Radford (4-2) at (1) Kansas (7-0)
Wednesday, December 9th, 8:00 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Scott Haynes, Senior College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Allen Fieldhouse (16,300) -- Lawrence, Kansas. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: Radford 2-0, Kansas 5-0. Away Record: Radford 2-2, Kansas 1-0. Neutral Record: Radford 0-0, Kansas 1-0. Conference Record: Radford 2-0, Kansas 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The nation's longest homecourt winning streak will be on the line this evening in Lawrence, as the top-ranked Kansas Jayhawks welcome the Radford Highlanders to the Allen Fieldhouse for a non-conference affair.
The Jayhawks are a perfect 7-0 on the young season and have run their current win streak at home to a whopping 46 games with a 98-31 rout of Alcorn State on December 2nd. Most recently, the team played its first road contest of the season, knocking off UCLA on Sunday in Los Angeles, 73-61, as part of the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series.
The Highlanders are closing out a grueling five-game road trip in Lawrence. The team dropped its first two games of the road trip, but has evened things up with two consecutive victories, including a 61-57 decision at Presbyterian on Saturday. The win moved Radford to 2-0 in Big South play already.
This game marks the first time that these two programs have met on the hardwood.
The Highlanders are actually giving up more points (71.0 ppg) than they are scoring (7.3 ppg) on average and that isn't usually a recipe for sustained success. However, with a player like Art Parakhouski on the roster, Radford will be competitive in most games. The 6-11, 270-pound senior has been absolutely dominant this season, putting up huge numbers both as a scorer and rebounder, averaging 22.3 points and 14.8 rebounds per game. Scoring depth comes in the form of Joey Lynch-Flohr (13.2 ppg), Lazar Trifunovic (12.0 ppg) and Blake Smith (11.0 ppg). Trifunovic and Lynch-Flohr are also solid rebounders, aiding Parakhouski on the glass, with 8.5 and 8.2 rpg, respectively. Radford erased an 11-point second half deficit and edged out the BLue Hose last time out, 61-57. Four players finished in double figures for the Highlanders, who shot 50 percent from the floor in the second half to earn the victory. Parakhouski and Trifunovic led the way with 13 points apiece. Parakhouski recorded a double-double with 11 boards, while Trifunovic just missed his own with nine caroms. Lynch-Flohr and Phillip Martin added 10 points apiece.
Sophomore Markieff Morris came off the bench to tally a career-high 19 points, helping Kansas remain undefeated on the season, with a 12-point win at UCLA. Freshman Xavier Henry poured in 16 points and senior Sherron Collins netted 14, as the Jayhawks shot .444 from the field, while limiting the Bruins to just .361 shooting. The Jayhawks are sitting atop the national polls because of their play at both ends of the floor. Not many teams have enjoyed the kind of balanced success early on that KU has. The team is boasting of an impressive +33.4 scoring margin, averaging a robust 89.1 ppg, while allowing a mere 55.7. In addition, the team is shooting a sizzling .510 on the year, while holding foes to a .331 clip. The dominance continues with a +9.3 rebounding margin and a +5.0 turnover margin. Henry has been everything advertised, shooting .533 overall (.500 from three-point range) and leading the team in scoring at 16.9 ppg. Two more All-American candidates follow in the scoring column in Collins (14.3 ppg) and Cole Aldrich (10.6 ppg). The 6-10 Aldrich is one of the top big men in the country and has pulled down double- digit rebounds in three straight games, giving him a season average of 10.1 rpg.
Parakhouski is a strong interior force for Radford, but the Highlanders are in way over their heads in this one and simply outgunned. Behind a dominant performance at both ends of the floor, expect another rout for the top team in the land.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Kansas 94, Radford 49
12/09 10:32:15 ET