KU to Face Cal in American Century Investments Shootout
Dec. 8, 2005
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
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Kansas makes its 258th appearance in Kansas City as the Jayhawks take on California in the American Century Investments Shootout at Kemper Arena. KU (3-4) is looking to bounce back from a 70-67 loss to Saint Joseph’s in the Jimmy V Classic Tuesday while California is 6-1 and brings a six-game winning streak into today.
Kansas is 2-2 in its last four games and 3-4 overall. In their three wins, the Jayhawks are outscoring foes by an average of 33.7 points per game. KU’s four losses have been by a combined 18 points, with three of those contests by three points or less. Kansas features a young team in which its top seven scorers are freshmen and sophomores. Freshman guard Brandon Rush leads the team in scoring at 13.6 points per contest. Sophomore center Sasha Kaun is next at 12.7 ppg and paces the squad in rebounding with a 7.4 average. Sophomore center C.J. Giles is next in scoring at 9.3 points and is second in rebounding at 6.9 per game and leads KU with 14 blocked shots this season. Freshman forward Julian Wright has led the team in scoring the past two games and brings a 7.4 average into today. Senior guard Jeff Hawkins leads KU in assists with 29 through six games and freshman Mario Chalmers leads KU in steals with 16.
California is currently 6-1 and brings a six-game winning streak into today’s game. The Golden Bears defeated San Diego State 82-64 last Tuesday. Today will be only the second road game for California. The Bears lost their season opener at Eastern Michigan 67-65 on Nov. 18. Sophomore forward Leon Powe leads California in scoring at 25 points per game and rebounding at 9.3 boards per contest. He is also the team leader in shooting percentage at 62.8. Three other Bears are averaging double figures with junior guard Ayinde Ubaka at 14.3 ppg, senior guard Richard Midgley at 14 ppg and sophomore center DeVon Hardin at 13 ppg. Kansas transfer Omar Wilkes is scoring 9.4 points per game for California.
Kansas and California are meeting for the 17th time in men’s basketball and the first time since December 28, 2002, when KU won 80-67 win in the Pete Newell Challenge in Oakland, Calif. Kansas has won the last seven meetings between the two schools, dating back to 1954. The series started in 1929 when the two teams split back-to-back games with California defeating Kansas 33-21 on Jan. 3, 1929 and KU defeating Cal 30-23 the following day. This will mark the 14th time in the 17 meetings that the teams will meet on a neutral court. It will also be the sixth time Kansas and California will play in Kansas City.
The Jayhawks will return to Allen Fieldhouse Monday, Dec. 19 against Pepperdine for a 6:30 p.m. tip on ESPN2. KU closes out the year playing host to Northern Colorado Dec. 22 and New Orleans Dec. 29.