Saturday, December 23, 2006

BC-Kansas Preview

OK, today's the big day, BC-Kansas. 16,300 fans will be on hand, and a National audience (CBS, 2:00 PM) will be watching from close and far. This will be the undercard for an even bigger marquee matchup on CBS (Ohio State-Florida, i.e., Greg Oden v. Noah, Horford, et al, 4:00 PM). By the way, this is the first of a 2-game home and home series with the Jayhawks; KU will travel to Chestnut Hill next season.

A couple of nuggets I picked up from the Kansas papers:

BC leads the all-time series, 1-0. The Eagles won, 78-62, in the first round of the 1969 postseason NIT. Sophomore guard (and former coach) Jim O’Brien led BC with 24 points while senior forward Terry Driscoll contributed 21.

Alltime BC is 5-1 versus the Big 12. BC is 3-0 versus Iowa State, 1-0 against Oklahoma State and 0-1 against Texas.

Jared Dudley played AAU ball in San Diego as a teammate of KU’s Mario Chalmers (sophomomore guard, 10.5 ppg).

BC's five starters average 63.4 points a game, while the team averages 77.4

Sean Williams has blocked 38 shots in seven games. His 12 blocks at Providence set a school single-game record and was two shy of an NCAA single-game mark set by David Robinson (Navy), Shawn Bradley (BYU), Roy Rogers (Alabama) and Loren Woods (Arizona).

Dudley played 1,340 minutes last season — the highest total by any player in America

The Jayhawks are outscoring opponents by an average of 21.1 points per game and have a plus-8.2 rebounding margin

KU's Russell Robinson ranks second in the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.6) and fourth in steals. He;s dealing with a strained right wrist, however, and shooting just 37.2 percent through 10 games.

The Eagles have outscored opponents 166-90 from the free-throw line.

The athleticism displayed by F Julian Wright is reflected by his average of 7.9 rebounds, as well as eight blocked shots over a three-game stretch and a team-high 14 dunks through 10 games.

Of the eight wins Kansas posted in its first 10 games, seven were by margins of 10 points or more. The eight victories were by an average of 17.2 points, with 16 consecutive opponents held to under 50 percent shooting.

Here's the projected lineup for Kansas:

F 30 Julian Wright 6-8 So. 11.9
F 24 Sasha Kaun 6-11 Jr. 4.6
G 25 Brandon Rush 6-6 So. 13.2
G 15 Mario Chalmers 6-2 So. 10.5
G 3 Russell Robinson 6-1 Jr. 6.6

Here's the preview from the Lawrence Journal-World. KU Coach Bill Self apparently is pulling a page from the Bill Bellichick playbook, talking up how good BC is. Check out these quotes:

“I think their whole team is pretty underrated to be honest with you,” Self said, nodding in the affirmative when asked if sophomore Tyrese Rice was one of the most underrated point guards in the country.

“Coach said they were as good as Florida, probably better,” KU freshman Darrell Arthur said. “We have to come out and attack them like we did Florida, come out with a lot of energy and have fun when playing, too. Their starting five is averaging over 10 points a game. We’ve got to buckle down on defense,” Arthur added.

“I think it’d be a big, big, big, big confidence builder to get a win over Boston College,” KU sophomore Brandon Rush said. “I think this game will be one of the more competitive we play in a while, since Florida. I think it’d be a great statement if we play our type of game and get a big ‘W.’ I think everybody on our team steps play up big when you play higher competition like Boston College,” Rush said. “Guarding Dudley is motivation to play harder.”

This from the Kansas City Star: "Victories over solid USC and Toledo squads were great, but beating a top-tier team such as Boston College would provide a true dose of momentum for a KU squad in desperate need of confidence as Big 12 play inches closer. The Jayhawks vow they’ve become a different team over the break. Today they can prove it."

Here's an article on precocious Jayhawks big man Darrell Arthur (freshman forward, 13.7 ppg).

Here's a gushing article about Dudley (expect to see that in every rivals' newpaper from here to the end of the season).

Here's the game preview from the Kansas City Star. The writer is calling the BC joust a possible "breakout game" for the Jayhawks.

Here's the game preview from the Boston Globe.

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