No. 9/8 Kansas Takes Four-Game Winning Streak to Kansas State for ESPN Big Monday
Feb. 18, 2007
Kansas (23-4, 10-2) heads west to Kansas State (19-8, 8-4) for ESPN Big Monday riding a four-game winning streak, in which the Jayhawks have won by an average of 31.8 points. Kansas State has won two of its last three games and is 9-2 in its last 11. The Wildcats have been victorious in their last six home games. Kansas is currently tied for first place with Texas A&M in the Big 12 standings, while Kansas State is two games back in fourth place.
With its 92-39 win against Nebraska – second widest margin of victory in the history of the Big 12 – Kansas has won 10 conference games for the 13th straight season and is the only Big 12 school to have won at least 10 league games in each of the 11 seasons the conference has existed. Including 2006-07, KU has won at least 23 games in each of the last 18 seasons. Kansas averages 78.9 points per game and is giving up 59.9. The Jayhawks are outrebounding foes 40.3 to 32.5 per game and hold a 49.3 to 37.6 field goal percentage edge. Additionally, Kansas boasts a +3.2 turnover margin this season. KU is a young team as its top five scorers are sophomores and freshmen. Sophomore guard Brandon Rush, a Midseason Wooden Award All-American selection, leads Kansas in scoring at 14.2 points per game and with 53 three-point field goals made. Sophomore guard Julian Wright is next in scoring with a 11.9 average, leads the team with 8.0 rebounds per outing and is second in blocked shots with 41. Sophomore guard Mario Chalmers averages 11.2 points per game and leads the Big 12 in steals with 2.67 per contest. Freshman forward Darrell Arthur has a team-leading 41 blocked shots to compliment his 10.7 points per game. Freshman guard Sherron Collins is scoring 12.3 points in Big 12 play – second best on the team – and 9.6 on the season. He is making a team-high 43.5 percent from three-point range. Junior guard Russell Robinson, a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award, leads KU with 129 assists in addition to his 6.7 scoring average. He is second on the team with 53 steals. Junior Sasha Kaun and Darnell Jackson round out the regulars for KU. Kaun, the starting center, is scoring 6.2 points per game and shooting 53.7 percent from the field, while Jackson, a forward, is averaging 5.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per outing off the bench.
About Kansas State
Kansas State (19-8, 8-4) is 12-1 at home after its 65-47 win against Iowa State Saturday. The Wildcats have held two Big 12 teams – Nebraska and Iowa State – to under 50 points. K-State averages 71.3 points per game and is giving up 64.9. The Wildcats are outrebounding foes 37.3 to 33.4 and outshooting them 42.7 to 41.0 percent. Senior forward Cartier Martin is a non-starter who leads the team in scoring at 16.0 points per game, three-point field goals with 50 and in free throw percentage at 80 percent. Junior forward David Hoskins is next in scoring at 14.5 points per game and has been to the free throw line 183 times, which is more than twice as many times as any Jayhawk (Julian Wright with 87). Hoskins is making 76.5 percent from the charity stripe and is second on the team with a 5.9 rebound average. Senior guard Lance Harris is scoring 10.6 points and has made 46 three-pointers. Senior guard Akeem Wright leads KSU with 6.1 rebounds per game to go along with a 6.5 scoring average. Junior guard Clent Stewart paces Kansas State with 69 assists and is scoring 5.8 points per game. Junior guard Blake Young (5.6 ppg) leads the team with 32 steals and freshman center Jason Bennett leads the Big 12 with 2.13 blocked shots per game.
Kansas has won 33 of the last 34 meetings with Kansas State dating back to the 1990 season. The Jayhawks hold a 172-89 all-time series advantage over the Wildcats, including a 70-43 mark in games played in Manhattan and an 18-0 record in Bramlage Coliseum. Including the 18-0 mark in Bramlage, Kansas has won 23 straight in Manhattan dating back to 1984. Last season, Kansas State snapped a 31-game KU winning streak with a 59-55 victory in Allen Fieldhouse on Jan. 14, 2006. Kansas returned the favor with a 66-52 win in Manhattan to claim a share of the Big 12 regular-season championship. Earlier this season Kansas tied a season high with 97 points as Brandon Rush scored 18 points and Darrell Arthur 14 in KU’s 97-70 win on Feb. 7. Since the inception of the Big 12, KU holds a 25-1 record against Kansas State. The Jayhawks won the first-ever meeting with K-State, 54-39, on Jan. 25, 1907, in Lawrence.
Kansas returns home to face Iowa State on Saturday, Feb. 24. The game starts at 5 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN. KU will then play its fourth ESPN Big Monday game at Oklahoma on Feb. 26 (8 p.m. tip). Kansas lost on ESPN Big Monday in Norman two seasons ago.