Kansas to Face No. 10 Arizona in EA SPORTS Maui Invitational
Nov. 19, 2005
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Kansas continues its four-game stretch in six days with three contests in Hawaii at the 22nd Annual EA SPORTS Maui Invitational. Kansas started 2005-06 with a 90-66 win against Idaho State Friday in Allen Fieldhouse. KU opens the tournament against No. 10 Arizona Monday, Nov. 21, at 8 p.m. (Central) on ESPN. The Jayhawks will then face No. 3 Connecticut or Arkansas either at 3 p.m. (ESPNU) or 8:30 p.m. (ESPN) Nov. 22. The third game of the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational will be Wednesday against either host Chaminade, No. 4 Michigan State, No. 8 Gonzaga or No. 24 Maryland.
Kansas won its fourth straight season opener with a 90-66 win against Idaho State Friday. Sophomore center Sasha Kaun paced the Jayhawks with career highs in points with 25 and rebounds with 16. It marked the first double-double of Kaun’s career. The Jayhawks are young as 11 of the 14-member roster consists of freshmen and sophomores. Though young, KU is extremely athletic and has a lot of depth. Inside, senior Christian Moody (6-8) is the lone returning starter from 2004-05 and averaged 5.8 points last season. Sophomores Kaun (6-11), C.J. Giles (6-11), Darnell Jackson (6-8) and freshman Julian Wright (6-8) provide match-up problems for opponents. There are eight interchangeable perimeter players that will allow KU to play both big and small. Senior Jeff Hawkins (5-11), senior Stephen Vinson (6-2) and freshman Mario Chalmers (6-2) will handle point guard duties. Sophomores Russell Robinson (6-1), Jeremy Case (6-1) and Rodrick Stewart (6-4) and freshmen Micah Downs (6-8) and Brandon Rush (6-6) will be playing the off guard and wing positions. Jackson will miss the first nine games of the season and will return Dec. 22, while Stewart will be eligible after the fall semester Dec. 19.
No. 10 Arizona opens its season against Kansas in Maui. The Wildcats went 2-0 in exhibition play, defeating Sonoma State 103-63 on Nov. 9 and Team Georgia 104-81 on Nov. 16. Senior guard Chris Rogers led UA with a 20.5 scoring average and was 10-15 from three-point range in the two games. Sophomore forward Bret Brielmaier led the Wildcats in rebounds with eight per game. Last year Arizona finished 30-7 and won the Pac-10 Conference championship, going 15-3 in league play. The Wildcats fell to Illinois in the NCAA Tournament Chicago Regional final, 90-89, in overtime.
The KU-UA Series
Kansas leads the eight-game series with Arizona, 6-2, with four of those meetings being on neutral courts. KU has won three of the last four meetings. Three of the five meetings have been in NCAA Tournament play, with the last in the 2003 West Regional championship where KU advanced to the Final Four with a 78-75 win in Anaheim, Calif. Kirk Hinrich paced the Jayhawks that day with 28 points while Jeff Graves scored 13 points and pulled down 15 rebounds. KU fell victim to Arizona, 85-82, in the 1997 Sweet 16 as UA went on to win the national championship. Four of the Jayhawk-Wildcat meetings have been decided by three points or less.