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Kansas defeats TCU, 95-65

  • 3 p.m., Feb. 15, 2014
  • Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Sophomore star: Perry Ellis impresses former Jayhawk Brandon Rush

Kansas forward Perry Ellis gets a round of high fives from his teammates and coaches as he leaves the game after a 32-point effort against TCU on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Perry Ellis gets a round of high fives from his teammates and coaches as he leaves the game after a 32-point effort against TCU on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Bill Self on Perry Ellis's career game vs. TCU

Kansas coach Bill Self talked about Perry Ellis's 32-point afternoon, as well as KU's improved defense in the second half and the fact that Joel Embiid will play on Tuesday at Texas Tech.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Perry Ellis, Wayne Selden and Andrew Wiggins on KU's blowout win over TCU

Perry Ellis, Wayne Selden and Andrew Wiggins discussed the Jayhawks' second-half recovery and Ellis's monster game following KU's home win over TCU.

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KANSAS 95, TCU 65

Box score

Brandon Rush of the NBA’s Utah Jazz walked out of Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday singing the praises of one of Kansas University’s future pro players.

The person receiving the plaudits wasn’t freshman Andrew Wiggins, who scored 17 points in the Jayhawks’ 95-65 victory over TCU. 

It wasn’t frosh Wayne Selden, who had 15 points, four assists, four rebounds and three steals.

And it wasn’t first-year center Joel Embiid, who missed the game because of nagging back and knee aches and pains.

It was ever-consistent Wichita sophomore Perry Ellis, who scored a career-high 32 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished a career-best five assists in 31 minutes. He scored the most points by a KU sophomore since Julian Wright’s 33 against Missouri on February 10, 2007, in Columbia, Mo.

“He’s smooth,” Rush said after visiting with KU’s coaches and players in the locker room. “He plays at his own pace. He can definitely score that ball. I’ve been watching him all season. The way he’s playing doesn’t surprise me.”

Six-year NBA veteran Rush, who has returned to his hometown of Kansas City, Mo., for the NBA All-Star break, watched the 6-foot-8 Ellis hit 13 of 15 shots, including two threes in as many tries. 

Ellis also went 4-of-4 from the foul line on a day he erupted for 21 second-half points.

“He can definitely play in the NBA,” Rush, a starter on KU’s 2008 NCAA title team, said. “I like his game because he can stretch the floor. He can put it on the ground. With his skill set, he can score against big guys.

“He was making all types of plays out there — scoring, rebounding, passing. He was playing the game he wanted to. He should look to score whenever he touches the floor,” Rush added.

Ellis, who lobbed to Wiggins for a first-half slam, scored 11 points (as did Wiggins and Selden) in the initial half as KU led just 47-40 at the break. He went 8-for-8 from the field the final half as KU (19-6, 10-2) outscored the (9-15, 0-12) Horned Frogs, 48-25.

“Perry was great,” said KU coach Bill Self. “He stretched it, took the ball strong to the hole. I think one of his two misses he got back and put in. Even more importantly, he made a couple great passes.”

Of his two threes, Self said: “Hopefully that’s a weapon we have. I don’t think he’ll shoot a ton of them, but if he’s open he can shoot it. He’s definitely capable of making that shot.”

Ellis, who is now five of 11 from three on the year, said the treys, “felt comfortable. I always try to shoot threes and mid-range (at practice), try to score from every spot on the floor. The key is practice. I have to keep competing in practice and good things happen.”

A big smile broke out on Ellis’ face when he left the game late to chants of “Perry, Perry,” from KU’s student section.

“It felt good. It was great fan support,” Ellis said. “I’m just trying to go out there and play my best. That’s all I can do.”

Self said it’s comforting to be able to count on Ellis’ offensive productivity.

“Perry for the most part will get his in some way, shape or form,” Self said of the player who averages 14.0 points a game. “We’d love for him to continue to build off this and be effective offensively. The thing is ... what’s going to keep us from having a great year is on the other end (defense), though. We all have got to get better and Perry is definitely one of that bunch. He has to get better on that end.”

KU was torched during the first half by TCU sophomore Kyan Anderson, who scored 21 points off 7-of-8 shooting. Anderson finished with 25 points after taking and making just one shot the final half.

“The adjustments we made defensively the second half to guard him were not major things,” Self said. “Just try a little harder and hedge ball screens a little better. He was really good. He made some hard plays the first half. We helped him because we weren’t turned up.”

Jamari Traylor contributed a career-high 10 points with eight boards, one off his career-best mark. Foul-plagued Tarik Black had seven points in nine minutes, while starting point guard Naadir Tharpe didn’t score on a day he had four assists, one turnover, in 20 minutes.

TCU wound up hitting 46.3 percent of its shots to KU’s 61.5. The Frogs hit five of 10 threes; KU five of 19.

Self referred to former KU standout Rush when summarizing KU’s play.

“I told our guys Brandon is the best defensive player we’ve had since I’ve been here,” KU’s 11th-year coach said. “Withey (Jeff, New Orleans Pelicans, who also attended) got a lot of attention because he blocked shots, but Brandon is the best defensive player we’ve had. He didn’t know how to spell it when he first got here. 

“Brandon is a man of about as many words as Perry is,” Self continued. “I asked him how we guarded. He said, ‘Not great.’ That was about it. Very profound,” Self added, smiling.

KU will next travel to Texas Tech on Tuesday for a 7 p.m. tip.

Comments

Ian Emerson 7 months, 1 week ago

If Joel stays Perry should play the 3 and Cliff will be power forward while Joel will play the 5.

1

Walter Bridges 7 months, 1 week ago

Regardless if Embiid stays or goes, Alexander will be the 4 and Ellis the 3. Myles Turner is waiting to see what Joel decides before committing. If Joel leaves, Turner will be the starting 5.

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Robert Brock 7 months, 1 week ago

Ellis has never played the 3 and he never will. In college or The League.

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Ian Emerson 7 months, 1 week ago

See now this is a very interesting quandary. Perry played 3 all throughout highschool if i recall correctly and he has shown he can shoo thte 3 well enough to play the small forward position consistently. A starting lineup of 1. Tharpe 2. Wayne (If he stayes) 3. Perry 4. Cliff 5. Joel would be the best rim protection starting 5 of all time.

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Kye Clark 7 months, 1 week ago

No, he played in the post in high school. I live in Wichita, went to Wichita Heights myself (about a decade before Perry), and have followed Perry for quite some time. He also played the 4 for his AAU team, Play and Pray. Now it is true that at Heights they would sometimes have Perry do things on the perimeter or even bring the ball up the court, but he was a post player. The thing to remember is that in high school, even in cities as large as Wichita and bigger, there isn't usually a ton of height. You can't afford to play someone's as tall as Perry at the 3 because it takes away from your rebounding edge down low replacing him with someone say...6'3". It's really a credit to Perry and his work ethic that he has the ball handling skills and outside shooting touch that make him an attractive option at the 3 while still so young.

The scenario does present somewhat of an issue next year with Alexander coming in. Here's a guy who has a legitimate shot to be the #1 recruit coming in. He'll almost definitely remain in the top 5. Guys ranked that high don't usually go somewhere with the intention of not starting. However, if Embiid comes back, who do you sit? Playing Ellis at the 3 solves that problem (other than, as discussed below, Perry's defensive liabilities), but then (also as discussed below) you are now sitting another McDonald's all-American in Kelly Oubre. It will be interesting to see how Self sorts it out (again, working under the condition that Embiid returns. If he leaves it is largely a moot point).

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Walter Bridges 7 months, 1 week ago

If Embiid leaves...I think Turner commits.Then you have the same quandary.

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Rich Hetherington 7 months ago

I think Kansas may play through next season without a true #5. We already have both Alexander and Mickelson coming in. Plus we'll still have Ellis and 4th and 3rd year players in Traylor and Lucas. If you ask me, that's 5 skilled Bigs already, which is about the most Self uses in his rotations.

I think if Embiid stays, great, he'll be the #5 and it will be even more crowded than this year with 3 bigs that absolutely warrant starting spots (Embiid, Alexander, Ellis) and 3 more experienced players that absolutely warrant PT (Traylor, Mickelson, Lucas). I feel that if Embiid does declare, we'll be good to go even if Turner doesn't come here. That being said, I never turn away someone that's very talented and wants to be a Jayhawk, so if Mickelson and Lucas have to resort to clean-up/trash minutes for Turner to come, then I'm sure it will all work out.

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Walter Bridges 7 months, 1 week ago

Perry, where have you been? Now that was a true breakout game for Ellis and something to build on.

Ellis does a lot of little things that don't show up in the stats and often doesn't get the credit he deserves but he had everything going for him today. Great game!

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Glen Miller 7 months, 1 week ago

Can't put Perry at 3.... that will be Oubre. Alexander will play big minutes off the bench, at least for the first part of the season. Perry doesn't guard well enough to play the 3 I don't think. He isn't as quick as we need at that spot on D. Great player, but belongs at the 4 in college ball.

1

Ian Emerson 7 months, 1 week ago

See now that is the only problem i see with Perry at the 3. He can undeniably score the ball from anywhere on the floor but has been consistently exposed for being too slow. For example against Texas and KSU athletic and speedy bigs easily beat Perry to the basket when being screened for.

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Mel Clare 7 months, 1 week ago

I think both Embid and Selden will stay. Both need another year. Selden would just get buried on some bad teams bench.......Embid needs to get stronger to go a long NBA season. You can bet that Ellis, Mason, Greene, Lucas, Traylor, White, Frankamp, Mickleson are all 4 year guys..............or in Traylor and Lucas case 5th year guys. really solid nucleus for next several years. IF Embid leaves, Lucas and Mickleson are both 6'10 guys.............should be fun. Ellis will not lose playing time to Alexander, Self will figure something out to get both on the floor at the same time. I can see Traylor, Mickleson and Lucas being the bench bigs next season if Embid stays.

I see White transferring with Greene, Selden, Oubre in front of him. JMO

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Danny Hernandez 7 months, 1 week ago

I don't see White transferring, having to sit out one year to play 2 years....He'll push for time next year. His hip injury really put him behind Greene.

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Gerry Butler 7 months, 1 week ago

I definitely see Andrew transferring at the end of the year, heard it in the interview yesterday, can tell he is really frustrated. its all about numbers, too deep at his position to many guys ahead of him, and that's not to say he isn't a good player, just wrong time, he would definitely transfer and sit out that year to play 2. he can go to ALOT of other colleges and play a lot of minutes and be vey very productive. and we shouldn't deny him that opportunity I think he will do very well wherever he goes but again its just not gonna happen hee at KU

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Walter Bridges 7 months, 1 week ago

I agree Gerry. White is too good of a player to sit for clean-up minutes at the end of blow-outs. He could easily start at VCU or A LOT of other teams. The right guy at the wrong time at KU.

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Erich Hartmann 7 months, 1 week ago

Buried in this story is the MAIN issue on this team: DEFENSE. Its not that these guys cant do it--> look at the difference between the first half and 2nd half, same KU personnel! Its about effort.

What Self said about BRush is exactly right, of course. Best defender Self has had at the 3wing. Wiggins, imho, is also playing at that level, especially for a frosh. I mean, who else could shut down Jabari Parker in crunch time, and he did. And he outshined Parker offensively (in crunch time). And he's extremely consistent defensively ever since.

What Brandon Rush + Russell Robinson + Mario Chalmers did defensively is legend. And it set the bar right where it needs to be.

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Titus Canby 7 months, 1 week ago

+1. If we play defense, we win the conference and make a deep run in the tournament. If we don't play defense, it'll be a 9-year streak, a short tournament, and a long spring/summer.

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Gerry Butler 7 months, 1 week ago

agreed Erich,thats what makes things so frustrating, like you said same team 2nd half as 1st. huge question here is WHY? why does it take coach self to get all up in their A - - at half for them to play like that? they should step onto the court with the 2nd half approach at the beginning of evey game, then w see what their capable of and that's FRUSTRATING. I see in these guys some of the same traits I've seen in past ku teams unfortunately and that's sometimes they have what seems to be that approach like oh well we can take over when ever we feel like, its like so what if they are playing us close, its like w got this don't worry, and then before they realize it they are in a dog fight and the longer you let a less talented team a quote unquote inferior team play with you, then the more confidence that team gets and then you get a missed shot here, a missed shot there, a turnover here and so on an so on then you got PROBLEMS. you gotta realize you don't or can't win games on just talent alone. you don't win games just because your name says KANSAS on the uniform, you don't win games because of your schools tradition you have to come ready to play night in, night out and unfortunately I think some of the guys have a tendency to forget that at times, you and I both know for sure if you take that approach in the tourney then your DONE cause its 1 and out I think we have the team that could make the final 4, win it all, but yet I see a team that they could play 1 and be done. hear a lot of well they still have a huge ceiling, their potential is unlimited well its now the middle of feburary, time to step on the pedal, you are no longer frsh, or soph, I love my hawks but still got things to work on . GO HAWKS

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Erich Hartmann 7 months, 1 week ago

Gerry, good points. I will also add that most 'athletes' Self recruits seem to have that cockiness...even the 08Champs sometimes played down to the level of the competition. Honestly it took losing to UCLA in the Elite8 in '07, then losing the next year to KSU/Beasley, and finally at OkieState to get their full focus. And that was mostly juniors + Seniors, along with soph.Sherron. Call it cockiness that comes from winning alot...or the name on the jersey (or both). Nothing is given, and the BigXII is proving that nicely this year.

And honestly there are examples almost every year: Tennessee "walk on" defeat. TCU "topeka-Y" defeat last year. How about UNI? Maybe VCU? Bucknell? Bradley? KSU this year in Manhattan is absolutely in this category--we didnt try as hard as KSU did, period.

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Tony Bandle 7 months, 1 week ago

It takes two years to truly grasp Bill's defensive philosophy...how many guys do we have that have already served that two full seasons...one, Naadir Tharpe and based on this year's performance, he still can't cover anybody.

We're not going to see a true Bill Self defense until next year....at the earliest, so we better find ways to keep scoring!!!

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Erich Hartmann 7 months, 1 week ago

Wiggins "gets it" defensively, but from reading about him, he always has. Regularly in high school and prep school, he asked to guard the opponent's best player. Just like he switched to Jabari Parker on his own volition, without Self telling him to do so, and essentially shut Parker down, and won us the Duke game by doing so. Wiggins has routinely been shutting people down (as a frosh). Of course that makes Selden play harder, and he personally said when he committed to KU that he thought he could be a lockdown defender, and he is well on his way. Selden and Wiggins are much better frosh defenders than Tharpe, or EJ, or Tyshawn (as freshmen). Embiid is of course gifted with quickness and anticipation. It does our opponents NO good that Embiid has been watching tapes of Olajuwon, Mutumbo, and Withey...

But Tony is correct about the team-defense and off-ball philosophies taking time & experience to learn...

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