Kansas defeats UCLA, 92-73

  • 9 p.m., Nov. 24, 2015
  • Lahaina Civic Center, Lahaina, HI

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

More of the same: Offense carries Kansas back to Maui final

The Kansas bench celebrates a three from Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (10) during the first half, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015 at Lahaina Civic Center in Lahaina, Hawaii.

The Kansas bench celebrates a three from Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (10) during the first half, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015 at Lahaina Civic Center in Lahaina, Hawaii.


— Kansas vs. UCLA in the semifinals of the Maui Invitational has turned out dandy for the Jayhawks the last two trips to paradise.

The (3-1) Jayhawks, who ran the fast break to perfection the first half, cruised to an early-29-point lead behind the 18-point initial-half explosion of Perry Ellis en route to a 92-73 Maui semifinal victory Tuesday in Lahaina Civic Center that puts KU in tonight’s 9 p.m. final against (5-0) Vanderbilt.

This was the same basketball blueblood — UCLA — that KU whipped by 16 points in the 2011 Maui semifinals on the way to a runner-up finish to Duke.

“I think it’s we were playing UCLA,” KU coach Bill Self said asked a possible reason for his team surging to 26-9 lead just eight minutes into the game. “We played (Div. II) Chaminade and shot the heck out of it (in 123-72 first-round win Monday), but I felt our guys felt this tournament started today. Not being negative toward Chaminade. We didn’t look past them. The whole thing is I think they (Jayhawks) said, ‘I can’t wait to get a chance to play a team and program as well known as this one.’’’

KU hit 57.6 percent of its first half shots (eight of 15 from three) and 54.2 for the game (10 of 23 from three).

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Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Bill Self applauds KU's first half in 92-73 win over UCLA

KU coach Bill Self applauds KU's first half in 92-73 win over UCLA in the Maui Invitational semifinals.

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“We played great the first half. That’s about as well as we can play offensively,” Self said. KU led 59-33 at the break.

“We scored 59 and to be candid with you, Svi (Mykhailiuk) didn’t shoot the ball well at all. He had like six wide open looks (six points first half, 2-7 shooting; 13 for the game, 5-13 shooting). We’re doing a lot of good things. We’re sharing it. We’re playing fast,” Self added.

Self, after five of his players scored nine or more points, acknowledged: “I’m exited. Usually the tendency is you don’t guard as hard when you score easy. That’s obviously the case. The second half was a H-O-R-S-E contest. We didn’t guard ’em all the second half (in getting outscored 40-33). That was, ‘just get through the game.’ Offensively, we were bad against Michigan State — bad the second half, but other than that we’ve actually moved the ball pretty well and shot pretty well the majority of the season.”

Guards Frank Mason III, Wayne Selden, Jr., and Devonté Graham had 16, 15 and nine points respectively. Mason had seven assists and Graham and Selden three.

“We used to be a station-to-station team,” Self said. “We ran our high-low and 2-game. We run those as plays (now) but we are a ball-screen mode team now. We need more guys who can make plays off the bounce. The ball is the hardest thing to guard in college basketball. We used to be a team that scores off the catch. Now we are a team that scores off the bounce a lot more. Having two little guys in there certainly makes us better as long as you can rebound the ball.”

Ellis had 24 points to go with six boards as KU out-boarded UCLA, 35-28.

“It’s been fun,” Ellis said of the first two games in Maui in which KU has lit up the scoreboard. “Go out and move the ball and good things will happen. I think we have a lot of scorers,” he added. “People on the team have been around. We know each other’s tendencies. It’s going to be a great year.”

— See what people were saying about KU vs. UCLA during’s live coverage

More news and notes from Kansas vs. UCLA

By the Numbers: Kansas 92, UCLA 73

By the Numbers: Kansas 92, UCLA 73


Armen Kurdian 4 years, 11 months ago

My only concern is that you aren't going to shoot this well in every game, and in the second half we had very few points in the paint. I felt they should have run more of the offense. The threes off of set pieces were good to see though. No hi-lo game, though.

Thought Svi was awesome in how he positioned himself on the offensive end, and glad to see him get a couple of defensive stops too.

Jared Reeves 4 years, 11 months ago

Armen, I think shooting is based on luck to some degree, but the same is true for the other team's shooting.

The first half was great both offensively and defensively. The second half we saw the principle of regression to the mean, and our shooting numbers went down while theirs went up.

I am don't get too high when we have an above average (first) half or a below average (second) half (as long as we win). Plus, I think it is difficult to play as hard when you have such a huge lead after the half. So, I don't think the second half is as representative of how good we are on offense/defense and therefore don't give it much weight in my critical analysis of the team.

Jaston Archie 4 years, 11 months ago

It's good to hear that Self has modified his offensive philosophy to allow his guards to be playmakers, that should bode well for future recruiting. Unfortunately Frank and Devontae are not consistently good shooters and against high level competition Graham gets exposed. I get that he's a quick defender which is crucial with the new rules but KU needs to upgrade that position with more talent if they want to beat the elite teams and win it all

Jerry Walker 4 years, 11 months ago

I'm sure God has a basketball team that you could root might cut down on your insufferable complaints.

Jared Reeves 4 years, 11 months ago

Jerry, I understand rooting for sports is based on emotion, more than evidence, but critical thinking should not be thrown outside the window. There is nothing wrong with having an opinion on how the team could improve. Using critical thinking and being a fan aren't mutually exclusive.

Bob Zielinski 4 years, 11 months ago

I was wondering about Brannen Greene as I watched the team having so much success on offense.

Was he watching alone or with friends/basketball staff? Was he excited when KU was making plays and having success or was he throwing out negative comments about the coaches, the system, how he is used in games? Did he have any internal motivation to overcome this setback and will his mindset and effort change in a more positive and team oriented direction?

We'll see what happens. I believe he will become an important contributing player and I hope watching these games from Lawrence inspires him to get down to focusing on playing his part for the Jayhawks.

Brett McCabe 4 years, 11 months ago

I share your desire for Brannen to grow up and enjoy what is in front of him. Unfortunately, the maturity train seems to have left the station.

As a junior, Brannen should be a team leader in some form or fashion. Instead, he's determined to create problems for himself, and distractions for his team. Too much "me".

Entering the season, Brannen needed to either transfer or get focused. The injury rehab period would have been the perfect time to take a transfer year. He knew who was returning on the roster, he certainly knew the coach's philosophy and he knew where he stood with the coach.

I like, actually love the fact that he wants to play. Certainly, he couldn't have done worse than who we had on the floor in the MSU collapse. But it's time to grow up and take responsibility. Get on with it, or get moving Brannen. This program already has enough drama to air a daily one-hour show in the afternoon.

Jared Reeves 4 years, 11 months ago

Brett, I think your comments are overly critical of Greene. He should not transfer just because he wants to play more. One incident of him arguing with the coach over playing time isn't evidence of a lack of focus (although arguably it shows a lack of maturity). Most fans thought he should be playing more, so his argument had some merit.

He will serve his punishment and hopefully his play on the court will convince HCBS that he is indispensable. I will take a player with passion who wants to play over someone who creates real drama in the locker room.

Jerry Walker 4 years, 11 months ago

I'm betting that it was more than just a passionate argument about playing time that drew the 6 game suspension.

Jared Reeves 4 years, 11 months ago

Jerry, do you have evidence to support your position?

Dale Rogers 4 years, 11 months ago

We don't know it's the first time he's argued with the coach over playing time. We only know it's the first time it's been publicized. His blowing up in the locker room is probably enough for him to miss this trip but since he's missing more games after that I suspect there have been heated discussions behind closed doors between Brannen and Coach that we don't know about. Him taking it into the locker room and someone (Brannen?) insisting on his parents being there suggest to me that locker room blowup was not the first time.

Jared Reeves 4 years, 11 months ago

Dale, there is no evidence that this wasn't the first time he argued about playing time. Because there is a lack of evidence, we shouldn't make wild assertions or accusations. There is no evidence Brannen blew up in the locker room either. If you have evidence, I will be happy to revisit my conclusion.

Also, I don't believe Brannen asked for his parents to be there when he was talking to HCBS about playing time. My understanding is that HCBS asked them to be there.

Dale Rogers 4 years, 11 months ago

Jared, the article reporting the suspension clearly stated his parents were requested to come to the locker room where a debate then ensured. I don't know who requested his parents be there but I cannot imagine Bill Self making that request. If you have evidence otherwise, I'd be glad to hear it. We'll likely never know. In any case, if this was the first time he had discussed it with Self, I couldn't see a suspension resulting and, if it did anyhow, then not for six games. Making him miss Maui is a serious penalty. So why three additional games? Again, everything we say here is pure speculation other than those reported facts ( or reported to be facts).

Jared Reeves 4 years, 11 months ago

"Self sent assistant coach Jerrance Howard to bring Jeffrey and Lori to the locker room."

I agree that everything is pure speculation other than the reported facts, which is why I recommend caution when casting aspersions on Brannen, who is a member of the Jayhawk family.

Jim Stauffer 4 years, 11 months ago

Technically Vick is the first step in upgrading the athleticism of the guard spot. They looked very good the first half. Played both offense and defense, but I must say UCLA did not seem to have much fight in them.

Casey Olson 4 years, 11 months ago

That has to be close to a 2 game record for scoring for the tournament. Does anyone else wonder why Wayne Selden can't get off the ground when he's penetrating in traffic. Something just doesn't look right for a guy who is as athletic as he is. I thought he played well but that always catches my eye

Aaron Paisley 4 years, 11 months ago

He sprained an ankle during practice before the season started and that's an injury that tends to linger for a long time.

Mick Allen 4 years, 11 months ago

For all previous posters who have expressed concern about having Frankie and Devonte on the court together for various reasons, i.e. not consistent shooters, too small, don't create enough looks for teammates off the bounce etc. the last 2 games should provide ample reason for the duo to be on the court together. Coach wants to play fast which should be encouraging to all of us as Hawk fans. With 2 solid ball handlers and good passers on the floor we are pushing the ball and creating easy baskets and good looks for our 3 point shooters. Now off a rebound, we don't have to wait for the point guard to come back and take the ball from the rebounder. If one of the two is on the opposite side of the court from the rebounder, making the outlet pass to that guard not a percentage play, but with both capable of pushing the ball, the outlet can be to the guard near midcourt on the same side of the floor as the rebounder. It is entertaining ball to watch and plays to the strength of our current personnel. 19 assists on 32 made baskets demonstrates again our ability to share the ball. For the year Frankie has 26 assists and 4 turnovers and Devonte i5 and 4. Devonte also took Alford out of the game. He is very active on D, moves his feet and keeps the ball in front of him, denies the passing lane etc. Vandy will obviously be our toughest game since the MSU loss. Jones will be hard for us to defend inside and they shoot the 3 well. It will be a close 2 or 3 possession ball game I think. Free Diallo. It would be nice if we had him tonight to match up with Jones. We will be at a decided height disadvantage. Box out, kick the ball out and go.

Jared Reeves 4 years, 11 months ago

Mick, I think we are dealing with a sample size that is too small to make the conclusion that Frank (the Tank) and Devonte in the same back court is better than the alternative. It has worked really well against 3 bad/mediocre teams, but didn't work so well against a good team in MSU.

In my opinion whether the two play together should be based on the situation, just like how HCBS plays his bigs. You don't see Mickelson or Lucas out there as much against smaller quicker bigs. If another team wants to play fast, then Mason and Devonte are the best option, but if a team is packing it in on defense, then going with a three point shooter is arguably what is needed.

But I agree with you that it is fun to watch an up and down game.

William Weissbeck 4 years, 11 months ago

I'd still like to see periods of lock down defense. Especially, later in the game when they're tired and at the start of the second half. UCLA went 8 of 10 to start the second half. In other words I'd like to see extended periods where they turn it up a notch, alter their defensive mindset. UNC did it to K-State last night. Izzo makes his MSU teams do it. No one is ever better conditioned than a Duke team. I want to see a Self team win the last 10 minutes, not just preserve the lead.

Jared Reeves 4 years, 11 months ago

William, I agree. Against MSU we lost the last 10 minutes and it cost us the game. But last night, we were so far ahead I can understand the lapse and don't think it is indicative of whether our team can play for a full 40.

Jared Reeves 4 years, 11 months ago

Question: Will HCBS do what he always does against 7 footers, and try to attack them (as we constantly miss lay-ups and close shots because of their height); or will he adjust and try to spread the floor and take Perry away from the basket more (which is his strength)?

Rodney Crain 4 years, 11 months ago

A solid win. Another real test of our defense will be against Vandy. They are playing really well and they can shoot from any position. We will have to to play decent defense to win tonight. Really need to come away with a win tonight against a good team.

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