No. 3 Kansas Hosts Loyola in Men's Hoops Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Jan. 7, 2008

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No. 3 Kansas returns home to close out the non-conference season when it hosts Loyola (Maryland) Tuesday at 7 p.m. on Jayhawk TV. The Jayhawks are 14-0 following their 85-60 win at Boston College Saturday to open the 2008 calendar year. Loyola is 6-8 on the season after its 63-51 win against league foe Iona on Sunday. The Greyhounds are 2-2 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

About Kansas

Kansas averages 83.6 points and is holding opponents to 58.5 points per game for a Big 12-leading +25.1 scoring margin. KU has forced 17 or more turnovers in all but two games this season, including a season-high 27 against Yale (Dec. 29). The Jayhawks have also shot 50 percent or better in 12 of 14 games this year. Sophomore forward Darrell Arthur leads KU with a 13.7 scoring average following his 22-point performance on 10-of-12 shooting at BC. He is second on the team with 6.0 rebounds per outing and leads KU with 22 blocked shots. Senior Darnell Jackson leads the Big 12 with his 67.6 shooting percentage to complement his 12.5 points per game. He leads KU with 6.7 rebounds per contest and is coming off a career-high 25 points at Boston College. Junior guard Mario Chalmers leads KU with 27 three-pointers and 44 steals to go along with his 12.0 scoring average and 67 assists. His 3.08 steals per game lead the Big 12. Junior guard Brandon Rush averages 10.9 points per game and he is second on the team with 18 three-pointers. Sophomore guard Sherron Collins is scoring 9.1 points per game. Seniors Sasha Kaun (7.6 ppg, 21 blocked shots), Russell Robinson (7.0 ppg, team-high 68 assists and 37 steals) and Rodrick Stewart (5.2 ppg) round out the KU regulars.

About Loyola

Loyola (6-8, 2-2) was picked to finish second behind Siena in the Mid American Athletic Conference (MAAC) preseason coaches’ poll. Loyola is coming off a 63-51 win against league foe Iona on Sunday. Senior guard Gerald Brown recorded a double-double against Iona Sunday with 16 points and 11 rebounds and he leads the way for Loyola with a 19.1 scoring average. He also leads the team with 35 steals, averages 4.9 rebounds per contest and is making 80.7 percent from the free throw line. Junior guard Marquis Sullivan is next in scoring at 11.4 points per outing and he leads the Greyhounds with 38 three pointers. Senior forward Michael Tuck also had a double-double against Iona with 10 points and 10 boards and leads Loyola in rebounds with 6.8 per game to complement his 9.4 scoring average. Senior forward Omari Isreal has a team-high 24 blocked shots and averages 8.4 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. Junior guard Joe Miles (5.3 points), sophomore guard Brett Harvey (4.8 points and a team-best 52 assists) and freshman guard Brian Rudolph (5.3 points, 35 assists) round out the Loyola regulars.

The Series

This is the first meeting in men’s basketball between Kansas and Loyola. The Greyhounds are the fourth 2007-08 opponent KU has faced for the first time and join Louisiana-Monroe, Florida Atlantic and Miami-Ohio. KU is 11-1 against the MAAC and last faced a team from the league last season when its defeated Niagara 107-67 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Chicago. Kansas is 2-0 against MAAC members Canisius, Niagara, Rider and Saint Peter’s, 1-0 against Fairfield and 2-1 versus Iona.

Kansas One of Six Undefeated Teams

Kansas is 14-0 on the season and is one of six NCAA Division I teams undefeated as of Jan. 6. North Carolina and Vanderbilt are 15-0, while Memphis, Mississippi and Washington State are at 13-0.

KU Undefeated Starts

Kansas’ 14-0 record ties for the fifth-best start in school history. Here is a look at KU’s best starts in school history.

22-0 1997-98

21-0 1935-36

19-0 1989-90

19-0 1908-09

14-0 2007-08

14-0 2004-05

Team Notables

–Kansas is 62-7 (89.9 percent) in its last 69 games. The Jayhawks are 14-0 on the season and have won 28 of their last 29 and 31 of their last 33 contests.

–Kansas’ bigs score 45 percent of KU’s points, while its guards score 55 percent. KU’s top two scorers are bigs and its next three are guards.

–KU has shot better than 50 percent in 12 of 14 games this season. Last year, KU shot better than 50 percent in 18 of 38 contests.

–KU has outshot 13 of 14 opponents this season.

–Kansas leads the Big 12 in scoring offense (83.6), scoring margin (+25.1), field goal percentage (52.4), blocked shots (6.4), assists (20.1), steals (11.4), turnover margin (+6.9) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.5).

–The Jayhawks have held 12 of 14 opponents to under 50 percent shooting and 85 of its last 88 opponents. Ohio’s 28.3 field goal percentage on Dec. 15 was a season low for KU foes.

–Through 14 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 six games (Jackson and Arthur tied for the team high with 14 vs. Yale).

–Four Jayhawks have scored 20-plus this season – Sherron Collins (22 vs. ULM), Darnell Jackson (21 vs. ULM, 20 vs. Yale, 25 at Boston College), Mario Chalmers (23 vs. UMKC, 20 at USC) and Darrell Arthur (20 vs. Arizona, 21 at Boston College).

–On the season, the Jayhawk bench has outscored its opponents 414-257 for a 29.6 to 18.4 (+11.2) advantage per game.

–Kansas is a combined 37-3 (92.5 percent) in football (12-1), men’s basketball (14-0) and women’s basketball (11-2).

Player Notables

–Senior Darnell Jackson (#32) has to be one of the most improved players in the country. He leads Kansas in rebounds with 6.7 per game and is second on the team in scoring at 12.5 ppg. He has led KU in scoring each of the last three games and four times this season. Jackson just missed a double-double with 25 points and nine rebounds at Boston College Saturday and was named the co-Big 12 Player of the Week for his efforts. It was his second straight and third 20-point effort of the season. He had 20 points against Yale (Dec. 29) and 21 in the season opener against Louisiana-Monroe. The nine rebounds at BC marked the sixth time this season Jackson has pulled down eight or more boards. Jackson is 41-for-54 (75.9 percent) from the field in his last seven games. In that span, he is averaging 14.1 points. In his last eight games, he is averaging 7.8 rebounds. Last year Jackson averaged 5.5 points and 5.1 rebounds as one of KU’s top reserve players. Jackson leads the Big 12 with a 67.6 shooting percentage. He is 20th in the Big 12 in scoring at 12.5 ppg and ninth in rebounds at 6.7 rpg.

–Junior Mario Chalmers (#15) has led Kansas in assists in each of the last two games and five times this season, including six at Boston College Saturday. He has recorded 28 steals (4.0 average) in the last seven games – four at BC – and has led KU in steals eight times this season. He has made two or more three-pointers in each of the last three games and in eight games this season. Chalmers leads the Big 12 in steals with 3.14 per game. He is fourth in assists at 4.79, third in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.58 and 10th in three-point field goals made at 1.93.

–Sophomore Darrell Arthur (#00) scored a season-high 22 points at Boston College Saturday for his second 20-point performance of the season (20 vs. Arizona Nov. 25). He has scored in double figures in all but one game this season. Arthur has two double-doubles on the season. He has pulled down six or more rebounds in 10 games and has shot 50 percent or better in 10 of his last 12 outings, including a season-best 10-for-12 (83.3 percent) at BC. He has eight games with multi-blocks this season. Arthur is 15th in the Big 12 in scoring with 13.7 points per game, 13th in rebounding at 6.0, fourth in blocked shots at 1.57 and seventh in field goal percentage at 54.4 percent.

–Senior Russell Robinson’s (#3) eight steals against Yale (Dec. 29) were one shy of the school record. He has 14 steals in his last three games and 37 on the season. Against Ohio (Dec. 15), Robinson set a new career high with 11 assists. Thirty-three of his 37 steals have come in his last 10 games for a 3.3 average. Robinson is third in the Big 12 in assists at 4.86, third in steals at 2.64 and fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.27.

–Junior Brandon Rush (#25) has scored in double digits in each of his last six games and in eight of 12 games played. His 12 points at Boston College were his most in the last four contests. He has made at least one three pointer in 10 games. Rush is 10th on the career KU three-point field goals made list with 143. 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’s (#24) five rebounds at Boston College were the most in his last four games. He leads KU in field goal percentage at 72.2 percent and has shot 66.7 percent or better in 11 of 14 games this year. After starting the year 10-for-26 (38.5 percent) from the free throw line, Kaun is 19-for-29 (65.5 percent) in his last eight games. Kaun is sixth in the Big 12 in blocked shots with 1.5 per game.

–Sophomore Sherron Collins (#4) had five assists and one turnover at Boston College Saturday. 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 eight games played and has multiple treys in four games. Collins missed six games (games 3-8) due to injury. His 1.6 assist-to-turnover ratio would rank 12th in the Big 12, yet he has played in only 57 percent of KU’s games this season due to injury.

–Freshman Cole Aldrich (#45) tied his season best with seven rebounds against Yale (Dec. 29). He also had seven against Eastern Washington on Dec. 5. Aldrich’s two blocked shots at Boston College marked his fourth multi-block game this season.

–Freshman Tyrel Reed’s (#14) eight points against Yale (Dec. 29) were the most in his previous five outings. Reed was perfect against the Bulldogs going 3-for-3 from the field, including 2-for-2 from three-point range. He had two points in two minutes at Boston College.

In the Polls

Kansas is No. 3 in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ polls released Jan. 7. The Jayhawks opened the season ranked No. 4 in both preseason polls. This marks the 21st straight week that Kansas has been ranked in the top 10 nationally in both polls and the 12th straight in the top five. Under Bill Self, KU has been ranked in the AP top 10 in 50 polls and in the coaches’ top 10 on 51 occasions.

Up Next

Kansas opens Big 12 play at Nebraska on Saturday, Jan. 12 at 8 p.m. on ESPN. The Jayhawks return to Allen Fieldhouse for its first of three ESPN/Big Monday appearances when they host Oklahoma on Jan. 14. Tip time for the OU contest is set for 8 p.m.