Lahaina, Hawaii Houston coach Ray McCallum knew all about Kansas' Nick Collison and Drew Gooden heading into the 2001 Maui Invitational.
He coached Kansas' bookend forwards two summers ago during USA Basketball's World Championship for Young Men qualifying tournament in Brazil.
"Great kids. Great players. Great competitors. Fun to be around," McCallum said after watching Collison score 22 points and Gooden 19 in the Jayhawks' 95-78 rout of his Cougars at the Maui Invitational. "They represented the U.S. well."
And this season they figure again to represent Kansas well, the Cougar coach said.
"Drew and Nick are on a mission this year. Drew's on a mission to show he's one of the best in the country. It's obvious," McCallum said a day after Gooden scored a career-high 31 in KU's loss to Ball State. "I've not seen Roy Williams go to a guy like this in some time. His confidence in Drew is absolutely great."
McCallum figured Kansas would be seething after Monday's shocking 93-91 first-round loss to Ball State.
He was right.
"I think coach Williams got their attention," McCallum said. "They were obviously focused after losing to a very good Ball State team. They were probably caught off balance yesterday. Not today."
The Cougars are 0-2 after losing to KU and UCLA (71-60). KU will visit UCLA for a game on Jan. 12.
"I think Kansas pushed the ball better and more consistently than UCLA," McCallum said. "They were quicker and faster in transition. Kansas had great pressure and the ability to speed us up."
The Cougars outrebounded KU, 42-35. Center Patrick Okafor had 11 boards.
The Hall: Seton Hall KU's opponent in today's fifth-place game beat Chaminade, 74-62, on Tuesday after losing to Duke, 80-79, in a thriller on Monday.
"A lot of people who watched it closely felt maybe they should have won the game last night," Williams said. "I know they had a chance at the end to win. They played a fantastic Duke team and played them down to the last seven seconds. They had the ball with a chance to win."
Duke stole a pass on Seton Hall's final possession to pull out the victory.
"I know we have our work cut out for us," Williams said. "We have to face the challenge."
Forward Charles Manga scored 14 points on 7-of-8 shooting versus Duke. He had five against Chaminade. Guard Darius Lane had 15 versus Seton Hall after five against Duke.
Beware of the Vog?: Vog permeated the air outside Lahaina Civic Center Tuesday. What is vog?
It's an atmospheric condition comparable to smog, but caused by lava on the Big Island of Hawaii hitting the Pacific Ocean surface.
Stats, facts: Drew Gooden has scored in double figures in 28 of his last 30 games. Jeff Boschee had at least three three-pointers in a game for the 42nd time in his career. Boschee has hit at least one three in 92 of 102 career games played. Gooden grabbed his 500th career rebound. KU is 1-1 for the first time since 1990-91. KU is 5-3 at the Maui Invitational, including a 4-1 mark under Williams. KU is 5-2 all time versus Houston. .. Gooden's four steals marked a career high. His previous high of three was attained against Oklahoma State in March of 2000. Collison had six turnovers and no assists.