Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Seldom-seen Brannen Greene trusts in KU program, coach

Kansas head coach Bill Self talks with guard Brannen Greene during a break in action against TCU on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014 at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum in Fort Worth, Texas.

Kansas head coach Bill Self talks with guard Brannen Greene during a break in action against TCU on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014 at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum in Fort Worth, Texas.


— Brannen Greene didn’t play a lot, in fact, he didn’t crack the regular rotation, during his freshman season at Kansas University.

Though that came as somewhat of a surprise to the confident 6-foot-7 wing, he says he never, ever considered fleeing to another school via transfer.

“No. No chance. I’m here right now, aren’t I?” said a smiling Greene,’s No. 29-rated player in the recruiting Class of 2013, on Monday after working as camp counselor with KU teammate Evan Manning at Blue Valley Northwest coach Ed Fritz’s College Stars Camp at the Fieldhouse of Kansas City.

“I love it here. I love it at KU. I love coach (Bill Self). I trust in coach. I trust in the program. I never even thought about leaving at any point in the season,” Greene added.

Greene — he scored 66 points total (10 of 30 from three) while averaging 6.6 minutes a game in 28 games, faced some rugged competition at his position from teammates Andrew Wiggins and Wayne Selden, with Conner Frankamp and Andrew White III also fighting for time at the shooting guard/small forward slot.

For his soph season, KU has wing players on the roster in Greene, Selden, Frankamp, Kelly Oubre and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk with Frank Mason and Devonté Graham at point guard, along with Frankamp.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s a crowded perimeter,” Greene said. “I mean it’s going to be great competition at practice. I know at the end of the day we’re going to have a nine-, 10-man rotation, so somebody’s going to have to be left out.

“Obviously that it’ll be great competition,” Greene added, when asked what Self has told him about the 2014-15 season. “It will be good to go against a bunch of good players. I’m happy, honestly, with the players we get. That’s good players for me to go against in practice, to work on my game.”

Self let the public know what he thinks of Greene’s vast potential at the season-ending KU basketball banquet when he said Greene “can be a pro, can be an NBA player in time.”

Greene didn’t drop his knife and fork in shock upon hearing those words.

“Honestly I think I’m an NBA player, so ...” Greene said, confident enough to agree with KU’s veteran coach.

“Of course I’m always confident,” Greene said. “I know what I’m capable of. I know what the team is capable of and I’m ready to help the team out in any way possible.”

He plans on working on his game this summer.

“I’m going to work out, take summer classes. (His goal is) just to get better, also to get better as a team,” said Greene, who also has tentative plans to attend the adidas Nations camp that includes various college players as counselors. “We fell short last year where we shouldn’t have. My goal is to focus in and get everybody else to focus in too.”

Greene should have some additional support this upcoming school year. His parents are moving from Juliette, Georgia, to Overland Park. Juliette is where Brannen was born and raised, however, Greene's mom, Lori, was born in Kansas City and raised in the area. Her mom, dad and other family members live in Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Brannen's dad, Jeffrey, was a standout basketball player at Pittsburg State.

“They want to be closer to me, to be able to watch games. There’s not much point in staying back where they are from originally,” Greene said, noting his mother will be the volleyball coach at Kansas City (Kansas) Wyandotte High.

Manning on Mykhailiuk: KU walk-on Evan Manning was in Lawrence during the recruiting visit of Ukrainian standout Mykhailiuk.

“He’s a really good kid. He speaks English pretty well. I was really surprised by that. He’s a nice guy. We’re excited to have him here,” Manning said.

Everybody but Mykhailiuk is expected to be in town for summer school this week. Players will go to school, work some camps, lift weights and play in pick-up games.

“We play basketball for KU. We love what we are doing. We are always out there working,” Manning said of the Jayhawk players. “It’s always fun to have good competition, but during the summer we always wish the season was here because we get tired of beating up on each other. We want to go play some other teams.”

Nothing going on with NBA: KU coach Self on Monday said he hadn’t talked with any NBA teams this offseason about their job openings.

“I’ve talked to guys (about various matters including his draftable players). They haven’t talked to me about a coaching position. There’s nothing going on and that doesn’t bother me one bit,” Self said, speaking on the podcast of ESPN’s Andy Katz and Seth Greenberg. “I think I’ve got a better situation than a lot of the franchises in the league. People may think that’s hard to believe, but they haven’t been here or know what’s gone on here. Very content where I am.”

Self added: “It would be hard (to coach in pros). From an ego standpoint, we all are used to winning and we like to win. We went 25-10 this year and it sucked. I say that jokingly. We haven’t lost 10 games in one season in 14 or 15 years (Tulsa in 1999) something like that, since my second year at Tulsa or maybe longer than that. Can you imagine losing 50 or 60 games in a year?” he added, noting that the NBA “pays you to be patient.”

“I’m not saying never, but certainly this is a pretty good situation.”


Scott Yessen 7 years, 7 months ago

I for one am a BG fan. He is a tad cocky and brings energy every time he touches the floor and I love that.. I really hope he gets some PT this year. Its definitely crowded, but I think he can contribute.

Cameron Cederlind 7 years, 7 months ago

I remember a few other cocky players, namely Sherron Collins and Tyshawn Taylor, that did some amazing things.

Ben Kane 7 years, 7 months ago

I love this kid and he's going to be huge for us this year. he isn't cocky or he would be transferring but he's confident in his abilities which is exactly what you should be. If he keeps getting better he will definitely play in the NBA with his size.

Bryce Landon 7 years, 7 months ago

"We went 25-10 this year and it sucked. I say that jokingly"

Well, I don't. Considering the talent level we had on this past season's team, 10 losses is unacceptable and inexcusable.

Jeff Kilgore 7 years, 7 months ago

25-10 is a fine mark without a great point guard. You're confusing talent with team play which often takes years to develop. We did win the B12 and Embiid was out. A bit more humility wouldn't hurt you.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 7 months ago

We had already clinched a tie.. What about the Big 12 Tournament? Also..if it takes years to develop team play..what will be different this year? We have 2 returning starters, same as last year but not as talented.

Dale Kroening 7 years, 7 months ago

Unacceptable and inexcusable , so lets just fire Self ..... SMH .. We won our 10th straight Big12 Title. Talented yes , but we were the 3rd youngest team in division I ,and no true pg . Even though he said he was joking , you can tell HCBS was disappointed as was KU Nation . I believe in 88 we had 10 losses , get over it. We as KU fans at times are just spoiled. Looking forward to a better outcome this upcoming season. ROCK CHALK !!!!

Robin Smith 7 years, 7 months ago

We played the toughest schedule by a long margin. Some even said it was the toughest overall in two decades!

If you didn't think 10 losses is about where we'd end up, even with a conference title and top tourney seed, then you just didn't have your head on straight to begin with. This season went exactly as I expected it to and I'm very happy with it.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 7 months ago

Jeff KY seemed to play well as a team with a very young group of players during the last 6 games last year. Robin we lost 4 out 7 down the stretch and your "very happy" with the season cause you expected it and you think he does not have head on straight, come on, really. Dale in one sentence you say BS and KU nation were disappointed, then in the next say we are spoiled??? What??? We expect to have a team every year that is competing for the B12 title, and playing well in the NCAA's. The odd off year is fine but we cannot say we are an elite program, which we are top 5 in the country, and then say a 10 loss season is great or to be expected. Top 5 programs do not accept many of those seasons, they are considered disappointing. Not because we are spoiled but because we have a great program, great coach, great players, and great competition every year. Just like Duke, KY, MSU, and NC our teams should be playing at a high level each year. Not cause we expect it, because they do, they almost always do. It is OK to say we should have done better last year, our team thinks it too.

Mick Allen 7 years, 7 months ago

Don't be disappointed please Rodney, but I agree totally with this post.

Titus Canby 7 years, 7 months ago

We need to remember that Greene was just a freshman this past year. Until a few years ago, freshmen got very little playing time. Greene has tons of talent, just needs to work on his understanding of the system and his concentration. I wouldn't be too surprised if he gets more playing time than Oubre early in the year. I wouldn't mind starting the season with Mason/Frankamp, Selden, Greene, Ellis, and Traylor/Lucas.

Dirk Medema 7 years, 7 months ago

Whether those are the starters or not, we're sure to see a good bit of those guys early in the season (1-2 mos.). Everyone's play will determine who sees the most time in conf.

John Randall 7 years, 7 months ago

Probably the best way to go for Nov-Dec. Otherwise we won't be playing Selfball when conf play rolls around.

Beau Woolsey 7 years, 7 months ago

Greene played at least 3x more than Andrew white did and 4x more than Andrew white played his freshman year. Mark my words Greene will avg 23 points in a few years.

John Randall 7 years, 7 months ago

Yin is the character trait complementing Yang.

Y' in for some character building criticism?

Allen Shepard 7 years, 7 months ago

maybe in the NBA... no one has ever scored that much for BS and i doubt anyone ever will... just not how he gameplans

Walter Bridges 7 years, 7 months ago

New Math? Greene averaged 6.5 mpg while White averaged 6.3. In AW3's first year, he averaged 5 mpg.

Doug Cramer 7 years, 7 months ago

T-Rob might be my all time favorite Jayhawk basketball player.

That guy took his cockiness and pissed off energy, and converted it into a competitive force that became a positive. This mentality led our 2011-2012 team to a national championship game.

We were not very deep in the post that year, and probably shouldn't have made it to a championship game.

We need some dudes that have T-Rob's mental structure.

Scott Yessen 7 years, 7 months ago

Yep. I think we have that type of attitude this year in the form of a Greene, Cliff, Traylor, Selden, and possibly Graham and Oubre as well.

If Greene can stay out of Selfs doghouse and play D....I also think he can be a stud.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 7 months ago

Greene was working his way into the rotation getting regular playing time every game during one stretch mid season, but put himself back in the doghouse and never got his minutes back. I love Greene's game and he definitely can be a major factor for KU as long as he keeps his mouth in check off the court.

Mark Lindrud 7 years, 7 months ago

There's a lot of talent on this squad that is returning. I'm certain Greene will be a big factor for us this year. I see him as the guy relieving both Selden and Oubre. He will have great value and I like his shot. With a strong offseason he should show great improvement.

Mark Lindrud 7 years, 7 months ago

That is something I've considered, but somehow I think it's Oubres spot to lose.

John Randall 7 years, 7 months ago

Early in season, Greene starts. By December, he'll be a (damned good) candidate for 6th MOY.

Terrence Cernech 7 years, 7 months ago

It's pretty simple for Mr. Greene..........become a lock-down wing defender. Just look back a couple of years to Releford he was patient and worked on his game on the D side. Do that and you will get beaucoup minutes. These high recruit kids all pretty much have a O game when they get here, but if you know anything about Self it all starts and pretty much ends on the D side. The happy circumstance is that in the League if you can play lock-down D you can have a long, long career, because everybody can score. If you practice basketball by yourself it pretty easy to work on your shot, practicing D by yourself is another thing entirely.

John Randall 7 years, 7 months ago

Playing strong on the D-side isn't just HCBS' whim. It is the best way to make opponents doubt themselves, and that only leads to good things.

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