Kansas Men's Basketball Hits Road at South Carolina Sunday
Jan. 4, 2007
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No. 9 Kansas (12-2) opens the new year on the road at South Carolina (10-2) Sunday at 3:30 p.m. (Central) on CBS. The Jayhawks take a six-game winning streak into their first game of 2007 after their 80-69 win against Rhode Island Dec. 30. KU will need to adapt to playing on the road quickly, as five of its next eight contests are away from Allen Fieldhouse. South Carolina has won six in a row after its 67-53 win against Western Carolina Wednesday. Included in the streak is a 64-59 win at Big 12 foe Baylor on Dec. 9.
Kansas is currently riding a six-game winning streak and posted 6-1 records in November and December. The Jayhawks are averaging 77.5 points and giving up 58.1 per game. KU led the nation in field goal percentage defense in 2005-06 at 37.1 percent and opponents are making just 37 percent this season. Kansas is outrebounding foes 40 to 32.7 per contest. Preseason Associated Press All-American Brandon Rush leads Kansas in scoring with 13.4 points per game and with 25 three-pointers made. Sophomores Mario Chalmers and Julian Wright are each scoring 12.3 points per game. Chalmers is averaging 18.7 points in his last three games and leads KU with 38 steals. Wright paces the Jayhawks in rebounding with an 8.1 average and is second on the team with 23 blocked shots. Freshman Darrell Arthur comes off the bench and to score 12.1 points per game and he leads the squad with 32 blocked shots to go along with 5.5 rebounds per contest. Juniors Russell Robinson and Sasha Kaun round out the starters. Robinson leads the team in assists with 66 to go along with his 6.3 scoring average. Kaun has 16 blocked shots in 11 games played and is averaging 5.3 points and 3.4 rebounds. Like Arthur, freshman Sherron Collins is a top reserve who is KU’s fifth-leading scorer at 6.6 points per game. He has 18 three-pointers this season.
About South Carolina
Like Kansas, South Carolina (10-2) is on a six-game winning streak after its 67-53 win against Western Carolina Wednesday. The Gamecocks are averaging 66 points per game and giving up 61.1. Senior guard Tre’ Kelley leads the team in scoring at 16.8 points per game and in assists with 58. He missed the Western Carolina game due to a knee injury. Senior forward Brandon Wallace is next in scoring at 11.9 points per game and leads USC in rebounds with a 9.4 average and blocked shots with 33. He is second on the team with 12 steals, one behind junior guard/forward Dwayne Day. Freshman guard Brandis Rakey-Ross is next in scoring at 10 points per game, followed by senior guard/forward Bryce Sheldon at nine and freshman forward Dominique Archie at 8.7 points per game. Day is next at 7.7 points per outing.
Kansas defeated South Carolina 64-60 on Dec. 18, 2004, in the only meeting between the two schools. USC scored the first 11 points in the game as No. 2 KU fought from behind most of the night. Kansas took its first lead at 54-52 with 5:07 remaining as the game had four ties and five lead changes down the stretch. KU All-American Wayne Simien, who injured his thumb earlier in the contest and would miss the next four games due to the injury, gave the Jayhawks the lead for good, 59-58, on a dunk with 1:41 to play. Freshman Russell Robinson made a key lay-up with 38 seconds remaining and two free throws with 14 ticks left to seal the win for Kansas. Simien led KU with 20 points and 11 rebounds.
Kansas returns home to open Big 12 play against nationally-ranked Oklahoma State Jan. 10 at 8 p.m. (Central) in Allen Fieldhouse. The game will be televised by ESPN.