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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Brannen Greene: Kansas players ‘get along great’

Brannen Greene

Brannen Greene

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Brannen Greene

One of the best things about playing basketball at Kansas University, Brannen Greene says, is the camaraderie of a close-knit team.

“We all get along great,” said Greene, a 6-foot-7 freshman shooting guard from Juliette, Ga. “There aren’t any grudges on the team. Nobody dislikes anybody. There are all positive vibes everywhere.”

Those good vibrations were evident at last week’s Media Day ...

• when freshman center Joel Embiid praised senior power forward Tarik Black for sharing his expertise;

• when freshman point guard Frank Mason singled out junior Naadir Tharpe for showing him the ropes;

• when freshman sharpshooters Greene and Conner Frankamp kidded about their one-on-one three-point shooting competitions held before and after practice.

“We have them all the time,” Greene said. “I beat him sometimes. He beats me sometimes. It all depends. He’s definitely the best shooter I’ve gone against. Hopefully he’ll say the same about me.”

Noted Frankamp: “It’s good fun. It helps me a lot having somebody to shoot with. He’s a great shooter. I think shooting behind the arc, we’re similar. He’s taller and longer. He’s good as well off the dribble. I think we’re both great shooters all around.”

Greene averaged 27 points, 9.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists a game last year for Tift County High School (26-5). Frankamp, 6-foot from Wichita North, went for 31.1 points and 3.8 assists per contest for North (20-3).

“I think I’m a versatile scorer, but primarily a shooter,” Greene said.

“I shot a pretty good percentage in high school. I think I was 52 percent from the three-point line,” Frankamp noted. “I was pretty accurate in high school. I have to bring it to this level as well.”

KU coach Bill Self especially enjoys watching Frankamp and Greene the days they are on fire from long range.

“He’s big. He’s 6-7 with great range and vision and good ball skills,” Self said of Greene. “He’s got to tighten a lot of things up. In any other recruiting class, he would be a headliner. He’s a good player.”

Of Frankamp, Self said: “If there is somebody that can shoot better, I would like to see it because he can shoot it maybe as well as anyone we have had here. The one thing with Conner is, he is a shooter and a scorer, but probably a shooter before a scorer. With that you get to the college level and you have bigger guys closing out at you, and the game’s a little faster. You need to learn to get your shot off a little faster, and sometimes you see guys really labor to shoot the ball with the same consistency they did in high school. And that, to me, won’t be a concern because he will have the green light with us, is what I would say he has to grow through.”

The Wichitan has a shooter’s mentality.

“At the college level, guys are longer and tougher. I have to knock down open shots, not miss many open shots,” Frankamp said. “I feel I can knock down a lot of open shots.”

Frankamp finished his high school career with 2,275 points, passing current Jayhawk Perry Ellis (2,231) as top scorer in Wichita City League history.

“He (Ellis) doesn’t talk to me much about the scoring record, but we talk every once in a while. It helps having him around. I can ask him anything. He’s always there to talk to me and help me,” Frankamp stated, giving another example of KU camaraderie.

“He hasn’t brought it up yet. I’m sure he might,” Ellis said with a smile, hinting he might have a nice comeback awaiting Frankamp, such as total state championships. “It’s great to have Conner with me (after) playing against each other three years. I’m just excited having him on the team. He’s excited to be here, too.”

Comments

Ralster Jayhawk 6 months, 2 weeks ago

We are "flakes" by definition: we root for KU football and KU basketball (BradleyBucknellUCLAMichStUNIVCUKYMich).... But unfortunately, for the KUcynics, we aint goin' nowhere either, just like our teams...HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

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DanR 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Site is flaking out, never mind.

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mikehawk 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Like QB's in football, point guards get a great deal of scrutiny in the college game. Often, too much blame and too much credit. Much like the QB. With Tharpe, it isn't what his numbers were last year, it was the improvement from Freshman to Soph year. And, that improvement was considerable. Let's see what the improvement is from Soph to Junior year. That much improvement this year would be outstanding, and probably isn't even realistic. In his first year, he would get a little panicked and deal with it by looking for his shot, which led strait to the bench. Last year, it wasn't as bad, but still, he was often too quick to look for the shot rather than the pass. This year, his job is to set up a host of real deal scorers. If he gets into looking for his shot in situations other than fast breaks or very late in the clock, the Freshman point guard might get a shot at the job, or at least more minutes. Tharpe's job is simple...to avoid turnovers, play defense, and distribute to some serious studs. I think it his job to lose

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Ralster Jayhawk 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Good comments about Tharpe, hope he plays as a Self upperclassman PG should. (Disagree with those above that wanted Tharpe to start vs. Michigan--isnt that just straight up hindsight revisionism? You didnt know if you would get the season-long ho-hum EJ, or if you would get the EJ39/"too strong" version that pounced on ISU + KSU, or if you got the bad version (TCU and Mich, as it turned out). Also, the "10sec call" was really about 8.5 sec (see the tape, get yer stopwatch), and really when can anyone recall a Self guard with a 10sec call? Ever?) Truth is there is ZERO chance Self would sit EJ for a big Tourney game based on anything that happenned prior to tipoff. Fellow Jayhawks, just move on, new season. EJ's negative plays + that Mich endgame (by many KU players) only serve as teaching points now. New season, new swagger...and Tharpe has plenty of that. He will be awesome.

Tharpe's BIGGEST learning came from watching senior goodTyshawn during the '12champgame run. That's a heck of an example, imho, but I clearly see it in his play.

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Scott MacWilliams 6 months, 2 weeks ago

“I think I’m a versatile scorer, but primarily a shooter,” Greene said.

"The one thing with Conner is, he is a shooter and a scorer, but probably a shooter before a scorer." (HCBS)

Hey Jayhawks Brain Trust: Could someone please shed a little light on what is the difference between a shooter and a scorer? Is a shooter one who doesn't dunk??

Thanks!

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Ryan Houston 6 months, 2 weeks ago

The season is around the corner. It is T minus 29 days tell tip off. You can feel the electricity in the air. Kansas has roster full players that all are deserving of playing time. Question is, who be the lucky four bench players? Players like Andrew white seem motivated, and focused on earning those minutes. The Frankamp vs Greene battle is heating up. Because it seems certain one of the two will be sitting out this season with a red shirt. Which insures longevity for Kansas’s future. On paper the starting five, seems to be one of premier five the country. How good they are. Will depend on how hard they work, and fast they grow together as a team. A big question is, how much has Ellis improved. With all of this tension. Andrew Wiggins and The Jayhawks can either embrace it, or try to ignore it. So far it seems they are ignoring it.. The clock is ticking. The season is almost here. Fans around the country are ready to see Wiggins, and his teammates showcase their skills on national tv. Hopefully, they will not fall too far short of expectations. As Kansas fan to fellow Kansas fans this should be one hell of a ride.

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Kevin Huffman 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Yet another reason I could see Perry staying all 4 years or at least 3 years = Conner - sounds like he enjoys now playing WITH him as opposed to against him.

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William Blake 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Good article!

Great to hear the chemistry is good and no apparent "bad apples" in the group. Hopefully, everyone will stay tight later on, when minutes are handed out. I like how Greene and Frankamp push each other. It sounds like all the guys have paired off with the guys competing for the same position to help each others' game. This article seems to contrast with the ho-hum article a couple days ago. Maybe the players are listening to each other better than listening to the coaches. But let's face it... it is the coaches that will push these guys outside of their comfort zones in order to expand their game.

RS - I don't see Greene RS. I don't think he had a RS in mind for his freshman year when he signed with Kansas. He is a potential NBA player... he's not a tweener or facing any bigger struggle over other NBA-bound players. If that be the case, it's usually a race to the league, and you don't race by pulling a RS. All this could change after his freshman year... if he struggles at the D1 level.

Seems we've learned many things about this team and CS over the past week or so...

RS - CS is truly a player's coach. He throws that option out there for players and their families to decide. It doesn't sound like he'd ever deny a player a RS if that is what the player wants.

Rotation - CS mentioned a possible 9+ game rotation, and it may not always be the same 9+ for each game.

AW3 - AW3 has buffed out and he isn't going to concede PT to anyone, and he may earn a spot in the rotation. But many fans think he may RS.

CF - CS foams at the mouth talking about the potential of using CF to pull defenses out. Guess that goes the same for Greene.

Tar - Was the steal of year! Gives leadership help, too.

Jo Jo - Has the best feet of any big man from the Self era.

FM - Can penetrate at will. He's pushing Naa for minutes.

Perry - Should have a break out year... has expanded his range to the 3-pt line.

Wigs - Don't expect too much... he's still a freshman like the others and has to learn D1 level basketball. (wink wink)

Naa - He's ready to lead this team.

John Wayne Selden - Or is it Soldon? I'm sold on Selden. And I'm afraid NBA scouts will be, too, come March! His body is NBA ready and perhaps he'll have little trouble adjusting to the intensity of D1. Expect him to shoot right out of the gates!

JamTray - Has he picked up some offense over the summer?

LLucas - The mystery man. Kept a big secret and stored in Area 51.

Recruiting - We seem to be out in front on several great recruits and if many want to sign it may indicate several early departures from this team after March, either to the NBA or possibly transfer. Thank you, Coach Howard!

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Steve Gantz 6 months, 2 weeks ago

I wonder if it's really relevant if our players get along great?

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REHawk 6 months, 2 weeks ago

I feel confident that Black possesses the tools and current disposition to do a superior job in the post. Gotta hope that he can quickly adjust to Bill Self Basketball (although we are bound to see a new and revised edition of SelfBall this season, what with so much athleticism and available potential). And I feel almost as confident that Tharpe has now been burned enough by the quick yank to KNOW that he must quickly adjust to most any situation which should arise. If he loses patience and begins tossing up ineffective shots, Mason or Frankamp will be fetched from the pine. Once that ball sails into Selden's hands we are bound to see very different dynamics than with Ben last season. The first pass on offense will still be crucial to play development, but "point guard" play might not draw quite the attention from the opposition as the squad faced last year. Our current 2 man is a bruiser with sound wheels, reportedly inclined toward attacking the rim.

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Dirtyphog 6 months, 2 weeks ago

CHAMPIONS CLASSIC GOES ON SALE TOMORROW! I've been waiting all year since the last champions.. This is unrelated to the article just excited!

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Ralster Jayhawk 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Regarding Tarik, I think to start with, we can expect him to be a MichSt-style banger, and remember all the off-ball devastating screens and things that Bill Self bigs are busy doing...so, yes a big body will be effective at alot right off the bat. But, Tarik is also motivated to improve his skills overall, and he is a bright young man--> He may well to be a reliable scoring option, thus only helping balance the team further, and making PerryEllis that much more dangerous. All good, gotta love it!

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Tony Bandle 6 months, 2 weeks ago

RANDOM THOUGHTS.

1] DO NOT REDSHIRT ANYONE. Basically, you've got a 6'-7' scorer who can shoot [Greene], a 6'-6' shooter/scorer who can defend [AWIII} and a 6'-0" shooter who'se even better from the outside [ 52% is just sick!! ]. It's a long season...keep all your options open for every different game situation.

2] Perry Ellis, the Silent Assassin waiting in the high grass....he will be huge this season.

3] Someone questioned Black's potential impact on this team....big body, great movement, powerful as hell, Division 1 experience at a qualty program...don't worry about it.

4] I truly hope they focus on Tharpe...he will burn them with his passing.

5] No Zach Efron-look-a-likes this year...Conner more resembles Opie Taylor.

6] Something tells me that the friendship and closeness is suspended during practices. My guess is that it's a war out on the court with no quarter given or taken!!

7] Best pick-up game in American College Ball this year: Wiggins, Black, Ellis, Tharpe, Selden, Wesley, Traylor, Roberts, Garret versus Mason, White, Frankamp, Lucas, Embiid, Greene, Mickelson, Manning, Self.

8] I put the "over" for "Coach's Sons Games" at 15. [ Definition - A game with a blow-out score that let's Evan, Tyler and Niko all play].

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Ralster Jayhawk 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Man, Brannen Greene looks ALL business. This kid will be/is a stud for us. I LIKE the Wichita gunslinger (Conner) & the Southern sharpshooter (Greene) riding for WildBill...

Bill Self has found a few good men...

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Bryce Landon 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Great team chemistry is essential for a great team, and this team sounds like it has the right chemistry for a great team. Props to Naadir Tharpe for helping the youngins figure things out; I think he's due for a breakout year as the starting PG.

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Joe Baker 6 months, 2 weeks ago

I want to see more consistency on the kick to the perimeter or wide open shot.

I love Hackman's line in Replacements, "Winners always want the ball..." My question is who is a winner on this team? And who wants the ball?

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FearlessJayhawk 6 months, 2 weeks ago

It's great to have the luxury of so much talent. Every year the skill level is getting higher and higher. With the players that we have, it is very difficult to choose the best ones. It basically comes down to who has the best attitude, the best work ethic and who best fits into the puzzle. I do not envy having CBS's job.

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jaybate 6 months, 2 weeks ago

clevelandjay,

There are going to be three ways to play this team.

  1. Lay way off Tharpe and help everywhere else and dare Tharpe to beat you. This allows DTs on wings and down low. Then isolate on Tharpe on the offensive end.

  2. Overplay, muscle, smother and rattle Tharpe. Then isolate on Tharpe on the offensive end.

  3. Run the Princeton, or shuffle offense and wear down an impatient, green team.

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jaybate 6 months, 2 weeks ago

If you only got five men on a roster, Greene would get the nod for size, other things equal, no doubt.

But you get 13-15 and you want a rotation of 8, if you can find 8 with no fall off. Rotations not only allow resting starters, but playing matchups, too.

Greene and Conner, White and Conner, allow Self to go long, or short, to matchup with long or short opponents.

Keeping Greene, Conner AND White eligible, allows Self to stay long rotating White and Greene.

And on rare occasions, when the opponent goes 3 short, Self can counter with Naa, Conner and Mason m2m, then zone with White and Greene, then back again.

If it were me, I would not red shirt any of them in order to go for a ring with all match-ups covered.

But Self thinks of continuity, too, so one, will probably be redshirted to ensure long term shooting length.

Also, Self just dished out some serious praise to Greene. In a normal recruiting class, Greene would be considered the star.

At the same time, Self spoke the red shirt code of Greene having some things that "need tightening up."

It sounds like Self thinks Greene is a future draft choice that could get cherry picked early by the NBA on size, trey touch, and "potential," if he were to play this year.

Self would probably like Brannen to red shirt and be ready to be a star next season.

But he will most likely make the redshirt offer to both guys and see which one accepts.

Conner appears to be a go this season.

I can't see why Self would green light some one to shoot and then redshirt him.

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BucknellJayhawk3 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Connor Frankamp will be a better shooter than Connor Teahan but his Zac Efron impersonation will be lacking.

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VaJay 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Personally, I'm glad to hear we have multiple sharpshooters that can knock down 3's & open up the defense & not let them pack it in. It should open up more lanes for Wiggins & Co. to get to the hoop.

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clevelandjayhawker 6 months, 2 weeks ago

How does an opposing team defend us? With zone- we will burn them with our deep 3 weapons and Perry being able to shoot from mid-range. With man- who can guard Ellis, Wiggins or Selden one on one? Especially with Bill calling the shots and Black/Embiid setting screens for backdoor cuts. Or you can try and get into a track meet with us, but its not like we have around 12 guys that could start for most teams in America.

I think we have the shooters and getting points won' be an issue (on paper), but D is where we will win or lose.

My expectations are super high for this team, but they are young. With that said it is going to be fun to watch them grow.

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Michael Pannacciulli 6 months, 2 weeks ago

My hunch...one of these two red shirts.

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Mel Clare 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Well, if they are competing for the same minutes.......I say it is a nice problem to have! The other team starts a smaller guy at the 2 then go with Frankamp, they start a bigger guy, go with Greene! I look at this team and see a lot of interchangeable parts and positions! Will be fun to watch. Also..............Conner can play point if needed.

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Suzi Marshall 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Is Greene actually competing for the"shooting guard", 2 postion? Frankamp (6'.0, 165) and Greene (6'7", 215) are competing for the same position with equivalent shoot skills and comparable ball handling skills.. Greene has 7 inch and 50 pounds over Frankamp......

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Jesse Johnson 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Love to read stories like this. Even though on paper Kentucky maybe has more talent, but I think our team has a better chance to mesh well. Can't wait for this season to start.

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