Thursday, February 5, 2015

Kansas’ Greene golden from three-point range

Kansas guard Brannen Greene slaps hands with the students seated above the scoreboard showing the Jayhawks' 89-76 victory over Iowa State on Monday, Feb. 2, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Brannen Greene slaps hands with the students seated above the scoreboard showing the Jayhawks' 89-76 victory over Iowa State on Monday, Feb. 2, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.


With nine games left in the regular season and anywhere between two and nine to play in the postseason, Brannen Greene is on pace to become the top single-season three-point shooter — percentagewise — in Kansas University basketball history.

“It’s ridiculous how well he can shoot the ball,” KU freshman Cliff Alexander said of Greene, a 6-foot-7, 215-pound sophomore guard from Juliette, Georgia, who has cashed 29 of 57 threes for 50.9 percent. Kirk Hinrich hit a school-record 50.5 percent from three in 2001 and Aaron Miles 50 percent in 2005.

“I’ve never seen a guy shoot the ball so well,” Alexander added of practice and games.

Greene has made 12 of his last 16 threes over five games. He has made 15 of 24 in nine Big 12 games for a league-leading 62.5 percent mark. Oklahoma’s Isaiah Cousins has cashed 19 of 39 for 48.7 percent.

“It’s a pretty good percentage to have right now. Hopefully I can keep it going,” said Greene, who has been awarded double-digit minutes the last five games.

“I’ve always been confident. Definitely getting more minutes and playing well boosts your confidence, so yeah, I’d agree,” Greene added of a reporter’s assertion that increased minutes may have helped his confidence on the court.

Overall, he’s averaged 6.2 points a game off 50 percent shooting while logging 14.0 minutes per contest.

“Regardless if Brannen’s stats are 40 percent or 50 percent or 60 percent, the guy can really shoot the ball,” KU coach Bill Self said. “He’s probably as good a shooter as we’ve had since I’ve been here. Maybe from a percentage standpoint, you could say Rush, (Brandon, 47.2 percent from three in 2006), maybe Tyrel (Reed, 47.3 in 2010). I think Brady (Morningstar, 42.0 overall in 2009) led the league in three-point shooting one year. But to me, Brannen makes real shots. He jumps up and just shoots the ball, and shoots it with confidence,” Self added.

Greene said Self allows him to fire away “as long as it’s in the flow of the offense. His main thing is get the easiest shots. Sometimes me shooting a long three is our best chance at that point. Wherever the shot clock may be, certain parts of the game, certain times of the game.

“Just within rhythm without having it to be rushed or there being a man in your face. That’s basically a good shot,” Greene added. “Sometimes a good shot is being contested. It depends where you are in the game and what the situation is.”

Of his range, he said ... “from where I shoot in the game, I’d probably say around 25 (feet). I can shoot farther back than that. In the game, I probably won’t shoot very much farther back than that.”

Greene conceded the high release on his jumper is by design.

“It’s just something I developed. I worked with my dad when I was younger,” he said of former Pittsburg State standout Jeffrey Greene. “Repetition, repetition, getting elevation, shooting it where they can’t block it. It just dates back to my earlier days.”

Greene, who said he follows the exploits of sharpshooters like freshman Devin Booker of Kentucky (48.2 percent from three) noted, “I pay attention to players, per-iod.

I hear (comparisons to) Klay Thompson a lot,” Greene added of the 6-7 Golden State wing, who is an NBA all-star. “I watch basketball. I don’t necessarily watch shooters. I’m trying to expand my game period. I’m still young. I’m still a sophomore in college.”

Talking threes: KU is first in the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage (39.6). KU has hit a league-leading 40.1 percent to Baylor’s 39.5 in Big 12 games only.

KU is second in threes made (7.0 per game to Baylor’s 7.3) in league games only. In all games, KU is fifth in threes made at 6.59 per game.

Soph Wayne Selden Jr. has made eight of his last 13 threes over the past two games. For the year, he’s hit 35 of 88 for 39.8 percent.

“His mom came to town. He got a new haircut. There are really a lot of important intangibles going on why he shot it well,” Self said of the last two games. “Hopefully he’s on an uptick. We’re a different team when Wayne plays like that. He was really good. He’s guarding better.”

Friends: Greene spoke of the harmony on this year’s team.

“With us, we all respect each other. We all want to see each other do well, because not only does it help that person, it helps us as a team,” Greene said. “I genuinely want Kelly (Oubre Jr.) and Wayne (Selden Jr.) and those guys who play my position to do well. They all feel the same. We care about each other. It feels a lot different from last year. We hang around more. We joke with each other. We’re just more comfortable taking shots at each other knowing it’s positive to help the other player. Everybody is unselfish. We just want to win.”

Self said: “I think they’re genuinely happy with each other. They like each other. They want each other to be successful.”

Little practices: Former KU guard Mario Little, who released by Oklahoma City Blue of the NBA Developmental League on Jan. 24, practiced with the Jayhawks on Thursday. Next up for Little may be a spot overseas. He has yet to sign with a team.

Anderson leaves Fresno team: Former KU signee Braeden Anderson, a red-shirt sophomore at Fresno State, is giving up basketball, the Fresno Bee reports. He wants to graduate this spring and go to law school in the fall. Anderson averaged 1.0 points and 1.8 rebounds in 17 games this season. He made a successful comeback from career-threatening injuries suffered in an auto accident before the 2013-14 season.

Anderson signed with KU in 2011 but was deemed a partial qualifier by the NCAA. Because of Big 12 Conference policy, all partial qualifiers must be approved by the league’s faculty athletic representatives. Anderson’s case was not approved for aid. Therefore, he did not attend KU.


Michael Johnson 4 years ago

The fact that he's shooting so well, means he ain't shooting it enough. Per-iod.

Dirk Medema 4 years ago

Part of the reason that he is shooting a so much better percentage is because he has finally learned from Coach Self what a shot in the flow of the O is. He use to shoot too soon/much, and not in the flow of the O, and it showed in the % (33%), which was about half of what he's making now. The team has lots of room to continue to grow, and Greene and everyone's shots will grow as well.

Walter Bridges 4 years ago

How often should he shoot when averaging 14 min a game while trying to work hard on his D?

Plus Dirk's better answer above.

Erich Hartmann 4 years ago

Enjoy these kids as long as they are at KU. Too soon, either to the pros or to graduation...they will be gone. Selden, Greene, Oubre are coming along so well. Joy to see.

Benz Junque 4 years ago

Selden is a four year guy. So is Greene. They are playing much better but let's not lose our minds. Both still have a ton of improvement to make before he's NBA Draft caliber.

Tom Jones 4 years ago

Not sure they're both sure-fire four year guys.

Selden's kind of a tweener, though. so definitely could see it happen. Not a good enough shooter to play 2, not tall enough to play 3, not a good enough ball-handler/passer to play the point. He's kind of a junkyard dog. It just depends on how much he improves in the next year and change.

Greene is tall enough and has the stroke to play NBA 2 guard already. But he can't play D or dribble well enough to be drafted (even on potential) yet. If he worked on those two things for another year, he'd be in the first round of most drafts, I bet.

I do so certainly hope they're both four year guys, though. Would love to see BG's stroke in AFH for two more years.

JD Roth 4 years ago

Greene is vastly improved on defense and he owns the boards as well.

Walter Bridges 4 years ago

Hope you are right...not sure you are.

Bert White 4 years ago

Kind of a bummer Braeden Anderson is giving up basketball, I was looking forward to him playing at KU, than the eligibility issues, than he transferred and from what I've read of the car wreck it left him in pretty BAD shape... But I loved the outpouring of support for him on forums, Twitter, Facebook, ect... from Jayhawk Nation soon after the crash, especially since he kept showing Jayhawk fans a lot of love of social media even after the transfer, which was great to see and made me proud to be a Jayhawk fan. Best of luck Braeden and it's good to see you'll atleast being sticking to getting an education.

Robert Rauktis 4 years ago

Braeden Anderson: Heaven forbid that he do quite well without basketball, only perseverance.

Dirk Medema 4 years ago

It has been great to see him grasping the rest of the game so that he can stay on the court that much more. That being said, he still has to share time with Oubre and Selden, who are both starting to play better as well.

It is especially nice to have him in late game situations whether for FT's when ahead or 3's if behind.

Eliott Reeder 4 years ago

Google Question for me on this page just now: "What is the current year?" So, naturally, I click "2015", to which I get the response "Hey, that was really fast, please take your time in answering this question." REALLY!?! So obnoxious...

Mick Allen 4 years ago

Greene's jumper is flawless mechanically. High, perfect, quick release with back spin. His shot is so clean that it rarely touches iron. Brandon Rush and Greene, in my opinion, have the two prettiest jump shots in HCBS' tenure.

Benz Junque 4 years ago

Yep. And the crazy thing is that if Greene could be a little more consistent with getting his feet and hips squared up he would be shooting an even higher percentage. The technique on his shooting form in his upper body is awesome.

Jonathan Allison 4 years ago

Rush had a sweet jumper, and shot some really nice percentages for us. Greene may end up with a better career shooting percentage than Rush, but he'll have to earn it for sure.

McLemore also had a perfect stroke. I think that he had not been asked to carry so much of the load offensively as a freshman that his percentages would have been much better. I think that McLemore and Greene both have a little bit tighter form than Rush. I think that Rush had a previous injury or something that affected his shooting elbow, but Rush played on some killer teams and he got a lot of open looks, too.

Bryce Landon 4 years ago

How much longer before Brannen Greene gets (back) into the starting lineup the way he shoots?

Tom Jones 4 years ago

He likely won't start this year, but his minutes should continue to go up if he can keep improving his defense and decision-making. His ball handling is kind of a lost cause for this year, but he can focus on that over the summer. It is kind of a drag to have your best FT shooter also be someone who makes you cringe whenever he puts the ball on the floor.

Michael Bennett 4 years ago

Oubre's a better all-around player. I see nothing wrong with continuing to bring Greene off the bench for some insta-offense from the arc.

Dirk Medema 4 years ago

I'd agree with those above in Greene not cracking the starting line-up this year, unless Oubre has some really long, profound brain cramp. Kelly just brings too much more to the table defensively and a bit more in attacking the paint which we all (should) know Coach Self loves. The beauty is that Coach always has, and a bit more recently it seems, talked up who's playing at the end/minutes vs. starting. It is a huge luxury to have Brannen available off the bench. Just when the opponent thinks they can catch a breather - Wham! 5 to 10 pt run blows up the game.

Brannen also seems to be learning more what Coach has been teaching all along. What is involved in playing good D (and staying on the floor). What is the flow of the O. Even that you can be fouled late in the game and shoot FT's w/o being a PG and dribbling out of pressure. He's developing enough of the other parts of his game so that he's becoming capable of playing the 2 or 3 - giving Selden or Kelly a break, or replaces a big late in games and spreads the floor with only 1 big. Coach use to do that with Sherron and Brandon moving to the "4". Makes the team much more flexible - dangerous and safer as well.

Mike Riches 4 years ago

I like Self's philosophy of having 8 starters this year. More importantly, it seems like the team has bought in to that idea. In my opinion, the last thing you want to do with a two game lead in one of the best conferences in America, is mess with the starting lineup...

Aaron Paisley 4 years ago

Next year at the earliest because he isn't jumping Selden or Oubre in the line up.

Beate Williams 4 years ago

Some might compare him to Klay but everytime I see him shoot it reminds me of Durant when he went crazy on us the first half of his only appearance in the Field House. The height of his jump, the lift on his shot, those are Durant mannerisms.

RJ King 4 years ago

There was a scientific breakdown on the arch of Steph Curry's shot. The angle of the ball coming into the hoop widened the target by something like 20%. Steph does it because he's shorter.

I'd have to see the side by side mechanics, but having watched most of the Warriors games, I think of Steph and Klay when Greene makes an appearance. Obviously ball handling and basketball smarts need to come along, but he has the tools.

Jay Scott 4 years ago

Every time Greene hits a three I have more trouble remembering the name of that short, skinny blonde kid from Wichita that left the team...

Shannon Gustafson 4 years ago

Perfect, thanks. We all know what happened to Greene's free throw percentage after the "perfect FT" article...

Dirk Medema 4 years ago

That was bound to happen. Also comes with playing more minutes. Now he's missed 3 on the year for 90%?

Mike Riches 4 years ago

Greene's percentages will get a lot of attention, and deservedly so, hitting 75% from long range over the last five games. But to me, what's more impressive is when he has hit those shots. Numerous times, he has come into the game when our offense has been stagnant and has hit a big three to get us going. Monday night was one of those cases: down 7 halfway through the first half, it was Greene's three that ignited a run that led to a 7 point halftime lead. He has also hit threes in crucial late game situations. Self said yesterday he loves to coach this guy because he has no conscience. He can't remember a bad shot. Nobody knows the future, but I'll be surprised if this guy isn't a big time factor for this team in March...2015, 16 and 17!

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