Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Self: Mason stood out against ’Bods

Kansas guard Frank Mason slides across the floor with Washburn guard Kyle Wiggins while going for a loose ball during the second half on Monday, Nov. 3, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Frank Mason slides across the floor with Washburn guard Kyle Wiggins while going for a loose ball during the second half on Monday, Nov. 3, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Somewhat hidden amid the hoopla surrounding the Kansas University basketball debuts of Cliff Alexander and three other freshmen was the performance of combo guard Frank Mason in Monday’s exhibition rout of Washburn.

“Frank played well, 13 (points) on five shots, six boards, seven dimes and only one turnover. He defended fairly well, too,” KU coach Bill Self said of the 5-foot-11, 185-pound sophomore’s stat line on Tuesday’s “Hawk Talk” radio show.

“I thought he had about as good a game as anybody on our team. Jamari the first half was really good, and Frank for the most part the entire game was pretty good,” Self added.

Traylor, a 6-8 junior from Chicago, had three rebounds, two blocks, two points and an assist in nine minutes the first half. He had one rebound and one point in five minutes the second half.

“I think Frank inch-for-inch, pound-for-pound is the best athlete on our team. He’s as fast as anybody. He can do seven, eight backflips in a row. I’m not talking with his hands. I’m talking about just flipping in the air. He could be a cheerleader for sure if the point-guard stuff doesn’t work out for him,” Self joked. “Hopefully he’ll show his athletic ability out there some.”

Frosh Devonté Graham had seven points, three assists, three turnovers and two steals while starting next to Mason in the backcourt.

“Devonté will play more point when Frank is in the game. When Devonté is not in the game, of course Frank will be point,” Self said. “When neither is in the game, I imagine Wayne (Selden Jr., five points, four boards, 17 minutes) will be playing the point-guard position for us.”

Ellis free to shoot: Junior forward Perry Ellis scored nine points off 2-of-6 shooting. He was 1-for-3 from three after going 8-for-17 all last season.

“That’s fine. Hey, when you are open, shoot them,” Self said of the 6-8 Ellis having the green light from beyond the arc. “He’s a good shooter. When you are open, shoot them, but when you are close to the basket and have an opportunity to post within what we are trying to do, then make the most of those opportunities as well.

“I don’t want him to fall in love being a perimeter player because that will hurt our team and will hurt him, too, because his numbers will obviously go down. If he plays up to his capabilities like we think he can, I think he can be the best player in the league.”

Ellis had one rebound, two assists and a turnover in 20 minutes.

“I think he’s getting more aggressive all the time, though last night we didn’t see that. His (non-shooting) shoulder has been bothering him a little bit. Maybe he didn’t have quite the juice last night. He’s been really good in practice so far,” Self said of Ellis.

Greene OK: Sophomore wing Brannen Greene, who hit a three-pointer in a nine-minute first-half stint, played just two minutes the second half after suffering a concussion upon running into Washburn screen-setter Stephone Drane.

“He looked good today,” Self said, noting he took a concussion test “off the computer. I asked him if he passed it, he said he had no idea. He said it was hard. He didn’t study for it,” Self cracked. “I think he’ll be fine, but he may be out a couple more days. He got his bell rung pretty good.”

Self said he would have started Greene on Monday with fellow returnees Traylor, Ellis Mason and Selden, except, “I wanted him to play a little bit better defense yesterday (Sunday) and we really probably didn’t get that done, so I started Devonté. Brannen has had a good last week, really good. Right now I would probably feel most comfortable with Devonté and Frank and Wayne and maybe even Brannen from a standpoint of knowing what we are trying to do. The newcomers got to pick some stuff up and kind of understand what we’re trying to do. But they did fine.”

Svi scores six: Freshman wing Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk scored six points off 2-of-5 three-point shooting with three rebounds in 16 minutes.

“He’s done great. I told him today (Tuesday) I’m proud of him. He’s trying hard, but he didn’t come over here for everybody to say, ‘Well, you could be a high school junior. Let’s be patient with you.’ He came over here because he wanted to impact college basketball now,” Self said. “He wanted to play against the big boys and see how he’d do. There’s still an aggressive feature that has to come out in him that isn’t natural for kids his age (17). He has to get that (aggressiveness) to go against the hard-rocking dudes out there. I think he has the chance to be a special player. He makes the game a little harder sometimes than what it is. He likes ‘no looks’ and that crap instead of making the easy play sometimes. He sees it. He feels it. He can shoot it. He has touch on his passes. He can do a lot of things, but has to be more aggressive.”


John Randall 7 years, 8 months ago

... He likes ‘no looks’ and that crap instead of making the easy play sometimes ...

Does it make sense for your coach to prefer the 90% chance of making the easy play over the 40% chance of making the hi-light film?

Rodney Crain 7 years, 8 months ago

I thought we all agreed to not use the "T" word for a while???

Brianna Zaleski 7 years, 8 months ago

After watching the game on Tuesday, it became more evident to me why Conner chose to quit. Svi. That kid is a natural that is everything Conner is, yet he's a half foot taller and has a better shot. He's still a child, so Conner was going to beat him on the depth chart initially, but the writing was on the wall there. No way was CF going to beat him out in the long run. Svi is going to be special.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 8 months ago

I know...I'm surprised CF even showed up on campus. The all-time leading scorer from the Wichita area was so spooked his nickname was Casper.

Brian Wilson 7 years, 8 months ago

Be careful what you say......I know rumor is CF goes to Creightonor some place like Nebraska or Wichita State...... but what if his mindset is a little different and he decides to go to KSU or OSU. How would you feel and react then.

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 8 months ago

With all the talk about how great Ellis and Selden were over the summer, they must have brought last season's game to throw off KY's scouting report. Like last year v. Duke, perhaps Self is trying to mis-lead Cal. Nevertheless, we are going to have a tough time getting ready for KY so early in the season. KY, which a largely veteran team of McDs, has looked great.

Bryce Landon 7 years, 8 months ago

It would be wise to hold Brannen Greene out of the lineup for the ESU game, just to be safe. With all the publicity surrounding concussions in sports these days (especially football), one can never be too careful about dealing with brain injuries like that.

Ian Emerson 7 years, 8 months ago

Guys I'm really excited about Svi too. I think he's going to get a lot of minutes also.

Brianna Zaleski 7 years, 8 months ago


No doubt. I see this kid being a big contributor THIS season, not to mention the next. My belief is that once Conner Fran saw this kid in action, he knew his mins were going to be SEVERELY limited. Especially in the 2nd half of the season when Svi started to "get it" more. I'm very excited about this gem.

Ian Emerson 7 years, 8 months ago


After only being recruited by two division 1 schools, us and Virginia, gem is the perfect word to describe this young man. I think it's highly understated and recognized that Svi has played and won over GROWN men in Europe and even put in valuable minutes against the U.S. Olympic team.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 8 months ago

Oregon also recruited him plus he was recruited by European pro teams. His age also complicated his recruitment, leaving him w/a 2 year wait before the NBA could sign him.

Gem in the rough seems appropriate.

Brian Wilson 7 years, 8 months ago

You need to do some reading........Svi averaged less than 5 minutes in Euro leagues against adults. He rode pine while getting a lot of good practice. Svi's minutes and 20+ PPG came in the 16 and under league. Connor's not afraid of Svi or Frank or Devonte he is going to go where he can lead and play 40.

Chris Oestreich 7 years, 8 months ago

Our guards are much improved and will be key to playing the type of D that HCBS wants. But, I bet he would tell you our success will be measured by how effective Lucas and Mickelson are coming off the bench defending other teams bigs!!!

Robert Brock 7 years, 8 months ago

We will see what Lucas and Mickelson can do November 18th.

Rob Bedford III 7 years, 8 months ago

Chances are they will have to file charges for being abused all game.

Chris Oestreich 7 years, 8 months ago

Although your comment is funny the reality is they will be forced into action against teams with size. Laugh all you want but they better be ready or we will suffer at times this year.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 8 months ago

Would have helped if KU signed the best 2 players from Kansas in the last few years..

Scott Yessen 7 years, 8 months ago

I agree Suzi. When is Selden going to take over a game like they keep saying he can do. When is he going to blow by his man and throw down a monster dunk on somebody. I was expecting much more from him. I know it was the first game, but indications over the summer made me think it was a realistic expectation.

John Randall 7 years, 8 months ago

Now, now, Scott ... Wayne (and Perry) may not share your preference for the spectacular, take-over style of play. They may even consider steady play outside the spotlight to be more important to team success. Having a coach of the same persuasion is an indication of why last year's team had more losses than any of the years in the last decade and why this year doesn't have anyone likely to be on the ballots for POY honors, but probably will log about five more wins.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 8 months ago

Umm, it was Washburn and it was just an exhibition game (between friends), a scrimmage if you will. It was a fun game to watch.

No need to get too high or low on this first rehearsal. Frank, Graham looked good, other new guys looked promising, Wayne and Perry looked off. Alexanders silence provided Greene with a concussion, other than that Cliff played well, nice so to see good defense again. Big guys looked ok.

Again it was flipping Washburn, not that there is anything wrong with that.

Svi was MVP of the U-17 WC tourny, and struggled against the top flight teams, which you would expect. He looks like he can play though.

UCSB has a top 25 senior center and they will be a handful if we do not play good team defense and rebound better. KY will be focused on playing their game they are tall, deep, experienced, and confident.

It is not beyond reason to think we could start 0-2. I like this team, we have all the pieces, but we will know right out the gate how good we are when we play against more talented competition.

Cary Ediger 7 years, 8 months ago

Good post Rodney. How soon we forget that Conner saved our asses in the Stanford game.

This and the next game are exhibition games.... see what we have and who can play.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 8 months ago

Thanks but to be saved you have to win the game. I liked Conner too but he made his choice.

Mick Allen 7 years, 8 months ago

You are correct Rodney, Alexander needs to communicate on the court. His failure to call out the screen almost got Greene killed.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 8 months ago

lol, ok B division, point was he is very good against young players, still has a ways to go against older, talented players.

Mike Riches 7 years, 8 months ago

I don't think Greene's going to be in the rotation much this year. I just don't see how he's going to take minutes away from Mason, Graham, Selden or Oubre. I realize we only saw him for 9 minutes the other night, and that in a game that didn't really matter, but I thought he looked like he was still trying to figure it all out (where to be on defense, etc.) He might play as the 5th outside man in the rotation, while Svi continues to learn early this year, but I have to think those minutes are going to go to Svi sooner rather than later. Greene sitting out this week, when competition is so high isn't helping him any either...

Bill Self seems like he's just fallen in love with Graham! I love how he didn't include Devonté as a newcomer: "Right now I would probably feel most comfortable with Devonté and Frank and Wayne and maybe even Brannen from a standpoint of knowing what we are trying to do. The newcomers got to pick some stuff up and kind of understand what we’re trying to do."

Walter Bridges 7 years, 8 months ago

AW3 was producing last year early until sidelined w/an injury and never got back in..hopefully this won't be a repeat with Greene.

Nine min. against Washburn and he's already being written off? Greene was a higher ranked recruit than B-Mac. I'll take a 3-4 yr AW3/Greene over an OAD anytime. What did Wiggins and Embiid really contribute to KU's basketball program?

What has Selden done for KU entering his 2nd year.

If he doesn't start at the 2, Selden doesn't start

Ellis had one rebound, two assists and a turnover in 20 minutes...hmm

Rodney Crain 7 years, 8 months ago

After one exhibition game he is out?

Its a little too early to make that call. With Greene playing Self has more options and can push the defense to play all out. I like the "its like a Hockey team" reference someone used. Go all out for 3-5 minutes and sub out to another group of guys. That will wear some teams down and repeat some 13 point halves.

Mike Riches 7 years, 8 months ago

Obviously it's too early to make any calls about this season. Frankly I think it might be awesome if Self played an 11 man rotation, hockey-style, throwing a ton of bodies at opposing teams. But we all know Self likes to settle in to a 9 man rotation. So chances are pretty good, one of our wings is going to play very limited minutes, a la AWIII. It's anybody's best guest at this point as to who that will be, but before last night's game, I was thinking Svi, now I'm thinking Greene.

Titus Canby 7 years, 8 months ago

I'm not seeing what the rest of you see in Svi. He has a nice stroke, but he's as tentative and lost as I'd expect a 17 year old slow skinny kid would be. I think he's at least a year away from contributing.

I also thought Oubre stunk the place up. Good gosh his free throws looked horrible. Some of you chalked it up to first game nerves. Maybe that's it, but I can shoot free throws better than that. He looked just as lost as Svi.

I was hoping Greene would look great after a year's experience. But he seems to still have a focus problem. I believe the 3 spot is our weakness this year. But I like Mason, Graham and Selden starting together.

On the plus side, Mason looked great, as did Lucas, Traylor, Alexander and Mickelson. But what the heck was going on with Perry. He didn't show up for this one.

Tyler Capone 7 years, 8 months ago

Still waiting to see some promise out of Greene

Brian Wilson 7 years, 8 months ago

I agree with what you say Titus and Tyler. And I am still waiting to see our players with killer instinct and heart and a refusal to lose. I thought we found that in the NCAA's with CF but he was not rewarded for it and so he is gone. Hopefully we will see that in Selden and Ellis. We need someone that can inspire and will his team to victory.

Joe Baker 7 years, 8 months ago

I love the bigger guard lineup. However, I was impressed with Mason's ablity to make decisions. He took some good shots. Confidence will be huge for Mason. You all can say what you want about Greene, but I'll play him any day of the week. He's a guy that has to get some reps. He's not going to produce if you play him for a few mins at a time and then pull him. He has to get into a rhythm. I like his size, physicality, and silent cocky attitude. I think Svi is going to be something special too. Graham has a ways to go yet. I liked Lucas' controlled play. I think Mickelson will get better. Lucas knows the system.






This is per Washburn game at this point. Traylor and Oubre first off bench. Alexander needs some reps. I like this lineup against UK too. You can bump Selden to the point, Greene to the 2, Oubre to 3, Alexander to 5 if Lucas can't handle UK's size. Remember, Alexander played well against Okafor and Turner. Alexander plays bigger than 6-8,9. I think he can hold his own against UK's bigs.

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