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November 22, 2006
KU thrashes TSU
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No. 12 ranked Kansas played host to the Tennessee State Tigers Tuesday night in Allen Fieldhouse. KU played with a purpose, scoring at will, led by Sherron Collins' 19 points. KU smothered the Tigers on defense, causing 17 turnovers. The Jayhawks absolutely dominated TSU.
Collins, who has been hot from three-point range so far in 2006, continued his streak, going 4-6 from three. The 5-foot-11 point guard also finished several fast breaks, taking the ball strong to the basket.
Bill Self and his Kansas Jayhawks played their most complete game of the season. The defense was outstanding throughout. Junior Russell Robinson and sophomore Mario Chalmers led the way for KU with 4 and 5 steals respectively.
Robinson also contributed 8 assists, continuing his solid play at the point for the Jayhawks.
Chalmers, who dropped in 15 points Sunday, had an off night from the field, but was extremely aggressive on defense.
Self, who preaches tough defense, had to be pleased with his squad's effort. Not only were the Jayhawks able to rack up the steals, KU also did a great job of contesting shots.
Sophomore Julian Wright, who scored 14 for Kansas, also added 4 blocks, 3 assists, and 7 rebounds to his stat line.
Maybe the story of the night though, was junior center Sasha Kaun's return to the rotation. After sitting out for several weeks with a partially torn patella tendon, Kaun came back earlier than expected, scoring 7 points off 2-2 shooting and 3-3 from the stripe.
Kaun came out with an extra bounce to his step, as a packed Allen Fieldhouse cheered from their feet, welcoming the 6-foot-11, 245-pound big man back to the court.
Looking ahead to KU's match up with Florida on Saturday, Kaun could be the difference for coach Self in Las Vegas.
The Jayhawks' leading scorer coming into this game, Darrell Arthur, struggled with fouls and turnovers against Tennessee State. Arthur, who was averaging 20 point per game heading into Tuesday's game finished with 10 points and 4 rebounds.
The Jayhawks swarmed the Tigers in the first half. KU went on a 41-9 run to make the game a complete blowout heading into the locker room at the break. Brandon Rush helped the Jayhawks keep the Tigers on their heels by hitting several shots from outside, as well as pulling down key rebounds.
Rush finished the game with a double-double, scoring 14 points and 10 rebounds.
It seems that the early loss for KU is a thing of the past. The Jayhawks have looked much more focused and determined over the last few games, which should give them much needed momentum as they travel out West to face Ball State and Florida over the weekend.
KU shot 55% from the field, while holding TSU to just 31%.