No. 2 Jayhawks Continue Road Swing at Colorado Saturday in Men's Basketball

Jan. 31, 2008

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No. 2 Kansas enters the Colorado game, Saturday at 2:30 p.m. on ABC, in unfamiliar territory. The Jayhawks are looking to rebound from their first loss of the season at Kansas State Wednesday. KU is 20-1 on the season and 5-1 in Big 12 play. Colorado is looking to snap a four-game losing streak following its 57-41 loss at Iowa State Tuesday. Colorado is 9-11 on the season and 1-5 in conference play.

About Kansas

Under head coach Bill Self, Kansas is 24-5 following a loss as the Jayhawks look to rebound from an 84-75 loss at No. 22/24 Kansas State Wednesday. In Kansas’ first six Big 12 games, the Jayhawks have outscored league foes 80.3 to 62.5 for a +17.8 scoring margin. The Jayhawks are 34-2 in their last 36 games. Sophomore forward Darrell Arthur leads the team in scoring with 13.5 points per game and 35 blocked shots. He is second on the team with 5.9 rebounds per contest. Forward Darnell Jackson is having a solid senior season as he leads the Big 12, and ranks in the top five nationally, in field goal percentage at 66.3 percent to complement his 12.5 points per game. He leads KU in rebounding with 7.2 boards per contest. Junior guard Mario Chalmers leads the Big 12 in steals at 2.55 per game and in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.80. He is scoring 12.3 points per game and has a team-best 95 assists. Junior guard Brandon Rush has stepped up his game in Big 12 play with a team-best 15.2 scoring average after six league contests. He averages 12.2 points and 5.1 rebounds per game overall and leads the team with 38 three-pointers. Senior guard Russell Robinson (7.2 ppg) rounds out the starters. He is second on the team in assists with 94 and steals with 49. Senior center Sasha Kaun (7.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg) is tied with Jackson for the team-best field goal percentage at 66.3 percent. Off the bench, sophomore guard Sherron Collins scores 9.2 points per game, while senior guard Rodrick Stewart (4.0 ppg) and freshman center Cole Aldrich (3.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg) round out the KU regulars.

About Colorado

Colorado has lost four straight and six of its last seven games. The Buffaloes are 4-6 at home this season. Despite the losing record, CU is outscoring foes 62.5 to 62.2 and is near even in rebounding at 30.2 boards per game to its opponents’ 31.7 averages. Colorado averages 4.5 blocked shots and six three-pointers per game. Senior guard Richard Roby leads the team in scoring at 16.5 points per game, which is fifth in the Big 12, and rebounding with a 6.5 average, 10th in the conference. Senior guard Marcus Hall is next in scoring at 12.6 points per contest. He leads the team with 32 three pointers, 76 assists and 40 steals. Sophomore guard Xavier Silas is next in scoring at 10.1 points per game, while freshman guard Cory Higgins (8.1 ppg) and junior forward Jermyl Jackson-Wilson (4.5 ppg) round out the CU starters. Senior forward Marcus King-Stockton (2.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg) leads the team with 25 blocked shots, while freshman guard Levi Knutson (5.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg) and sophomore guard Dwight Thorne II (3.0 ppg) round out the CU regulars.

Team Notables

–The combined record of the Kansas men’s basketball and football teams is 32-2 (94.1 winning percentage).

–Kansas is 68-8 (89.5 percent) in its last 76 games. The Jayhawks are 20-1 on the season and have won 34 of their last 36 and 37 of their last 40 contests.

–Kansas is 15-0 at home this season, including the Ohio contest at the Sprint Center, and has won 19 straight home games. The 19-game streak ranks seventh nationally.

–Kansas has won eight of its last nine Big 12 road games and is 10-2 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, big, guard, guard, guard.

–KU has shot better than 50 percent in 16 of 21 contests this season, including 10 of its last 13 contests. Last year, KU shot better than 50 percent in 18 of 38 contests.

–KU has outshot 20 of 21 opponents this season – USC (Dec. 2) shot better than KU.

–Kansas leads the Big 12 in scoring offense (83.0), scoring margin (+23.2), field goal percentage (51.4), three-point field goal percentage (39.5), field goal percentage defense (39.5), assists (19.48), turnover margin (+4.81), blocked shots (6.52), steals (10.33) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.50).

–Kansas ranks 11th in the Big 12 in free throw percentage at 66.4 for all games. In six league games, the Jayhawks are third in the league with a 72.5 free throw percentage.

–The Jayhawks have held 20 of 21 opponents to under 50 percent shooting and 92 of its last 95 opponents.

–Through 21 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 five different leading scorers in the last seven games – Arthur, Chalmers (twice), 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 568-382 for a 27.0 to 18.2 (+8.8) advantage per game.

–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 and will be a three-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team selection in 2008.

Player Notables

–Senior Darnell Jackson (#32) had his string of eight or more rebounds come to an end at seven games as he pulled down four at Kansas State. His 21 points and 11 rebounds against Iowa State Jan. 23 marked his first double-double of the season. Jackson leads the Big 12 and ranks in the top five nationally in field goal percentage at 66.3 percent. For his efforts at Boston College (Jan. 5, 25 points, nine rebounds), he was named the co-Big 12 Player of the Week. Besides leading the league in field goal percentage, Jackson ranks 19th in scoring at 12.5 and he is tied for eighth in rebounds at 7.2 rpg.

–Junior Brandon Rush (#25) leads KU in scoring in Big 12 games with 15.2 points per outing. He had 15 points and seven rebounds at Kansas State. Rush has made 11 three-pointers in his last three games. In that span he is 11-for-19 (57.9 percent) from beyond the arc. Rush has scored in double digits in 12 of his last 13 games and 14 contests this season. Rush is sixth on the career KU three-point field goals made list with 163. He is second in the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage at 43.7 and tied for seventh in three-point field goals made at 2.00. He played 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) scored 19 points at Kansas State, the most points in a Big 12 game for the guard in 2008. He has shot 50 percent or better from the field in four of his last five games. He has 34 assists and eight turnovers in his last seven games, including seven dimes and no turnovers against Nebraska (Jan. 26). Chalmers has three or more steals in 13 games this season. Chalmers leads the Big 12 in steals with 2.55 per game and assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.79. He is third in assists at 4.75 and tied for 12th in three-point field goals made at 1.80 in the conference.

–Sophomore Darrell Arthur (#00) has pulled down seven or more rebounds in four of his last five games, including seven at Kansas State to go along with 12 points in only 17 minutes of action. He is averaging 15.3 points in his last three games. He has at least seven boards nine times this season. He has 10 games with multi-blocked shots this season, including three at KSU. He continues to lead KU in scoring at 13.5 points per game, which ranks 15th in the Big 12. Also in the league, he is 14th in rebounding at 5.9, fourth in blocked shots at 1.67 and sixth in field goal percentage at 53.4 percent.

–Senior Russell Robinson (#3) has six steals in his last two games. His four steals against Nebraska (Jan. 26) tied for his second-highest output of the season (8 vs. Yale and 4 vs. Miami). He has dished out five or more assists eight times this season. He has at least one steal in all but two games this season and multiple steals in 16 contests, including two at Kansas State. His 217 career steals are fifth all-time at KU. Robinson is fourth in the Big 12 in assists at 4.48, second in steals at 2.33 and sixth in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.00.

–Sophomore SHERRON COLLINS’ (#4) 12 points at Kansas State were the most since he scored 18 against Loyola on Jan. 8. He has scored in double figures in each of his last two games and six times this season. He has made at least one three-pointer in 11 of 15 games played in and has multiple treys in six games. Collins has a 1.6 assist-to-turnover ratio, which would rank 11th in the Big 12 (note: he has played in 71.4 percent of KU’s games). Collins missed six games (games 3-8) due to injury.

–Senior Sasha Kaun (#24) has four blocked shots and four steals in his last three games. He is tied with Darnell Jackson for the team lead in field goal percentage at 66.3 percent and has shot 66.7 percent or better in 14 of 21 games this year. After starting the year 10-for-26 (38.5 percent) from the free throw line, Kaun is 28-for-43 (65.1 percent) in his last 15 games. Kaun is fifth in the Big 12 in blocked shots with 1.38 per game.

–Freshman Cole Aldrich (#45) has at least one blocked shot in each of his last three games. In his last five outings, he has eight blocked shots. He has pulled down four or more rebounds in nine games, including four against Nebraska (Jan. 26). Aldrich has seven games with multiple blocked shots. He is tied for 12th in the Big 12 in blocked shots with a 1.14 average.

Up Next

Kansas returns home on Feb. 4 when it hosts Missouri on ESPN’s Big Monday at 8 p.m. KU then plays host to Baylor Saturday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m. on Jayhawk TV. The Jayhawks have won six-straight against the Bears. That weekend, Kansas Athletics will honor the KU Hall of Fame members, recent and past, with a new display in the Booth Family Hall of Athletics. KU will then make a quick trip to Austin to take on Texas for the Feb. 11 ESPN Big Monday contest before returning home to face Colorado on Feb. 16 at 12:45 p.m.