Darrell Arthur felt a bit sluggish upon arriving at Allen Fieldhouse for Tuesday's game against Dartmouth.
"It's been kind of tiring. I'm still on Vegas time," the Kansas University freshman forward said. He'd been slow to recover from a two-hour time difference, which had the Jayhawks arriving from Nevada on a red-eye charter flight about 6 a.m. Sunday.
He didn't look like a weary traveler, however, in scoring 13 points with eight rebounds, five blocks and two steals while playing 19 minutes in an 83-32 rout of the outmanned Ivy League school.
"We've been emphasizing blocking out at practice," said the 6-foot-9 Arthur, who had a career-high nine boards in Saturday night's overtime victory over Florida.
"Coach said we have not been hitting anybody. He told me I have got to crash the boards. I have to be more like Darnell (Jackson). He goes in there. Coach tells him to bang, and he knocks everybody around," added Arthur, who leads KU in scoring (15.9 ppg) and is second in rebounding (6.6).
Jackson pulled down 12 boards, one off his career-high mark, against Dartmouth, a team the Jayhawks outrebounded, 52-23.
"I think we're getting better every day. Once the Big 12 comes around and Sasha is completely healthy, we'll be even that much better," Arthur said.
Kaun, who grabbed four boards while scoring two points in just 15 minutes, said he was still feeling some soreness - which the doctors said was normal - as he recuperated from his partially torn patellar tendon in his right knee.
"We've got to get Sasha to be a presence. He's so sped up now," Self said. "It's a work in progress."
Aside from becoming 100 percent healthy, the Jayhawks continue to work on the mental aspect of their games. Team meetings have been common this season since the team's shocking home loss to Oral Roberts on Nov. 15.
"We are emphasizing anybody can have a great game on any given night," Arthur said. "We tried to D-up (play strong defense) on Dartmouth and not let them score. Against Oral Roberts, we didn't listen to the scouting report and didn't do the little things. We won't make that mistake again."
¢ Self's contract extended, padded: It's believed KU athletic director Lew Perkins today will announce details of the extension of fourth-year coach Self's contract.
Both Perkins and Self said on Sept. 21 it was a formality the coach's contract would be soon extended in length as well as monetary terms. Self is beginning the fourth year of a five-year contract believed to be worth about $1.1 million per year. The new contract should return the coach to five years.
"Kansas is everything I thought it would be," Self said recently. "We feel like we have in place how we want to coach our team and lead our program into the future. We are really excited about the future."
"I think Bill has done a great job here," Perkins said. "He is a perfect fit for KU. Hopefully he'll be here a long time."
KU women's coach Bonnie Henrickson also is in line to receive an extension with three years left on her agreement.
¢ Clinic: The Jayhawks will hold their annual holiday clinic for children grades three to eight from 8:45 a.m. until noon Wednesday, Dec. 27, in Allen Fieldhouse. The clinic will feature instruction from current Jayhawk players and coaches and include an autograph and picture session. Participants will also receive a camp t-shirt and a basketball calendar. Cost is $60 and will include a ticket to the Dec. 28 game versus Detroit. Registration is available at kuathletics.com on the men's basketball page. For information, contact the men's basketball office at 785-864-3056.
¢ Point production: The Jayhawks are 12th in the country in scoring at 81.0 points per contest. Missouri leads the Big 12 at an 83.9 clip. Virginia Military leads the NCAA at 101.4 in eight games. KU has made 49.3 percent of its shots. Opponents have hit 37.0 percent of their shots en route to 58.3 ppg.
"We're good defensively, but our mindset is not where it needs to be yet," Self said. "We are an average blockout team at best. When teams muddy up zones or are not conventional zones, we struggle with that too much. There are a lot of areas we can improve on.
"Our halfcourt offensive efficiency is good in some games, pitiful in others. We have to think 'attack' and don't allow other teams to play well. We need to have the mindset to take people out of what they like to do."
¢ Next: The Jayhawks will meet DePaul at 1 p.m. Saturday in Allstate Arena in suburban Rosemont, Ill. The Blue Demons, 2-4, have lost at Bradley (78-58) and at Northwestern (49-39), while defeating Eastern Illinois (71-41) at home. In Maui, DePaul lost to Kentucky (87-81) and Purdue (81-73) while beating Chaminade (93-74).