LAWRENCE, KAN.- No. 4 Kansas welcomes back former Jayhawk great and Florida Atlantic head coach Rex Walters to Allen Fieldhouse Wednesday night. KU is 5-0 on the season following its 76-72 overtime win against Pac-10 power Arizona on Sunday. Florida Atlantic is 1-5 on the season after its 77-66 loss at UMKC on Monday. The Kansas contest will be the Owls' seventh straight game away from home. FAU opens its home schedule Dec. 1 against McNeese State.
Kansas is 5-0 for the first time since the 2004-05 season when the Jayhawks opened the year 14-0. The record marks the 11th time since 1990 that Kansas has been 5-0 to start the season. KU is outscoring its opponents 89.4 to 63.6 for a +25.8 scoring margin. KU is shooting 54.4 percent from the field and averaging 22.8 assists per game. Sophomore Darrell Arthur is coming off a season-high 20 points in KU's win against Arizona. Arthur leads the team in scoring with 15 points per game and in rebounding with a 6.6 average. He is tied with senior Sasha Kaun for the team high in blocked shots with 10 on the season. Kaun leads KU in field goal percentage at 80 percent to compliment his 8.2 scoring average. Junior Mario Chalmers is third on the team in scoring with a 12.4 average. He leads the team with 13 steals. Senior reserve Darnell Jackson is scoring 10.8 points per contest and he is second on the team in rebounding with 5.6 boards per game. Junior Brandon Rush is scoring 10 points in his three games played this season. Seniors Rodrick Stewart and Russell Robinson join Arthur, Chalmers and Kaun in the starting lineup. Stewart is scoring 8.2 points per game and has 19 assists on the season, while Robinson has an 8.0 scoring average.
About Florida Atlantic
Florida Atlantic is taking a two-game swing through the Midwest this week. The Owls lost at UMKC 77-66 on Monday before heading to Lawrence to face the Jayhawks Wednesday night. FAU had an eight-day layoff prior to Monday's contest and is 1-5 on the season. Florida Atlantic defeated Stetson 68-62 on Nov. 16 and looks to snap a three-game losing skid. FAU has a 1-2 scoring punch in juniors Paul Graham and Carlos Monroe. Graham is a guard who is scoring 17.8 points per game, while Monroe is a center who is next in scoring at 17.2 points per outing and he leads the team in rebounding with 10.7 boards per contest. Junior guard Carderro Nwoji leads FAU in assists with 4.8 per game to compliment his 6.8 scoring average. The Owls are scoring 65.7 points per game and giving up 78.8. Rebound-wise, FAU averages 32 boards a game compared to its opponents' 34.5.
Besides Rex Walters' return to Allen Fieldhouse, Florida Atlantic Director of Basketball Operations Justin Bauman also makes a trip back to his alma mater. Bauman is a former basketball manager for Kansas men's basketball team. His stints at KU included the 2002 and 2003 Final Four squads and Bill Self's first three seasons. Additionally, former FAU head coach Matt Doherty was an assistant coach at KU from 1993-99. Doherty was at Florida Atlantic for the 2005-06 season before taking over at SMU. His top assistant coach was Walters.
Kansas and Florida Atlantic are meeting for the first time in men's basketball. The Jayhawks defeated the Owls 30-19 in football to open the 2005 season. Kansas is 14-2 all-time against schools from the Sun Belt Conference, including a 107-78 win against Louisiana-Monroe in the 2007-08 season opener on Nov. 9. Florida Atlantic is 1-9 all time against ranked foes with the one win at then-No. 11 Oklahoma State in 1998, ending an OSU 79-game winning streak against non-conference foes.
Kansas will hit the road for the first time this season when the Jayhawks travel to No. 22 USC on Sunday, Dec. 2. That contest will start at 1 p.m. and be televised on Fox Sports Net. USC will be the first ranked team KU will have faced this season. Kansas will then return home to play Eastern Washington on Wednesday, Dec. 5. Tip from Allen Fieldhouse will be at 7 p.m.