.
    
Steven previously called play-by-play for Kansas women’s basketball for both the TV and radio broadcasts from 2005-08. He was also a KU men’s basketball student manager for four years as an undergraduate.
    
This will actually be Steven’s second time calling the same game as his father. He subbed for the Idaho State radio network play-by-play announcer when the Bengals played Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse on Nov. 18, 2005.

Steven is following in his dad’s famous footsteps. The Voice of the Jayhawks, Bob is in his 25th year calling play-by-play for both KU football and basketball and his 41st season overall in broadcasting. Bob is also the host for the weekly Hawk Talk radio show featuring football coach Mark Mangino and basketball coach Bill Self.

In addition to KU basketball and football, Davis is a familiar face and voice with the Kansas City Royals. He finished his 12th season broadcasting Royals games last summer and his first as a voice on the Royals Radio Network.

Davis, an 11-time winner of the Kansas Broadcaster of the Year, was inducted into the Kansas Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2006. Prior to covering the Jayhawks, Davis spent 16 years announcing Fort Hays State University games. He is enshrined in the school’s Hall of Fame. Davis has also been the radio voice for the NCAA Women’s Final Four Basketball Championships.

A Topeka native, Davis is a Washburn University graduate.

EXHIBITION SEASON IN THE BOOKS

KU begins the regular season after two exhibition victories over Washburn and Emporia State. Junior point guard Sherron Collins led KU in the exhibition season with a 22.0 scoring average, while Morningstar ranked second at 14 points per game. Sophomore center Cole Aldrich averaged 12.5 points and led the Jayhawks in rebounding at 9.5 boards per game. Reed averaged 9.5 points and made 6 of 11 threes, while freshman forward Quintrell Thomas was also impressive with a 7.5 scoring average and 5.0 rebounds per game.

35 AND COUNTING

KU has won 35 straight home openers at Allen Fieldhouse and their last six season openers. The Jayhawks last lost a home opener on Dec. 2, 1972 to Vanderbilt, 72-64, while KU’s last defeat in its season opener came on Nov. 19, 2002 against Ball State, 93-91 in Lahaina, Hawaii. KU rebounded from that loss and won its next 13 games en route to a Big 12 Championship (16-0) and the Final Four, where the Jayhawks bowed to Maryland.

SELF IS BEST

Self begins his sixth year at Mount Oread with the best wining percentage of any coach in the Jayhawks’ storied history. Self has posted a 142-32 record at KU (.816). His percentage is just better than Roy Williams, whose teams went 418-101 (.805) in 15 years at Kansas.

For the record, Karl Schlademan pitched a perfect record (1-0) in 1920. He coached the first game of the 1920 season (37-22 victory over Emporia State in Lawrence on Jan. 6, 1920) before resigning to concentrate on his duties as head track coach. Phog Allen replaced Schlademan and  left an indelible mark on hoops as the “Father of Basketball Coaching.” Allen recorded a 590-219 record (.729) in 39 years as head coach at Kansas.

RESPECTING THE ROOS

Self has great respect for UMKC. After all, he knows the Roos gave Kansas a battle last season at Allen Fieldhouse on Nov. 11, 2007.

“That was a single-digit game with about 10-12 minutes left (KU led by just 10 points with over eight minutes remaining) and then we pulled away at the end,” Self said. “They played us good here, and we had a pretty nice team.”

KU won, 85-62, behind 23 points from Mario Chalmers and 15 by Russell Robinson.

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