Kansas defeats Texas, 69-64

  • 4 p.m., Feb. 28, 2015
  • Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Perry Ellis carries Kansas to victory over Texas

Bill Self: KU junior is best player in league right now

Kansas forward Perry Ellis (34) swoops in for a bucket late in the second half against Texas on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Perry Ellis (34) swoops in for a bucket late in the second half against Texas on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Perry Ellis started the Big 12 season off slowly, scoring in single digits in two of Kansas University’s first three games and three of the initial seven contests.

He’s finishing like a guy intent on accepting some postseason hardware for a team closing in on an 11th-straight conference championship.

“We’re playing with the best player in the league right now. Right now Perry Ellis is the best player in the league. He was dominant, fantastic,” KU coach Bill Self exclaimed after the 6-foot-8 junior forward exploded for a season-high 28 points and tied a season high with 13 rebounds in Saturday’s 69-64 victory over Texas in Allen Fieldhouse.

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Bill Self on play of Ellis, Alexander's situation and more

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self had plenty to discuss following Saturday's win over Texas at Allen Fieldhouse. While another great game from Perry Ellis made the win possible, the Jayhawks had to play without starting big man Cliff Alexander, who could have an eligibility issue.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Ellis, Oubre and Mason discuss home win over Texas

Kansas basketball players Perry Ellis, Kelly Oubre Jr. and Frank Mason III discuss the Jayhawks' home victory over Texas on Saturday.

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Box score

Ellis, who hit nine of 21 shots and 10 of 12 free throws, actually hit the game-winning basket with 5:31 left, a bucket that busted a 56-56 tie against a (17-12, 6-10) Texas team that blocked a school-record 14 shots. It’s the most rejections KU has suffered in a game since stats were officially compiled at KU in 1988-89.

“We rode Perry as hard as we’ve ever ridden him,” Self said of Ellis, who has scored 20 or more points in the last three games, 19 the game before that. “Perry has kind of carried us. Perry has goals. He’s got dreams, but I think for the first time since he’s been here he’s actually playing at a level we all see him playing at. That’s being ultra aggressive. When he’s ultra aggressive he’s as fast as anybody, as bouncy as anybody and can score with anybody,” Self added.

Ellis was so dominant UT coach Rick Barnes referred to him as a senior in his post-game media session.

“If he keeps playing well he will be a senior, which is fine. It’s what you want. You want guys to play well so they can put themselves in good position (to decide whether to enter NBA Draft),” Self said. “Even though he’s a junior eligibility-wise, you keep playing like that ... there’s not a lot of people playing better than him right now.”

Ellis, who was four points off the career high 32 he scored against TCU his soph season, acknowledges this might have been his best game as a Jayhawk.

“I would say it’s one of my most aggressive games I played,” Ellis said. “I was aggressive the whole time out there. It was a great feeling, going out there and attacking no matter if I miss a shot, get a shot blocked, just keep going.”

He said he’s been praying a lot lately and actually visualizing his movements on the court before they happened.

“I’m taking it upon myself, believing in myself. The main thing is just believing I can do it and I’m doing it,” Ellis said.

He’s also showing more emotion on the court and off the court.

Ellis and Wayne Selden Jr. were the two players who organized a team meeting in Jayhawker Towers on Tuesday, a day after the Jayhawks’ loss to Kansas State in Manhattan.

“The key thing we were talking about was what we can do better,” Ellis said. “We all agree we can give more effort. That was the key focus of things and not be the team to let everybody down (by not winning league).”

KU (23-6, 12-4) has a chance to wrap up at least a share of the league crown with a win over West Virginia on Tuesday (8 p.m., Allen). Oklahoma, which is one game back, plays at Iowa State (two back with West Virginia and Baylor) on Monday. If Iowa State wins, KU could wrap up an undisputed conference crown with a victory Tuesday.

KU’s chances of winning the league looked like they might take a huge hit Saturday. The Jayhawks led 66-64, as Texas inbounded with 12.4 seconds left with a chance to go for the tie or win.

Isaiah Taylor (17 points, eight assists) stumbled past Frank Mason III and missed a high-arching shot that was closely contested by Jamari Traylor. Kelly Oubre, Jr. rebounded and was fouled at 6.1 seconds. His two free throws iced the game. Oubre finished with 15 points and nine boards, while Mason had 12 points and three assists.

“It was a fantastic win,” Self said of a victory attained with Cliff Alexander watching from the bench. He’s out an undetermined amount of the time as the NCAA looks into an undisclosed issue involving the Chicago freshman, which could impact his eligibility.

“We played tough. For the most part we carried out scouting report. We played through Perry. When you don’t make shots from the perimeter against a team like that (KU hit one of eight threes to UT’s six of 20), it’s hard to score inside. I thought our guys played very well and very tough,” Self added.

More news and notes from Kansas vs. Texas

By the Numbers: Kansas beats Texas, 69-64

By the Numbers: Kansas beats Texas, 69-64


Steve Zimmerman 5 years, 4 months ago

Ellis seemed to be more relaxed and more fluid in this game. He's a stud. Keep the dunks coming, they are key to the draft. Great effort. Double-double is hard to come by these days.

Joe Ross 5 years, 4 months ago

The last paragraph gets it right. Kansas did it in a most counterintuitive way. One would have figured we needed a strong performance from three-point range to overcome the height advantage of the Longhorns coupled with being shorthanded with Cliff Alexander's absence. But going 1 for 8 and struggling from outside Kansas was forced to change its game plan; yet in so doing we played into Texas'. The outstanding play of Perry Ellis allowed us to overcome this disadvantage and, contrary to what we all might have assumed, single-handedly turned a weakness into a strength. We won the game with the inside effort from Perry Ellis. Awesome.

Jeff Kilgore 5 years, 4 months ago

I came here to say something like this, read what you wrote, and decided to just agree with you. Couldn't have said it any better. Retired English teacher score this an A+. Are you a writer in real life?

Joe Ross 5 years, 4 months ago

Not a writer. Just passionate about the Hawks like you, friend.

Reggie Flenory 5 years, 4 months ago

Man I wish cliff Alexander had Perry's foot work and post moves

Bryce Landon 5 years, 4 months ago

I wish Cliff Alexander was able to play right now.

Walter Bridges 5 years, 4 months ago

If Cliff sticks around, I believe his footwork and post moves will greatly increase. I hope he doesn't jump to the NBA.

I guess the NCAA could force his hand.

Tony Bandle 5 years, 4 months ago

Perry keeps this up he will be a Wooden candidate for next season and he is doing this without a legitimate big man to allow him to optimize his potential as a a very big small forward!!

SIDENOTE: Just saw the movie "Birdman". Talk about the emperor's clothes, I thought this movie sucked beyond words. "50 Shades of Grey" next.

Boys and girls, ISU lost, WV lost, OK is going to lose at Hilton next, WV lost their best player so KU wins...we'll have 4 losses while everyone else has at least 6. One is the loneliest number that you'll ever see....that's why another matching one is "happy time"!!!!!

Jay Bilas, a Dukie through and through, could not stop raving about the 11 Crowns and only 9 Allen Fieldhouse losses under Bill Self.

Jim Johnson 5 years, 4 months ago

Yes that was nice of Jay Bilas but it seems all these ESPN announcers have taken a page out of Dick Vitale's book, that is, talk about everything other than what is going on with the game. Really gets annoying when you don't know who a foul is on among other things.

Walter Bridges 5 years, 4 months ago

Tony, I just don't agree that Ellis has the skills to be a 3 but that leaves him as an undersized 4.

Maybe it would be easier to develop the skills and range of a small forward than to grow 2-3 inches and add 30 lbs.

Michael Sillman 5 years, 4 months ago

Self talked about missing perimeter shots but when you don't run plays to get open three's then you are going to shoot poorly.

That single make out of 8 three point attempts came when Lucas set an on-ball screen for Mason to get an open shot. It was a simple but effective single screen play.

Texas was running double screens to get open threes at the end and they hit the shots to close the gap.

If Self does not start setting up Greene for open three's, we are going to have a short journey in the tournament. Greene is a superb shooter but he cannot get open by himself.

Without that extraordinary effort by Ellis, we lose this game tonight.

Kevin Jenkins 5 years, 4 months ago

To think, a month ago we were calling Perry soft. Playing in the wrong position or not. He has worked hard the last few games. If we could have some else step up and play with his determination. I just wish our guards could get over their drought in scoring. And Self trying a zone was a surprise.

Bryce Landon 5 years, 4 months ago

A very pleasant surprise. He should do it more often. Hell, if he'd done it more often, we might very well be 16-0 in the league instead of 12-4.

Bryce Landon 5 years, 4 months ago

Should have clarified that I was talking about Self going zone, not Perry's play.

Walter Bridges 5 years, 4 months ago

Wow, someone went off on a tangent. Thought it was easy to see where you were going Bryce. I'm not sure increasing the use of the zone would have made a 4 game difference but maybe a game or two.

It certainly would have helped the bigs by decreasing fouls but I like our aggressive man to man and then using a zone just to mix things up. Hard to question HCBS's tactics.

Bryce Landon 5 years, 4 months ago

Was anyone else having flashbacks to KU's losses last year to San Diego State and Stanford as KU was was struggling to shoot and overcome a relatively small deficit against a bigger Texas team for much of the second half? Yet these guys displayed some grit and toughness that last year's team never did in battling back to win it. Made me think of some of KU's 2012 NCAA Tournament wins that required KU to spend almost the entire game overcoming a deficit and ultimately prevailing in the end.

Tony Bandle 5 years, 4 months ago

Achievable Goals:

1] Beat West Virginia Tuesday and clinch an 11th Big 12 Conference Title. { actually for next season, a Big 12th for the Big 12 sounds kind of catchy!! }.

2] Get to the Big 12 Tourney final.

3] Achieve a Number 2 Seed and make it to the Sweet Sixteen.

Challenging Goals:

1] Depending who leaves, who stays and who shows up, winning Number 12.

2] Beating Iowa State on a neutral floor for the Tourney Title.

3] Getting to the Sweet Sixteen.

When Monkeys fly out of my Butt Goals:

1] Winning five straight NCAA games to get to the Title Game..

2] Beating Sucktucky for the Championship and ruining their perfect season.

3] Me ever cheering for Kentucky, Duke or, shudder, Missouri!!!!

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 4 months ago

Additional significant achievable goal - Undefeated season at home on Naismith Court in Allen Field House

Additional significant achievable goals - 30 win season - win the last two games (2 games), win KC (3 games), make the sweet 16 (2 games).

Sweet Road to the Championship could represent consecutive wins vs. Duke (elite 8), Zag (Semis), KENTUCKY (National Championship).

Joe Ross 5 years, 4 months ago

Love this comment! On your last set of goals, Kansas' chances of beating Kentucky this year are 1000 times greater than my ever cheering for Kentucky or Mizzou.

Walter Bridges 5 years, 4 months ago

So if Kentucky was playing Mizzou in the NCAA Title game...

Tony Bandle 5 years, 4 months ago

Pray for the roof to fall in at the opening tipoff on the court only!!!

Mike Riches 5 years, 4 months ago

HUGE HUGE HUGE WIN!! If you had told me two days ago that we would go 1 of 8 from long range, get 14 shots blocked, and find out hours before the game that we would be Cliffless, and that we would even be in this one late, I would have been immensely impressed! Pay Heed, All Who Enter...

Mark Soeken 5 years, 4 months ago

It is great to see Perry having the kind of year we all knew he was capable of. His presence in the paint is making the opponent take notice! Congratulations to Mr. Ellis on a great performance and continued success for a run to the Big Dance!! RCJHGKU!

Harlan Hobbs 5 years, 4 months ago

What a lot of great posts. The insights offered today are enlightening. The only thing I'll add is that, once again, Bill Self has shown how masterful he is.

To say that KU's approach was counterintuitive (I'll admit to plagiarism, Joe) may be an understatement. I'll bet anything that Rick Barnes didn't plan on KU aggressively attacking the basket, but they did despite all of the blocks.

Maybe I'm wrong, but the blocks don't bother me in this scenario like they did against Kentucky, because we were being aggressive and trying to draw fouls if nothing else. Furthermore, I didn't count them, but KU got a number of blocks themselves.

In essence, KU played under control, while I felt that Texas, especially the Taylor kid, often played out of control. Had Bill Self been coaching them, you can be assured that the final Texas possession would have been drawn up differently. Taylor tried to do it all himself, and he was out of control, despite the fact that Jay Bilas insisted that he was fouled. He may have been, but that is a "play on" moment that probably would never be called, even in Austin.

As for the conference race, I hope that sound I'm hearing is the fat lady testing her vocal cords. Go Hawks!

Walter Bridges 5 years, 4 months ago

I really thought Texas would have made a strong run at the NCAA and the BIG 12 Conference title when the season started. Now to the NIT?

Barnes might need to win the BIG 12 Tournament to keep his job. Great choice Myles.

Janet Olin 5 years, 4 months ago

There were many physical 'no calls' in this game. Upon seeing the replay if Taylor, you could probably argue that there was some contact. I recall at least two other times when KU didn't get a call: one was Perry getting hammered in the lane and the other was Frank bludgeoned and flat on his back under the basket. Both times Bilas said, "That was a foul. How is that not a foul? Wow." I'm sure there were other questionables on both ends of the court, but Barnes does not have my sympathy just because Bilas said it was a foul.

Harlan Hobbs 5 years, 4 months ago

Good points, Walter and Janet. I wasn't trying to pick on Jay Bilas, because I do like his commentary. As others have stated, he has always been highly complimentary of KU's program and Allen Field House.

You probably are right Walter about the status of Rick Barnes' job. They had such high expectations this year and have clearly been a disappointment. Frankly, I hope I am wrong because, although I may be in the minority, I really like Rick Barnes. He is always gracious, even at the end of the game, win or lose. I especially like how he makes brief comments to the opposing coach rather than just give a perfunctory hand shake without even looking at the opposing coach like most of them do. To me, that shows class.

Yonatan Negash 5 years, 4 months ago

P. Ellis Big 12 Most Valuable Player, it's got a good sound to it.

Walter Bridges 5 years, 4 months ago

Yes...but it won't happen. Think it will go to Georges Niang. Hope to be wrong.

Bud Bortner 5 years, 4 months ago

This is getting good! I see the Big 12 race ending this way.....Tomorrow night Iowa State downs Oklahoma and on Tues night we win the Big 12 outright by smashing West Virginia. Winning it on Senior Night will make it all the sweeter! Go Jayhawks!

Bob Bailey 5 years, 4 months ago

Stillman, you got it right.

Abandoning the 3 pt game won't help us in the NCAA. Maybe we could get Danny to rejoin us; might help our game. But we have about 4 3 pt shooters. It is a terrible waste to ignore them.

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