Men’s Basketball opens KCAC play this week

Kansas Wesleyan opens Kansas Conference play with home games against arch rival Bethany on Wednesday and Bethel on Saturday inside Mabee Arena. Tipoff for the Bethany game will be around 8 p.m. after the women’s game, and around 7 p.m. for the Bethel contest following the women’s game.


The games will be available online through the Coyote Sports Network at Live Stats will be available at Radio coverage will be on FM-104.9 in the Salina area and around the world at Jackson Schneider will have the call with pregame starting at around 7:45 p.m. Wednesday and around 6:45 Saturday.



Kansas Wesleyan 3-0

Bethany 4-1

Bethel 2-2 (at Friends on Wednesday)



KWU and Bethany are 2-2 in their last four games after the Coyotes won five in a row. They split last season, Bethany winning 80-73 in Mabee Arena on January 5 and the Coyotes winning 78-71 February 12 in Lindsborg. KWU has a 19-15 advantage since December, 2005.

Bethel has won four of the last five but the schools are 5-5 in the last 10. The Threshers won twice last season 78-67 January in North Newton and 85-74 February 16 in Mabee Arena.



The Coyotes have been idle since a 97-68 victory over Manhattan Christian on November 8 inside Mabee Arena. They have been impressive in their first three games, winning by an average score of 81.7-57.3.

Coach Anthony Monson, who won his 100th career game in the season opening victory over Bellevue, has essentially employed an 11-man rotation with no drop-off. Ten Coyotes are averaging at least 10 minutes and the 11th nine minutes per game.

Alex Littlejohn (SO/Newton, Kan.) leads a balanced scoring attack with an 11.3 average and also averages a team-best 9.0 rebounds. Marcel Dean (JR/Tucson, Ariz.)’s averages 10.3 points and is shooting a sizzling 71.4 percent (10 of 14) beyond the 3-point arc. Jun Murdock (JR/Wichita, Kan.) averages 9.3 points and 4.0 assists. Thurbil Bile (JR/Centennial, Colo.), Caden Hale (SO/Glenpool, Okla.) and Cory Kaplan (JR/Merritt Island, Fla.) average 7.0 points apiece.

KWU is shooting 51.6 percent as a team, 37.7 percent from deep and has a plus-11.7 rebounding advantage. Opponents are shooting just 35.6 overall.



The Swedes lost to Peru State 80-74 Friday but rebounded with an 86-69 victory over Grand View on Saturday. Like KWU, Bethany defeated Doane and Bellevue in the Coyote Classic and has a season-opening victory over Oklahoma-Panhandle.

Point guard Justin Brookens averages a team-best 22.2 points and 3.2 assists. Solomon Clayton averages 17.8 points and 6.0 rebounds and Dylan Smith 13.4 points.

The Swedes average 76.4 points and are shooting 45 percent overall, 37.6 beyond the arc. Opponents average 68.8 points and are shooting 42.8 percent.



The Threshers have victories over Northern New Mexico and Benedictine and have lost to Park and Clarke – the loss to Clarke on Saturday.

Guard Clifford Byrd II leads Bethel in scoring with a 16.8 average and is the team’s top rebounder with a 7.0 average despite standing 6-feet-1. Forward Bryant Mocaby averages 14.5 points and shoots 47 percent from deep. Harper Jonas averages 10.8 points and shoots 40 percent from 3-point range.

Bethel averages 76 points and shoots 45 percent overall, 36.8 from long range. Opponents average 75.5 points and shoot 48 percent.