No. 3 Jayhawks Hit Road to Boston College Saturday in Men's Hoops

Jan. 3, 2008

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Kansas at Boston College

As one of the six unbeaten teams left in the country, Kansas (13-0) opens the 2008 calendar year at Boston College Saturday at 11 a.m. (Central) on ESPN. It marks the Jayhawks’ third road game of the season. KU’s road games stretch from coast-to-coast as the first was at Southern California on Dec. 2 and the next at Georgia Tech on Dec. 18. Boston College, 10-2, has won three straight games and five of its last six outings after its 81-52 win against Longwood on Wednesday.

About Kansas

No. 3 Kansas is 13-0, averages 83.5 points and is holding opponents to 58.4 points per game for a +25.1 scoring margin. KU has forced 17 or more turnovers in all but one game this season, including a season-high 27 against Yale. The Jayhawks have also shot 50 percent or better in 11 of 13 games this year. Sophomore forward Darrell Arthur leads KU with a 13.1 scoring average. He is second on the team with 5.9 rebounds per outing and 20 blocked shots. Junior guard Mario Chalmers leads KU with 25 three-pointers and 40 steals to go along with his 12.3 scoring average and 61 assists. His 3.08 steals per game lead the Big 12. Senior Darnell Jackson is coming off a 20-point performance against Yale and is averaging 11.5 points per contest. He leads the team with 6.5 rebounds per game. Junior guard Brandon Rush averages 10.8 points per game and he is second on the team with 17 three-pointers. Sophomore guard Sherron Collins is the fifth Jayhawk to average double figures in scoring at 10.1 points per game. Seniors Sasha Kaun (7.6 ppg, team-best 21 blocked shots), Russell Robinson (7.2 ppg, team-high 63 assists and 35 steals) and Rodrick Stewart (5.5 ppg) round out the KU regulars.

About Boston College

Boston College is currently 10-2 on the season. The Eagles are receiving votes in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll following their 81-52 win against Longwood on Wednesday. BC averages 73.5 points per game and is giving up 67.2. The Eagles are 8-1 at home this season with the lone loss to UMass, 83-80, on Dec. 12. They also average 6.8 blocked shots per game and are outrebounding foes by 4.5 boards per contest. Junior guard Tyrese Rice leads the team in scoring with 19.7 points per game, with 20 three pointers, 61 assists and 18 steals. Rice makes an average of 6.1 free throws per game and drains 88.2 percernt from the charity stripe. Sophomore forward Shamari Spears leads BC in rebounds with 7.5 per game to complement his 12.2 scoring average. Freshman guard/forward Rakim Sanders (11.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg), senior center Tyrelle Blair (7.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg and a team-high 4.1 blocked shots per game) and sophomore forward Tyler Roche (6.2 ppg, 16 three pointers) round out the BC starters. Freshman forward Corey Raji (10.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg) and freshman guard Biko Paris (5.9 ppg, 36 assists) round out the BC regulars.

The Series

Kansas knotted the all-time series with Boston College at 1-1 with its 84-66 win in Allen Fieldhouse last season (Dec. 23, 2006). Boston College won the first meeting with Kansas 78-62 in the first round of the 1969 postseason NIT. The game was played in New York at Madison Square Garden. BC was coached by Hall of Fame guard Bob Cousy, while KU was led by Ted Owens.

Team Notables

–Kansas is 61-7 (89.7 percent) in its last 68 games. The Jayhawks are 13-0 on the season and have won 27 of their last 28 and 30 of their last 32 contests.

–Kansas leads the Big 12 in scoring offense (83.5), scoring margin (25.1), blocked shots (6.38), assists (20), steals (11.46), turnover margin (+7.08) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.49). The Jayhawks rank in the upper half of 14 conference statistics.

–The Jayhawks have held 12 of 13 opponents to under 50 percent shooting and 84 of its last 87 opponents. Ohio’s 28.3 field goal percentage on Dec. 15 was a season low for KU foes.

–Kansas has shot better than 50 percent from the field in 11 of 13 games this season.

–KU has outshot 12 of 13 opponents this season.

–Through 13 games, Kansas has had seven different leading scorers, six different players lead the team in rebounding and seven different in steals (this includes ties). KU has had five different leading scorers in the last five games.

–Four Jayhawks have scored 20-plus this season – Sherron Collins 22 vs. ULM, Darnell Jackson 21 vs. ULM and 20 vs. Yale, Mario Chalmers 23 vs. UMKC and 20 at USC and Darrell Arthur 20 vs. Arizona.

–On the season, the Jayhawk bench has outscored its opponents 400-246 for a 30.8 to 18.9 advantage per game.

Player Notables

–Junior Mario Chalmers (#15) has recorded 24 steals (4.0 average) in the last six games and has led KU in steals seven times this season. In his last four games, Chalmers is 23-for-34 (67.6 percent) from the field. He has made two or more three-pointers in each of the last five games and in seven games this season. Chalmers leads the Big 12 in steals with 3.08 per game. He is 20th in the Big 12 in scoring at 12.3, fourth in assists at 4.69, third in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.35 and tied for 12th in three-point field goals made at 1.92.

–Senior Darnell Jackson’s (#32) 20 points against Yale marked his second 20-point scoring output of the season (21 in the season opener vs. Louisiana-Monroe). Jackson is averaging 17 points in his last two games, his best two-game stint of the season. He is 15-for-19 (78.9 percent) from the field in his last two games and 32-for-41 (78 percent) in his last six. Jackson has pulled down eight or more rebounds in five of his last seven games, including eight against Miami (Dec. 22). Jackson is 10th in the Big 12 in rebounding at 6.5 rpg.

–Sophomore Darrell Arthur (#00) has scored in double figures in all but one game this season. He posted his second double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds against Miami (Dec. 22). He has pulled down six or more rebounds in nine games this season and has shot 50 percent or better in nine of his last 11 outings. His three blocked shots against Yale marked the seventh game with multi-blocks this season. Arthur is tied for 17th in the Big 12 in scoring with 13.1 points per game, 14th in rebounding at 5.9, sixth in blocked shots at 1.54 and eighth in field goal percentage at 51.8 percent.

–Senior Russell Robinson’s (#3) eight steals against Yale were one shy of the school record. He has 12 steals in his last two games and 35 on the season. He scored a season-best 17 points at Georgia Tech (Dec. 18). Against Ohio (Dec. 15), Robinson set a new career high with 11 assists. Thirty-one of his 35 steals have come in his last nine games for a 3.4 average. Robinson is third in the Big 12 in assists at 4.85, tied for second in steals at 2.69 and fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.33.

–Junior Brandon Rush (#25) has scored in double digits in each of his last five games and in seven of 11 games played. He has made at least one three pointer in nine games and tied a season high with two steals against Yale. Rush is 10th on the career KU three-point field goals made list with 142. He played a season-high 36 minutes against Arizona (Nov. 25) and responded with 17 points and eight rebounds. Due to come back Dec. 1 from ACL surgery in June, Rush made his season debut Nov. 15 against Washburn.

–Senior Sasha Kaun (#24) had a season-high-tying seven rebounds against Ohio (Dec. 15). He leads KU in field goal percentage at 72.5 percent and has shot 66.7 percent or better in 10 of 13 games this year. After starting the year 10-for-26 (38.5 percent) from the free throw line, Kaun is 15-for-22 (68.2 percent) in his last seven games. Kaun is fourth in the Big 12 in blocked shots with 1.62 per game.

–Sophomore Sherron Collins (#4) is 6-for-9 from the field in his last two games, including 3-for-5 from three-point range. He recorded his third double-digit scoring game of the season at Georgia Tech (Dec. 18) with 11 points, his highest output since his return from injury. He has made at least one three-pointer in six of seven games played and has multiple treys in four games. Collins missed six games (games 3-8) due to injury.

–Freshman Cole Aldrich (#45) tied his season best with seven rebounds against Yale. He also had seven against Eastern Washington on Dec. 5. Aldrich has gone 9-for-13 (69.2 percent) from the field in his last five outings.

–Freshman Tyrel Reed’s (#14) eight points against Yale were the most in his last five outings. Reed was perfect against the Bulldogs going 3-for-3 from the field, including 2-for-2 from three-point range.

In the Polls

Kansas remained No. 3 in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ polls released Dec. 31. The Jayhawks opened the season ranked No. 4 in both preseason polls. This marks the 20th straight week that Kansas has been ranked in the top 10 nationally in both polls and the 11th straight in the top five. Under Bill Self, KU has been ranked in the AP top 10 in 49 polls and in the coaches’ top 10 on 50 occasions.

Did You Know?

If Boston College would have defeated Virginia Tech in the ACC football championship game, Kansas would have played BC in football on Jan. 3 and men’s basketball on Jan. 5.

Up Next

The Jayhawks close out non-conference play when they host Loyola-Maryland on Tuesday, Jan. 8, at 7 p.m. on Jayhawk TV. KU begins Big 12 play at Nebraska on Jan. 12. That game will tip at 8 p.m. and be televised by ESPN. Two days later, KU will host Oklahoma on ESPN’s Big Monday with tip at 8 p.m.