6 Kansas

The do-everything sophomore is gone. Enter another sophomore forward who can do it all
November 19, 2007

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."

[This articlecontains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

STARTING LINEUP

POS. PLAYER HT. CLASS KEY STATS
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
KEY RESERVE
G Sherron Collins 5'11" Soph. 9.3 ppg 2.9 apg


NONCONFERENCE SCHEDULE

Nov. 9Louisiana-Monroe (W 107-78)

Nov. 11Missouri-Kansas City (W 85-62)

Nov. 15Washburn

Nov. 21 NorthernArizona

Nov. 25Arizona

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.)

Analysis

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.

Grade: C+

FAST FACTS

Coach Bill Self(5th year)

2006-07 record33-5

Big 12 record14-2 (1st)

NCAA tournamentElite Eight

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PHOTOJOHN W. MCDONOUGHEXPANSION PLAN Arthur loves nothing more than dunking, but this year he wants to dish as well. ILLUSTRATION

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)