* Jekyll and Hyde
The regular season schedule winds down with Kansas looking for at least
a share of the Big 12 title. KU appears to be rolling but takes on a
Texas A&M team that appears to have a split personality. Which
team will show up in College Station on Saturday? The one who scored
just 37 points vs. Oklahoma or the team that just went on the road and
beat Baylor? The Aggies have quietly moved up to 8-7 in conference and
are tied for the fourth spot in the standings.
* Russell’s Resurgence
You can’t really say he was in a slump but senior guard
Russell Robinson appeared to be struggling especially in KU’s
most recent losses (vs. Texas, vs. Oklahoma State). It’s
never easy to measure Russell’s contributions in numbers
because it’s the emotion, leadership, and energy he brings to
the court. The 6-1 senior has raised the level of his play the last two
games with 29 pts on 9-13 shooting including 5-7 from three-point
range. Robinson also tallied six steals during KU’s last two
wins. In losses to Texas and Oklahoma State Robinson scored just 12
points and was 4-14 from the floor with just three steals.
* Hitting the Books
On Thursday the Big 12 conference announced its Academic All-Big 12
team. The Jayhawks placed two student-athletes on the first team
– seniors Jeremy Case and Sasha Kaun. In order to make the
first team a student-athlete must carry a GPA above 3.20.
Russell Robinson made the second team.
*Offense to Defense
Kansas has outshot its opponents in 29 of 30 games this season
– only USC (Dec. 2) shot a better percentage than the
On the defensive end of the floor KU continues to hold strong holding
29 of 30 opponents under 50 percent shooting this season. Overall for
Bill Self his Hawks have managed to keep an opponent under 50 percent
in 101 of KU’s last 104 games.
*On A Roll
A welcome sight for all Jayhawk fans the last two games has been the
play of sophomore guard Sherron Collins. After nursing several injuries
this season Collins appears to be back to full strength. In wins
against K-State and Texas Tech Collins shot 12-20 from the floor (60
percent). He’s averaging 15.5 ppg in the last two contests
and tied a career-high with four steals against the Wildcats.
That’s quite a turnaround after Collins logged just 11
minutes and had no points in a loss at Oklahoma State while being
limited by a bruised knee.
* Terrific Finish For The Seniors
Kansas fans hosted a Phog Allen Fieldhouse sendoff Monday and all five
seniors went out in style. Every player topped their season average
with the exception of Darnell Jackson who scored 10 points but averages
12.2 ppg on the season. Robinson doubled his average (7.7 ppg to 15
pts), Jeremy Case netted 9 points and more than tripled his average
(1.6 ppg), Rodrick Stewart averages scored 6 points and averages 3.1
for the season, and finally Sasha Kaun, who averages 7.5 on the season,
finished with 10 points for the game.
KU’s drubbing of Texas Tech Monday (109-51) set a Big 12
record for largest margin of victory. Kansas averages over 82.5 ppg and
actually still leads the nation in scoring margin at +21.1.
Kansas finished the season undefeated for the 14th time in school
history (20-0). KU’s 24-game home court winning streak ranks
KU is 11-1 vs. Texas A&M all-time with the one blemish coming
last season in Lawrence when the Aggies came out on top of a
hard-fought 69-66 win. But Kansas happens to be 4-0 in Reed Arena and
5-0 in College Station overall.
*Have To Have Balance
Through 30 games seven different players have led KU in scoring and
rebounding. Five different players have led the team in assists, eight
different in steals, and amazingly seven different in blocked shots. In
the last five games that theme continues – Robinson, Brandon Rush, Darrell Arthur, Darnell Jackson, and Mario Chalmers have all led
the team in scoring during this stretch.
Six different players on this team have scored 20 or more point this
season. Rush, Collins, Jackson, Chalmers, Arthur, and Robinson have all
accomplished the feat.
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