No. 6 Kansas to Host Kansas State on ESPN Saturday at 8 p.m. in Men's Basketball

Feb. 28, 2008

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No. 6 Kansas improved to 25-3 on the season (10-3 in Big 12 play) with a 75-64 win at Iowa State Wednesday. The Jayhawks looks to go 19-0 at home this season when they play host to Kansas State (18-9, 8-5 in Big 12) Saturday at 8 p.m. on ESPN. The Jayhawks have won 10 conference games each of the last 14 seasons and have won at least 25 games each of the last three years, including six times since 2000. Kansas State is looking to snap a three-game losing streak after its 74-65 loss to No. 5 Texas Monday. The Wildcats are 4-7 away from Bramlage Coliseum this season, while the Jayhawks are 18-0 in Allen Fieldhouse.

About Kansas

Kansas sits one game behind Texas in the Big 12 standings. The Jayhawks are the three-time defending Big 12 regular-season champs and have won the last two Big 12 postseason championships as well. 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 81.3 points and lead the nation in scoring margin at +20.0. Sophomore forward Darrell Arthur leads KU in scoring with 13.7 points per game, including 18 points and 10 rebounds at Iowa State Wednesday. He is second on the team with six rebounds per contest and leads KU with 42 blocked shots. A trio of Jayhawks average between 12.2 and 12.3 points per contest, led by senior forward Darnell Jackson at 12.3 ppg. Jackson leads KU in rebounding at 6.9 per contest, which is seventh in the Big 12. Junior guards Brandon Rush and Mario Chalmers are each scoring 12.2 points per game and both had 15 at Iowa State. Rush has made a team-best 50 three-pointers, while Chalmers is next with 45. Chalmers leads the Big 12 in steals at 2.37 per game and assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.72. Sophomore guard Sherron Collins is scoring 8.6 points off the bench, while seniors Sahsa Kaun and Russell Robinson are scoring 7.4 and 7.2 points, respectively. Robinson, Arthur, Rush, Jackson and Chalmers are the KU starters. Senior guard Rodrick Stewart (3.1 ppg) and freshman center Cole Aldrich (2.9 ppg) round out the Kansas regulars.

About Kansas State

Since defeating Kansas on Jan. 30, Kansas State is 3-5 and has lost three straight heading to Lawrence. The Wildcats are 18-9 on the season and 8-5 in Big 12 play. K-State averages 79.8 points per game and is giving up 68.3 points. The Wildcats are outrebounding foes by 8.8 boards per game and their 42.1 rebounds per game leads the Big 12. A pair of KSU freshmen score more than half of the team’s points in Michael Beasley and Bill Walker. Beasley leads the Big 12 in scoring at 26.2 points per game and rebounding with a 12.6 average. He also leads KSU in blocked shots with 42 and steals with 37. Walker is fifth in the conference in scoring with 16.2 points per game. He is second on the team with a 6.7 rebounding average. Freshman guard Jacob Pullen averages 10.3 points per game, including a team-high 36 three pointers. He also leads KSU with 90 assists and is second to Beasley with 34 steals. Senior guard Clent Stewart (7.1 ppg, 27 threes), senior guard Blake Young (6.2 ppg) and junior forward Andre Gilbert (4.7 ppg) round out the Wildcat regular rotation with freshman forward Ron Anderson (3.5 ppg), freshman guard Dominique Sutton (3.1 ppg) and junior forward Darren Kent (2.3 ppg) each averaging more than 12 minutes per game.

The Series

Kansas has won 35 of the last 37 meetings with Kansas State dating back to the 1994 season. The Jayhawks hold a 174-90 all-time series advantage over the Wildcats, including a 78-35 mark in games played in Lawrence and a 37-18 record in Allen Fieldhouse. From Feb. 2, 1994, Kansas won 31 straight against Kansas State before the Wildcats halted the streak with a 59-55 victory in Allen Fieldhouse on Jan. 14, 2006. Since the inception of the Big 12, KU holds a 27-2 record against Kansas State – 21-2 in league play and 6-0 in Big 12 Championships. The Jayhawks won the first-ever meeting with K-State, 54-39, on Jan. 25, 1907, in Lawrence. Earlier this season, then-No. 22 Kansas State defeated then-No. 2 Kansas 84-75, ending a mind-boggling 24-game KU win streak in the series in Manhattan. Michael Beasley and Bill Walker scored 25 and 22 points, respectively, for K-State, while Mario Chalmers (19), Brandon Rush (15), Darrell Arthur (12) and Sherron Collins (12) paced the Jayhawks.

Team Notables

–The combined record of the Kansas men’s basketball and football teams is 37-4 (90.2 winning percentage) in 2007-08, including 25-0 at home.

–Kansas is 73-10 (88 percent) in its last 83 games. The Jayhawks are 25-3 on the season and have won 39 of their last 43 and 42 of their last 47 contests.

–Kansas’ three losses have been by a combined 13 points – 9 at Kansas State, 3 at Texas and 1 at Oklahoma State.

–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 fourth nationally.

–Kansas has won 10 of its last 13 Big 12 road games and is 12-4 in its last 16 league road contests.

–Kansas was 14-for-18 (77.8 percent) from the free throw line at Iowa State. In their last two games, the Jayhawks are 30-for-37 (81.1 percent) from the line. Six of KU’s eight games of 80 percent or better from the free throw line have come against Big 12 competition. Over the last seven games, KU has made 147-of-182, good for 80.8 percent.

–Kansas’ bigs score 44.8 percent of KU’s points, while its guards score 55.2 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 28 contests this season. Last year, KU shot better than 50 percent in 18 of 38 contests.

–KU has outshot 27 of 28 opponents this season – USC (Dec. 2) shot better than KU.

–Kansas is one of the national leaders in scoring margin at +20.0. Besides scoring margin, Kansas leads the Big 12 in scoring (81.3), field goal percentage (50.4), field goal percentage defense (.384), rebound defense (31.3), assists (18.43), blocked shots (6.29), steals (8.96) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.41).

–The Jayhawks have held 27 of 28 opponents to less than 50 percent shooting and 99 of its last 102 opponents.

–Through 28 games, Kansas has had seven different leading scorers, seven 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 five different leading rebounders in the last four games – Robinson, Arthur, Jackson, Rush and Kaun.

–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 699-480 for a 25.0 to 17.1 (+7.9) 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) posted his fourth double-double of the season with 18 points and 10 rebounds at Iowa State. In his two previous games, Arthur combined for 14 points and eight boards. He has pulled down at least six rebounds in five of his last six games. He has four 20-point efforts on the season. He has pulled down seven or more rebounds 11 times this year. Arthur is 21-for-26 (80.8 percent) from the free throw line in his last eight games. Arthur has 12 games with multiple blocked shots this season, including five in conference action. Arthur leads KU in scoring at 13.7 ppg, which ranks 11th in the Big 12. Also in the league, he is 13th in rebounding at 6.0, fifth in field goal percentage at 53.0 and fourth in blocked shots a 1.50.

–Junior Mario Chalmers (#15) has scored in double figures in each of his last six games, including 15 at Iowa State. He is 14-for-15 from the free throw line in his last four games. He has at least four steals in six games this season. Chalmers leads the Big 12 in steals with 2.37 per game and is vying to lead the league in steals for the third-straight season. His 250 career thefts are tied with current assistant coach Danny Manning for third all-time on the KU charts. He also leads the conference in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.72, is second in assists at 4.74 and eighth in free throw percentage at 75.5 percent.

–Junior Brandon Rush (#25) is coming off a 15-point effort at Iowa State where he was 3-for-4 from three-point range and 4-for-5 from the line. He scored all 12 of his points at Oklahoma State (Feb. 23) in the second half. Rush has pulled down six or more rebounds in seven of his last nine games. In Big 12 play he is scoring a team-high 13.7 ppg compared to 12.2 ppg overall and his three-point shooting has also improved in conference play, as he is making 44.4 percent from the beyond the arc through 12 league games and 41 percent on the season. On the boards he is averaging 6.3 in Big 12 play and 5.2 on the year. Rush is 19th in rebounding in the Big 12 at 5.2 and seventh in three-pointers made at 1.92.

–Senior Darnell Jackson (#32) pulled down eight rebounds to go along with seven points at Iowa State. He is averaging nine boards in his last two games. Jackson’s 16 points and 10 rebounds at Oklahoma State (Feb. 23) marked his second double-double of the season and sixth of his career. He has scored in double figures in four of his last five games. He has reached double digits 18 times this season. Jackson has pulled down eight or more rebounds in eight Big 12 contests and 16 times this season. Jackson is 25-for-30 (83.3 percent) from the free throw line since the second half of the Kansas State game on Jan. 30. Jackson leads the team in rebounding at 6.9 rpg, which is seventh in the Big 12. He also ranks 13th in the league in free throw percentage at 70.1 percent. For his efforts at Boston College (Jan. 5, 25 points, nine rebounds), he was named the co-Big 12 Player of the Week.

–Senior Russell Robinson (#3) pulled down a career-high 10 rebounds at Iowa State and became the seventh Jayhawk to lead the team in rebounding this season. He has led KU in assists in each of the last three games. He is 28-for-32 (87.5 percent) from the line in his last eight games. He has dished out five or more assists 10 times this season, including five at Iowa State. In his last nine contests, Robinson has 30 assists and 12 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 multiple steals in 17 contests this season. His 223 career steals are fifth all-time at KU. Robinson is third in the Big 12 in assists at 4.21, fourth in steals at 1.96 and fifth in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.11.

–Sophomore Sherron Collins (#4) had seven points in 18 minutes at Iowa State after logging only 11 minutes with no points on one shot at Oklahoma State, nursing a bruised knee. 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 15 of 22 games played in and has multiple treys in seven games. Collins missed six games (games 3-8) due to injury.

–Senior Sasha Kaun (#24) is 6-for-8 (75 percent) from the field in his last two games, including 4-for-5 with eight points at Iowa State. He also had three blocks at ISU, his most in Big 12 play and second most this season. He has at least one blocked shot in nine of his last 10 games and multiple blocks in 11 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 63.7 percent. After starting the year 10-for-26 (38.5 percent) from the free throw line, Kaun is 38-for-59 (64.4 percent) in his last 22 games.

–Freshman Cole Aldrich (#45) played four minutes at Iowa State and pulled down two rebounds. At Oklahoma State (Feb. 23) he played nine minutes with two points and three rebounds. He had a personal Big 12 high 14 minutes against Colorado (Feb. 16) 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 0.96 average.

–Freshman Tyrel Reed (#14) scored six points on 2-for-3 shooting from three-point range against Colorado (Feb. 16) but did not play at OSU or at ISU. The six points versus Colorado 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 hosts Texas Tech on ESPN Big Monday, March 3, at 8 p.m. (Central). It will be Senior Night for Jayhawks Jeremy Case, Darnell Jackson, Sasha Kaun, Russell Robinson and Rodrick Stewart. KU has won 23 straight Senior Night games dating back to 1984 and its last 24 straight final home games (i.e., last season KU did not have a senior, yet defeated Texas in its home finale). Kansas closes out the regular season at Texas A&M on Saturday, March 8 at 3 p.m. That game will be televised by CBS.