Thursday, November 2, 2006

KU set to open 06-07 campaign



Julian Wright got the season's scoring started with a short baseline jumper after each team shook off the rust via first-possession turnovers. Following a Washburn three, Darnell Jackson canned the same shot to make it a 4-3 game.

A Paul Byers three-pointer gave Washburn a 6-4 lead, but from then, KU began to roll in the form of an impressive 14-0 run. It was bookended with a pair of Brandon Rush three-balls, and included six Julian Wright points. The sophomore forward had a follow dunk off of a Mario Chalmers miss, and then an and-one in the paint.


Darnell Jackson put KU up 23-10 with a sweet spinning baby hook from the near left side of the basket, as KU's thin corps of big men continue to look good early on. KU's next hoop came in the form of Darrell Arthur's first points as a Jayhawk, as he squared up for a deuce from 8 feet out on the right side. Followed on the next possession with a Mario Chalmers three-pointer on the right wing, KU took a 28-10 lead heading into a timeout with 12:05 to go in the half. Wright has 8 points, while Chalmers and Rush each have dropped 6.


A nifty steal and twisting layup on his off side by Darrell Arther kept KU's lead at 18 points, pushing the Jayhawks ahead 30-12. Rodrick Stewart, who Bill Self said might see some time at power forward, stepped outside to hit a jumper with both feet on the three-point arc.

Rush then broke his little scoring drought by taking the ball in from the left wing for an emphatic, one-handed slam.

Brady Morningstar, a 2005 Free State graduate, became the third and final Jayhawk freshman to check into the game at the 9:30 mark in the first half.

Washburn got a lift from junior forward Brady Sisk off the bench, as KU's offense continued to go quiet, but Darnell Jackson answered immediately with a baseline jumper, giving him eight points in the first half.

Through 12:36 of gameplay, the Jayhawks are 15-of-27 from the floor, including 4-of-7 from three-point range.


Washburn has begun to flex some muscle defensively, and headed into the final T.V. timeout of the half, KU's lead has trimmed a tad to 38-24.

Washburn's Frank Phifer then calmly sunk a pair of free throws right out of the break to make it a 12-point game.

Chalmers then missed the front end of a one-and-one, and then turned it over on an errant pass out of bounds on its ensuing possession. KU finally scored again, though, with 2:20 to go in the first half, when Darnell Jackson's tough inside lay-in made him the game's first doubled-igit scorer. After Grant Hargett mimicked Chalmers' previous free throw line trip, Darrell Arthur scored is seventh and eighth points on a layup off of his third steal of the game. He was fouled in the process, and after missing the free throw, put away another two points in the paint, giving him 10 as well, and padding KU's lead back up to 44-26.


Jackson made the first of two free throws for his 11th tally of the game, and followed it with a defensive rebound on the other end - his sixth board of the game.

Then, out of the final timeout of the first half, Jackson went backdoor and took an easy pass from Brandon Rush up for a two-handed flush. Phifer has turned into Washburn's only offense late in the first half. After a fastbreak layup, he nailed a pair of free throws.

Russell Robinson scored his first points of the game on an up-and-under layup right before the half to put KU up 49-32 at the intermission.

KU finished the first half 21-of-42 from the floor, but the Ichabods have held tight in the rebounding column, as the Jayhawks hold just a slight 23-22 edge.

Jackson leads all scorers with 13 points, while four other Jayhawks have at least 6, led by Darrell Arthur's 10.


Arthur's impressive debut continues, as after an early trip to the free-throw line, he has 11 points, four rebounds and five steals.

Washburn's not going away easily, though, because after three from the wing, Kyle Snyder scored another pair on the baseline, keeping the Jayhawks within range, 56-43, just minutes into the second half.


Darnell Jackson now has 18 points and 8 rebounds, both team highs, after an and-one coming out of a timeout and giving the Ichabods another two points plus another layup following a Mario Chalmers miss from outside.

Collins then livened up the crowd again after registering a steal at midcourt and then scoring on the break while being violated near the rim. The free throw missed, but the hoop ballooned KU's lead to 65-48.

KU answered a quick Washburn bucket on a give-and-go, ending with Mario Chalmers throwing one home on another fastbreak.


Julian Wright kept the highwire act going on a beautiful dish from Sherron Collins on yet another fastbreak, and soared from midway in the lane for a one-handed stuff with his head nearly scraping the rim. It sent KU into a timeout leading 69-52 with 11:18 to go.

KU is now in the bonus, as Wright earned the first of those free passes to the charity stripe. He hit a pair to give him 14 points and 8 rebounds midway through the second half, and pushed KU's lead to 19 points.

Following a Matt Kleinmann block on the defensive end, Wright was fouled again under the basket. This time, he made one of two, putting KU up 72-54.


Arthur hit four straight free throws to give him 15 points on the night, and also finally get KU's lead over 20 points at 76-54.

Following a T.V. timeout, KU then began to run away. Mario Chalmers took a ball coast-to-coast, weaving his way in and out of traffic for a backwards layup, and Sherron Collins then calmly swished a three-pointer from the same wing spot where most of the Jayhawks' treys have come from on the night.

Arthur now has 18 points and is tied for the team lead in points with Jackson after hitting the front end of a pair of free throws. On Washburn's end, Frank Phifer continues to be the main reason Washburn hasn't faded into oblivion. He leads the team with 22 points and 11 rebounds.

Morningstar then broke into the scoring column with just over four minutes to play, hitting a three pointer to put KU up 87-61. The teams have just gone into the final T.V. timeout with 3:45 to go.


Out of the timeout, Rodrick Stewart continued to play aggressive on the offensive end, hitting his first three-pointer of the night. That was followed by another from Sherron Collins to put KU up 93-61.

Arthur on the other end continued to provide defensive highlights, this time pinning a Grant Hargett layup against the backboard.

Arthur continued to show that he could be a more than special talent, hitting a three-pointer with 90 seconds to go which was nearly four feet beyond the arc. It gave him a team-high 21 points on the night.

For some sprinkles on the sundae at the end, sophomore walk-on Brennan Bechard hit a three on his first field goal attempt as a Jayhawk. Stewart put up a long two at the buzzer to attempt to get KU over the century mark, but it misfired, as KU finished off Washburn 99-69. Five Jayhawks finished the game in double figures, including 21 from Arthur, 18 from Jackson, 15 from Wright and 10 from Chalmers.


Keith_GS 13 years, 2 months ago

Holy Crap! Our first game?! This season is going to be fun.

kcmostwanted 13 years, 2 months ago

oh yeah.. and Slim Shady and collins looked even more comfortable than last years Freshmen....

...only if Jackson were 2-3 inches taller he would dominate!!

nanuq 13 years, 2 months ago

I wish Jackson could log more time. Things just don't seem to favor his inside skills on a team with so much perimeter talent demanding floor time. He is the only true post-up player on this team.

beebe1 13 years, 2 months ago

Writer, you did a good job writing up this game. Beats the heck out of the first football game this year (maybe it was you, too; who knows.) If we are too far away to see TV or get radio, we have to have a good article.

Thank you.


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