Scouting Davidson

News, notes and quotes on KU's matchup against Davidson tonight in the M&I Kansas City Shootout at Sprint Center at 8 p.m. (CT) on ESPNU, while the Jayhawks (7-2) look to continue the momentum after beating No. 2 Ohio State, 78-67, on Dec. 10 for their fourth straight victory.


Davidson (6-3) returns seven of its top eight scorers from last season's team, which went 18-15. The Wildcats won six of their first seven games this year with their lone loss during that stretch at Duke, 82-69, on Nov. 18. However, Davidson enters the game tonight losing two straight to Vanderbilt at home (87-83) and at Charlotte (84-61) on Dec. 10.

Sophomore forward De'Mon Books leads four players in double figures averaging 16.0 points and also a team-high 7.0 rebounds in just 23 minutes per game. He's followed in scoring by junior guard J.P. Kuhlman (13.6 ppg), junior forward Jake Cohen (12.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg), junior guard Nik Cochran (10.2 ppg. 32-34 FT), and sophomore guard Chris Czerapowicz (8.8 ppg, team-high 16 three-pointers).

Davidson averages 77.1 points per game and allows 70.3. The Wildcats shoot 44 percent from the field, 30.6 percent from three-point range, and 80 percent at the free-throw line. They're holding opponents to 46 percent shooting and 33.6 percent from beyond the arc, while outrebounding foes 36.1 to 31.8 boards per game.


KU coach Bill Self expects a tough battle from head coach Bob McKillop's Wildcats.

"They run motion and play fast," Self said. "They are physical and play some one-three-one (zone), which we have not seen yet, but they play fast offensively. Motion is the hardest thing to guard if you know what you are doing and certainly I think they know what they are doing."


Senior guard Tyshawn Taylor, who had surgery on Dec. 11 to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee, is expected to play tonight.

"I do think he will play unless something happens negative today," Self said before practice on  Sunday. "He is going to go up and down just a few minutes (in practice). He won't play 30 minutes or anything (tonight). If he does not have a setback today than I think he will be OK to at least play a little bit tomorrow."


Junior guard Travis Releford will get an opportunity to play at home after growing up in Kansas City, Mo.

"It's always fun to go back home because a lot of my family doesn't get to come up here (Allen Fieldhouse) and watch me play," Releford said. "There is so many of them. Playing at Sprint Center, it's only 10 minutes away so everybody will be there. I'll have my own little family section."

Senior guard Conner Teahan will also be playing close to home after growing up in Leawood, Kan., and attending high school at Rockhurst in Kansas City, Mo.

"I love playing in the Sprint Center," Teahan said. "It's a lot of fun to be able to go back there, but pretty much anybody I want to be at the games (in Allen Fieldhouse) comes anyway. Everybody I want to see me play gets to see me play at every home game. Going back to Kansas City, I love doing it. I think the Sprint Center is awesome. The fans are great there, but in terms of going back home or anything like that, (Allen Fieldhouse) is just as good for me."


KU's only other game against Davidson was a monumental one on March 30, 2008 at Ford Field in Detroit, when the Jayhawks nipped the Wildcats in the Elite Eight, 59-57, to earn their first Final Four berth under Self and 13th overall.

Davidson guard Jason Richards missed a three-point shot with one second left as Self and the Jayhawk Nation took a deep breath and rejoiced after a mighty struggle against the Wildcats.

The game featured nine ties and seven lead changes. Mario Chalmers and Sasha Kaun led KU with 13 points each, while Brandon Rush had 12 points and seven rebounds. Davidson's Stephen Curry led all scorers with 25 points.

Self will never forget Richards' last-second shot, which missed left of the goal.

"I am thinking of wide left because it looked like it was on line from where I was sitting," Self recalled. "That was one of the toughest, grind-it-out games since we have been here. We were fortunate it was a coin flip game and to come away with the win. It was a great memory but it was definitely one where we had to sweat. Once you get in that NCAA Tournament, people and even coaches do not understand  ... that it is all about matchups and the team that Davidson had that year could match up with anybody." Top Stories