Jayhawks to Host Bulldogs in Men's Hoops Saturday

Dec. 26, 2007

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<?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>Kansas vs. Yale<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

As one of the nine unbeaten teams left in the country, Kansas closes out the 2007 calendar year hosting Yale on Saturday, Dec. 29, at 7 p.m. KU is currently 12-0 after its 78-54 win against Miami (Ohio) on Dec. 22. Yale is currently 3-6 on the season and has won two of its last three games. The Bulldogs last played on Dec. 11, a 76-67 loss to BostonUniversity.

About Kansas

No. 3 Kansas is 12-0 for the 10th time in school history and the first time since the 2004-05 Jayhawks posted a 14-0 record. Kansas is outscoring opponents by 24.4 points per game and averages 83.2 ppg. Sophomore forward Darrell Arthur leads KU with a 13.3 scoring average. He is second on the team in rebounds at 6.1 per game and in blocked shots with 17. Sophomore guard Mario Chalmers has made a team-high 22 three-pointers and also leads KU with 37 steals to compliment his 12.4 scoring average. Junior guard Brandon Rush is scoring 10.9 points per game and he has made 16 threes, which is second behind Chalmers. Senior forward Darnell Jackson leads Kansas with 6.7 rebounds per outing to compliment his 10.8 scoring average. Sophomore Sherron Collins is also averaging double digits at 10.5 points per game, while seniors Sasha Kaun (7.9 ppg, team-high 21 blocked shots) and Russell Robinson (7.5 ppg, team-high 58 assists) round out the KU regulars. Senior Rodrick Stewart (5.6 ppg) and freshmen Tyrel Reed (3.6 ppg) and Cole Aldrich (3.5 ppg, 3.1 rpg) average nine-plus minutes per game as well for KU.

About Yale

Yale brings a 3-6 record to Allen Fieldhouse. The Bulldogs are coming off a 76-67 loss to BostonUniversity on Dec. 11. Yale won its two previous games at Fairfield – 70-66 in overtime on Dec. 4 – and a home 86-76 win against Vermont on Dec. 8. Senior guard Eric Flato leads Yale with a 12.2 scoring average. He also paces the Bulldogs with 25 assists and is second on the team with 20 steals and 19 three-pointers. Senior guard/forward Caleb Holmes is next in scoring at 11.8 points per game and he has made a team-high 20 three-pointers. Senior center Matt Kyle leads Yale with 12 blocked shots to compliment his 10.2 scoring and four rebounds per game. Sophomore guard Alex Zampier has a team-best 22 steals through nine games to go along with his 8.7 scoring average. Junior forward Ross Morin (8.6 ppg, team-high 5.1 rebounds per game) and senior guard/forward Nick Holmes (5.7 ppg, 4.1 rpg) round out the Yale starters. Junior guard/forward Jordan Pinick (5.0 ppg, 13 steals) rounds out the Eli regulars.

The Series

Kansas has won both meetings with Yale in men’s basketball with a 63-54 win in Lawrence on Dec. 19, 1975 and an 87-46 win in Lawrence on Jan. 4, 2006. Jayhawks Mario Chalers (13 points) and Sasha Kaun (12 points) each had big games against Yale. A complete box from that contest is elsewhere in this release. Kansas is 12-0 against the Ivy League. The Jayhawks are 3-0 against Pennsylvania, 2-0 vs. Brown, Cornell, Princeton and Yale and 1-0 vs. Dartmouth.


–Yale seniors Nick and Caleb Holmes are 6-6 twins from Olathe, Kan. The duo went to OlatheSouthHigh School.

Kansas One of Nine Undefeated Teams

Kansas is 12-0 on the season and is one of nine NCAA Division I teams undefeated as of Dec. 23. Miami (Fla.) is also 12-0, while North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Washington State and Vanderbilt are 11-0. Memphis and SamHoustonState have 10-0 records.

Team Notables

–Kansas is 60-7 (89.6 percent) in its last 67 games. The Jayhawks are 12-0 on the season and have won 26 of their last 27 and 29 of their last 31 contests.

–Kansas leads the Big 12 in scoring offense (83.2), scoring margin (24.4), blocked shots (6.5), assists (20.08) and steals (10.92). The Jayhawks rank in the upper half of 13 conference statistics.

–Kansas has forced at least 17 turnovers in 11 of 12 games this season and 20 or more in six outings.

–Kansas shot 57.9 percent against Miami and has shot better than 50 percent from the field in each of its last four games and 10 of 12 games this season.

–The Jayhawks have held 11 of 12 opponents to under 50 percent shooting and 83 of its last 86 opponents. Ohio’s 28.3 field goal percentage on Dec. 15 was a season low for KU foes.

–KU has outshot 11 of 12 opponents this season.

–Through 12 games, Kansas has had seven different leading scorers, six different players lead the team in rebounding and seven different in steals (this includes ties). KU has had six different leading scorers in the last eight games.

–Four Jayhawks have scored 20-plus this season – Sherron Collins 22 vs. ULM, Darnell Jackson 21 vs. ULM, Mario Chalmers 23 vs. UMKC, Darrell Arthur 20 vs. Arizona and Chalmers 20 at USC. Chalmers has scored 20-plus twice.

–On the season, the Jayhawk bench has outscored its opponents 370-213.

Player Notables

–Junior Mario Chalmers (#15) has recorded 21 steals (4.2 average) in the last five games and has led KU in steals seven times this season. In his last three games, Chalmers is 20-for-29 (69 percent) from the field. He has made two or more three-pointers in each of the last four games and in six games this season. Chalmers leads the Big 12 in steals with 3.08 per game. He has led the league in steals each of the last two seasons. He is 20th in the Big 12 in scoring at 12.4, fourth in assists at 4.67, fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.33 and 13th in three-point field goals made at 1.83.

–Senior Darnell Jackson’s (#32) 14 points against Miami was the most in his last five games. He has shot 66.7 percent or better in each of his five outings and is 23-for-29 (79.3 percent) in that span. Jackson has pulled down eight or more rebounds in five of his last six games, including eight against Miami. Jackson is tied for ninth in the Big 12 in rebounding at 6.7 rpg.

–Sophomore Darrell Arthur (#00) posted his second double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds against Miami. He has pulled down six or more rebounds in nine games this season and has shot 50 percent or better in his last five games and nine of his last 10 outings. Arthur is 12th in the Big 12 in scoring with 13.3 points per game, 13th in rebounding at 6.1, eighth in blocked shots at 1.42 and sixth in field goal percentage at 53.1 percent.

–Junior Brandon Rush (#25) has scored in double digits in each of his last four games and in six of 10 games played. He is 9-for-17 (52.9 percent) from the field in his last two games. Rush is 10th on the career KU three-point field goals made list with 141. He played a season-high 36 minutes against Arizona (Nov. 25) and responded with 17 points and eight rebounds. Due to come back Dec. 1 from ACL surgery in June, Rush made his season debut Nov. 15 against Washburn.

–Senior Sasha Kaun (#24) had a season-high-tying seven rebounds against Ohio (Dec. 15). He leads KU in field goal percentage at 76.1 percent and has shot 66.7 percent or better in 10 of 12 games this year. After starting the year 10-for-26 (38.5 percent) from the free throw line, Kaun is 15-for-20 (75 percent) in his last six games. Kaun is tied for third in the Big 12 in blocked shots with 1.75 per game.

–Senior Russell Robinson (#3) had four assists and a season-high four steals against Miami. He scored a season-best 17 points at Georgia Tech (Dec. 18). Against Ohio (Dec. 15), Robinson set a new career high with 11 assists. Twenty-three of his 27 steals have come in his last eight games. Robinson is tied for second in the Big 12 in assists at 4.83, fourth in steals at 2.25 and fifth in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.32.

–Sophomore Sherron Collins (#4) scored eight points on 3-of-4 shooting with three assists and no turnovers against Miami. He recorded his third double-digit scoring game of the season at Georgia Tech (Dec. 18) with 11 points, his highest output since his return from injury. He has made at least one three-pointer in five of six games played. Collins missed six games (games 3-8) due to injury.

–Freshman Cole Aldrich (#45) had four points and three rebounds in 13 minutes of work against Miami. Aldrich has gone 7-for-10 from the field in his last four outings.

–Freshman Conner Teahan (#2) has scored in six of eight games played this season with a 4.5 scoring and 4.4 minutes average. He had five points in two minutes against Eastern Washington (Dec. 5) and has 36 points in 35 minutes this season. He is 10-for-13 (76.9 percent) from three-point range.

In the Polls

Kansas remained No. 3 in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ polls released Dec. 24. The Jayhawks opened the season ranked No. 4 in both preseason polls. This marks the 19th straight week that Kansas has been ranked in the top 10 nationally in both polls and the 10th straight in the top five. Under Bill Self, KU has been ranked in the AP top 10 in 48 polls and in the coaches’ top 10 on 49 occasions.

Up Next

Kansas opens 2008 at BostonCollege on Jan. 5. The KU-BC contest will tip at 11 a.m. (Central) and can be seen on ESPN. The Jayhawks close out non-conference play when they host Loyola-Maryland on Tuesday, Jan. 8, at 7 p.m. on Jayhawk TV. KU begins Big 12 play at Nebraska on Jan. 12.