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Archive for Sunday, December 16, 2007

Kansas notebook

December 16, 2007

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2007-08 Dec. 15 KU-Ohio Basketball

Mario Chalmers, who hit three of four threes and scored 17 points, played well after getting chewed out by coach Bill Self in the opening minutes.

"I got on him at the start of the game. He didn't guard the way the scouting report said he was supposed to guard. That kind of stuff just drives me nuts," Self said. "I took him out, and he went over there and said, 'I'll show you, coach,' and sure enough, he did. He is remarkable that way. It wouldn't be a game if I didn't get on Mario at the start of the game. He is playing the best since he's been here and is doing everything."

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Rush's first start: Junior Brandon Rush figured Self awarded him his first start of the season in Sprint Center for sentimental reasons.

"I think coach kind of did it that way so I could be in my hometown for my first start," the Kansas Citian said.

Not exactly.

"I could care less about that," Self said. "I was going to start him last week. It's been fairly well documented he had a little misstep (arrest for failure to appear in court). He deserves to start. He's a fabulous player. He's done everything about exactly the way we have asked him to do it. It's time."

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Surprise, surprise: Good thing Russell Robinson brought a camera with him on a 15-minute tour of the College Basketball Experience after practice Friday night.

He was pleased to see a cut-out picture of himself in the building next to the Sprint Center.

"I was surprised. I said, 'Wow,' and took a picture of it with a couple of guys in it," Robinson said of a picture of him against Missouri. "We had a lot of fun, dunking on little goals."

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Smoky sensation: Several reporters commented about sensing smoke in the arena. KU officials said they heard no reports of a fire.

"We noticed that during shoot-around yesterday, too, but it wasn't anything destructive. It definitely made the place feel good. It might have been hot in here from all the shots we made," Robinson said.

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Off day for Stewart: Rodrick Stewart, who came off the bench for the first time in eight games, had two points and three turnovers in 10 minutes.

"Rod had a tough game, to say the least," Self said. "I don't think that (not starting) had anything to do with it. Rod had a bad day. I told Rod at halftime, 'Good gracious, Rod, you have been great so far (this season). Nothing's different. You had a bad few minutes. Change it.'

"I don't think coming off the bench will do anything negative to him. He knew it would happen. He's a great sixth, seventh man. He has to play better than today. He will."

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Christmastime: KU wore its red jerseys for the second time this season. Ohio wore green, lending a Christmas feel to the court.

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Stats, facts: KU is 186-74 all-time in K.C., where the Jayhawks have won 27 straight regular-season games. : KU held Ohio scoreless for 6:49 in the middle portions of the first half, while going on a 19-0 run. The run continued to 32-4. : Robinson had a career-high 11 assists. His previous high was nine, which he achieved three times, most recently in KU's last game against DePaul. It was the most assists by a Jayhawk since Aaron Miles had 11 against Iowa State on Feb. 21, 2001. : Chalmers has recorded 17 steals in the last three games. That is the most steals recorded in a three-game span in his career, eclipsing a three-game mark of 16 last year (Rhode Island 5, South Carolina 5, and Oklahoma State 6). : Darnell Jackson was a perfect 5-for-5 from the field. He has now shot 78.9 percent (15 of 19) in his last three games. : The 23 combined fouls marked the fewest fouls called in a KU game since 21 fouls were whistled when KU and Maryland-Baltimore County met on Jan. 10, 1991 (Kansas 11, UMBC 10).

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Ohio facts: The last time Ohio faced a ranked team was Dec. 30, 2005. The Bobcats fell to No. 18 Kentucky, 71-63, in Cincinnati. Last win over a ranked team was a 61-55 decision over No. 11 Syracuse on Dec. 4, 1998 at the Orangemen's gym. : Ohio last played a Top-5 team on Jan, 15, 2000. Cincinnati beat the Bobcats, 73-59. : Ohio entered 2-14 all-time against teams in the Top Five. : Saturday's game was Ohio's second stop on an extended road trip. Ohio beat Maryland, 61-55, Wednesday in College Park. Md. Following Saturday's game, the Bobcats were to head to Honolulu for the Rainbow Classic. The Bobcats will be joined in Honolulu by former KU assistant Norm Roberts' St. John's team, as well as Hawaii, East Tennessee State, Georgia, Louisiana-Lafayette, Saint Mary's and Tulane.

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Sprint Center schedule: The Sprint Center already has played host to some major events, including concerts by Garth Brooks, Billy Joel and Elton John, as well as the CBE Classic, which was won by UCLA.

KU will play in that tournament next November. The Jayhawks will hold a two-day, four-team tournament against yet-to-be determined teams between Nov. 16 and 19. Winner advances to the Sprint Center for games Nov. 24 and 25. Syracuse, Florida and Washington are the other host schools for the event.

Kansas State will meet Florida A&M on Monday night at Sprint Center.

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