No. 8/8 Kansas Hits Road for ESPN Big Monday Battle at Nebraska
Jan. 28, 2007
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No. 8/8 Kansas (18-3, 5-1) concludes its second round of four games in nine days when it travels to Nebraska for ESPN Big Monday. Tip from the Devaney Center is set for 8 p.m. The Jayhawks are coming off a 97-74 win against Colorado Saturday. Nebraska (12-7, 1-4) is looking to snap a two-game losing streak after its 61-45 loss at Kansas State Saturday.
Kansas takes a two-game winning streak to Nebraska. The eighth-ranked Jayhawks have won 12 of their last 13 contests and are 3-2 in true road games and 6-2 away from Allen Fieldhouse in 2006-07. KU is scoring 77.8 points on the season and giving up 60.2. The Jayhawks have held every opponent to under 50 percent shooting this season and are making 48.9 percent to their opponents’ 37.5 percent from the floor. Kansas forces 18.2 turnovers per game and averages seven blocked shots per contest. Preseason Big 12 Co-Player of the Year Brandon Rush (G) leads KU in scoring at 14 points per game and in three-point field goals made with 39 on the season. Sophomore guard Mario Chalmers is next in scoring with 11.9 points per game and he is second in three-pointers with 32. Chalmers leads the team with 60 steals and is second in assists with 72. Sophomore forward Julian Wright, the other Preseason Big 12 Co-Player of the Year, leads the team in rebounding with a 7.8 average to go along with his 11.1 ppg. Junior guard Russell Robinson and center Sasha Kaun round out the starters. Robinson is scoring 6.6 points per contest and leads the team with 97 assists, while Kaun is averaging 6.8 points per game and paces the team with a 57 percent field goal percentage. KU’s bench has outscored it’s opponent’s bench 513 to 305 mainly due to the trio of freshmen Sherron Collins and Darrell Arthur and junior forward Darnell Jackson. Collins is scoring 12.8 points in Big 12 play and nine points in all games while Arthur leads KU with 37 blocked shots to go along with his 11-point scoring average. Jackson is averaging 5.6 points and 4.7 rebounds per contest.
Nebraska (12-7, 1-4) has lost two straight and four of its last five games, all in Big 12 play. The Huskers are 9-1 at home this season with the lone loss being 62-61 to Texas last Wednesday. The Huskers average 69.7 points and are giving up 61.2 per contest. They shoot 49.2 percent from the field compared to their opponents’ 42.2. Nebraska averages 7.7 three-point field goals per game and shoots 72.5 percent from the free throw line. Junior center Aleks Maric leads the Huskers in scoring with 17.6 points, rebounding at 7.9 boards, field goal percentage at 61.9 and blocked shots with 22. Freshman guard Ryan Anderson is next in scoring at 10.8 points and is making 81.5 percent from the free throw line and 46.4 percent from three-point range. Sophomore guard Jamel White is scoring 10.5 points per contest and is an 84.2 percent free throw shooter. Senior guard Marcus Perry is another sharp shooter averaging 8.7 points and making 45.1 percent from beyond the arc. Senior guard Charles Richardson, Jr., leads the team in assists with 110 and steals with 41 to go along with his 7.9 scoring average, just ahead of freshman guard’s Sek Henry’s 7.8 points per game.
This series dates back to 1900 and Kansas leads, 159-71, including a 58-44 record in Lincoln. Nebraska holds a 16-14 edge on games played in the Bob Devaney Center. Kansas has won six straight and 15 of the last 16 meetings with NU dating back to 1999. The last Nebraska win 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 20-3 record against Nebraska since the inception of the Big 12 and has swept the season series eight times, including each of the last two seasons. Last year, KU went 3-0 against NU, including a 79-65 victory in the semifinals of KU’s Big 12 Championship run at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.
ESPN College Gameday will make its second trip to Allen Fieldhouse in three years on Saturday, Feb. 3, when the Jayhawks host Texas A&M. The Gameday crew will air its show live from the Fieldhouse from 10-11 a.m. Tip time for the KU-A&M contest is set for 8 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN. Following the A&M game, Kansas will play host to Kansas State on Wednesday, Feb. 7 at 8 p.m. That game will be part of the Big 12 television package on ESPN Plus. Last year, K-State defeated KU 59-55, ending a 32-game series winning streak for the Jayhawks.