Date: Monday, Nov. 21, 2005 Time: 4 p.m. HST
Location: Lahaina Civic Center (2,400), Lahaina, Hawaii
Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)
TV: ESPN (Sean McDonough/Bill Raftery/Jay Bilas)
It is the ninth meeting of the two schools with Kansas holding a 6-2 series advantage. Four of the meetings have come at neutral sites, including the last, a 78-75 KU win in Anaheim, Calif., on March 29, 2003. All-time, Arizona is 0-2 in series games played in Tucson, 1-1 in Lawrence and 1-3 in neutral site games. See page 101 of the UA media guide for more series information.
Kansas beat the Cats 78-75 in the 2003 NCAA Tournament. The Jayhawks had an answer for every UA run to win the NCAA West Regional championship. After withstanding a 13-0 UA run in the first half and a 16-0 run in the second, Kansas made every play down the stretch to earn a trip to the 2003 Final Four.
ONE UNDER THE BELT
While Arizona will play their first game, the Jayhawks are already 1-0. Behind a career night from sophomore Sasha Kaun, the University of Kansas officially opened up its 2005-06 campaign with a 90-66 victory over Idaho State on Friday evening in Allen Fieldhouse. The center scored 25 points and added 16 rebounds on the game, both career bests.
IS THERE LIFE AFTER SALIM AND CHANNING
The Cats must replace their two leading scorers and the two senior leaders off of last year's team. Chris Rodgers is poised to replace his fellow Oregonian, while the center spot may be a position by committee.
The Jayhawks lost six of their top seven scorers from a year ago. Only Christian Moody and his 5.8 points per game return from that top seven.
The Jayhawks brought in one of the best recruiting classes in America. Wing Brandon Rush has already cracked the starting line-up and PG Mario Chalmers and F Julian Wright played significant minutes against Idaho State.
Wildcat wing Jawann McClellan is academically ineligible and will not accompany the team to Maui. He is also nursing a leg injury and may not have been able to play anyway.
The Cats seem intent on breaking out the full court press and trying to pressure the Jayhawks. Kansas would love to break it early and make the Wildcats abandon the pressure and revert to more half court defensive schemes.
KEYS TO A WILDCAT VICTORY
The Cats need to get out and run. They want to create high powered offense through their defense. They need to shoot well enough from the outside to keep the KU defenders honest. For Arizona to be successful they'll have to get some steady play from their inside players.
KEYS TO A JAYHAWK VICTORY
The talented freshmen need to be more talented and play less like freshmen. The inside players need to be a force. The Jayhawks will want to take care of the ball and try to dictate tempo. Forcing the Cats to settle for outside shots would go a long way to helping Kansas pull off a mild upset.