KU's Kaun's Russian Basketball Team Wins Group B Play in 2012 Olympics

Aug. 4, 2012

LONDON – With a 77-74 win against Spain Saturday, former Kansas men’s basketball player Sasha Kaun’s Russian team won Group B of the 2012 Olympic Games. With a 4-0 record in Group B play, Russia now avoids the heavy-favored USA (4-0) team from Group A in bracket play which begins Aug. 8. Russia could only play USA in the gold medal contest should both teams advance.

Against Spain, Kaun, who played at Kansas from 2005-08 and was a key reserve on KU’s 2008 NCAA National Championship team, started and played just over 13 minutes, scoring one point. The Tomsk, Russia, native also had one assist in the victory.

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 Russians conclude group play on Monday, Aug. 6 against Australia at 2 a.m. (CT). Should Russia lose to Australia, it could tie for the Group B title with Brazil or Spain who play Monday. Russia defeated both Brazil and Spain earlier during Group B competition.

The top four teams from both six-team groups will advance to the single-elimination quarterfinals, which begin Aug. 8. Start times for the quarterfinals have yet to be announced.