KU Men's Basketball to Host New Orleans Thursday

Dec. 27, 2005

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The Kansas-New Orleans contest has more meaning than your average game that will conclude the 2005 calendar year for KU. This contest was a late addition to the KU schedule. When the NCAA did not grant the National Association of Basketball Coaches’ proposal to have an additional exempt game to raise money for the Hurricane Katrina victims, Kansas director of athletics Lew Perkins, senior associate athletic director Larry Keating and head coach Bill Self called upon ESPN to schedule the game to give New Orleans a national television exposure. Additionally, in women’s basketball, Kansas, the University of New Orleans and Birmingham Southern College were originally scheduled to play in the UNO Lady Privateer Classic Dec. 2-4 in New Orleans. Because of Hurricane Katrina, all three games that would have made up the tournament were played in Lawrence.

About Kansas
Kansas is 6-4 on the season and has won three straight and four of its last five games. The Jayhawks have won their last three games by and average of 18.7 points. Additionally KU has out shot all 10 foes this season and held eight to under 70 points. Kansas leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense at 35.6 percent and in blocked shots with 6.7 per contest. It’s 60.6 scoring defense average is second in the league. Freshman Brandon Rush leads KU with a 12.9 scoring average – tops among league freshmen. He is making 60 percent of his three-point field goals and leads the team in free throw percentage at 76.2. Sophomore Sasha Kaun is next in scoring at 11.3 points per game. He is second on the team in rebounding at 7.1 rpg – 10th in the Big 12. Sophomore C.J. Giles leads KU in rebounding at 7.2 rpg (eighth in the conference) and in blocked shots at 2.4 per game (second in the league). He is averaging 9.1 points this season. Senior Jeff Hawkins paces the squad in assists with 33 in 10 outings (ninth in the Big 12) and freshman Mario Chalmers leads KU in steals with 21 (fifth in the conference). KU features a balanced attack as 10 players average 14-plus minutes per game.

About New Orleans
New Orleans brings a 2-7 record to Allen Fieldhouse and is looking to snap a three-game losing streak. Tonight will mark the Privateers’ fourth straight road game and sixth in their last seven outings. Due to Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans’ home courts have been in Tyler, Texas, and College Station, Texas. UNO is without its leading scorer Bo McCalebb who discovered a season-ending wrist injury four games into the season. McCalebb averaged 19 points in his short season and ranks sixth on the UNO all-time scoring list. Junior guard Wayne Williams is averaging 14.9 points per game. Sophomore guard James Parlow is next in scoring at 13 ppg and leads the team with 18 steals. Senior forward/center Shawn Malloy leads the team in rebounding with a 5.6 average to go along with his 8.3 points per game. Junior Jamie McNeilly leads UNO in assists with 5.4 per contest.

The Series
Kansas has won the only meeting with New Orleans 55-49 in the first round of the 1991 NCAA Tournament at Freedom Hall in Lexington, Ky. Kansas was a No. 3 seed in the Southeast Regional while UNO was a No. 14 seed. KU went on to finish runner-up to Duke in the 1991 NCAA Tournament.

Up Next
Kansas continues its home stand when it hosts Yale on Jan. 4 at 7 p.m., in Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawk-Yale game will air on Jayhawk TV. KU closes out its non-conference schedule when Kentucky visits Allen Fieldhouse on Jan. 7 at 11 a.m. ESPN will broadcast the KU-UK tilt.