Kansas defeats Iowa State, 85-78

  • 3 p.m., March 5, 2016
  • Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Old-timer: Senior Perry Ellis leads KU in fieldhouse finale

Kansas forward Perry Ellis (34) puts a shot over Iowa State forward Georges Niang (31) during the first half, Saturday, March 5, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Perry Ellis (34) puts a shot over Iowa State forward Georges Niang (31) during the first half, Saturday, March 5, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Perry Ellis has heard all the jokes, read all the posts on Twitter about how he looks older than he is and how long he’s been a member of Kansas University’s basketball team.

“So many people say I’ve been here forever and you know, they’re right. I got a chance to play with Wilt Chamberlain and Danny Manning,” the 22-year-old KU senior said in his Senior Day speech that followed his stellar 22-point, seven-rebound outing Saturday in an 85-78 victory over Iowa State in Allen Fieldhouse.

“Since I supposedly have unlimited eligibility, why don’t I just come back next year?” Ellis added to a thunderous ovation from 16,300 fans.

That’d obviously be great for KU, not so much the other teams in the league, who Saturday saw Ellis add another wrinkle to his game — floor burns.

The 6-foot-8 senior from Wichita gave up his body to dive on the basketball at the top of the key and poke it to Wayne Selden, Jr., who one-hopped a pass to Devonté Graham for a layup that gave the (27-4, 15-3) Jayhawks a 74-71 lead with 2:29 left. Moments earlier, at 3:11, Landen Lucas’ stick-back of a Selden miss had erased a 71-70 deficit, and as it turned out, gave KU the lead for good over (21-10, 10-8) ISU.

“I get on Perry quite a bit for not getting on the floor as much as what I think he should, but he did there at that point,” said KU coach Bill Self, who was moved to tears during an emotional post-game speech of Jamari Traylor (eight points, three steals, two boards).  “That was the biggest possession of the game. It was huge for us.”

Ellis followed it with a spin move and bank shot that upped KU’s lead to 76-71 at 1:39. Graham followed with a three from the corner that made it 79-71 at 0:48.

“I just wanted to do whatever I could to try to get over that hump. I had an opportunity to get the ball and I did,” Ellis said of his dive on the floor and pass to Selden.

Graham, who hit four threes and scored 16 points, was thankful.

“We were up one and I came down and lost the ball and they were about to have a fast break. They would have had numbers. Perry dove on the play and we got two points out of it so it was definitely the biggest play of the game,” Graham said.

Selden, who hit three threes and scored 16 points as well, quickly found Graham underneath for the wide-open layup after Ellis knocked him the ball.

“I was wide open so I knew he would,” Graham said, referring to Selden delivering the ball.

Graham’s three from in front of KU’s bench was the dagger to defeat an ISU team that led by as many as four points with 8:48 left.

“We have a lot of confidence in him and he got the wide-open shot and knocked it down,” Ellis said of Graham, who had three assists on a day KU totaled 12 assists, just five turnovers.

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Bill Self on KU's winning plays down stretch vs. ISU

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self meets the media after the Jayhawks came up with crunch-time plays to beat Iowa State, 85-78, on Senior Day.

Download podcast

Ellis earlier was hit with a flagrant foul that came just after Graham released his three that swished to erase an 63-61 deficit and give KU a 64-63 lead at 7:39. 

Ellis elbowed Deonte Burton in the face while positioning for a possible rebound. Burton hit two free throws and Georges Niang scored on the ensuing possession to put the Cyclones up, 67-64, at 7:22.

“It was something unfortunate. I didn’t try to do that,” Ellis said. “In the moment trying to box out, I boxed out too high and hit him.”

KU’s late-game flurry — the Jayhawks outscored ISU, 15-7, after the final TV timeout at 3:25 — pretty much proved to be the story of the day.

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Ellis, Traylor and Graham discuss KU's Senior Day win

Kansas basketball players Perry Ellis, Jamari Traylor and Devonté Graham discuss the Jayhawks' Senior Day victory over Iowa State, to close the regular season.

Download podcast

“Coach said (in huddle), ‘This is our time. We have to win the last three minutes or so.’ We did that,” Ellis said. “We’ve been in that situation before. We have a lot of veteran guys and we did it.

“I never think that way,” Ellis added, asked if it crossed his mind KU might lose its first-ever Senior Day contest (KU is 32-0 on Senior Day throughout history). “I never have. It’s over when it’s over. I’m going to play until it’s over.”

He said it was an emotional day playing in the final home game of Ellis, Hunter Mickelson, Evan Manning and Traylor.

“There was a lot of thinking. I was thinking about so much,” Ellis said. “Last night I just kept thinking, ‘One more. One more.’ Waking up, ‘It’s the last go-round.’ It was a lot of thinking. A lot of family was around. It was great to come away with the win.”

Before the game, he even thought about his short-but-sweet three-minute Senior Day speech, which included the Chamberlain/Manning age joke.

“About every day I see my face cropped on pictures from decades ago. I had to say something about it,” Ellis explained to media members, who were willing to play along.

So Perry, he was asked, “what was it like playing against Wilt?”

“I can barely remember. It was so long ago. It was good,” Ellis said, smiling.

KU will next meet the winner of Wednesday’s Kansas State-Oklahoma State game in a Big 12 quarterfinal at 1:30 p.m., Thursday, in Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

— See what people were saying about KU’s Senior Day vs. Iowa State during’s live coverage.

More news and notes from KU’s regular-season finale vs. Iowa State

By the Numbers: Kansas 85, Iowa State 78

By the Numbers: Kansas 85, Iowa State 78


Janet Olin 4 years, 5 months ago

Great game, guys. Touching Senior Night speeches. Nobody saw Perry's stand-up routine coming, but it was sweet, just like 'Mari's and the whole victory parade. Rock Chalk.

Mike Riches 4 years, 5 months ago

Phenomenal win for another undefeated season at home. Perry had a great game, and for those who have thought he should play with more passion, he even got a flagrant foul. :) Seriously this is an awesome senior class!

Personally, the only other years (in the Self era) I've felt this good about our team going into the post-season were 2008 and 2011. The Big 12 tournament should be fun to watch, and I guess we're still playing for the Midwest region (MSU would also want that region). Regardless of what happens in Kansas City though, I think we've locked up a 1 seed.

Gotta love March!! RCJH!

Jared Reeves 4 years, 5 months ago

My heart says we can win the National Championship, but my head says our ceiling is the elite eight.

Ryan Shelton 4 years, 5 months ago

Free throws will be the deciding factor.

KJ Quartermaine 4 years, 5 months ago

You're a fool, possibly even a buffoon. After viewing this game from the fourth row near mid-court –– this squad has all the pieces of a national championship team. "Elite 8 ceiling?" Yeah, you're a buffoon

Bryce Landon 4 years, 5 months ago

Well done, Jayhawks! Well done, seniors!

Rich Hageman 4 years, 5 months ago

All you Tubby Smith fans still voting him for Big 12 Coach of the Year !!

Tony Bandle 4 years, 5 months ago

Amid the joy of this great victory and really cool season, lest not forget or lose focus on our Achilles heels; free throws, dribble drive penetration defense and building on a lead and let's hope we can avoid our team Kryptonite, Michigan State!!!

Yahoo had an interesting article indicating KU is really looking good for recruiting the Class of 2017!! Can't we get this season over first? :)

Perry, Jamari, Hunter and Evan thanks for everything and thanks for keeping it classy.

P.S. George Niang, with all due respect to Buddy and Valentine, may end up being the best all around NBA player in this years draft, Thank God he's finally graduating!!

Suzi Marshall 4 years, 5 months ago

Poor FT shooting has been the Achilles Heel for several excellent KU teams. Duke, a team we may face in the Round of 16, is one of the many examples.

I hope 2017 recruiting shapes up well because 2016 is a bust. Jackson is MSU bound and The Thong will never play college ball.

Ellis may have a shot at the NBA due to his quickness, intelligence and ball handling skills for a guy his size.

Mallory Briggans 4 years, 5 months ago

Denzel Valentine guaranteed a national championship for Michigan State ......that's pretty bold ......pretty confident ...................To want to win ...all players want to win a NC to guarantee it .You hear that Jayhawks !!!!!!!!!!


Dirk Medema 4 years, 5 months ago

It was great to see Perry go to the floor ,but the part I liked best was that the ball seemed to be squirting away to an ISU player when Perry snatched it back.

It also would have been a lot less meaningful except for Wayne's court vision and pass to Graham.

Also gotta love Graham's humility in acknowledging the TO and appreciating his teammates.

Coach Self did an interview this week where he publicly challenged Frank regarding Morris. Love the Pit Bull.

Colby Hebert 4 years, 5 months ago

32-0 on senior night? I had no memory of Kansas losing one but did not realize it never happened..

Imagine being Texas at home on senior night with Tony Romo in the house and getting beat down by 30...

We are lucky to have Kansas as our team...

Yonatan Negash 4 years, 5 months ago

Hard to see this KU team underachieve this year at the NCAA.

I truly believe all the let down the past several years has thought this team resiliency and made them stronger.

As most of you would agree, we're playing at a very high level right now. I also believe the coaches made the adjustment needed to put a complete and sound team on the floor.

Having said that, I'm picking KU to win it all this year. It'll be very difficult to go against Kansas this year. I see a team that is in a great state of mind unlike last year. We have the seniors, we have the guards, we have the shooters, we have a center, we have the bench, we have the experience, we have coaching and most important we believe in one another.

I'm also going to pick Kansas to win the big 12 tournament. Hope to see Oklahoma one more time in the championship.

Colby Hebert 4 years, 5 months ago

I stopped doing brackets and Kansas won a championship and been to another final. I pass on picking anything in the tournament.

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