March 20, 2007

KU needs consistent effort from big men

Kansas, the top seed in the West Region, is just two wins away from advancing to the Final Four. If the Jayhawks hope to punch their ticket to Atlanta, Ga., this weekend, they'll need a consistent performance from Sasha Kaun, Darrell Arthur and Darnell Jackson. Jayhawk Slant spoke to Coach Bill Self about the importance of his big men as KU prepares to face Southern Illinois in the Sweet 16.

"Well, I don't think their production has been inconsistent on both ends," said Self. "I think Darrell's offensive production was inconsistent because he fouled so much the second game. Sasha missed a couple of bunnies that he would normally make. I think every team has that.

"We need to have an inside presence," he added. "Julian Wright is not an inside presence, although he can score inside. He plays everywhere. I think it's real important that Sasha, Shady (Darrell) and Darnell Jackson all elevate their game this weekend."

Kansas advanced to the Sweet 16 by defeating the Niagara Purple Eagles and the Kentucky Wildcats by an average of 26-points per game. However, foul trouble and KU's inability to capitalize on several easy scorning opportunities in the low-post area prevented Self's squad from having a consistent and productive low-post presence.

During KU's two game sweep through Chicago last weekend, Kaun, Arthur and Jackson combined to score just 33-points and grabbed 29 rebounds against Niagara and Kentucky.

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