Kansas basketball notebook

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Fans flock to Boulder: At least 50 percent of the 10,347 fans at Coors Events Center were KU supporters.

They made a lot of noise during KU's late 12-1 run that turned a 55-50 lead into an insurmountable 67-51 advantage.

"We had 50-50 (of the crowd) at least. It was a great crowd," KU coach Bill Self said. He stopped after the game to acknowledge the fans, waving his hand and giving them a thumbs-up gesture.

"A lot of Jayhawk fans in western Kansas and Colorado paid a pretty penny to see the game. They'll come no matter what."

CU had a special ticket plan for the KU game. Fans had to purchase tickets to three games to land a KU-CU ducat.

¢ Tough to breathe: KU junior Mario Chalmers said part of KU's problems the first half was altitude, not attitude, related.

"It was mainly breathing. A lot of guys had trouble breathing. I did, Shady did," Chalmers said of Darrell Arthur.

¢ He's fine: KU sophomore Sherron Collins bumped knees with Colorado's Dwight Thorne II and went down in a heap in the first half. Collins went to the locker room to be examined, returning shortly after.

"I jump-stopped, went knee to knee. It hurt, but I'm OK," Collins said.

Indeed, he scored nine points while playing 11 minutes the second half after getting blanked with four turnovers the first half.

¢ Looking down: KU, which dipped into second place in the league after Wednesday's loss to Kansas State, now is a half-game ahead of the Wildcats, who lost Saturday at Missouri. KU is 6-1, KSU 5-1.

"I told the guys I'm happy Missouri won, but we don't want to feel too good about those guys. They are probably our most hated rival. We've got to be ready Monday," Self said. MU will enter 3-4 in the league and 13-9 overall.

¢ Coaches V. Cancer: Self and CU coach Jeff Bzdelik wore tennis shoes on Saturday to call attention to Coaches Vs. Cancer National Awareness Weekend. All the assistants wore sneakers as well.

¢ Pats to beat Giants, duh: Football fan Self gave his Super Bowl prediction.

"I will go out on a limb and pick the New England Patriots," he cracked.

¢ Trivia Question: Name the Big 12 school with two former Kansas University quarterbacks on its administrative staff. Answer: Colorado.

Mike Bohn, CU's athletic director since 2005, started one game at QB for the Jayhawks during the 1982 season. Scott McMichael, a CU assistant AD for a year or so, quarterbacked several KU games from 1974-1976.

Bohn talked about KU's program in an interview with the Boulder Daily Camera.

"Trying to emulate what they are doing is not realistic," Bohn said. "But with the enhancements and the type of basketball we're going to play under Jeff (Bzdelik), it's going to give us an opportunity to change the perception of college basketball in Colorado."

Of his recollections of games in Allen Fieldhouse, Bohn said: "Every game was a real marquee event for the program, the institution and the state."

¢ Crawford attends CU: Casey Crawford, a 6-9, 230-pound sophomore from Blue Valley North High, is practicing daily, but cannot play in games this season in accordance with NCAA transfer rules. Crawford, the son of former Kansas City Royals pitcher Steve Crawford, started his college career at Wake Forest.

¢ Stats, facts: KU has won 10 straight against Colorado and four straight at Coors Events Center. ... KU has won 12 of its 13 road games. ... Darnell Jackson made a career-best 10 free throws in 10 attempts. KU was 21 of 25 from the line, its second consecutive game shooting over 80 percent from the line and fourth time in seven Big 12 games shooting 81 percent or better. ... Mario Chalmers had a team-high six assists with three steals and two blocks. ... Sasha Kaun's 12 points were his most in Big 12 play and most overall since Jan. 8 vs. Loyola when he had 14. He made four of five free throws. ... KU outrebounded CU, 34-21, tying its biggest rebound advantage in Big 12 play.