March 20, 2007

Chalmers hopes Final Four dream becomes reality

During his career at Bartlett High School in Anchorage, Alaska, Mario Chalmers emerged as one of the most heavily recruited players in the class of 2005. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound point guard gave the nod to Kansas for a variety of reasons, but the opportunity to win a National Championship might have been the biggest factor. As the Jayhawks prepare to face Southern Illinois on Thursday night, Jayhawk Slant just spoke to Chalmers about KU's upcoming trip to San Jose, Calif., and a variety of other topics.

"They (SIU) like to run a slow-paced game, so we're just going to try to force them to play our game," said Chalmers. "We're going to try to play our type of game. If we have to, we can adjust, but from the get go, we're going to force them to play our game.

"It's the defense of the whole team (KU)," he added. "We need to make them take bad shots and when we get long rebounds, we need to get out and run and just dictate the tempo."

According to Chalmers, one of the biggest keys this weekend will be the play of Sasha Kaun, Darrell Arthur and Darnell Jackson.

Throughout the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, foul trouble and missed lay-ups prevented Bill Self's squad from having a consistent and productive low-post presence.

During KU's two game sweep through Chicago last weekend, Kaun, Arthur and Jackson combined to score just 33-points and grabbed 29 rebounds against Niagara and Kentucky.

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