for this game

Self, Kansas aim to win sixth straight season opener

Nov 9, 2007 - 3:50 PM UL Monroe (0-0) at No. 4 Kansas (0-0) 8:00 pm EST

LAWRENCE, Kansas (Ticker) -- The fourth-ranked Kansas Jayhawks enter the season without two key members that helped fuel their run at a regional final last March.

Bill Self will look to guide the Jayhawks to their sixth straight season-opening win when they host Louisiana-Monroe on Friday.

Kansas, which finished 33-5 and lost to UCLA in the West Regional final, is without departed forward Julian Wright and injured guard Brandon Rush.

Wright, who was drafted 13th overall by the New Orleans Hornets, averaged 12.0 points and 7.8 rebounds in his sophomore season. Sophomore forward Darrell Arthur and senior center Sasha Kaun will try and make up for the absence of Wright.

Meanwhile, Rush was the team's leading scorer from a season ago, and nearly joined Wright in the NBA. However, he suffered a torn ACL in a pickup game in June and will be out until at least December 1. Therefore, the Jayhawks will count on junior Mario Chalmers and senior Russell Robinson to lead from the backcourt.

Chalmers averaged 12.2 points last season, and while Robinson added 7.2 points and 4.4 assists.

As for the Warhawks, they return all five starters from a team that went 18-14 and tied for the Sun Belt Conference's West title last season. Junior guard Tony Hopper is their leader, averaging a team-best 15.4 points last season.

This will mark the first meeting between the schools, but Kansas is 17-3 vs. members of the Sun Belt conference.

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    UL MONROE 35 43 78
    KANSAS (4) 50 57 107 FINAL

    Nov 9 10:02 PM

    UL MONROE 35

    Nov 9 9:04 PM