Saturday , Jan , 13 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Big 12 foes go toe to toe in Ames

Ames, IA (Sports Network) – The sixth-ranked Kansas Jayhawks seek a 2-0
start in Big 12 action, as they travel to Ames this weekend for a
conference showdown with the Iowa State Cyclones.

Bill Self’s Jayhawks opened up Big 12 play in grand fashion, routing
nationally-ranked Oklahoma State on Wednesday, 87-57. The victory gave the
team eight straight wins.

The Cyclones are already 2-0 in Big 12 play and have won four straight
games, improving on both marks with a 71-62 win over Nebraska on

Kansas swept Iowa State last season and holds a 160-58 edge in the
longstanding series. The Jayhawks have had plenty of success in Ames, with
a 60-37 advantage, although ISU is clinging to an 18-16 edge in games played
in the Hilton Coliseum.

Kansas made light work of the Cowboys this week, as the team forced a hefty 20
turnovers and placed four players in double figures at the offensive end.
Brandon Rush led the charge with 18 points, hitting 4-of-8 from the floor and
9-of-10 from the free-throw line. Sasha Kaun poured in 16 points, while
Sherron Collins and Darnell Jackson both added 10 points apiece off the bench.
As a team, Kansas shot a sizzling .576 from the floor, while holding OSU to a
mere .321 effort. The way the team won this week was not a surprise, as Kansas
has been getting the job done at both ends of the court this year. The team is
netting 77.6 ppg, while allowing just 57.8 (+19.9 scoring margin). Four
players are currently averaging double figures, a testament to the squad’s
scoring depth. Rush leads the team with 13.6 ppg and is followed closely by
Mario Chalmers (12.4 ppg), Darrell Arthur (12.1 ppg) and Julian Wright (11.6
ppg), who is also the team’s top rebounder (7.9 rpg).

The Cyclones lack the offensive arsenal that Kansas possesses, but that
doesn’t mean the team is void of talent at that end of the court. Iowa State
is averaging only 67.8 ppg, but both junior Mike Taylor and freshman sensation
Wesley Johnson are reliable weapons. The team’s top sniper, Taylor is draining
over 43 percent of his three-point attempts (44-of-101), leading to a team-
high 16.4 ppg. Johnson is a distant second in the scoring column (12.1 ppg),
but is a real force on the boards, grabbing a team-high 8.9 rpg. Taylor posted
his fifth 20+ point game in the win over Nebraska, as he hit six three-
pointers en route to a game-high 22 points. Johnson recorded his eighth
double-double of the year, finishing with 10 points and 11 rebounds.