KU has never lost to Pitt State (7-0), including three exhibition victories. The teams last met in the 2007 exhibition season, a resounding 94-57 Jayhawk victory. The series dates back to 1944 with KU winning 35-21 in Lawrence. All seven games have been played in River City.
SCOUTING THE GORILLAS
Pittsburg State is coming off a 10-17 season last year. The Gorillas
return two starters and five letterwinners, including 6-4 senior guard
Spencer Magana and 6-6 senior forward Rodney Grace. Magana started 26
games last year, averaging 12.4 points per game, while Grace posted
10.2 points and 5.7 rebounds in 23 starts.
Pitt State lost its exhibition opener at Kansas State on Sunday, 89-53.
Junior forward Quincy Jones (6-8, 230) led the Gorillas with 14 points
and seven rebounds, while Grace and 6-5 freshman forward Javon McGee
added seven points each. McGee, who played at Grandview High School in
Kansas City, Mo., also had seven boards. A three-year starter at
Grandview, McGee was an honorable mention All-Metro performer his
senior year. He helped the Bulldogs to a 29-2 record and the Missouri
Class 5A state runner-up finish in 2009.
The Gorillas committed 23 turnovers against K-State and were
"I thought we played hard," head coach Gene Iba told pittgorillas.com.
"We aren't where we want to be. (These players) want to get better. The
thing we want to accomplish from these games is to execute and have
patience. If we can do that against these superior teams, it will be
much easier for us to do during the regular season."
Pitt State next travels to Las Vegas for its final exhibition game on
It's a tough exhibition season for Iba, who enters the last season of
his coaching career. He is retiring after 15 years at Pitt State and 30
years overall as head coach. Iba, 68, is the nephew of the late,
legendary Henry Iba, the longtime Hall of Fame coach at Oklahoma State.
Gene Iba has posted a 252-154 record at Pittsburg State and 478-357
mark overall. The Gorillas have made five trips to the NCAA Division II
National Tournament under Iba.
He led Pitt State to a school-record 40-straight home wins between Jan.
10, 1997 and Feb. 22, 1999. The Gorillas won 18 straight games during
that time and achieved the program's first No. 1 NCAA ranking on Feb.
KU junior center Cole Aldrich had a solid game (13 points and 13
rebounds) in the Jayhawks' exhibition opener against undersized Fort
Hays State last Tuesday. However, he only had seven field goal
attempts, just two in the first half.
Coach Bill Self wants the big man to get more touches in "areas where
he can shoot, and if they take that away, then hopefully he will become
a better passer or better assist guy."
Self hopes Aldrich boosts his 9.5 shot attempts per game from last
season and gets double-figure attempts every night.
"Sometimes when things are going well and other guys are making shots,"
Self said, "a lot of times we can forget about the big fella and we
don't need to do that."
Aldrich believes more touches for him and his fellow big men will
benefit the team.
"It's really important to have an inside-out game because if guys are
struggling with outside shooting, then they can throw the ball to the
big guys," he said. "If we're struggling and get double-teamed, then we
can kick it out for open threes and just get the perimeter guys easy
KU opens the regular season Friday night against Hofstra at 7:00 in
Allen Fieldhouse. This will be the first meeting between the two
schools. Hofstra returns five letterwinners, including two starters
from last season's 21-11 team.
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