N Arizona 57

(0-1, 0-1 away)

(3) Kansas 91

(1-0, 1-0 home)

    8:00 PM ET, November 11, 2006

    Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, Kansas

    1 2 T
    NAU 25 3257
    #3KU 51 4091

    Top Performers

    Northern Arizona: J. Wilson 8 Pts, 5 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl

    Kansas: B. Rush 21 Pts, 6 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl

    Jayhawks demolish N. Arizona behind Rush's 21 points

    LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) -- Northern Arizona coach Mike Adras felt no need to apologize after his Lumberjacks were blown out 91-57 by No. 3 Kansas.

    "This is probably the best team I've ever coached against," he said. "They just kept coming and coming."

    Even Kansas coach Bill Self had to admit his Jayhawks had looked sharp in every regard Saturday night while shooting 54 percent, forcing 21 turnovers and mounting a double-digit lead less than 5 minutes into the game.

    Preseason All-American Brandon Rush scored 21 points, leading five players in double figures as the Jayhawks won their 35th consecutive home opener.

    "We did a good job," Self said. "We need to tighten a lot of things up, but I thought our effort was excellent. You always look good when you shoot the ball well and certainly we did that."

    Rush, a 6-foot-6 sophomore who had not played particularly well in two exhibition games, scored inside and outside. He also had three assists, six rebounds and played tight defense on Steven Sir, who led the NCAA last year in 3-point accuracy.

    "I think we played up to our No. 3 ranking today," Rush said. "The energy was there and the shots were falling. We just kept going throughout the game. I probably stepped up and got my game focused."

    Hitting 10 of their first 12 shots, the Jayhawks took control with a 19-4 run that produced a 41-17 lead. It was exactly the kind of game Self was hoping to see from a team that he feared might stumble over its preseason press clippings.

    "When Brandon plays like that, we're a totally different team," he said. "We had good balance."

    Northern Arizona, which has four starters back from last season's Big Sky Conference champion, was outclassed from start to finish.

    "They are skilled at every position," said Sir, who was 3-for-5 from beyond the arc and finished with nine points. "They are quick, long, tall, athletic, all the things you envision the best of the best being. Kansas is an elite team. It stunk getting blown out, but it was a lot of fun."

    With more than 14 minutes left, Kansas had almost all reserves on the court, including a pair of freshmen who provided the most spectacular play of the night. Guard Brady Morningstar threw an alley-oop pass to 6-9 Darrell Arthur, who caught it with one hand and threw down a thunderous one-handed dunk for a 72-34 lead.

    "Coaching," said Self with a smile. "Or recruiting."

    Mario Chalmers, who didn't because of a sore toe, then stole the ball and went down for a conventional dunk and a 74-34 lead.

    Rush even gave the big crowd a laugh early in the second half when one shoe came flying off. He picked it up and carried it a few steps while running down court on defense, then tossed it aside and played with one bare foot until the next time out.

    Julian Wright, the co-winner with Rush in preseason balloting for Big 12 player of the year, had 16 points. Freshman Sherron Collins had 14 while Darnell Jackson and Arthur had 12 apiece. Jackson, playing for injured 6-11 center Sasha Kaun, had a team-high eight rebounds

    Deveric Taylor led Northern Arizona with 12 points.

    After Kansas jumped to a big lead, Taylor scored six points in an 8-0 flurry by the Lumberjacks. But Arthur blocked a shot and Jackson converted it into a three-point play on the other end to spark a 10-0 spree that sent Kansas into halftime with a 51-25 lead.

    Northern Arizona fell to 0-18 against ranked opponents, and the road does not get much easier for the Lumberjacks, who play at No. 10 Arizona on Wednesday after being at Arizona State on Monday. They will be the only Division I program to start this season with two top-10 teams in the first week.

    "It's not the most ideal schedule, no doubt about it," said Adras. "I'm not sure I really want to be the home opener for two Pac-10 teams and a Big 12 team, but that's the way it worked out."

    Ruben Boykin Jr., last year's Big Sky newcomer of the year and top rebounder with 7.2 per game, had only four rebounds against the taller Jayhawks, who had a 42-32 edge on the boards.

    "They are all future pros," said Boykin. "That's enough said right there."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 57 91
    FG Made-Attempted 20-60 (.333) 34-63 (.540)
    3P Made-Attempted 6-13 (.462) 6-13 (.462)
    FT Made-Attempted 11-14 (.786) 17-25 (.680)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (0/0) 16 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 0 40

    2006-07 Season

    » Nov 11, 2006 @KU 91, NAU 57Recap