KU Men's Basketball to Host Northern Colorado Thursday

Dec. 20, 2005

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Kansas enters the Northern Colorado game having won three of its last four games and four of its last six. The Jayhawks are 3-1 in Allen Fieldhouse this season and 5-4 overall. In its five victories, Kansas is winning by an average of 26.8 points per game. KU’s four losses have been by an average of 4.5 points. Northern Colorado brings a 0-13 record to Lawrence after its 63-52 setback at Northern Arizona Monday.

About Kansas
Kansas (5-4) leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense as opponents are shooting 32.1 percent this season. The Jayhawks are also outrebounding opponents by an average of 6.3 boards per game. Freshman guard Brandon Rush paces KU in scoring at 12.9 points per game. Rush also leads the team in three-point field goal percentage at 54.5 and free throw percentage at 76.2. Sophomore centers Sasha Kaun and C.J. Giles are next in scoring at 11.9 and 9.7, respectively. Giles leads Kansas in rebounding at 7.4 per game and blocked shots at 2.4 per contest. Kaun is just behind Giles in rebounding at 7.3 rpg. Senior guard Jeff Hawkins leads the team in assists with a 3.4 average and freshman guard Mario Chalmers leads the team in steals with 21 through nine games. The game will mark the regular-season debut of sophomore forward Darnell Jackson who missed the first eight games of the season due to an eligibility issue. Jackson started one game last season and averaged two points and 1.7 rebounds. He will provide inside depth for the Jayhawks.

About Northern Colorado
Kansas is the final leg in a Northern Colorado (0-13) four-game road trip that spans more than 4,800 miles. The Bears began the trip at Oregon State (Dec. 14) and continued at Loyola-Marymount (Dec. 17) and at Northern Arizona Dec. 19. Nine of the Bears’ first 12 games have been on the road in 2005-06. UNC is in its third year of NCAA Division I reclassification. The Bears are independent this year and will be a member of the Big Sky Conference in 2006-07. UNC is led by sophomore guard Sean Taibi who is averaging 13.2 points per game. Sophomore center Kirk Archibeque is next in scoring at 11.8 points per outing and paces the Bears in rebounding with an 8.6 average.

The Series
Kansas and Northern Colorado are meeting for the first time in men’s basketball. The Bears are the second team the Jayhawks have faced for the first time in men’s hoops this season. KU defeated Western Illinois 86-57 on Dec. 3, also in Allen Fieldhouse.

Up Next
After a brief holiday break, Kansas continues its home stand when it plays host to New Orleans on Thursday, Dec. 29. That game will tip at 6:30 p.m. (CST) and will air on ESPN2. KU will then face Yale on Jan. 4 at 7 p.m., in Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawk-Eli game will air on Jayhawk TV. KU closes out its non-conference schedule when it plays host to Kentucky on Jan. 7 at 11 a.m. ESPN will broadcast the KU-UK tilt.