KU's Kaun Helps Russia to 2-0 Record in Olympic Group B Play
July 31, 2012
LONDON – Former Kansas men’s basketball player Sasha Kaun scored 13 points to assist in Russia’s 73-54 win against China in the second game of the Preliminary Round Group B action Tuesday at the Olympic Games. Russia improved to 2-0 and is tied with Spain, also 2-0, for first in Group B competition.
Kaun, who played at Kansas from 2005-08 and was a key reserve on KU’s 2008 NCAA National Championship team, started, played just over 21 minutes and scored 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting. The Tomsk, Russia, native was 3-for-6 from the free throw line, pulled down six rebounds and blocked four shots in the victory.
Russia outrebounded China 46-29 and had nine steals for the game. Russia led 20-12 after the first quarter, extended its advantage to 40-25 at halftime and took its largest lead of the game, 61-34, during the third quarter. Kaun was his team’s third-leading scorer for the contest trailing Andrei Kirilenko’s 16 points and Alexey Shved’s 14 points. Jianlian Yi led China with 16 points.
Kaun is the first Jayhawk men’s basketball player to participate in the Olympic Games since Danny Manning competed for the United States in 1988, winning the bronze medal. Kaun currently plays professionally for CSKA Moscow and is no stranger to international play. He was also a member of the Russian National Team, which competed in the 2010 World Championships in Turkey.
The Russian’s continue group play with games against Brazil on Thursday, August 2 at 10:45 a.m. (CT) and Spain on Saturday at 5:15 a.m. (CT). Kaun and his teammates will close out group play on Monday, August 6 against Australia at 2 a.m. (CT). The top four teams from both six-team groups will advance to the single-elimination quarterfinals, which begin August 8.