No. 6 Kansas to Play Host to Iowa State Saturday at 5 p.m. on ESPN
Feb. 22, 2007
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No. 6 Kansas (24-4, 11-2) returns to the friendly confines of Allen Fieldhouse riding a five-game winning streak as it plays host to Iowa State (14-13, 5-8). KU is coming off a 71-62 win at state rival Kansas State on ESPN Big Monday. Iowa State has won two of its last three games after its 55-53 win against Colorado Wednesday. Kansas is tied with Texas A&M for first place in the Big 12 standings and with three games remaining, has already qualified as a top four seed in the 2007 Big 12 Championship in Oklahoma City, March 8-11. KU will play its first championship game on Friday, March 9.
With its win at Kansas State, Kansas has won 11 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 78.6 points per game and is giving up 60. The Jayhawks are outrebounding foes 40.3 to 32.4 per game and hold a 49.3 to 37.3 field goal percentage edge. 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 14.1 points per game and with 53 three-point field goals made. Sophomore guard Julian Wright is next in scoring with an 11.6 average, leads the team with eight rebounds per outing and is second in blocked shots with 42. Sophomore guard Mario Chalmers averages 11.4 points per game and is second in the Big 12 in steals with 2.64 per contest. Freshman forward Darrell Arthur has a team-leading 43 blocked shots to compliment his 10.8 points per game. Freshman guard Sherron Collins is scoring 12.9 points in Big 12 play – second best on the team – and 10 points on the season. He is making a team-high 43.3 percent from three-point range. Junior guard Russell Robinson, a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award, leads KU with 131 assists in addition to his 6.6 scoring average. He is second on the team with 54 steals. Junior Sasha Kaun and Darnell Jackson round out the regulars for KU. Kaun, the starting center, is scoring 6.1 points per game and shooting 54.1 percent from the field, while Jackson, a forward, is averaging 5.6 points and 5.1 rebounds per outing off the bench.
About Iowa State
Iowa State defeated Colorado 55-53 Wednesday and brings a 14-13 (5-8) record to Allen Fieldhouse. The Cyclones are 12-4 at home and 2-8 on the road in 2006-07. After jumping out to a 2-0 league mark, ISU is 3-8 in its last 11 games, including a 68-64 overtime loss to Kansas on Jan. 13. The Cyclones are scoring 64 points per game and giving up 64.6. They are outrebounding foes 36.4 to 33.9. Junior guard Mike Taylor leads the team in scoring at 16.5 points per game (eighth in the Big 12), assists with 122 and three pointers with 68. He is making 36 percent from beyond the arc. Freshman forward Wesley Johnson is next in scoring at 12.1 points per contest. He leads the team in rebounding at 8.3 boards per outing (second in the conference) and in blocked shots with 27. Sophomore center Jiri Hubalek is averaging at 11.3 points and is second on the team with 6.8 rebounds per game. Junior Rahshon Clark is scoring 6.6 points per game and averages six rebounds. Junior guard Corey McIntosh rounds out the starters with a 4.0 ppg average and is second on the team with 65 assists.
Dating back to 1908, Kansas leads the all-time series with Iowa State, 161-58, yet recent history shows the KU-ISU clashes to be much more competitive. Last year’s series sweep of Iowa State by KU was the first in three seasons. Since 1999, KU has a 10-7 edge over the Cyclones. Five of the last seven meetings have been decided by seven points or less with three of those going into overtime. Including season sweeps, the visiting team has claimed at least one victory eight times in the last seven seasons – dating back to 2000. KU is 82-15 against Iowa State in games played in Lawrence and 41-9 in Allen Fieldhouse versus the Cyclones, but since 2000 Iowa State has won three times in AFH (2000-01-05). KU holds a 14-7 edge against Iowa State in Big 12 league play and a 16-7 mark since the inception of the conference. Earlier this season, Kansas sophomore Brandon Rush made several key baskets, including a game-winning alley-oop, in Kansas’ 68-64 overtime win at Iowa State. Junior Sasha Kaun led KU in scoring with 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting and Rush added 12. Sophomore guard Mario Chalmers had 11 points and four assists, while freshman Sherron Collins scored 10 points. ISU’s Mike Taylor led all scorers with 21 points.
After only a day off, Kansas plays its fourth ESPN Big Monday game at Oklahoma on Monday, Feb. 26 (8 p.m. tip). Kansas lost on ESPN Big Monday in Norman two seasons ago. KU returns home for the season finale against nationally-ranked Texas on Saturday, March 3. The game will tip at 11 a.m. and will be televised on CBS.