Jayhawks to Host Red Raiders on ESPN Big Monday for Senior Night

March 2, 2008

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Kansas (26-3, 11-3 Big 12) 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. The Jayhawks have won 23 straight Senior Nights and 24 consecutive final home games of the season as last year there was no senior on the KU roster. Texas Tech (16-12, 7-7 Big 12) has won three of its last four games after its 83-80 victory against No. 5 Texas Saturday in Lubbock.

About Kansas

With Texas Tech’s win against Texas, Kansas and Texas are tied for the Big 12 regular-season lead with 11-3 conference records. The Jayhawks are the three-time defending Big 12 regular-season champs and have also won the last two Big 12 postseason championships. 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 81.6 points and lead the nation in scoring margin at +19.8. Sophomore forward Darrell Arthur leads KU in scoring with 13.6 points per game. He is second on the team with 5.9 rebounds per contest and leads KU with 43 blocked shots. A trio of Jayhawks average between 12 and 12.6 points per contest, led by junior guard Brandon Rush at 12.6. Rush is coming off a season-high 21 points in the 88-84 win against Kansas State Saturday. Senior forward Darnell Jackson is scoring 12.3 ppg and he leads KU in rebounding at 6.8 per contest, which is seventh in the Big 12. Junior guard Mario Chalmers is scoring 12 points per game and he is second on the team with 46 three pointers. Chalmers leads the Big 12 in steals at 2.36 per game and is second in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.59. Sophomore guard Sherron Collins is scoring nine points off the bench, while seniors Sahsa Kaun and Russell Robinson are scoring 7.4 each. Robinson, Arthur, Rush, Jackson and Chalmers are the KU starters. Senior guard Rodrick Stewart (3.0 ppg) and freshman center Cole Aldrich (2.8 ppg) round out the Kansas regulars.

About Texas Tech

Texas Tech has been on a roll as of late. The Red Raiders are 16-12 and 7-7 in Big 12 play following their 83-80 win against Texas Saturday. Tech is 13-2 at home this season and 3-10 (2-9 in true road games) away from the United Spirit Arena. Texas Tech averages 70.4 points per game and has a +3.4 scoring margin. The Red Raiders are a solid shooting team as they rank among the Big 12 leaders in field goal percentage – third at 46.4 percent from the field, second in three-point field goal shooting at 38.6 percent and third in free throw percentage at 71.2 percent. Senior guard Martin Zeno leads the team in scoring with 15.9 points per game and rebounding with 4.5 boards per game. Junior guard Alan Voskuil is next in scoring at 13.5 points, leads the team with 62 three-point field goals and is tied with Zeno for the team-high with 39 steals. Voskuil is making 53.9 percent from beyond the arc and averages four rebounds per outing. Freshman guard John Roberson is scoring 12.1 points per game and he is second behind Voskuil in three-pointers made with 48 and three-point field goal percentage at 40.3. Freshman forward Mike Singletary is scoring 7.3 points per contest, while senior guard Charlie Burgess and junior forward Damir Suljagic average 5.3 and 5.2 points, respectively, per contest. Suljagic is second on the team in rebounds with a 4.1 average. Sophomore forward Trevor Cook (4.8 ppg) has a team-high 16 blocked shots on the season.

The Series

This series dates back to 1959 and Kansas leads 16-3. Texas Tech has won two of the last three meetings against Kansas with both victories in Lubbock. Kansas is 9-0 against Tech in games played in Allen Fieldhouse, including a 5-0 record since the inception of the Big 12 in 1997. Kansas has won by an average of 28.8 points in those five wins in the Fieldhouse. Since the Big 12 started, KU leads 9-3 with an 8-3 mark in the regular season and a 1-0 record in the Big 12 Championship.

Senior Night

Here are some bullet points on the Kansas senior class of Jeremy Case, Darnell Jackson, Sasha Kaun, Russell Robinson and Rodrick Stewart:

–Has posted a 106-23 record in the last four seasons. Currently averaging 26.5 wins per season with many games remaining.

–Has won three Big 12 regular-season titles (tied Oklahoma in 2005, tied Texas in 2006 and won 2007 outright).

–Has won the last two Phillips 66 Big 12 postseason tournaments.

–Case has already graduated and the other four are on schedule to graduate this spring.

–Was part of KU’s 50th conference title, the most in NCAA Division I.

–Was part of KU’s 1,900th all-time victory.

–Was part of the Jayhawks’ 600th all-time victory in Allen Fieldhouse (earlier this season).

–Kansas’ 33 wins in 2006-07 were fourth-most in school history.

–KU’s 20-0 start to 2007-08 was the third-best start in school history.

–Advanced to the Elite Eight of the 2007 NCAA Tournament.

Senior Night II

In addition to the five senior players being honored, Kansas basketball will honor senior managers Taylor High from Pittsburg, Kan., and Bethany Scothorn from Burlington, Kan. High is the head manager for 2007-08. The game will also conclude the final home contests for media relations student assistants Brittany McCall, Kelly Reynolds, Steven Schoon and Eric Wieberg. The foursome has each worked well more than 100 women’s and men’s basketball games for KU in the past four years.

Team Notables

–The combined record of the Kansas men’s basketball and football teams is 38-4 (90.5 winning percentage) in 2007-08, including 26-0 at home.

–Kansas is 74-10 (88 percent) in its last 84 games. The Jayhawks are 26-3 on the season and have won 40 of their last 44 and 43 of their last 48 contests. KU has 59 wins over the last two seasons.

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

–Kansas is 19-0 at home this season, including the Ohio contest at the Sprint Center, and has won 23 straight home games. The 23-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.

–Over the last seven games, KU has made 158-of-200, good for 79 percent.

–Kansas’ bigs score 44.3 percent of KU’s points, while its guards score 55.7 percent. KU’s scoring list goes – big, guard, big, guard, guard, guard, big, 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 28 of 29 opponents this season – USC (Dec. 2) shot better than KU.

–Kansas is one of the national leaders in scoring margin at +19.8. Besides scoring margin, Kansas leads the Big 12 field goal percentage (50.2), field goal percentage defense (.385), rebound defense (31.4), assists (18.5), blocked shots (6.2), steals (9.2) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4).

–The Jayhawks have held 28 of 29 opponents to less than 50 percent shooting and 100 of its last 103 opponents.

–Through 29 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 four different leading scorers in the last four games – Rush, Arthur, Jackson and Chalmers – and five different rebounders in the last four games – Kaun, Robinson, Arthur, Jackson and Rush (Robinson and Arthur each had 10 at Iowa State).

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

–On the season, the Jayhawk bench has outscored its opponents 726-491 for a 25.0 to 16.9 (+8.1) 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 scoring 14.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 27 minutes in his last two games, including 10 points and five rebounds against Kansas State. In the two previous games he averaged seven points and 19 minutes. Arthur posted his fourth double-double of the season with 18 points and 10 rebounds at Iowa State (Feb. 27). He has pulled down at least six rebounds in five of his last seven 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 but has not attempted a free throw in his last two games. Arthur has 12 games with multiple blocked shots this season, including five in conference action. Arthur leads KU in scoring at 13.6 ppg, which ranks 11th in the Big 12. Also in the league, he is 13th in rebounding at 5.9, fifth in field goal percentage at 52.9 and fourth in blocked shots a 1.48.

–Junior Mario Chalmers (#15) had two steals against Kansas State to go along with four assists and six points. His six points snapped a six-game double figures streak. He is 15-for-17 from the free throw line in his last five games. He has at least four steals in six games this season. Chalmers leads the Big 12 in steals with 2.36 per game and is vying to lead the league in steals for the third-straight season. He is second in the conference in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.59, is second in assists at 4.71 and eighth in free throw percentage at 75 percent.

–Junior Brandon Rush (#25) is averaging 18 points in his last two games after his season-high 21 points against Kansas State. In his last two games he is 8-for-13 (61.5 percent) from three-point range. Rush has pulled down six or more rebounds in seven of his last 10 games. In Big 12 play he is scoring a team-high 14.2 ppg compared to 12.6 ppg overall and his three-point shooting has also improved in conference play, as he is making 45.7 percent from the beyond the arc through 13 league games and 42 percent on the season. On the boards he is averaging 6.1 in Big 12 play and 5.1 on the year. Rush is second in the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage at 42 percent. He is 20th in rebounding in the Big 12 at 5.1 and seventh in three-pointers made at 2.04.

–Senior Darnell Jackson (#32) is averaging eight rebounds in his last three games. He was 5-for-7 (71.4 percent) against Kansas State in scoring 10 points Saturday. 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-31 (80.6 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 6.8 rpg, which is seventh in the Big 12. He also ranks 13th in the league in free throw percentage at 69.4 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) had 14 points, three blocked shots and four steals against Kansas State Saturday. His 14 points were the most since he had 22 points against Baylor five games earlier. His three blocked shots were a career high and his four steals tied for the second most for Robinson this season. He pulled down a career-high 10 rebounds at Iowa State (Feb. 27). He has led KU in assists in each of the last three games. He is 32-for-38 (84.2 percent) from the line in his last nine games. He has dished out five or more assists 10 times this season, including five in each of his last two games. – at Iowa State and vs. Kansas State. He has multiple steals in 18 contests this season. Robinson is third in the Big 12 in assists at 4.24, fourth in steals at 2.03 and fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.05.

–Sophomore Sherron Collins (#4) had 18 points against Kansas State, his most in Big 12 play. He tied his career high with four steals against the Wildcats. He had seven points in 18 minutes at Iowa State (Feb. 27), after logging only 11 minutes with no points on one shot at Oklahoma State, nursing a bruised knee. He has scored in double figures nine times this season, with five of those against Big 12 foes. He has made at least one three-pointer in 16 of 23 games played in and has multiple treys in eight games. Collins missed six games (games 3-8) due to injury.

–Senior Sasha Kaun (#24) had nine points and seven rebounds in 20 minutes against Kansas State. He has pulled down seven or more rebounds six times this season. He had three blocks at ISU (Feb. 27), his most in Big 12 play and second most this season. He has at least one blocked shot in 10 of his last 11 games and multiple blocks in 11 contests this season. Kaun is tied for seventh in the Big 12 in blocked shots with 1.34 per game. He is second on the team in field goal percentage at 62.6 percent. After starting the year 10-for-26 (38.5 percent) from the free throw line, Kaun is 41-for-64 (64 percent) in his last 23 games.

–Freshman Cole Aldrich (#45) played six minutes against Kansas State with two rebounds and four minutes at Iowa State (Feb. 27) with two rebounds. He played 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.

Up Next

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. From there the Jayhawks will participate in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., March 13-16. Kansas has won the last two Big 12 Championships. NCAA Championship selection is Sunday, March 16.