No. 2 Kansas to Host Iowa State in Men's Hoops Wednesday at 6 p.m. on ESPN

Jan. 21, 2008

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Following its Big 12 road win at Border Showdown rival Missouri, No. 2 Kansas returns home to face Iowa State in conference action. The Jayhawks are 18-0 (3-0 in Big 12 play) and are one of two teams to remain undefeated in NCAA Division I (Memphis at 17-0). Iowa State has won its last two games and five of its last six. The Cyclones are 12-6 on the season and 2-1 in Big 12 action.

About Kansas

Kansas’ 18-0 record is the fifth-best start in school history and the best since the 1996-97 team opened the year with a school-best 22-0 record. KU leads the Big 12 and ranks in the top five nationally in scoring margin at +24.3 (83.3 ppg to its opponents’ 59 ppg) and field goal percentage at 51.6 percent. The Jayhawks have shot 50 percent or better in eight of their last 10 games and in 14 of 18 games this season. KU holds a +6.7 rebound margin on opponents and forces 18.6 turnovers per game. Sophomore forward Darrell Arthur leads the team with a 13.2 scoring average. He also paces KU with 30 blocked shots and is second on the team with a 6.0 rebound average. Junior Mario Chalmers is next in scoring at 12.5 points per game and he leads the Big 12 in steals with 2.94 per game. He has made a team-high 32 three-pointers and is second on the squad with 80 assists. Senior forward Darnell Jackson leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage at 66.9 percent and KU in rebounds with 7.1 per game to complement his 12.3 scoring average. Junior guard Brandon Rush is scoring 16 points in Big 12 play and 11.8 overall on the year. He is second on the team with 27 three-point field goals. Sophomore guard Sherron Collins (9.5 ppg), senior center Sasha Kaun (7.7 ppg, 25 blocked shots), senior guard Russell Robinson (6.9 ppg, team-high 84 assists, 42 steals), senior guard Rodrick Stewart (4.3 ppg) and freshman center Cole Aldrich (3.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 19 blocked shots) round out the KU regulars.

About Iowa State

Iowa State is celebrating its 100th year of men’s basketball this season. The Cyclones are coming off a 73-66 win against Oklahoma State Saturday and are 12-6 overall and 2-1 in Big 12 play. ISU is 10-2 at home this season and 2-4 away from Hilton Coliseum. Sophomore forward Wesley Johnson leads the team in scoring at 13.9 points per game. He is second on the team with 24 three-pointers, one behind junior guard Bryan Petersen’s 25. Petersen is a starter who leads the team with 25 three-pointers and 61 assists to complement his 5.6 scoring average. Freshman forward Craig Brackins averages 12.5 points and 5.1 rebounds per contest. He has 22 blocked shots. Senior center Jiri Hubalek leads ISU in rebounds with 7.3 per outing while scoring 12.2 points per game. Senior forward Rahshon Clark paces the Cyclones with 24 blocked shots go along with his 10.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per contest. Freshman guard Diante Garrett (6.2 ppg, team-high 22 steals), junior forward Alex Thompson (2.6 ppg, 11 blocked shots) and junior guard Sean Haluska (20 assists, 15.7 minutes per game) round out the ISU regulars.

The Series

Dating back to 1908, Kansas leads the all-time series with Iowa State, 162-58, yet recent history shows the KU-ISU clashes to be much more competitive. Prior to KU sweeping the last two season series, each team won seven games against the other from 1999-2005. Five of the last eight meetings have been decided by seven points or less with three of those going into overtime. Including season sweeps, the visiting team has claimed at least one victory eight times in the last eight seasons – dating back to 2000. KU is 83-15 against Iowa State in games played in Lawrence and 42-9 in Allen Fieldhouse versus the Cyclones, but since 2000 Iowa State has won three times in AFH (2000-01-05). KU holds a 15-7 edge against Iowa State in Big 12 league play and a 17-7 mark since the inception of the conference.

Team Notables

–Kansas is 18-0 on the season and is one of two NCAA Division I teams undefeated – Memphis is 17-0.

–Kansas is 66-7 (90.4 percent) in its last 73 games. The Jayhawks are 18-0 on the season and have won 32 of their last 33 and 35 of their last 37 contests. Kansas has won its last 26 regular-season home games.

–Kansas is 13-0 at home this season, including the Ohio contest at the Sprint Center, and has won 17 straight home games. The 17-game streak ranks tied for seventh nationally.

–Kansas’ bigs score 44 percent of KU’s points, while its guards score 56 percent. KU’s scoring list goes – big, guard, big, guard, guard, big, guard, guard.

–KU has shot better than 50 percent 14 of 18 contests this season, including its last eight of its last 10 contests. Last year, KU shot better than 50 percent in 18 of 38 contests.

–KU has outshot 17 of 18 opponents this season – USC shot better than KU.

–Kansas leads the Big 12 in scoring offense (83.3), scoring margin (+24.3), turnover margin (+5.61), field goal percentage (51.6), blocked shots (6.33), assists (19.44), steals (10.72), and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.50).

–Kansas ranks 11th in the Big 12 in free throw percentage at 65.7 for all games. In three league games, the Jayhawks are fourth in the league with a 73.4 free throw percentage.

–The Jayhawks have held 17 of 18 opponents to under 50 percent shooting and 89 of its last 92 opponents.

–Through 18 games, Kansas has had seven different leading scorers, six different players lead the team in rebounding and eight different in steals (these includes ties). KU has had four different leading scorers in the last four games – Chalmers, Jackson, Rush and Collins.

–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 514-334 for a 28.6 to 18.6 (+10) advantage per game.

–Kansas is a combined 42-6 (87.5 percent) in football (12-1), men’s basketball (18-0) and women’s basketball (12-5).

–Kansas redshirt senior Jeremy Case graduated last spring. KU’s other four seniors – Sasha Kaun, Darnell Jackson, Russell Robinson and Rodrick Stewart – are on pace to graduate this spring. A computer science major, Kaun has been nominated for Academic All-American each of the last three seasons.

Player Notables

–Junior Brandon Rush (#25) leads KU in Big 12 games with a 16 point scoring average. He averages 11.8 ppg in all games. He scored 13 points and pulled down nine rebounds for the second straight game at Missouri. Rush has scored in double digits in nine of his last 10 games and 11 contests. Rush is eighth on the career KU three-point field goals made list with 152. He played a season-high 36 minutes against Arizona (Nov. 25) 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. He is 13th in the Big 12 in three-point field goals made at 1.69.

–Senior Darnell Jackson (#32) has narrowly missed a double-double in each of his last five games and six of the last seven contests. In his last five outings he has pulled down nine rebounds three times and eight boards twice. Jackson leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage at 67.2 percent. For his efforts at Boston Colege (Jan. 5, 25 points, nine rebounds), he was named the co-Big 12 Player of the Week. Jackson has pulled down eight or more boards in each of his last five games and six of his last seven, including nine at Missouri. Besides leading the league in field goal percentage, Jackson is seventh in rebounds at 7.1 rpg. Jackson is featured in the Jan. 21 Sports Illustrated on The Pop Culture Grid.

–Junior Mario Chalmers (#15) led KU with 18 points at Missouri on 4-of-7 shooting and 8-of-11 from the free throw line. He also pulled down five rebounds at MU. He is a combined 8-for-12 (66.7 percent) from the field in his last two games. He has 19 assists and just four turnovers in his last four games. He had three steals at MU for the second straight game and has three or more thefts in 13 games this season. Chalmers leads the Big 12 in steals with 2.94 per game. He is third in assists at 4.71, second in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.67 and tied for 10th in three-point field goals made at 1.88.

–Sophomore Darrell Arthur (#00) continues to lead KU in scoring at 13.2 points per game. He had 10 points and nine rebounds at Missouri in only 21 minutes of play. He has 17 rebounds in his last two games. He has nine games with multi-blocks this season, including two swats. Arthur is 16th in the Big 12 in scoring with 13.2 points per game, tied for 12th in rebounding at 6.0, fourth in blocked shots at 1.67 and seventh in field goal percentage at 53.0 percent.

–Senior Russell Robinson (#3) has dished out five or more assists eight times this season, including five dimes each of his last two games at Missouri and against Oklahoma. He has also pulled down five rebounds in two of his last three games and averages 2.5 boards on the season. He has at least one steal in all but two games this season and multiple steals in 14 contests. His 210 career steals are fifth all-time at KU. Robinson is fourth in the Big 12 in assists at 4.67, second in steals at 2.33 and tied for fifth in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.10.

–Senior Sasha Kaun (#24) has scored in double figures in two of his last four games and five times this season. He leads KU in field goal percentage at 68.5 percent and has shot 66.7 percent or better in 13 of 18 games this year. After starting the year 10-for-26 (38.5 percent) from the free throw line, Kaun is 28-for-40 (70 percent) in his last 12 games. Kaun is tied for fifth in the Big 12 in blocked shots with 1.39 per game.

–Sophomore Sherron Collins (#4) has scored nine points in each of his last two games. He has made at least one three-pointer in nine of 12 games played and has multiple treys in five games. Collins has a 1.6 assist-to-turnover ratio which would rank 12th in the Big 12 (notez; he has played in 66.7 percent of KU’s games). Collins missed six games (games 3-8) due to injury.

–Freshman Cole Aldrich (#45) pulled down four rebounds in nine minutes at Missouri to mark the eighth game this season with four or more boards. He has logged 22 minutes in the last two games. Aldrich has five games with multiple blocked shots. He is tied for 14th in the Big 12 in blocked shots with a 1.06 average.

In the Polls

Kansas moved up one spot to No. 2 in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ polls released Jan. 21. KU reached as high as No. 2 in three AP polls last season, including the final one (March 12) and twice in the coaches’ poll (March 5 and March 12). The Jayhawks opened 2007-08 ranked No. 4 in both preseason polls. This marks the 23rd straight week that Kansas has been ranked in the top 10 nationally in both polls and the 14th straight in the top five. Under Bill Self, KU has been ranked in the AP top 10 in 52 polls and in the coaches’ top 10 on 53 occasions.

Up Next

Kansas continues its homestand when it hosts Nebraska on Saturday at 12:45 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN-Plus, part of the Big 12 television package. KU opened league play with a 79-58 win at Nebraska on Jan. 12. Nebraska does not have a midweek game and will bring an 11-5 (0-3 Big 12) record to Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas will then have a two-game road swing at Kansas State on Wednesday, Jan. 30 (7 p.m. on ESPN Plus) and at Colorado Saturday, Feb. 2 (2:30 p.m. on ABC).