Kaun Helps Russia Advance into Olympic Semifinals

Aug. 8, 2012

LONDON – Former Kansas men’s basketball player Sasha Kaun played seven minutes and scored two points in Russia’s quarterfinal victory over Lithuania Wednesday morning at the Olympic Games. The win propels the Russian’s into the semifinal round where they will face Spain Friday for a trip to the Gold medal game.

Against Lithuania, Kaun, who played at Kansas from 2005-08 and was a key reserve on KU’s 2008 NCAA National Championship team, started and played a tournament-low seven minutes, scoring two points on 1-of-2 shooting. The Tomsk, Russia, native also pulled down two rebounds for the game. The Russians won the contest 83-74 with the help of Tomfey Mozgov and Andre Kirilenko who combined for 36 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.

Russia will play Spain Friday at 11 a.m. (CT) in the semifinals. The Russians beat the Spaniards August 4 by a score of 77-74 in group play. A win Friday would pit the Russians against the winner of the United States-Argentina semifinal and move them into the Gold medal match, which will be held Sunday.