Off To a Great Start

Off to its best start in three years, Kansas is feeling pretty confident as its conference schedule approaches.

The third-ranked Jayhawks get one last tuneup before Big 12 play begins as they host Loyola of Maryland on Tuesday.

Oddsmakers from Bodog have made Kansas -35 point spread favorites (View College Basketball odds) for today’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 60% of bets for this game have been placed on Kansas -35 (View College Basketball bet percentages).

Kansas is 14-0 for the sixth time in school history and the first since the 2004-05 season. The Jayhawks, one of six remaining undefeated teams in Division I, have not won their first 15 games since starting the 1989-90 season 19-0.

Kansas is averaging 83.6 points per game and is outscoring its opponents by an average of 25.1 points - the largest margin in the country. Saturday's 85-60 win at Boston College was the Jayhawks' third straight victory by at least 24 points.

The Jayhawks open their conference schedule Saturday at Nebraska.

"If our big guys play like that, our guards are good enough to put them in position to get easy baskets," coach Bill Self said. "I think the pieces are there for us to have a big year."

Senior forward Darnell Jackson had a career-high 25 points and nine rebounds against the Eagles and was named the Big 12 co-player of the week along with D.J. Augustin of Texas. Jackson is averaging 19.7 points over his last three games - over seven points more than his season average.

Sophomore forward Darrell Arthur, who leads the team with 13.7 points per game, chipped in a season-best 22, and Kansas used a 33-8 run to take over the game. Kansas held a 39-24 rebounding edge and outscored Boston College in the paint 54-26.

Arthur has scored in double figures in all but one of Kansas' games this season.

"If we keep playing like that, and keep our energy up, there's no way we can be stopped," said Jackson, who is shooting a Big 12-best 67.6 percent.

Kansas is facing Loyola of Maryland (6-8) for the first time and will be looking to take advantage of a defense that is allowing 71.9 points per game.

The Greyhounds ended a three-game losing streak Sunday, beating Iona 63-51. Gerald Brown, who leads the team with 19.1 points per game, had 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Michael Tuck added 10 points and 10 rebounds for Loyola, which opened the second half with a 22-5 run.

"This program was built to bring some excitement to Baltimore basketball," coach Jimmy Patsos told Loyola's official team Web site. "Sometimes that means that you are going to be down in the first half and make a comeback. This team showed a lot of character today by being able to do that. I'm proud of the way we bounced back after a tough loss Friday night (to Fairfield)."

The Greyhounds have won just two of their last eight games and are 0-6 on the road. They have yielded an average of 84.5 points in those games while getting outscored by more than 19 per game.

by: Staff Writers - Email Us

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