No. 4 Kansas Heads South to Oklahoma State in Men's Hoops Saturday at 3 p.m. on CBS

Feb. 21, 2008

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After a week off, Kansas (24-2, 9-2 Big 12) hits the homestretch of its regular season, starting at Oklahoma State (13-12, 4-7 Big 12) Saturday, Feb. 23, at 3 p.m. on CBS. The Jayhawks will play four games in the next 10 days, concluding on senior night against Texas Tech on March 3. Kansas is tied for the Big 12 regular-season race with Texas at 9-2. Like KU, Oklahoma State did not play a midweek game. The Cowboys have won two straight — against Baylor and at Texas A&M.

About Kansas

Kansas’ 9-2 record has given the Jayhawks a winning league record in each of the last 19 seasons. Kansas is the only team in the Big 12 to have posted a winning conference mark every season the conference has existed. The Jayhawks average 82.4 points and lead the nation in scoring margin at +21.2 following their 69-45 win against Colorado on Feb. 16. Sophomore forward Darrell Arthur leads KU in scoring with 13.8 points per game and has scored 22 or more points in two of his last three games. 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 6.7 per contest. Junior guard Mario Chalmers is next in scoring at 12.2 points per outing and he leads the Big 12 in steals at 2.44 per game and assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.95. Junior guard Brandon Rush is scoring 12.1 points per outing, including 13.7 ppg in Big 12 play. Rush has made a team-best 46 three-pointers in 2007-08. Sophomore guard Sherron Collins is scoring 9.2 points off the bench, while seniors Sahsa Kaun and Russell Robinson are scoring 7.5 and 7.2 points, respectively, per outing. Robinson, Arthur, Rush, Jackson and Chalmers are the KU starters. Senior guard Rodrick Stewart (3.2 ppg), freshmen center Cole Aldrich (3.0 ppg) and guard Tyrel Reed (2.5 ppg) round out the Kansas regulars.

About Oklahoma State

Oklahoma State has won two straight and three of its last four games heading into Saturday’s contest. The Cowboys are 13-12 overall, 4-7 in Big 12 play and are 11-2 at home in 2007-08. OSU averages 69.7 points per game and gives up 66.4. Freshman guard/forward James Anderson leads the team in scoring at 14.5 points per game, including a team-high 56 three pointers. Junior guard Terrel Harris and senior guard Byron Eaton are each scoring 10.6 points per contest. Eaton leads OSU with 79 assists and 55 steals on the season, while Harris is second on the team with a 4.6 rebound average per game. Sophomore guard Obi Muonelo is scoring 9.8 points per outing and is second behind Harris in three-pointers made with 41. Senior guard/forward Marcus Dove leads OSU in rebounding with 5.6 boards per game to go along with his 9.6 scoring average. Dove also has a team-best 31 blocked shots and his 50 steals are second most for the Cowboys. Freshman forward/center Ibrahima Thomas (5.9 ppg, 4.0 rpg) rounds out the starters, while freshman forward/center Martavius Adams (3.0 ppg) is the Cowboys’ other regular on the court.

The Series

This series dates back to 1926 and Kansas leads Oklahoma State 101-51, yet KU holds a slim 33-29 lead in Stillwater, including a 31-29 mark in Gallagher-Iba Arena. Kansas has won the last three and seven of the last nine games in the series with OSU dating back to 2001. Since the inception of the Big 12, KU holds a 12-4 advantage – 9-2 in regular season and 3-2 in Big 12 Championship action. The five KU-OSU meetings in the Big 12 tourney makes OSU the second-most team Kansas has faced in the event – 6-0 vs. Kansas State. The winner of the KU-OSU last two meetings in the Big 12 Championship has gone on to win the event – OSU 78-75 in 2005 in Kansas City and KU 78-75 in Dallas in 2006.

Team Notables

–The combined record of the Kansas men’s basketball and football teams is 36-3 (92.3 winning percentage) in 2007-08, including 25-0 at home.

–Kansas is 72-9 (88.9 percent) in its last 80 games. The Jayhawks are 24-2 on the season and have won 38 of their last 41 and 41 of their last 45 contests.

–Kansas is 18-0 at home this season, including the Ohio contest at the Sprint Center, and has won 22 straight home games. The 22-game streak ranks fifth 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 five of its last six games and shot 73 percent against Colorado.

–In the last three weeks, Kansas has moved from 11th in Big 12 free throw shooting to sixth for all games. KU is making 69.3 percent of its free throws in all games and 76.0 in league games, which is second in the conference.

–Kansas’ bigs score 44.7 percent of KU’s points, while its guards score 55.3 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 26 contests this season. Last year, KU shot better than 50 percent in 18 of 38 contests.

–KU has outshot 25 of 26 opponents this season – USC (Dec. 2) shot better than KU.

–Kansas leads the nation in scoring margin at +21.2. KU also leads the Big 12 in scoring offense (82.4), field goal percentage (50.8), field goal percentage defense (38.4), rebound defense (31.8), assists (19.04), blocked shots (6.50), steals (9.35), is tied with Missouri in turnover margin (+3.96) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.49).

–The Jayhawks have held 25 of 26 opponents to under 50 percent shooting and 97 of its last 100 opponents.

–Through 26 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 – Chalmers, Arthur, Rush and Jackson.

–Five Jayhawks have scored 20-plus points this season – Collins, Jackson, Chalmers, Arthur and Robinson.

–On the season, the Jayhawk bench has outscored its opponents 678-455 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) is averaging 17.7 points in his last three games, including 22 points at Texas (Feb. 11) and 23 vs. Baylor (Feb. 9). He has pulled down at least six rebounds in his last four games and six of his last seven. 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 four 20-point efforts 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 six games. Arthur has 12 games with multiple blocked shots this season, including five in conference action. Arthur leads KU in scoring at 13.8 ppg, which ranks 12th in the Big 12. Also in the league, he is 13th in rebounding at 6.0, fifth in field goal percentage at 53.4 and fourth in blocked shots a 1.58.

–Junior Brandon Rush (#25) has 10 assists and five blocked shots in his last three games. Against Colorado he had seven points, seven rebounds, five assists and two blocks. In Big 12 play he is scoring 13.7 ppg compared to 12.1 ppg overall and his three-point shooting has also improved in conference play, as he is making 43.8 percent from the beyond the arc through 11 league games and 40.4 on the season. On the boards he is averaging 6.6 in Big 12 play and 5.2 on the year. He has pulled down six or more rebounds in nine of 11 league contests. Rush is 19th in rebounding the Big 12 at 5.2 and ninth in three-pointers made at 1.92.

–Senior Russell Robinson (#3) had five assists and one turnover against Colorado to mark the ninth time this season he has dished out five or more dimes. In his last seven contests, Robinson has 22 assists and eight turnovers. He scored a season-high 22 points against Baylor (Feb. 9). He has scored in double figures in Big 12 play three times in 2008. He has at least one steal in all but three games this season and multiple steals in 17 contests. His 222 career steals are fifth all-time at KU. Robinson is fourth in the Big 12 in assists at 4.23, fourth in steals at 2.08 and fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.12.

–Junior Mario Chalmers (#15) has scored 13 points in each of his last two games. In that span he is 10-for-11 from the free throw line and had five assists in both outings. Chalmers has 29 assists and eight turnovers in his last five games. He has seven steals in his last three 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. Chalmers leads the Big 12 in steals with 2.44 per game and assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.95. He is third in assists at 4.96 and 10th in free throw percentage at 74.4 percent in the conference.

–Senior Darnell Jackson (#32) has scored in double figures in his last three games and four of his last five contests, including 12 against Colorado. He has reached double digits 17 times this season. Jackson has pulled down eight or more rebounds in six Big 12 contests and 14 times this season. Jackson is 18-for-22 (81.8 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 6.7 rpg, which is eighth in the Big 12. He is 15th in the league in free throw percentage at 68.7 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) pulled down five rebounds to go along with five points against Colorado. His five boards tied for his second most this season. Collins has 15 assists in his last four games. He has scored in double figures eight times this season, with four of those against Big 12 foes. He has made at least one three-pointer in 14 of 20 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) had eight points and two steals in 14 minutes against Colorado. His seven boards at Texas (Feb. 11) tied for the second most this season and were his conference season high. He has at least one blocked shot in each of his last eight games and multiple blocks in 10 contests this season. Kaun is fifth in the Big 12 in blocked shots with 1.35 per game. He is second on the team in field goal percentage at 62.9 percent. After starting the year 10-for-26 (38.5 percent) from the free throw line, Kaun is 38-for-57 (66.7 percent) in his last 20 games.

–Freshman Cole Aldrich (#45) played a personal Big 12 high 14 minutes against Colorado with six points, four rebounds and three blocked shots. He has pulled down four or more rebounds in 11 games and has multiple blocked shots in nine contests. He is tied for 13th in the Big 12 in blocked shots for a 1.04 average.

–Freshman Tyrel Reed (#14) scored six points on 2-for-3 shooting from three-point range against Colorado. The six points were his most since an eight-point effort against Yale on Dec. 29. He has multiple threes in five games this season.

Up Next

Kansas continues its 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. The game will mark the final contest for KU’s five seniors – Jeremy Case, Darnell Jackson, Sasha Kaun, Russell Robinson and Rodrick Stewart.