No. 2 Kansas to Host Nebraska Saturday in men's Hoops at 12:45 p.m. on ESPN Plus

Jan. 24, 2008

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No. 2 Kansas concludes its two game homestand against Big 12 foe Nebraska Saturday at 12:45 p.m. on ESPN Plus. KU is 19-0 on the season after its 83-59 win against Iowa State Wednesday. The Jayhawks are 4-0 in Big 12 play. Nebraska did not play a midweek game and will bring an 11-5 (0-3 in Big 12 play) record to Allen Fieldhouse. NU last played against Baylor on Jan. 19 and lost, 72-70, in Lincoln.

About Kansas

In Kansas’ first four Big 12 games, the Jayhawks have outscored league foes 83.3 to 59 for a +24.3 scoring margin. The Jayhawks have won 27 straight regular-season contests and are 33-1 in their last 34 games. KU’s 18-game home court winning streak ranks seventh nationally. Senior forward Darnell Jackson and junior guard Brandon Rush are share the team lead the team in scoring in Big 12 games with 14.8 points per game. In all games, Jackson is second on the team with a 12.8 ppg, while Rush is fourth at 11.7 ppg. Jackson is coming off a double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds against Iowa State and he leads the team in rebounds with 7.3 per game, which is tied for seventh in the Big 12. He leads the conference in field goal percentage at 66.9 percent. Rush is second on the team with 1.76 three-pointers made per game, which ranks 13th in the conference. Sophomore forward Darrell Arthur leads the team in scoring overall with a 13.4 average, which ranks 17th in the Big 12. He also paces KU with 1.63 blocked shots (fourth in the league) and is second on the team with a 5.7 rebounding average, 15th in the conference. Junior Mario Chalmers is scoring 12.4 points per game and he leads the league in steals, with 2.83 per game, and assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.77. He has made a team-high 1.89 three-pointers (tied for ninth in the Big 12) and averages 4.78 assists (third in the league). Senior guard Russell Robinson rounds out the starters. He is second in the Big 12 in steals at 2.26 per game, fourth in assists (4.63) and seventh in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.00. Robinson scores 7.2 points per game. Sophomore guard Sherron Collins (8.9 ppg), senior center Sasha Kaun (7.6 ppg, 26 blocked shots), senior guard Rodrick Stewart (4.2 ppg) and freshman center Cole Aldrich (3.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 21 blocked shots) round out the KU regulars.

About Nebraska

Nebraska (11-5, 0-3 Big 12) is looking to end a three-game losing skid that started in its Big 12 opener against Kansas (79-58) on Jan. 12. NU is 0-3 away from the Bob Devaney Sports Center, averages 70 points per game and is giving up 56.3 for a +13.7 scoring margin. The Huskers force an average of 17.5 turnovers per game and are outrebounding foes by 2.2 per contest. The Huskers lead the Big 12 in scoring defense at 56.3 and field goal percentage defense at 36.9 percent. Senior center Aleks Maric leads NU with a 16.6 scoring average – sixth in the Big 12 – and an 8.2 rebounding average – fourth in the league. He also has a team-high 57.7 shooting percentage and 32 blocked shots. Junior guard Ade Dagunduro is next in scoring at 9.7 points per game. He is also pulling down 4.4 rebounds per outing. Sophomore guard Ryan Anderson scores 9.3 points per contest and he leads NU with 25 three-pointers. He is second on the team with 5.8 rebounds per game. Freshman guard Cookie Miller is seventh in the Big 12 in assists with 3.94 per game and eighth in steals with 1.88 per game, both team bests. Junior guard Steve Harley (6.6 ppg), sophomore guard Jay-R Strowbridge (5.6 ppg), sophomore guard Sek Henry (4.8 ppg), junior guard Paul Velander (4.1 ppg) and junior forward Shang Ping (3.9 ppg) round out the Nebraska regulars.

The Series

This series dates back to 1900 and Kansas leads 162-71, including KU’s 79-58 win at Nebraska on Jan. 12. Kansas is 84-23 against Nebraska in games played in Lawrence and 47-7 versus the Huskers in Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas has won nine straight and 18 of the last 19 meetings with Nebraska dating back to 1999. The last Nebraska victory in the series was 74-55 on Feb. 15, 2004, in Lincoln. The previous NU win was 64-59 on Feb. 10, 1999, in Lawrence. Kansas holds a 23-3 record against Nebraska since the inception of the Big 12 and has swept the season series nine times, including each of the last three seasons. Earlier this season, Brandon Rush led Kansas with 19 points as KU defeated Nebraska, 79-58, on Jan. 12 in the Big 12 opener for both schools. KU had four players in double figures with Rush’s 19, Mario Chalmers’ 14 and Russell Robinson and Sasha Kaun’s 10 points each. KU senior Darnell Jackson led all rebounders with eight on the night. Nebraska senior center Aleks Maric paced the Huskers with 19 points.

Team Notables

–Kansas is 19-0 on the season and is one of two NCAA Division I teams undefeated – Memphis is 18-0.

–Kansas is 67-7 (90.5 percent) in its last 74 games. The Jayhawks are 19-0 on the season and have won 33 of their last 34 and 36 of their last 38 contests. Kansas has won its last 27 regular-season home games.

–Kansas is 14-0 at home this season, including the Ohio contest at the Sprint Center, and has won 18 straight home games. The 18-game streak ranks tied for seventh nationally.

–With its win at Missouri Jan. 19, Kansas has won its last eight Big 12 road games and is 11-1 in its last 12 league road contests.

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

–KU has shot better than 50 percent 15 of 19 contests this season, including nine of its last 11 contests. Last year, KU shot better than 50 percent in 18 of 38 contests.

–KU has outshot 18 of 19 opponents this season – USC (Dec. 2) shot better than KU.

–Kansas leads the Big 12 in scoring offense (83.3), scoring margin (+24.3), turnover margin (+5.37), field goal percentage (51.5), blocked shots (6.32), assists (19.58), steals (10.53) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.53).

–Kansas ranks 11th in the Big 12 in free throw percentage at 66.2 for all games. In four league games, the Jayhawks are fourth in the league with a 74.2 free throw percentage.

–The Jayhawks have held 18 of 19 opponents to under 50 percent shooting and 90 of its last 93 opponents.

–Through 19 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 five games – Chalmers, Jackson (twice), Rush and Collins.

–Four Jayhawks have scored 20-plus points this season – Sherron Collins (22 vs. ULM), Darnell Jackson (21 vs. ULM, 20 vs. Yale, 25 at Boston College, 21 vs. Iowa State), 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 528-343 for a 27.8 to 18.1 (+9.7) advantage per game.

–Kansas is a combined 31-1 in football (12-1) and men’s basketball (19-0).

–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

–Senior Darnell Jackson (#32) recorded his first double-double of the season and fifth of his career with 21 points and 11 rebounds against Iowa State. It marked his fourth 20-point game of the season. Jackson has scored 51 points in his last three games for a 17 ppg average. He is averaging nine rebounds in his last six outings. Jackson leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage at 66.9 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 tied for seventh in rebounds at 7.3 rpg. Jackson was featured in the Jan. 21 Sports Illustrated on The Pop Culture Grid.

–Junior Brandon Rush (#25) knocked down 3-of-5 three-point field goals in scoring 11 points against Iowa State. He has 12 three-pointers in his last four games and is 12-of-23 (52.2 percent) from beyond the arc in that span. Rush has scored in double digits in 10 of his last 11 games and 12 contests this season. Rush is seventh on the career KU three-point field goals made list with 155. He is 13th in the Big 12 in three-point field goals made at 1.76. 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.

–Junior Mario Chalmers (#15) dished out six assists against Iowa State, marking the 14th time in 19 games this season he has collected five or more dimes. Chalmers led KU with 18 points at Missouri (Jan. 19) on 4-of-7 shooting and 8-of-11 from the free throw line. He is a combined 11-for-18 (61.1 percent) from the field in his last three games. He has 25 assists and just five turnovers in his last five games, including six dimes and one turnover against Iowa State. He has three or more steals in 13 games this season. Chalmers leads the Big 12 in steals with 2.83 per game and assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.77. He is third in assists at 4.78 and tied for ninth in three-point field goals made at 1.89 in the conference.

–Sophomore Darrell Arthur’s (#00) 16 points against Iowa State were the most in his last five games (since when he scored 22 at Boston College on Jan. 5). He continues to lead KU in scoring at 13.4 points per game. He has nine games with multi-blocks this season. Arthur is 17th in the Big 12 in scoring with 13.4 points per game, 15th in rebounding at 5.7, fourth in blocked shots at 1.63 and seventh in field goal percentage at 53.5 percent.

–Senior Russell Robinson’s (#3) 11 points against Iowa State were the most he has scored since he poured in 17 points against Georgia Tech on Dec. 18. He has dished out five or more assists eight times this season, including five dimes in two of his last three games – at Missouri and against Oklahoma. He is averaging four rebounds in his last four games and 2.5 per game on the season. He has at least one steal in all but two games this season and multiple steals in 14 contests. His 211 career steals are fifth all-time at KU. Robinson is fourth in the Big 12 in assists at 4.63, second in steals at 2.26 and seventh in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.00.

–Senior Sasha Kaun (#24) was 3-for-5 from the field in scoring six points against Iowa State. He leads KU in field goal percentage at 67.9 percent and has shot 66.7 percent or better in 13 of 19 games this year. After starting the year 10-for-26 (38.5 percent) from the free throw line, Kaun is 28-for-42 (66.7 percent) in his last 13 games. Kaun is tied for fifth in the Big 12 in blocked shots with 1.37 per game.

–Sophomore Sherron Collins (#4) has scored nine points in two of his last three games. He has made at least one three-pointer in nine of 13 games played and has multiple treys in five games. Collins has a 1.7 assist-to-turnover ratio, which would rank 11th in the Big 12 (note: he has played in 68.4 percent of KU’s games). Collins missed six games (games 3-8) due to injury.

–Freshman Cole Aldrich (#45) pulled down three rebounds and had two blocked shots in eight minutes against Iowa State. He has pulled down four or more rebounds in eight games. Aldrich has six games with multiple blocked shots. He is 13th in the Big 12 in blocked shots with a 1.11 average.

Up Next

Kansas hits the road to take on in-state rival Kansas State on Wednesday, Jan. 30. and plays at Colorado on Saturday, Feb. 2. Since 1984, the Jayhawks have won a mindboggling 24-straight meetings with the Wildcats in games played in Manhattan. The K-State game is on ESPN Plus, while the Colorado game will tip at 2:30 on ABC. KU has won four straight and 15 of its last 16 trips to Boulder, Colo., dating back to 1992. Kansas returns home on Feb. 4 when it hosts Missouri on ESPN’s Big Monday at 8 p.m.