KU unveils nonconference hoops schedule

Each opponent recorded winning record in 2006-07 season

Home games against Arizona and DePaul and road battles versus Southern California, Boston College and Georgia Tech highlight Kansas University’s 2007-08 nonconference basketball schedule released Tuesday.

“I think it’s a very good schedule,” KU coach Bill Self said Tuesday from Colorado Springs, Colo., where he was attending the Big 12 meetings.

“It’s probably the toughest we’ve had next to 2004-05, when we had the No. 1 RPI in the country. Every team on our upcoming schedule had a winning record. We have several high-profile games, and many other games against quality competition that should be attractive to television (which, like game times, has not been announced). It’s really a challenging schedule.”

Arizona, USC, Georgia Tech, Miami of Ohio and Boston College each were in the 2007 NCAA Tournament. DePaul reached the NIT quarterfinals.

“USC (with newcomer O.J. Mayo) will be terrific. DePaul will be very good. Of course, we owe them (after last year),” Self said of a KU loss in Chicago. “Georgia Tech and Boston College have great programs. Arizona under coach (Lute) Olson is right up there every year.”

KU’s game against Arizona will conclude the Jayhawk Invitational on Sunday, Nov. 25. KU’s other three games in the Invitational (Nov. 11, 15, 21) have not yet been announced. The Arizona game will double as the two schools’ game in the Big 12/Pac-10 challenge.

“Hosting our own tournament is something our fans will really enjoy,” Self said.

Former KU guard Rex Walters will bring his Florida Atlantic team to the fieldhouse Nov. 28. His Owls went 16-15 in his debut season. Walters was a two-time All-Big Eight Conference first-team selection in 1992 and 1993 and the conference male athlete of the year in 1993.

“Rex loves the fieldhouse and wanted to bring his team here. I think it’ll be a good game,” Self said. “It’s a chance for Justin Bauman to come back as well,” he added of Walters’ director of basketball operations and former head manager at KU.

The Jayhawks will play one game at the new KC Sprint Center, against Ohio on Dec. 15.

“We’ll play at least a game there every year on the season-ticket package,” Self said. “Ohio (19-13 last season) has been good for many years now. That should be a good game.”

KU also will play home games against Louisiana-Monroe, Eastern Washington, Yale and Loyola of Maryland.

Here are the 2006-07 records of the teams on next year’s KU schedule: Louisiana-Monroe (18-14), Arizona (20-11), Florida Atlantic (16-15), USC (25-12), Eastern Washington (15-14), DePaul (20-14), Ohio (19-13), Georgia Tech (20-12), Miami of Ohio (18-15), Yale (14-13), Boston College (21-12) and Loyola (18-13).

¢Noon-ball League: Former KU guard Terry Nooner, who is a Special Education teacher at Southeast High School in Kansas City, is helping put together a NCAA-sanctioned Pro-Am League that will start on June 19 and run for more than a month at Penn Valley Community College. Most of KU’s players are planning on competing in the league which will have night time doubleheaders several nights a week. No admission will be charged. No more than two players from a college team will be allowed on the same squad. Ex-Jayhawks Michael Lee and Kirk Hinrich are expected to compete.

KU coach Bill Self, who was a fan of a similar league in Tulsa when he coached the Hurricane, earlier was looking into the possibility of having such a league in Lawrence.

Nooner, who grew up in Raytown, Mo., coached a 10th grade AAU team last summer and does individual workouts for hire at the Jewish Community Center in Johnson County. He’s been a teacher the past five years.