At the AmaréStoudemire Skills Academy in Phoenix last summer, Kansas senior Sasha Kaunglanced at the court and did a double take. Was that his 6' 9" sophomoreteammate Darrell Arthur, who was supposed to be training with the U.S. under-19team in Dallas at the time? No--it was the camp's host. "Darrell and Amaréboth have similar body types," says Kaun. "They can play the post realwell, and Darrell is really aggressive. He tries to dunk everything, just likeAmaré."
Arthur is a longway from becoming an All-NBA force like Stoudemire; the Jayhawks would be happyif he just developed into an All-America. His left leg now fully healed from astress fracture that was diagnosed in July, Arthur will be the only new starterfor the two-time defending Big 12 champs. Coach Bill Self hopes that with theincrease in playing time comes maturity and consistency: Arthur's three highestscoring games as a freshman (including 19¬†points in an upset of No.¬†1Florida) all came in November, and that initial success went to his head."Every time I got the ball I was just shooting it," he says. "I'mgoing to look for my teammates more now."
That would be agood idea, since Kansas remains one of the most talented teams in the country.Leading scorer Brandon Rush, who tore his right ACL in a pickup game last May,is still recovering from surgery, but when the junior is healthy, the Jayhawkswill have the nation's deepest backcourt, with senior Russell Robinson, juniorMario Chalmers and sophomore Sherron Collins. They also have plenty of size upfront, with Arthur, the 6' 11" Kaun, 6' 8" senior Darnell Jackson and6' 11" freshman Cole Aldrich, a McDonald's All-American.
Kansas lostdo-everything sophomore forward Julian Wright, who was taken 13th by the NewOrleans Hornets. But Arthur is a capable replacement. "Darrell's more of anatural scorer than Julian was, but he can do a lot of other things too,"says Self. "I've talked to him about how he can impact the game on everypossession without shooting. Playing defense, rebounding, running, shotblocking--he does a little of everything. He's been terrific [in practice] andhas a chance to be a serious producer for us."
November 19, 2007
[This articlecontains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]
|PG||Russell Robinson [RETURNING STARTER]||6'1"||Sr.||7.2 ppg||4.4 rpg|
|SG||Mario Chalmers [RETURNING STARTER]||6'1"||Jr.||12.2 ppg||3.3 apg|
|SF||Brandon Rush [RETURNING STARTER]||6'6"||Jr.||13.8 ppg||5.6 rpg|
|PF||Darrell Arthur||6'9"||Soph.||9.8 ppg||4.7 rpg|
|C||Sasha Kaun [RETURNING STARTER]||6'11"||Sr.||5.9 ppg||3.8 rpg|
|G||Sherron Collins||5'11"||Soph.||9.3 ppg||2.9 apg|
Nov. 9Louisiana-Monroe (W 107-78)
Nov. 11Missouri-Kansas City (W 85-62)
Nov. 21 NorthernArizona
Nov. 28 FloridaAtlantic
Dec. 2 at USC
Dec. 5 EasternWashington
Dec. 8 DePaul
Dec. 15 Ohio (inKansas City)
Dec. 18 atGeorgia Tech
Dec. 22 Miami(Ohio)
Dec. 29 Yale
Jan. 5 at BostonCollege
Jan. 8 Loyola(Md.)
One of BillSelf's objectives is to avoid a repeat of last year's 6-2 start, when his clubwas "complacent" and "terrible" in losing at home to OralRoberts and at NIT-bound DePaul. A more experienced, and healthier, KU squadwill ease into this season with only Arizona offering much of a test inNovember.
Coach Bill Self(5th year)
Big 12 record14-2 (1st)
NCAA tournamentElite Eight
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