Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi has played four games this young season — three against teams Kansas University will meet later on.
The Islanders of the Southland Conference have lost at home to Texas A&M, 86-65, and on the road to Oklahoma State, 68-58.
On Sunday, Corpus Christi fell at Ohio University, 83-70. The Jayhawks will meet Ohio at 7 p.m. Friday in a Las Vegas Invitational contest at Orleans Arena in Glitter City.
“They’ve played a tough schedule so far,” KU coach Bill Self said of a team that also will travel to Marquette, Memphis and Texas Tech and meet Houston at home.
“That’s smart by Perry (Clark, coach) in my opinion, because the way to get into the NCAA Tournament is to win the league.
“What helps you win the league is (to) play good people. I guarantee you by the start of conference play they will be one of the best teams in the league with a chance to win it,” Self added on his Hawk Talk radio show.
The Islanders, who return four starters off last year’s 17-15 team (10-6 in SLC), are led by Demond Watt, a 6-7 senior from Chicago who averages 17.0 points and 10.8 rebounds a game. Watt exploded for a career-high 26 points off 11-of-13 shooting with five assists and five turnovers in Sunday’s loss at Ohio. Watt has hit 23 of 38 shots for 60.5 percent.
The team’s other double-digit scorer is Terence Jones, a 6-2 sophomore from Baltimore who averages 12.5 ppg.
Corpus Christi’s one victory this season came against Northeastern Oklahoma, 81-74. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi’s enrollment is 9,468. The school is located in the Coastal Bend region of South Texas.
Selby note: KU freshman guard Josh Selby, who will make his collegiate debut against Southern California on Dec. 18 in Allen Fieldhouse, has made quite a positive impression at practice this season.
“He is a heck of a player, athletic, can get to the rim and create for others and himself,” senior Brady Morningstar said. “I’ve guarded a lot of players here. He’s as good as any I guarded. That’s the fun thing at practice. I come in saying, ‘I get to guard some NBA guys today.’’’
He compares Selby to Sherron Collins.
“He’s got a little dog (bite) in him. He’s from the city,” Morningstar said, noting Selby is from Baltimore; Collins from Chicago. “He likes the lights on him. Sherron had the crowd in his hands. When he told ‘em to stand, they’d stand. That’s the type of personality he had. Josh has a little of that in him, too. The way he plays, the fans will like it.”
Self was asked how he will use Selby in practice leading up to his debut.
“There’s probably not much reason for him to get lot of reps with the first group until we get back from New York (Dec. 7 game against Memphis),” Self said. “When we get back from New York, we still have Colorado State (Dec. 11) and then he can play the next game. I’m not too anxious to get him in there with that (first) group getting a lot of reps. The second group will be doing a lot of the same things the first group does.”
This, that: Texas A&M-Corpus Christi is coached by Perry Clark (45-53, four seasons). Overall, former Tulane coach Clark is 295-252 in 19 seasons as a head coach. ... The schools are meeting for the first time ... KU is 2-0 against current membership of the Southland Conference. KU defeated Texas-San Antonio, 109-69, on Dec. 22, 1990, and Central Arkansas, 94-44, on Nov. 19, 2009, both in Allen.
Recruiting: Ben McLemore, a 6-5 guard from Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., has not orally committed to KU or Missouri. His cousin told Rivals.com Monday that no decision would be made until after Thanksgiving.