Kansas to Host No. 20 Nevada in Men's Basketball
Nov. 29, 2005
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Kansas returns home after playing three games in three days at the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational in Lahaina, Hawaii, just prior to Thanksgiving. The Jayhawks take a 2-2 record into tonight’s game. Kansas has won its last three games and 20 of its last 21 in Allen Fieldhouse. Nevada enters the game with a 3-0 record including two road wins at Vermont and UNLV. The Wolf Pack is currently ranked No. 20 in the nation.
Kansas is a young team with its top seven scorers consisting of freshmen and sophomores. The Jayhawks are 2-2 on the season and are led by freshman guard Brandon Rush (6-6) who is averaging 15 points per game, tied for 11th in the Big 12. Sophomore centers Sasha Kaun (6-11) and C.J. Giles (6-11) are next in scoring with Kaun at 14.5 points per game – tied for 15th in the league – and Giles at 10.5. Kaun and Giles are also KU’s top rebounders with Kaun at 9.3 per game – fourth in the conference – and Giles at 7.5 – tied for eighth in the Big 12. Freshman guard Mario Chalmers (6-2) is averaging 8.8 points per game and leads KU in steals with 11 in four games. Senior Jeff Hawkins (5-11) paces the team with 5.3 assists per outing. Kansas is coming off a 102-54 win against Chaminade in the third round of the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational. The Jayhawks fell to then-No. 9 Arizona 61-49 in the opening round of the tourney, then lost a 65-64 contest to Arkansas before defeating Chaminade.
Preseason WAC favorite Nevada will be playing its third of four straight road games when it visits Allen Fieldhouse. The Wolf Pack brings a 12-game road-winning streak to Lawrence, Kan., after its 68-61 victory at UNLV last Saturday. Sophomore guard Marcelus Kemp, who comes off the bench to average 21 points per game, leads Nevada. Kemp did not play last season due to a torn ACL. Junior forward Nick Fazekas – the 2004-05 WAC Player of the Year – is next in scoring at 18 points per game and leads the team in rebounding with an 8.3 average. Senior forward Mo Charlo is also averaging double figures in scoring at 14 per game and is second in rebounding with a 7.7 average.
The Kansas-Nevada Series
This series dates back to January 1, 1948 as Kansas leads 4-1 after last season’s 85-52 win in Allen Fieldhouse. Three of the five meetings have been played in Reno, Nev., including Nevada’s last series win – 75-61 – against KU on December 21, 2003. Kansas has won the other four meetings – 52-45 in 1948, 93-75 in 1979 in Lawrence, 91-73 in 1980 and last year’s meeting. Kansas is 51-11 against current members of the Western Athletic Conference.
Kansas plays host to Western Illinois on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. (Central). The game will air on Jayhawk TV. From there, KU will play Saint Joseph’s in the Jimmy V Classic in Madison Square Garden in New York on Tuesday, Dec. 6. That game will tip at 6 p.m. and will air on ESPN. The Jayhawks will then play California in Kemper Arena on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 11 a.m. on ESPN before returning to Allen Fieldhouse Monday, Dec. 19 against Pepperdine for a 6:30 p.m. tip on ESPN2.