Kansas defeats Baylor, 62-52

  • 6 p.m., March 13, 2015
  • Sprint Center, Kansas City, MO

Friday, March 13, 2015

Perry Ellis returns to help KU reach title game

Perry Ellis (34) positions himself for a shot against Baylor's defense in the Jayhawk’s 62-52 win over Baylor in the semi-final of the Big 12 Tournament Friday.

Perry Ellis (34) positions himself for a shot against Baylor's defense in the Jayhawk’s 62-52 win over Baylor in the semi-final of the Big 12 Tournament Friday.


— There’s a suite in the Downtown Marriott hotel that has been turned into a makeshift training room for Kansas University’s basketball players.

It’s a place KU junior Perry Ellis has pretty much called home since the KU traveling party checked in on Wednesday night.

“I go in there when I wake up, throughout the day, trying to get my knee in the best possible (condition). It’s been going great,” Ellis said after scoring 11 points off 4-of-11 shooting and grabbing six rebounds while playing 26 minutes in KU’s 62-52 Big 12 tournament semifinal victory over Baylor on Friday night in Sprint Center.

Perry Ellis returns in Big 12 semifinal

Kansas junior forward Perry Ellis speaks with media in the locker room after returning to the starting lineup in KU's win over Baylor at the Big 12 Tournament. Ellis discusses how his knee held up in the semifinal and the Big 12 Championship game against Iowa State.

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Self, Selden and Ellis discuss KU's semifinal win over BU

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self and Jayhawks Perry Ellis and Wayne Selden Jr. discuss KU's 62-52 win over Baylor in the Big 12 Tournament semifinals. Kansas won with defense, a big night from Selden and the return of Ellis.

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Box score

The 6-foot-8 Ellis has been working almost non-stop on rehab after hurting his knee in the first half of a home win over West Virginia on March 3. He missed the second half of that contest and the ensuing two games, electing to return on Friday.

“I felt today was the day and it felt great,” said Ellis, who told KU coach Bill Self after a morning workout he physically was able to play.

“I told him I’ve been working hard just trying to get back right. I told him, ‘I’m ready. I want to get back out there.’ He said, ‘Great man, great,’’’ Ellis added.

Ellis hit his first shot, a three, shortly after Kelly Oubre Jr. opened the contest with a three of his own, (26-7) KU jumping to a 6-0 lead over the (24-9) Bears.

“I can vouch for him, because he’s doing so much treatment all the time,” KU junior Jamari Traylor said of Ellis sorely wanting to return to action. Traylor is Ellis’ roommate in the Marriott.

“That’s how I know he’s anxious to play. He’s always in the treatment room trying to get better and rehabbing that knee,” added Traylor, who had one point, five rebounds and two steals in 22 minutes.

Sophomore forward Landen Lucas, who scored four points and grabbed six rebounds in 25 minutes, has been rehabbing his own hip and knee and has been bonding with Ellis in the Marriott trainers suite.

“I’ve been with him in there a lot. All he talks about is doing whatever it takes to get back for his teammates,” Lucas said. “He’s a great teammate, a great kid. He’s been doing everything he could and it shows in how quickly he recovered from an injury like that.”

Ellis appeared to bang his knee on a baseline move with about eight minutes left. He checked out with 7:50 left and KU up, 45-36, and did not return.

No worries. He’s OK.

“It wasn’t my knee. I got a knee high up in the muscle,” Ellis said of a fleshy area above the knee. “I definitely could have returned. I’m fine.”

KU coach Self noted: “I could have put him back in, but we had the game. The bottom line is he’s going to get his leg hit, that’s basketball. It’s just like a running back gets hit. You’ve got to get hit and realize you’re OK and that’s what happened there. He should be fine and there should be no problems (Saturday, in 5 p.m., Big 12 final).”

Ellis figured to hit the training room into the late hours Friday night and again before the championship game. He explained the simple act of taping his knee is kind of an ordeal.

“Maybe 10 minutes or so. It’s a lot of wrap, a lot of different tapes, like three different tapes, and stuff. It works well. As you get going, it loosens up and feels fine,” Ellis said.

And the black brace he wears over the tape is not a hindrance, he said.

“I’ve been wearing it a couple days. I’m used to it. On the court it doesn’t bother me at all,” Ellis said.

He was in good spirits after the game, acknowledging the fact he was thinking about his brother Cameron’s Wichita Heights team, which at the same time was in Topeka winning a Class 5A high school semifinal game. Perry’s mom, Fonda, was in Topeka representing the family. Perry’s dad, Will, sis Savannah and brother, Brae, were in KC for the win over Baylor.

“They (family members) have to do a little switch-off,” Ellis said. “Hopefully they can pull it out and win it all this year.”

Ellis acknowledges his mood wasn’t so positive just 10 days earlier when Lucas fell into his knee in the West Virginia game.

“I didn’t know what was going on or what was happening,” he said. “It was minor, but the first thing that’s really happened to me injury wise. I didn’t know what to expect. I’m grateful because it wasn’t too bad. Each day it’s getting better and better. I’ll keep going with the trainer and take it from there.”

As far as the technical aspects of Friday’s win ... KU held Baylor to 20 percent shooting the first half (five of 25) in grabbing a 26-18 lead. KU used a 16-1 run to grasp a 32-18 lead with 17:31 left. BU did cut the gap to 36-30 at 12:41 and 39-35 at 11:11. KU used a Wayne Selden Jr.-led 10-0 run to up a 41-36 lead to 10 points at 5:07. Selden finished with 20 points.

“There for a while, I think both teams set basketball back,” KU coach Self joked of the low-scoring first half. “Mr. Iba and Dr. Allen would have been proud there for a while. We got a little rhythm offensively and really played well defensively and rebounded the ball. We were on fire from three because we made three (of 12),” he added with a smile. “That’s the best we’ve shot in a while. We defended for 40 minutes and rebounded great (39-35 advantage).”

KU on Saturday will meet Iowa State in the 5 p.m., title game.

More news and notes from Kansas vs. Baylor at the Big 12 Tournament

By the Numbers: Kansas beats Baylor, 62-52, in Big 12 semifinal

By the Numbers: Kansas beats Baylor, 62-52, in Big 12 semifinal


Bryce Landon 5 years, 5 months ago

How I would love to beat the Cry-Clowns once again and erase the sting of last year's semifinal loss to them!

Doug Cramer 5 years, 5 months ago

This team is dangerous because they handled a lot of adverse situations the right way throughout the season. They continue to build off of their struggles and move forward.

It's to the point that they come out and play hard no matter what, because it's all they've come to know. They're not afraid of anything...including losing. This is a psychology thats dangerous heading into the post season.

I never thought Traylor would develop the maturity and the sense of competing the right way like he has. Lucas way to play physical inside the post ! Mickelson, you're our secret weopon this post season. Your length and quick hands will give opposing teams some situational problems these next few weeks. Yes I said next few weeks because this team's season is far from being over baby !

Hell of a job boys ! ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK !

Jeff Soisson 5 years, 5 months ago

I think now it is more important that Perry is ready for the NCAA tourney than this game. If the 3's are coming back then we can do damage. Amazing how tired all these big 12 teams look every game, hopefully we can do it. Beat ISU, drive and shoot free throws. That ironically works for us as it has not in the past. KU '86!

Tony Bandle 5 years, 5 months ago

Random Thoughts:

1] Whoever was that guy who showed up wearing Number 1, I hope he stays around for the rest of the season.

2] The play that put Perry on the bench was a "dirty stick your knee out" moving screen foul that the ref was merely two feet away from and looking right at it, but didn't call it!!

3] We need to start phantom write-in petitions that Rick Barnes, Bruce Weber and Scott Drew be given lifetime, irrevocable coaching extensions!!

4] As much as I want to give credit to the two respective defenses, I think the first half scores were more a reflection of exhaustion....everything appeared to be short.

5] Well, we could have used the extra day's rest but, since we have to play in the championship game anyway, might as well go ahead and win the darn thing!!

6] I have always heard that the Sprint Center was a "snake pit" for the Hawks. Aren't we like 26-5 or some similiarily outrageous total?

Rodney Crain 5 years, 5 months ago

1) yes sir. 2) basketball play, no intention 3) I will help fund a web site or stamps if anyone uses those anymore. We do not need more Trent Johnsons to compete against. TCU is going to be tough out in a year or two. (He loses his PG this year). 4) A win at this time of the year is a win, Pig Pen Style or not I will take it.
5) Why not? 6) I think you misheard, it is a snake pit for KU's opponents. The place was empty yesterday an hour before tip, when the game started it was AFH east.

Bryce Landon 5 years, 5 months ago

The problem is, those Cry-Clown fans can turn the arena into Hilton Coliseum South.

Joe Ross 5 years, 5 months ago

Scott Drew is one hell of a coach. Dont sleep on him.

Mike Riches 5 years, 5 months ago

I really like this team! They haven't looked very smooth all season, but they are tough! They grind out wins and are not afraid of a fight! A win tomorrow or a Maryland loss should lock up a 2 seed. If we can make it to the second weekend, I think we can play with just about anyone. It will be interesting to see! Bring on Selection Sunday!! (...after another Big 12 tournament championship that is...)

Steve Zimmerman 5 years, 5 months ago

Perry has a nice jumper. That step back j looks a bit like Wiggins'. Coach Self could use his skill, especially if we have little to no hopes inside. Settling for a j can be good, too. Higher % than 3s, I would say.

Kenneth Johnson 5 years, 5 months ago

Neither team could get much of anything going because the refs were call ing something almost every play. It was almost impossible for either team to get any momentum.

I hate games where ther refs think they are the stars.

Kenn Johnson, KU ('70) Author of:Kansas University Basketball Legends and More University of Kansas Basketball Legends

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