No. 3 Kansas returns home after its first road game of the season at USC last Sunday when it hosts Eastern Washington Wednesday night. The Jayhawks are 7-0 after their 59-55 come-from-behind victory against the Trojans. Eastern Washington is 3-6 on the season after its 65-54 win at UMKC on Monday.
No. 3 Kansas has won 21 of its last 22 games, including a 7-0 start to the 2007-08 season. Though outscoring opponents with a +24.4 scoring margin, Kansas has won two close contests, both against Pac-10 foes, with a 76-72 overtime win against Arizona in the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series and a 59-55 victory at No. 22 USC last Sunday. Sophomore forward Darrell Arthur leads the team in scoring with 13.9 points per game. He is second on the team with a 6.1 rebound average. Junior guard Mario Chalmers is next in scoring with 13.3 points per contest and is coming off a 20-point effort at USC on Sunday. He leads KU with 32 assists and 16 steals on the season. Senior forward Darnell Jackson has started the last two games and is scoring 10.9 points and has a team-high 6.4 rebounds per outing. Jackson pulled down a career-high 13 rebounds at USC. Junior guard Brandon Rush is also averaging double digit scoring with 10.6 points per game. Seniors Sasha Kaun (7.6 ppg, team-high 80 percent field goals and 13 blocked shots), Russell Robinson (6.9 ppg, 12 steals) and Rodrick Stewart (6.9 ppg, 28 assists) round out the KU starters. Kansas forces an average of 20.9 turnovers per game and averages 20.3 assists per contest.
About Eastern Washington
A member of the Big Sky Conference, Eastern Washington is 3-6 on the season and has played seven of those games away from Cheney, Wash. The Eagles won at UMKC 65-54 on Monday. Senior forward Kellen Williams leads the team in scoring with 10.4 points per game. He has led the team in rebounding each of the last three games and eight times this season. He leads the team with a 7.6 rebound average and 13 steals. Junior guard Ardis DeLeon is next in scoring with a 9.9 average yet did not play at UMKC. Leon paces EWU with 23 assists. Freshman guard Trey Gross is next in scoring at 9.4 points per game. He has 13 three-pointers on the season which is second on the team behind junior guard Milan Stanojevic's 17 treys. Stanojevic is scoring 6.1 points per outing. EWU has eight players averaging 18 or more minutes per game. Joining the aforementioned are sophomore forward Brandon Moore (5.6 ppg), senior guard Marcus Hinton (7.0 ppg), sophomore guard Gary Gibson (5.7 ppg) and sophomore forward Matthew Brunell (3.4 ppg). As a team, Eastern Washington averages 57.3 points to its opponents' 67.2. No team has scored more than 70 points on the Eagles in their last five games and seven of nine contests this season.
Kansas and Eastern Washington are meeting for the first time in men's basketball. The Eagles are one of four teams KU will face for the first time this season in men's basketball. The others are Louisiana at Monroe, Florida Atlantic, Miami (Ohio) and Loyola (Maryland). Kansas is 9-0 against members of the Big Sky Conference, including an 87-46 win against Northern Arizona on Nov. 21.
Kansas continues its homestand when it plays host to DePaul on Saturday, Dec. 8. Tip from Allen Fieldhouse is set for 1 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPN. Last year the Blue Demons defeated the Jayhawks 64-57 in Chicago. KU will then take a break for final exams before playing in The Kansas City Shootout presented by Career-builder.com against Ohio in the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., on Dec. 15.