No. 3 Jayhawks to Host Colorado Saturday in Men's Hoops as KU Celebrates 110 Years of Basketball

Feb. 14, 2008

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Kansas returns home to face Colorado in an eventful weekend as KU celebrates 110 years of men’s basketball. KU is looking to rebound from a 72-69 loss at Texas Monday. The Jayhawks are 23-2 on the season and 8-2 in Big 12 play and sit atop the Big 12 standings, one-half game ahead of Kansas State and Texas, who are both at 7-2 in conference play. Colorado is 10-13 on the season and 2-7 in league play. The Buffaloes did not play a midweek game and are coming off a 72-58 win against Oklahoma last Saturday.

About Kansas

Kansas has posted 23 wins for an incredible 19 straight seasons, dating back to 1988-89. The Jayhawks average 82.9 points to lead the Big 12, and rank in the top five nationally, in scoring margin at +21.1. Sophomore forward Darrell Arthur leads KU in scoring with 14 points per game, including a game-high 22 points at Texas Monday. He is second on the team with six rebounds per contest and leads KU with 41 blocked shots. A trio of Jayhawks average between 12.1 and 12.4 points per contest, led by senior forward Darnell Jackson at 12.4 ppg. Jackson leads KU in rebounding at 6.9 per contest. Junior guard Brandon Rush is next in scoring at 12.3 points per outing, including 14.4 ppg in Big 12 play. Rush has made a team-best 45 three-pointers in 2007-08. Junior Mario Chalmers leads the Big 12 in steals with 2.52 per game and is third in assists at 4.96. Chalmers averages 12.1 points per contest. Sophomore guard Sherron Collins is scoring 9.4 points off the bench, while seniors Sasha Kaun and Russell Robinson are scoring 7.4 points per outing. Robinson, Arthur, Rush, Jackson and Chalmers are the KU starters. Senior guard Rodrick Stewart (3.4 ppg) and freshman center Cole Aldrich (2.9 ppg) round out the Kansas regulars.

About Colorado

Colorado snapped a six-game losing streak with a 72-58 win against Oklahoma Feb. 9. The Buffaloes are 3-6 on the road this season yet have not claimed a Big 12 road victory in four tries. Despite the losing record, CU is outscoring foes 62.8 to 62.5 and is near even in rebounding at 29.4 boards per game to its opponents’ 31.9 average. Colorado averages 4.3 blocked shots and 6.2 three-pointers per game. Senior guard Richard Roby leads the team in scoring at 17.1 points per game, which is fourth in the Big 12, and rebounding with a 6.4 average, 11th in the conference. Senior guard Marcus Hall is next in scoring at 12.9 points per contest. He leads the team with 39 three-pointers, 87 assists and 44 steals. Sophomore guard Xavier Silas is next in scoring at 9.9 points per game and freshman guard Cory Higgins adds 8.4 ppg. Freshman guard Levi Knutson come off the bench to score 4.7 points per game, while junior forward Jermyl Jackson-Wilson is at 4.5 ppg. Senior forward Marcus King-Stockton (2.4 ppg, 3.2 rpg) leads the team with 28 blocked shots, while sophomore guard Dwight Thorne II (3.4 ppg) round out the CU regulars.

The Series

This series dates back to 1931 and Kansas leads 114-39, including a 57-7 record in Lawrence and a 48-5 mark in Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas has won 10 straight and 37 of the last 38 meetings with CU dating back to 1991. The last Colorado win in the series was a 60-59 thriller on Jan. 22, 2003, in Boulder. The previous CU win was a 79-71 victory on Feb. 20, 1991, also in Boulder. Kansas has won 24 straight against Colorado in Allen Fieldhouse, a string which started in 1984. Since the inception of the Big 12, Kansas is 23-1 against Colorado – 22-1 in regular-season play and 1-0 in the league championship. On Feb. 2, Kansas senior Darnell Jackson scored 18 points, including 10-for-10 from the free throw line, as KU won 72-59 in Boulder. The game was tied at 30 at halftime and KU outscored CU 42-29 in the second stanza. Junior Brandon Rush added 15 points and senior Sasha Kaun 12 in the victory.

Team Notables

–The combined record of the Kansas men’s basketball and football teams is 35-3 (92.1 winning percentage) in 2007-08, including 24-0 at home.

–Kansas is 71-9 (88.8 percent) in its last 80 games. The Jayhawks are 23-2 on the season and have won 37 of their last 40 and 40 of their last 44 contests.

–Kansas is 17-0 at home this season, including the Ohio contest at the Sprint Center, and has won 21 straight home games. The 21-game streak ranks sixth nationally.

–Kansas has won nine of its last 11 Big 12 road games and is 11-3 in its last 14 league road contests.

–Kansas has made 78 percent or better from the free throw line in each of the last five games.

–In the last two weeks, Kansas has moved from 11th in Big 12 free throw shooting to sixth for all games. KU is making 69.2 percent of its free throws in all games and 76.2 in league games, which is second in the conference.

–Kansas’ bigs score 44.6 percent of KU’s points, while its guards score 55.4 percent. KU’s scoring list goes – big, big, guard, guard, guard, big, guard, guard, big.

–KU has shot better than 50 percent in 18 of 25 contests this season, including two of its last four games. Last year, KU shot better than 50 percent in 18 of 38 contests.

–KU has outshot 24 of 25 opponents this season – USC (Dec. 2) shot better than KU.

–Kansas leads the Big 12 in scoring offense (82.9), scoring margin (+21.1), field goal percentage (50.9), assists (18.92), blocked shots (6.44), steals (9.44) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.48).

–The Jayhawks have held 24 of 25 opponents to under 50 percent shooting and 96 of its last 99 opponents.

–Through 25 games, Kansas has had seven different leading scorers, six different players lead the team in rebounding, five different in assists, eight different in steals and seven different in blocked shots (these includes ties). KU has had four different leading scorers in its last five games – Arthur, Rush, Jackson and Chalmers.

–Five 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), Darrell Arthur (22 at Texas, 23 vs. Baylor, 20 vs. Arizona, 21 at Boston College) and Russell Robinson (22 vs. Baylor).

–On the season, the Jayhawk bench has outscored its opponents 653-438 for a 26.1 to 17.5 (+8.6) 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.

Player Notables

–Sophomore Darrell Arthur (#00) scored 22 points at Texas and is averaging 22.5 points in his last two games. In that span he has shot 18-for-30 (60 percent), has averaged eight rebounds and has four blocked shots. His 23 points and 10 rebounds against Baylor (Feb. 9) were his third double-double of the season and fifth of his career. He has two straight 20-point efforts and four on the season. He has pulled down seven or more rebounds 10 times this year. Arthur is 17-for-20 (85 percent) from the free throw line in his last five games. Arthur has 12 games with multiple blocked shots this season, including five in conference action. Arthur leads KU in scoring at 14 ppg, which ranks 12th in the Big 12. Also in the league, he is 12th in rebounding at 6.0, fifth in field goal percentage at 53.7 and fourth in blocked shots a 1.64.

–Junior Brandon Rush (#25) had 10 points at Texas and is scoring 14.4 in Big 12 games and 12.3 on the season. His three-point shooting has also improved in conference play, as he is making 45.8 percent from the beyond the arc through 10 league games and 41.3 on the season. On the boards he is averaging 6.6 in Big 12 play and 5.1 on the year. He has pulled down six or more rebounds in eight of 10 league contests. Rush is 20th in rebounding the Big 12 at 5.1 and eighth in three-pointers made at 1.96.

–Senior Russell Robinson (#3) scored a season-high 22 points against Baylor (Feb. 9), including career highs in free throws (14) and free throws attempted (15). He has scored in double figures in Big 12 play three times in 2008. Robinson has dished out four or more assists 13 times this season. He has at least one steal in all but three games this season and multiple steals in 17 contests, including two at Texas. His 221 career steals are fifth all-time at KU. Robinson is fourth in the Big 12 in assists at 4.20, third in steals at 2.12 and fifth in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.06.

–Junior Mario Chalmers (#15) has 24 assists and six turnovers in his last four games, including five dimes and one turnover at Texas to go along with 13 points. He has five steals in his last two games and his four steals against Baylor (Feb. 9) were his most in Big 12 play and marked the sixth time this season he has had at least four steals. He has 58 assists and 14 turnovers in his last 10 games. Chalmers leads the Big 12 in steals with 2.46 per game and assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.98. He is third in assists at 4.96 and 11th in free throw percentage at 73.3 percent in the conference.

–Senior Darnell Jackson (#32) has scored in double figures in three of his last four games and 16 times this season, including 13 points at Texas. He has pulled down eight or more rebounds in six Big 12 contests and 14 times this season. Jackson is 18-for-20 (90 percent) from the free throw line since the second half of the Kansas State game on Jan. 30, including 10-for-10 at Colorado (Feb. 2). Jackson leads the team in rebounding at 6.9 rpg, which is eighth in the Big 12. He is 15th in the league in free throw percentage at 69.5 percent. For his efforts at Boston College (Jan. 5, 25 points, nine rebounds), he was named the co-Big 12 Player of the Week.

–Sophomore Sherron Collins (#4) had 17 points against Baylor (Feb. 9), his highest scoring game in Big 12 play. Despite only two points at Texas, he has four assists in each of his last three games and averages 2.7 on the year. He has scored in double figures in four of his last six games and eight times this season. He has made at least one three-pointer in 13 of 19 games played in and has multiple treys in seven games. Collins missed six games (games 3-8) due to injury.

–Senior Sasha Kaun’s (#24) seven rebounds at Texas tied for the second most this season for the center and were his conference season high. His four offensive boards at UT tied his season best. He has at least one blocked shot in each of his last seven games and multiple blocks in 10 contests this season. Kaun is fifth in the Big 12 in blocked shots with 1.36 per game. He is second on the team in field goal percentage at 63.6 percent. After starting the year 10-for-26 (38.5 percent) from the free throw line, Kaun is 36-for-54 (66.7 percent) in his last 19 games.

–Freshman Cole Aldrich (#45) had a season-high nine rebounds to go along with six points in 12 minutes against Missouri (Feb. 4). He has pulled down four or more rebounds in 10 games. He is 15th in the Big 12 in blocked shots for a 0.96 average.

–Senior Rodrick Stewart (#5) plays a key role off the bench as he averages 13.4 minutes per game. Able to play guard and forward, Stewart has three or more rebounds in five of his last eight games.

Up Next

Kansas takes a week off before playing at Oklahoma State on Saturday, Feb. 23. Tip from Gallagher-Iba Arena is set for 3 p.m. and the game will be televised on CBS. The Jayhawks continue their road swing at Iowa State on Wednesday, Feb. 27, at 6 p.m. on ESPN. KU returns home Saturday, March 1, when it hosts Kansas State at 8 p.m. on ESPN. For the third time, ESPN Gameday will originate from Allen Fieldhouse on March 1. Kansas concludes it home schedule by hosting Texas Tech on ESPN’s Big Monday on March 3 at 8 p.m.