Nov. 20, 2007
BOCA RATON, FL - Rex Walters will return to his alma mater in the unfamiliar role of opponent when the Florida Atlantic University men's basketball team takes on the University of Kansas Jayhawks.
The Owls are 1-4 after defeating Stetson and falling to USF and Cleveland State as part of the Glenn Wilkes Classic. The matchup with the Jayhawks will be part of a two game trip through the Midwest. FAU faces UMKC on Monday, November 26. The Kangaroos (1-3) are led by forward Brent Stephens who is averaging 18 points and 3.5 rebounds a contest so far this season. The two teams met twice last year in a nonconference home-and-home. UMKC won on its home floor 85-70 on November 13. FAU returned the favor, defeating the Kangaroos 70-61 in Boca Raton on December 23 of last year. Derrick Simmons had 16 points and a career high 16 rebounds in the FAU victory.
Wednesday, November 28 will be a historic night as Head Coach Rex Walters returns to Phog Allen Fieldhouse, where he was a part of two Big Eight (now Big 12) championship teams and helped the Jayhawks reach the 1993 Final Four under head coach Roy Williams. Former FAU head coach Matt Doherty was an assistant on that coaching staff. Walters is looking forward to the trip.
"(Kansas) is where I went to school, got married and it's a place I called home for eight years. I'm looking forward to seeing some old faces, old teammates, and what has changed."
The coaching change at Kansas has not changed the way Walters is received.
"(Head Coach) Bill Self and (Assistant Coach) Danny Manning have always treated me real well and I look forward to seeing them," said Walters.
Nostalgia will not keep Walters from focusing on the task at hand.
"We going in there with a job to do and that is to raise this FAU basketball program to the level it needs to be."
The Jayhawks are 3-0 and ranked no.4 in both the AP and USA Today polls. Kansas features a balanced offensive attack that has five players averaging double figures. They will have to overcome the loss of sophomore Sherron Collins who leads the team in scoring, averaging 18 points a game. Collins will be out of action approximately four to six weeks after suffering a stress fracture in his left foot. Both games will be available live on WMEN-640 AM. Tip-off on both Monday and Wednesday night is set for 8 p.m. eastern.