No. 6/6 Kansas Plays Host to No. 10/8 Texas A&M in Men's Basketball Saturday
Feb. 1, 2007
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Big 12 leaders Kansas and Texas A&M take the nation’s center stage as ESPN Gameday originates from Allen Fieldhouse previewing this heavyweight battle. Tip from AFH is set for 8 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPN. No. 6/6 KU and No. 10/8 A&M were 1-2 in the preseason coaches’ poll and both have been ranked in the national Top 10 for most of the season. Kansas is 2-0 against Top 10 teams this season, while Texas A&M is 1-2 versus teams ranked 12th or higher in 2006-07.
Kansas takes a three-game winning streak into tonight’s game after the Jayhawks won at Nebraska 76-56 on ESPN Big Monday. The Jayhawks have won 13 of their last 14 games and are 34-5 (87.2 percent) in their last 39 games. KU is 12-1 at home this season, including 11 straight and a 3-0 mark in Big 12 play. Kansas is scoring 77.7 points per game and giving up 60.0 points per contest with its top five scorers being either freshmen or sophomores. The Jayhawks outrebound foes 30.7 to 33.1, hold a +3.4 turnover margin and lead the Big 12 with 6.9 blocked shots per game. Sophomore guard Brandon Rush leads the team in scoring with 14.3 points per game and 42 three-point field goals. He is second on the team with six rebounds per outing. Sophomore guard Mario Chalmers is next in scoring at 11.8 points per contest and leads the team with 60 steals. Sophomore Julian Wright paces the team with 7.7 rebounds per game to go along with his 11.4 scoring average. Freshman forward Darrell Arthur is scoring 11 points per game and he leads the team with 38 blocked shots, four more than Wright’s. Freshman guard Sherron Collins is scoring nine points per contest and is making a team best 44.3 percent from three-point range. Juniors Russell Robinson and Sasha Kaun are two-year starters for the Jayhawks. Robinson leads the team with 101 assists to go along with his 6.7 scoring average, while Kaun is scoring 6.4 points per game and is shooting 54.1 percent from the field. Junior forward Darnell Jackson joins Arthur and Collins as a key reserve. He is scoring 5.4 points and pulling down 4.7 rebounds per outing.
About Texas A&M
Texas A&M is 18-3 and 6-1 in Big 12 play after its 73-49 win against Iowa State Wednesday in College Station, Texas. The Aggies have dominated foes as they lead the Big 12 in scoring defense (54.3), scoring margin (+21.5), free throw percentage (74.8), field goal percentage (50.5), field goal percentage defense (34.9), three-point field goal percentage defense (27.0), assists (19.05) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.44). Senior guard Acie Law IV leads the team with a 16.4 scoring average, 105 assists and 27 steals. Junior center/forward Joseph Jones is next in scoring with a 13.7 average and he paces the Aggies with 6.7 rebounds and 18 blocked shots. Senior forward Anatanas Kavaliauskas leads the team in field goal percentage at 60.3 percent to go along with his 12.3 scoring average. Kasvaliauskas is second on the team with a 5.7 rebound average. Freshman guard Josh Carter leads A&M with 52 three-pointers this season and is averaging 11.7 points per game. Junior guard Dominique Kirk rounds out the starters with a 6.6 points per game average. He is second on the team with 69 assists. A&M’s top reserves are freshman guard Donald Sloan (5.0 ppg) and senior forward Marlon Pompey (4.6 ppg).
Kansas leads the all-time series with Texas A&M 11-0, including a 5-0 advantage in Allen Fieldhouse. Ten of the 11 meetings have been while the two schools have been members of the Big 12 Conference, which was formed in 1996-97. The previous meeting was in 1967, a KU 78-52 win in Manhattan, Kan., as part of a Sunflower Double-Header. Though Kansas has won every meeting, each of the last three Jayhawk-Aggie battles have been decided by 10 points or less.
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. KU will then hit the road for games at Missouri on Feb. 10, and at Colorado on Valentines Day.