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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Extra Minutes: Kansas 89, Tennessee State 54

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What this means...from press row

Gary Bedore, Journal-World KU men's basketball beat writer

"The Jayhawks played well in their red jerseys on Tuesday night in pounding Tennessee State.

Not much to talk about except the continued fine shooting of Sherron Collins from past the arc and the rebounding of Brandon Rush.

Sasha Kaun's return was somewhat of a surprise, but it has been just over three weeks since he was injured.

Good to get him back - He's probably the story of the game, his return."

Tom Keegan, Journal-World sports editor

"Sherron Collins flies with the basketball in his hands. Sometimes he flies into troubled air space.

He isn't close to playing the sort of defense teammates Mario Chalmers and Russell Robinson play, but one thing is undeniable - He can score a ton of points in a short period of time and having that sort of a scorer off the bench is huge.

Vinny Johnson, Freddy 'Downtown' Brown, for now, he's playing that sort of a role and it's only going to get better from there."

Ryan Greene, KUSports.com editor

"A transition game like the one Mario Chalmers played Tuesday night will be needed Saturday if KU is to get the best of Florida. Heck, Bill Self will take that any night.

Chalmers had just six points and was 0-for-5 from three-point range. That trend won't continue. But he had five steals and five assists, and was money in transition in the first half. He's a lockdown midcourt defender whose quickness alone gets him swipes. Florida's guards can easily be forced into turning the ball over. If Mario does that again, it could help take Joakim Noah and Al Horford out of the game for awhile."

Inside the numbers

10: That's how many rebounds Brandon Rush had, giving him his first double-double of the year, and putting him two away from his career mark in boards in one game. Rush said after the game a lot of it had to do with balls coming to him, but he also pointed out that he felt his blocking out was better than it had been at any point so far this year.

9: That's how many three-pointers the Jayhawks hit. Again, the longball played a huge role in KU spreading out the scoring margin early on in the game. While Mario Chalmers hit three to lead the Jayhawks Sunday, on Tuesday it was Sherron Collins leading the way with four, followed by a trio of treys from Brandon Rush.

4: That's how many fouls Darrell Arthur picked up, making it the first time in his KU career in which foul trouble has come into play. Despite that, he had 10 points, four boards and two blocks in 12 minutes of play. At least he made the most out of limited minutes.

Just in case you missed it...

Sherron Collins' 19 points made him the third different Jayhawk to lead the team in scoring in KU's four regular season games to date. More importantly, in each game, the Jayhawks have had at least four players score in double figures, with five doing the deed in two of those contests. While the team's intensity and focus may have seen some inconsistencies early on, its offensive balance certainly has not.

Hopefully you didn't miss it...

Julian Wright can be a game-changer when he gets off to an all-around start like the one he had on Tuesday. On top of his 14 points came seven rebounds, four assists and three blocks. More importantly, he never went away, and never had a lull in his game. He brought the constant energy Self demands of him.

Yep, they really said it...

Bill Self on when he realized Sasha Kaun was ready to go: "I'm telling you what, the first time he touched the ball yesterday, it was a pick-and-roll and they threw a lob to him just like last year and he dunked it. And we're going 'woo.'

Brandon Rush on Sasha Kaun's return to practice Monday and gameplay Tuesday: "He came back yesterday and changed the whole practice. I think he was pretty confident after looking at practice yesterday. He was dunkin', jumpin' up, catching 'oops...all on Julian. Go ask Julian about that. He dunked on Julian yesteday."

Julian Wright on the aforementioned dunk: "I didn't even know Sasha could jump at the time. I didn't get dunked on, but if you took a picture, I'd probably be in the picture."

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