KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Brandon Rush had three good reasons to
Kansas' All-Big 12 guard was making his first start of the year,
signaling a successful recovery from knee surgery that kept him out
of the NBA draft.
His team was making its first appearance in a gleaming new
arena. And this was all happening about 5 minutes from the
neighborhood where he grew up as a local playground legend.
"I was motivated," Rush said with a big smile.
With Rush making his first three 3-pointers and helping Mario
Chalmers spark a 19-0 run in the opening minutes, the third-ranked
Jayhawks remained unbeaten Saturday with an 88-51 rout of Ohio in
their debut in Kansas City's Sprint Center.
The Jayhawks' leading scorer each of the past two seasons, Rush
had been easing back into action. For the first time all season,
the Jayhawks had their preferred starting lineup on the floor at
the opening tipoff.
"The guys played pretty well," said coach Bill Self. "We had
some athletic plays."
Rush cooled off a bit after his hot beginning but still wound up
with 13 points and three assists as Kansas went to 10-0 for the
11th time in school history.
In another good sign for the Jayhawks, spark plug guard Sherron
Collins made his second appearance after missing six games while
healing a stress fracture in his foot. Four Jayhawks scored in
double figures as the defending Big 12 champions blew past an Ohio
team that had won four straight and was fresh off a 61-55 victory
"We've got everybody back and everybody is healthy," said
Rush. "We are starting to play good basketball right now. It felt
good to be home for the first time in about a year."
The Bobcats (6-3) tried several different defenses in a futile
effort to stop the Kansas onslaught while a sellout crowd in the
18,500-seat arena roared.
"We were pretty much overmatched at every position," said Ohio
coach Tim O'Shea. "I've watched a lot of basketball this year and
from a talent standpoint, if you're talking future NBA players,
Kansas might have the most out of anybody."
Chalmers had 17 points on 7 of 9 shooting and Darrell Arthur
added 14 points for Kansas.
The Jayhawks led 46-20 at the end of the first half and quickly
built the lead to 60-28 on consecutive 3-pointers by Russell
Robinson and Collins and Sasha Kaun's dunk.
The Bobcats came into the game with four players scoring in
double figures but every starter was held below his season average.
Bert Whittington's 10 points led Ohio.
Kansas outrebounded the visitors from the Mid-American
With Kansas wearing its bright red uniforms and the Bobcats in
green, the two teams lent a bright seasonal look to the glistening
new arena, which is only about 30 minutes from the Kansas campus
across the state line.
The Jayhawks, basking in the loud and energetic support they
always get in Kansas City, won their 27th straight regular-season
game here and raised their all-time record in KC to 185-75.
Arthur, the Jayhawks' leading scorer this season, had eight
rebounds to go with his 14 points while Darnell Jackson had 11
points and another eight rebounds.
Robinson, a senior guard, had 11 assists. The quicker Jayhawks
had 26 points off 17 turnovers and blocked seven shots the shorter
Bobcats put up.
"We tried to hang with them, but our strength is inside and
their strength is all the way around," said Ohio guard Bubba
Walther. "They just took away our strength. There was one
possession in the first half when [Kansas] had four rebounds. When
we beat Maryland, we got every loose ball, every rebound.
"To go along with their talent and their size, if they were
going to outrebound us, they were going to blow us out, and they