Kansas defeats Maryland, 79-63

  • 8:40 p.m., March 24, 2016
  • KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, KY

Friday, March 25, 2016

One step closer: Perry Ellis’ career night leads Kansas into Elite Eight

Strong 2nd half pushes KU past Maryland, 79-63

Kansas Jayhawks forward Perry Ellis (34) gets to the bucket past Maryland center Diamond Stone (33) during the first half, Thursday, March 24, 2016 at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky.

Kansas Jayhawks forward Perry Ellis (34) gets to the bucket past Maryland center Diamond Stone (33) during the first half, Thursday, March 24, 2016 at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky.


— Perry Ellis simply does not want his magical senior season to end.

Ellis, Kansas University’s 6-foot-8 senior forward/first-team all-Big 12 pick from Wichita, scored an NCAA Tournament personal-best 27 points off 10-of-17 shooting (7-of-7 from the line) in the Jayhawks’ 79-63 South Regional Sweet 16 victory over Maryland on Thursday at KFC Yum! Center.

The victory propels the top-seeded Jayhawks (33-4) into Saturday’s 7:50 p.m. (Central time) Elite Eight contest against Villanova (32-5).

“All I’m trying to do is leave it all on the floor,” Ellis said after grabbing five rebounds and helping KU to a 43-28 advantage on the boards against a tall No. 5-seed Maryland team. “It’s the same mindset as always. I just want to attack,” Ellis added.

He scored four points in a pivotal 9-0 run (Wayne Selden, Jr. had five of his 19 in the same surge) that busted a 43-43 tie and gave KU a nine-point advantage with 14:43 left. Ellis also had nine straight points for KU in a 9-5 run that opened a 59-48 lead.

In other words, he was marvelous on a day Landen Lucas scored 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and Frank Mason III hit for 11 points, five boards and four assists.

KU was able to advance comfortably on a night Devonté Graham had five turnovers and just two points in 37 minutes. Turns out Graham didn’t eat all day because of sickness and he cramped during his 37-minute stint.

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Bill Self: Jayhawks 'superb' in Sweet 16 win

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self answers questions from the media following the Jayhawks' 79-63 victory over Maryland in Louisville, Kentucky.

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“This is why he came back to school,” KU coach Bill Self said of Ellis, who toyed with the idea of entering the NBA Draft after his junior year.

“He could have bolted and been a mid-second-round pick. He comes from such a good family, rock solid. He couldn’t hurt himself by coming back to school. He has a chance to leave KU with a legacy that would allow him to be a hero there for a lifetime. When we got Perry, we knew he would be good,” Self added of the player who has hit 27 of 41 shots in three NCAA games this postseason. “He’s done some things that have allowed him to be great. It’s so good to see kids who spent time in the program and (have) gone through ups and downs experience some success this time of year.”

Ellis acknowledged he and his teammates have taken to heart the “Countdown to Houston” banners that have been in the locker room “for some time now.

“We see that every day,” Ellis said. “It’s motivation for us that the days are counting down. It’s motivation.”

Freshman Carlton Bragg, who contributed eight rebounds in 10 minutes — every rebound counted against a tough Maryland team — said Ellis was “amazing. He helped us a lot getting buckets. That’s what he does.

“He keeps getting closer and closer to his goal,” Bragg added of the Final Four. “I think he’s ready. He’s going to get it.”

Noted senior Jamari Traylor, who had two points in 10 minutes: “Perry was Perry. As he’s been playing lately ... he’s been so hot. Just being aggressive, getting fouls, knocking down shots. Getting in the lane. I feel like there wasn’t too much he couldn’t do this game.”

The Jayhawks managed a 36-34 lead at halftime after hitting 40.5 percent of their shots. That heated up to 56 percent the second half.

Anything said at halftime with the Terps (27-9) hanging close?

“Wayne and Frank were telling us, ‘This is our home. Let’s stay here another two, three days,’’’ Bragg said. “They were taking charge before the game.”

Next up is No. 2 seed Villanova, a 92-69 winner over Miami. Winner goes to the Final Four. Loser’s season is over.

“They like to press, run a lot. They are some tough dudes,” Bragg said.

Noted Self of the Wildcats: “I’ve seen them sparingly on TV, watched some games going into this week. Their guards are so clever and good. We’ll have to do some things to not allow them to play in their comfort zone. They were so good on offense today. They create havoc defensively and get confidence offensively because their defense is so aggressive and sound.”

• Greene sits: KU junior Brannen Greene did not dress for the Maryland victory because of back spasms. Self isn’t counting on getting much from Greene in the Elite Eight game either. “He hasn’t seemed to be the same for a while now,” Self said. “It’s a shadow of what he can be as far as moving.”

— See what people were saying about the Sweet 16 matchup between KU and Maryland during's live coverage

More news and notes from KU’s Sweet 16 victory over Maryland

By the Numbers: Kansas 79, Maryland 63

By the Numbers: Kansas 79, Maryland 63


Jared Reeves 5 years, 5 months ago

Great win! Loved to see Perry and Selden step up. Its a bummer about Greene, which sounds like he might be done for the season.

Did anyone else think it was funny when Mason scored with less than a second left in the game (similar to when Greene did it against K-State)? I am glad Self didn't verbally crucify Mason after the game.

Mallory Briggans 5 years, 5 months ago

Let me go on the record in saying Perry Ellis has not gotten the media attention he deserves . All season its been about Buddy and Ben , Tyler Ulis and Melo , Ingram and countless others and what their value would be in the draft. Perrys name was rarely mentioned . He has been steady and consistent all season going about it in his own quiet way. He doesn't need to jump on the scorers table and pound his chest that's not who Perry is He has stayed and perfected his game and if his stock hasn't risen his senior year then something is wrong . It all about media hype and the star value that the networks of the world can promote ......e.g. Buddy Hield . Perry doesn't seek the attention he just wants to help his teammates win . Its about the team and not about him. Even if Perry doesn't want the spotlight don't short change him on his abilities on the court his value to the team and the positive attitude he bring to the sport of college basketball.

Rock Chalk

Henry Joseph Hofmeister 5 years, 5 months ago

brannen, hope you get better. perry, you are killing it like a shy wayne. you have records, a degree, a future in the nba. as you get more confident I could see you coming back to coach, ku is a legacy after all and you are a part of it. staying 4 years as a multi position player you demonstrate skills that aren't able to be taught by a normal coach. maybe you just developed them out of need but damn, you figured it out.

Bryce Landon 5 years, 5 months ago

Two seasons ago, when the juniors and seniors were freshmen and sophomores, Kansas went to the Bahamas for a Thanksgiving tournament and got embarrassed by Villanova in the semifinals. If Coach Self has the game film from that game, he should show it to the team to make them mad and motivate them to get revenge on the Wildcats tomorrow night. Just a thought...

Danny Hernandez 5 years, 5 months ago

Can we get all 5 guys playing at the same level in one game? Last Saturday against UCONN, Frank wasn't himself, last night it was Devonte and we find out he wasn't feeling well. Brannen's hurt and we could really use his free throw shooting down the stretch as well as his ability to stretch the D with his 3 point shooting.

IF we can put it all together, this team will be more awesome! they have the highest ceiling of any team remaining imho. Rock Chalk

Armen Kurdian 5 years, 5 months ago

My only concern from last night is lack of contribution from the bench. If you had told me Jamari would have no rebounds in the game, I would have thought we had lost. It speaks to how good MD is for the most part, but Svi is going to have to hit from outside tomorrow. We need Graham better because he's been pretty hot from the outside too.

Robert Brock 5 years, 5 months ago

Bragg hauled in 8 rebounds. That is impressive considering how thin and under- strong he is.

Mallory Briggans 5 years, 5 months ago

every game it has been a different player.....Jamari didnt have any boards......but Bragg picked up the slack......Graham didnt score alot ...Mason is gimpy.......Diallo didnt play.....Svi had limited playing time....Greene didnt suit up.........but we won by 16.......16!!!!!!!! .....

Bryce Landon 5 years, 5 months ago

We're not beating Villanova by 16. I'll be shocked if we win by more than 6.

Dirk Medema 5 years, 5 months ago

6 would be fine by anyone.

Survive and advance.

I remember - I think it was back in the 90's, UK with Pitino (?) was winning everything by 30 or something like that thru 3 rounds. THEY WERE UNSTOPPABLE! Then they got eliminated.

Past performance does not guarantee future success.

Rodney Pain 5 years, 5 months ago

I'm very proud of what this team has shown in the dance thus far. Intensity. Focus. Grit. Fearlessness when the chips are down. We'll need it all against Villanova, but win or lose, this has been a successful season. A special season, though, is what we all want and something these guys have shown they're capable of delivering. Eyes on the prize. Keep it going!

Dave Miller 5 years, 5 months ago

KU must have really rattled MD last night. Our "free throw defense" kept them to 70%. I just think that Nova is due for an average or below average night shooting. I sure hope so. Perry's defense in the 2nd half was great. Almost every time they tried to turn the corner and drive to the rim, Perry was there in the middle, at the exact spot he needed to be at just the moment he needed to be there. It was a great game by a great team. RCJKU !!!

Harlan Hobbs 5 years, 5 months ago

Danny, I understand your point, but Frank and Devonte played just fine last night. They rarely got any open looks, but they created plays for others. If Perry, Wayne, and Landen are on, then it's doubtful that Frank and Devonte are going to produce many points.

KU always wants to play through their "bigs" if possible. If we have to rely on 3-point shooting, we had better be on our game.

The key tomorrow night is for our defense to disrupt Villanova in some fashion. They are hot and in a zone right now, so we have to get them our of their comfort level, as Coach Self said in the article.

Hope you are right Marius about Josh Jackson, especially if Wayne enters the draft, which I suspect he will do given the way he has been playing lately and how he can take a game over like he did against Kentucky.

Also, I hope that I can clear up a misunderstanding in one of my posts to an article the other day about Mark Turgeon. I mentioned my recollection of Larry Brown saying at one point that, in recruiting Mark, Mark was confident that he was as good as any of the guards that Coach Brown had inherited when he took the KU job.

While you didn't question by recollection, you rightfully wondered about my source for the story. I must admit that my source was either an interview Coach Brown gave or just an article that appeared in the Topeka Capital Journal. It is possible that the story has been embellished over time, but the point was to indicate how badly Mark wanted to play at KU, and when he was given the chance, he handled the experience excellently.

In no way was the story used to leave any inference that Mark was being cocky. Mark is obviously one of the most humble and classy people around. His post game comments last night did nothing but reinforce that.

Thanks for letting me clear up any misunderstanding that I may have created.

Eliott Reeder 5 years, 5 months ago

Wasn't there something about Turg walking into Browns office as a high schooler and telling him that he needed to recruit him? That story sounds familiar, but I do t recollect all the details.

Michael Lorraine 5 years, 5 months ago

The story I remember hearing was Mark told Larry that he cried when KU loses.

Harlan Hobbs 5 years, 5 months ago

Don't know, Eliott and Michael. Your recollections are probably just as valid as mine. It has been 30 years ago. The key point, on which I think we all agree, is that Mark is a great ambassador for KU. His determination, grit, and impeccable character are the epitome of what KU basketball is.

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