• WHEN/WHERE: 7 p.m. Friday at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence
Kansas City Star
• TV/RADIO: Time Warner Cable Sports Channel; KCSP (610 AM)
• ABOUT LOUISIANA-MONROE (0-0): The Warhawks finished 4-23 last season and return the bulk of their roster. Senior forward Jayon James earned preseason third-team honors in the Sun Belt Conference, while senior guard Amos Olatayo led Louisiana Monroe in scoring at 15.8 points per game. This will be the second matchup between the two programs: Kansas defeated the Warhawks 107-78 in the opening game of the 2007-08 season. Louisiana-Monroe athletic director Brian Wickstrom is a graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School and a former standout track athlete at Kansas State.
• ABOUT KANSAS (0-0): Kansas plays No. 4 Duke on Tuesday in the Champions Classic in Chicago. But first, the young Jayhawks will get a chance to get their feet wet against Louisiana-Monroe. Kansas freshman Brannen Greene went to the emergency room Thursday after being hit in the lower abdomen at practice, KU coach Bill Self said. All tests were negative and Greene is expected to play Friday. Freshman Andrew Wiggins averaged 13 points in two exhibition games, and the Jayhawks will play Friday without starting point guard Naadir Tharpe, who is serving a one-game suspension for playing in an unauthorized summer game in Chicago. Freshman Frank Mason will start in place of Tharpe, and KU coach Bill Self is hopeful that Tharpe’s absence will force KU’s young guards to step up. That includes freshman starter Wayne Selden and Conner Frankamp, who will likely play spot minutes at the point-guard spot tonight.
• BOTTOM LINE: Self will trim his rotation to eight or nine players — at least until the game gets out of hand — and we should see the real KU. With a showdown with Duke looming, it could be important for Kansas to build some confidence as it goes for the 700th all-time win in Allen Fieldhouse.
| Rustin Dodd, firstname.lastname@example.org