Kansas defeats Michigan State, 61-56

  • noon, Nov. 30, 2014
  • HP Field House, Kissimmee, FL

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Disney princes: Jayhawks impress in Mickey’s territory

Ellis named Orlando Classic MVP

The Kansas Jayhawks are pictured with Mickey Mouse, who presented the Orlando Classic championship trophy following their win over Mighigan State on Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014 at the HP Field House in Kissimmee, Florida.

The Kansas Jayhawks are pictured with Mickey Mouse, who presented the Orlando Classic championship trophy following their win over Mighigan State on Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014 at the HP Field House in Kissimmee, Florida.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Bill Self, Perry Ellis and Frank Mason talk after KU defeats Michigan State, 61-56

Bill Self, Perry Ellis and Frank Mason talk after KU defeats Michigan State, 61-56

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Box score

— Mickey Mouse stretched to place his over-sized right hand on Perry Ellis’ shoulder as the Kansas University junior accepted Orlando Classic MVP honors on Sunday afternoon in HP Field House.

The Walt Disney World mascot gawked at the engraved wrist watch that went to the 6-foot-8 Wichita native following a 17-point, nine-rebound performance that paced the No. 11-ranked Jayhawks to a 61-56 victory over the No. 20-rated Spartans in the tourney’s title game.

“I think it’s big. It’s great for us. We came down here and got better as a team,” Ellis said, referring to KU’s storming to victories over Rhode Island, Tennessee and Michigan State. “It’s just a big momentum boost for us, to continue to get better,” Ellis added after the Jayhawks improved to 5-1 and dropped the Spartans to 5-2.

The Jayhawks, who outrebounded yet-another gritty, physical Tom Izzo-coached team, 44-36, and held MSU to 32.2 percent shooting — 24.2 percent the final half — won their first eight-team in-season tournament since the 1999 Great Alaska Shootout.

“I’ll say this. To me winning the tournament is OK. It’s a good deal, but beating a quality team is more important to me than winning a tournament,” KU coach Bill Self said. “We needed to beat a quality team based on a couple of weeks ago.”

KU has obviously made noticeable improvement since suffering a 32-point loss to Kentucky at the Champions Classic on Nov. 18 in Indianapolis.

“We are a different team than we were 12 days ago. I’m happy for our team,” Self stated. “Gosh, did we compete. I thought we guarded them pretty well and were focused. We couldn’t get back (because) they are so good in transition, but we did an unbelievable job on the glass.”

Point guard Frank Mason III, who probably could fit into the Mickey Mouse mascot costume, grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds to go with 10 points and five assists against three turnovers in 36 minutes. 

Freshman forward Cliff Alexander had eight boards, four blocks and six points. Wayne Selden Jr., who went 0-for-10 from the field on a day KU hit 37 percent of its shots, went 5-of-6 from the line and had five rebounds. Freshman Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, who hit a big three right before halftime to cut a four-point deficit to one, also had four boards to go with his three treys.

“I think we made some athletic plays in transition when they had us beat, contesting or altering or tipping the ball in transition above the rim,” Self said. “The biggest thing I liked was that I thought we fouled a couple times late in the clock, but I thought we defended the entire shot clock and rebounded the ball. I’m not going to say it was a great defensive performance by any stretch, but I thought we played the scouting report pretty well.”

KU used a Landen Lucas stick-back, three from Mykhailiuk, free throw from Ellis and strong basket and ensuing foul shot by Alexander in a 9-4 run that gave the Jayhawks a 54-46 lead with 7:33 left.

Things got tense when Travis Trice (14 points, 3-14 shooting) drilled a three with 1:36 left to cut the gap to 59-56. After a sloppy turnover by KU, MSU’s Branden Dawson (eight points, 4-15 shooting, nine boards) missed two inside shots. Mason grabbed the board with :48 to play and KU still up three.

Self called a time out at :32 — one in which he elected to keep Jamari Traylor in the game despite the fact he had heard MSU coach Tom Izzo bark out orders to foul the 63.6 percent free throw shooter. Traylor was fouled and calmly hit a pair of charities to up the lead to 61-56 at :30.7.

Asked if he felt pressure, Traylor, who had an abysmal semifinal against Tennessee, said: “No, because in the time out, coach was going to sub Brannen (Greene) in for me. He was like, ‘Brannen get in.’ He was like, ‘You know what? Mari stay in. You are going to make the free throws. You are going to knock ‘em down.’ I’m happy he trusted me and I’m glad I came through,” Traylor added.

Self explained: “I almost subbed for him, then I said, ‘No you’re going to make ‘em.’ They really did a good job denying Frank the ball, so Mari was a fresh release (to get ball after time out). They played it exactly the way Tom told them to play I’m sure. Then Mari stepped up and made ‘em.”

KU played intense defense the rest of the way. MSU failed to even come close to scoring in the final half minute.

“I’ll be honest, I thought we guarded them pretty well,” Self said. “I thought they guarded us pretty well. When you play Michigan State, they make you play up over the top the majority of the time. You are not going to get a lot of easy baskets (KU was 3-14 from three). If somebody shoots 45 percent against one of Tom’s teams, they’ve really shot the ball well. We missed some open looks. They missed some open looks. The game really starts when you play them when the ball is in the air a lot of times. I thought we did a good job on the glass.”

And of MVP Ellis, who had 24 points and 13 rebounds against Tennessee and 17 points and five boards against Rhode Island, Self said: “To me Perry was the best player in the three days. He was consistent. Today he could have had a big game. He didn’t make his free throws (three of seven while hitting seven of 15 shots). I thought he played very well and aggressively. He went after the ball.”

KU will next meet Florida at 8 p.m., Friday, in Allen Fieldhouse.

More news and notes from Kansas vs. Michigan State

By the Numbers: Kansas beats Michigan State, 61-56, to win the Orlando Classic

By the Numbers: Kansas beats Michigan State, 61-56, to win the Orlando Classic


Bryce Landon 7 years, 5 months ago

I am pleased with the Jayhawks' performance today. Here's hoping it carries over to Friday night against the Gators.

Ian Emerson 7 years, 5 months ago

What if Svi starts ahead of Kelly this year. When the seasons over Kelly would not have had enough time to solidify his draft stock and wont be able to go pro becuase he would not have gotten the starting minutes to showcase his skill and upside. With his NBA ready body Wayne will get a high enough pickto leave for the league and Svi will start the 2 and Kelly will start the 3 and a senior year Perry will start the 4.......

Jack Wilson 7 years, 5 months ago

You've identified a possible dilemma. But it's probably more complicated. Selden had an NBA ready body last season. His game isn't ready now. It may be by the end of the season. I doubt it.

What if Oubre stays behind Svi the rest of the season? And Selden stays. That means Oubre would return to be a backup?

Regardless, we won't have all six of these highly talented perimeter guys back next season. Just not enough minutes to go around.

Ian Emerson 7 years, 5 months ago

I seem to remember that Kelly stated in an pre-season interview that the reason he chose KU was that Self had told him, in so many words, that Wiggins minutes were his for the taking. Obviously, that is no longer the case. I think that everyone is surprised at how good Svi is and if Kelly returns a back up player i see him transferring.

Tom Jones 7 years, 5 months ago

Guys like you and Jack are why people think KU has an insecure fanbase.

Oubre transferring! LOL

Jack Wilson 7 years, 5 months ago

Tom: It's not insecurity. I don't care if the guy transfers. Guys like you were surprised White transferred, were shocked that Tharpe left, and were dumfounded as to why CF would ever leave KU. All it takes is a little thought to figure out that when playing time is limited, top players move to other spots.

I noticed you had commented about CF that he didn't want the competition. This shows you don't conceptualize the issue of playing time as a driving force for transfers.

You also posted earlier that "Self didn't run off anyone" regarding CF. I take it the revelation (of sorts) that Tharpe said that a "majority" of the reason he left was coach Self's "decision" was a surprise.

It's apparent that you don't get it -- I guess you can "LOL" on that.

Tom Jones 7 years, 5 months ago

"Guys like you were surprised White transferred, were shocked that Tharpe left, and were dumfounded as to why CF would ever leave KU"

What? I wasn't surprised at any of these guys leaving. Try explaining your own words instead of manufacturing ones and ascribing them to me. Playing time is often a driving force for transfers.

White was never going to play many minutes and he figured that out.

CF didn't want the competition, that's correct. He and his father felt "entitled" and they weren't willing to fight for it.

If you think Self ran off Frankamp or simply don't know what you're talking about. If Tharpe had taken care of his own business, he would have gone nowhere. Self gave him a ton of leeway, more than he deserved and more than most players who display his lack of on and off the court responsibility.

CF leaving was the last thing Self wanted or expected. I get that it's easier to take the tack that you seem to gravitate towards, but it's simply (and transparently) false. Sorry if the truth hurts.

Kelly Oubre is not a whiny diva or a team cancer like CF. He's going to be starting either late this year or next and you'll be having a healthy plate of crow for dinner. ;) Not everyone gets it right away. Self knows this, and knowledgeable fans of the game and the program know it.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 5 months ago

I didn't say Self ran off CF; I don't think he did.

But he clearly directed Tharpe to the door. That's running him off. Your inability to grasp the nuance here is obvious. You say it was Tharpe that didn't do things -- "take care of his own business', and "on and off the court responsibility." Don't disagree there. But it was Self, per Tharpe's own words, that showed him the door. A "majority" of the reason he left was coach Self's "decision". In other words, he'd be hear now but for coach Self's decision. That's getting run off, regardless of the rationale behind the "decision." That's the nuance.

You are calling CF a "whiny diva" and a "team cancer" -- Did you just make that up? By all reports he was a pretty nice kid. Just like Tharpe. And White. You obviously have some pretty strong dislike for CF, saying he felt "entitled." That further suggests that you don't think that legitimate playing time issues drive transfers (you referred to fighting for his time). Perhaps you do recognize that playing time is an aspect of this -- you say you do -- but your comments on CF indicate something else. That comment about staying to "fight" for his time could be applied to White, too. Is he a "diva"?

And on Oubre, no, I have not said he won't start. Actually, I'm hopeful he'll respond and "get it." I have speculated at what might occur if he stays behind Svi and Selden returns. That's what the "what if" part means. I do think Svi is the real deal, and it might be hard to unseat him from the lineup, though.

Tom Jones 7 years, 5 months ago

It appears you and I have different opinions on the meaning of the term "run off". Usually it's used to refer to someone who gets recruited "over" or someone who gets benched indefinitely for something other than performance. As I said, Tharpe was given chances over and over. He displayed poor decision-making capability off but also on the court too often to continue playing once there was a viable alternative. The photo scandal was simply the straw that broke the camel's back. Self didn't "direct him to the door"...he directed himself.

I don't dislike Conner, but it doesn't take long to realize what an ego he has (and where it comes from). Guys that play for HCBS have to check their egos at the door. That's just how it works. Let's just say this is addition by subtraction and leave it at that. He'll be happier at WSU and he'll get to play more. It's a win-win.

AWIII (even moreso than Conner) just isn't really physically gifted enough to get on the court on the defensive end to play for Bill Self. He's a great kid and I imagine he'll get good minutes at Nebraska.

It's fine, Jack. Speculate all you want. That's what the internet is all about. You're obviously not "connected" and so I wouldn't expect you to know what's *actually going on with the team.

Just don't act like you do, that's all. ;)

Rodney Crain 7 years, 5 months ago

I agree with you 100% Jack! Great Post!!!!

Insecure, Spoiled, Illogical, the only place I have heard our fan based described this way is well here. Even when presented with facts, or a realistic critique of the program, team or coach "they" (whoever that is) think it is sacrilege to speak negatively even if it is a reasonable approach.

Jack as always fact based, researched, and on spot.

Thank you.

Chris Shaw 7 years, 5 months ago

No way Selden leaves for the NBA. Somebody is not gonna be happy between svi, Greene, selden, and it oubre. Selden is trying to give away his minutes and oubre is currently odd man out which sucks. No way oubre stays another year to sit the bench. He would transfer which would truly be unfortunate.

Ian Emerson 7 years, 5 months ago

Ive got to admit Waynes jumper and handles have not looked elite. I know we have talked about Kelly transferring but will Brannen sit idly by aswell?

Mike Riches 7 years, 5 months ago

It's still very early in the season. I think Oubre will be a big contributor this year. He just has a lot to figure out right now. Self has talked several times about how Mario and Julian didn't play until Christmas for the same reasons. Whether he eventually starts or backs up Svi this entire year, I expect him to be playing a lot of minutes by season's end. The only place Kelly wants to transfer to is the NBA, so he's not going to sit out a season by transferring to another school, and delay that plan even more. If we're fortunate enough to have him back next year (which may be a real possibility) he will have plenty of minutes, regardless of who else is here.

Ian Emerson 7 years, 5 months ago

Good point Mike. The sitting out a year adds an interesting twist to any would be tranfers story.

Tyler Capone 7 years, 5 months ago

Selden needs to step it up. He hasn't looked any better this year than last year. That whole knee innury excuse really doesn't seem to be true

Rodney Crain 7 years, 5 months ago

Frank looks like he is taking a mug shot photo?

Rodney Crain 7 years, 5 months ago

Adam - I do not think he is trying to look all business. It is either or joke or he is not happy about something. Maybe he had his eye on one of those black watches and did not get one.

Ian Emerson 7 years, 5 months ago

Frank needs a sweet handle bar mustache. Dont know why. Just feel like it would be tight.

Mark Wooden 7 years, 5 months ago

I am confused; what does NBA draft stock potential have any bearing on thr current status of this collegiate season.

Ian Emerson 7 years, 5 months ago

If you are a pre season lottery prediction or possible draft pick everything you do in the collegiate season effects your stock. Make no mistake if it is an option every players dream is to play in the NBA.

Rob Bedford III 7 years, 5 months ago

A nice win over an opponent that actually has a winning record. The game @ Georgetown will be another good test to see how this team has progressed.

Mick Allen 7 years, 5 months ago

This comment is not directed at you Rodney, but it is directed at more than a few KU fans who have frequently used this site to to question Mason's ability to start at point guard for our Jayhawks. He goes 11 of 18 from the field, 4 of 7 or 8 from 3, 17 assists, with 6 turnovers, 17 rebounds, and 4 steals and was chosen all tournament. May we now all get on board with the fact that he is our point guard and a good one. He will have games where his decision making is closely scrutinized, but what else is new? He has matured from last year and understands the pace and tempo HCBS wants. As I have stated before he is relentless and the toughest kid we have. When he adds the" floater" to his game. he did hit one against Tennessee, he will have the whole package. The floater will keep him from taking the ball all the way to the hoop when he penetrates and is unable to drop the ball off underneath or to kick out for the three, and reduce the number he gets swatted by the bigs.As Keegan, also one who recognized Mason's potential said, he can be Sherron Lite. I will now step down from my soap box.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 5 months ago

Mick is the original Mason fan, we have to admit that. Like summer of 2013, as I recall. But we can all jump on the bandwagon. I got about a year ago, somewhat similar in time to my exit from the Tharpe bandwagon. We can all change our minds with better evidence.

Mason won't be perfect. We can't expect that. We can expect that he not do what he did vs. Kentucky. It's all a learning process. The guy played one way his entire life -- as a big time scorer. We're seeing the rough edges being sanded off. And without a doubt, the best ball handler (dribbler) here in recent memory.

Mason has grit. His defensive effort is tremendous. Mason's ability to stop easy penetration is a big difference from last season's issues. Again, he'll have his down moments like every player. But it seems as though we may have found the guy.

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 5 months ago

Mason certainly plays with a lot of bull dog toughness. I particularly love his intensity, ball handling skills, defensive toughness, and ability to get into the lane to break down defenses. He still makes a boatload of execution mistakes when he penetrates but expect that will improve as he gets more experience. Mason converts about (what seems to be at least) 1 in 4 opportunities created by his phenomenal ability to break down defenses.

Graham's going to have a hard time seeing the floor if Mason keeps improving. It's clear Self has complete confidence in Mason and will play him 40 minutes in tough games.

Ian Emerson 7 years, 5 months ago

To me Devonte is supremely talented but Frank is like the James Brown of basketball, hes the hardest working man in show business. Its safe to say In the future and even now Frank and Devonte will be excellent 1, 2 punch at the PG spot.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 5 months ago

Mick, I no longer have any doubts about Mason. He has been the second best player on our team so far in this young season. When Moonlight Graham is healthy again he gives us two solid guards that can run the point as well as break any press as they bring the ball up the court.

Add Franks rebounding to the list of improvements he has made since last year and as you said he is a consistent floater away from being the best PG we have had around since Sherron. You were correct sir on your long standing view of Franks ability.

Our biggest weakness last year, is now a strength. Anyone who doubts that should check with MSU.

Erich Hartmann 7 years, 5 months ago

When we say Mason could be the next Sherron (or SherronLite), we say it as a total complement, as Sherron Collins was an absolute warrior! But also recall Sherron didnt quite have the assist/turnover ratio that RussRob did. When you are pushing the envelope, and also carry a scoring role, it wont be mistake-free basketball--it just wont.

All I want to see is awareness and smartness in specific game situations, such as late-game lead protection...and Mason is improving steadily. Got no complaints about Frank Mason. He is s-o-l-i-d.

Harlan Hobbs 7 years, 5 months ago

I wouldn't worry too much about Oubre. He will come along. I seem to remember just a few months ago, some were saying that Svi wouldn't be playing much this year. So much for us amateur prognosticators.

Let the season roll on, and I'll bet that when it is over, we will be talking about another stellar year for Coach Self and his program. Don't know if they can overcome Texas, but if they do, it will be just another example of why he is as good as any coach in the country.

Adam James 7 years, 5 months ago

I'm more concerned about Selden that anyone else. He has a difficult time finishing in the lane and his footwork defensively is not that great. He is not a great rebounder from his position and height. Teams have realized that his only threat is his jumper and even on a good day he isn't great. I feel like Self is trapped with him because he played so much last year, but if KO was given a spot like Selden was last year he would be much better by now. The difficulty at any level when it comes to coaching is when you have a player that plays all the time as a freshman or soph and then someone better comes in and that player is still around. This is the case with Selden.

Bob Bailey 7 years, 5 months ago

Why does Zenger not get the point? It has not carried over to either Women's BB or to Football.

Our AD needs to be a whale of a judge of coaching talent!

Mike Riches 7 years, 5 months ago

Although there were definitely some questionable plays throughout this game, I liked the overall play. Had we played our best, we could have won by 25 (or even 32!) But a win is a win nonetheless, especially against such a quality opponent. I'm so impressed with Perry! I know he's been critiqued as not being a vocal leader, but on the floor the guy is getting it done!

Tony Bandle 7 years, 5 months ago


1] Did anyone hear the rumor that a certain soon-to-be "ex" Nebraska coach is being offered the Kansas job??

2] Kelly will transfer next the NBA!!

3] I'm with Mick and Suzi...Mason is "The Little Engine That Could".

4] I am shocked [pleased but shocked] that Svi is catching on so quickly...this is lterally a high school kid playing with elite college players..and more than holding his own. Svi may end up being one of Coach Self's greatest recruiting coups.

5] I had a dream last night that KU and UK met again in the NCAA finals. KU was 38-1 and UK was 39-0. Everybody assumed that the result would be the same as the first game ......but it wasn't. Using the greatest three point shooting attack in NCAA title history, KU totally negated UK's height with a barrage of three pointers that left Coach Calamari speechless [a miracle in itself!!!

Rodney Crain 7 years, 5 months ago

If you mean Kelly tries out in the D league as a undrafted free agent I agree. He has to get his season turned around by Jan. 1 or that is where he is heading if he leaves. I think he is back another year or leaves for another school.

That is some dream. There is no way KY will go undefeated, there is no way KU goes undefeated the rest of the season, KU beating KY in the final would be one of the biggest upsets in the history of college basketball considering what happened recently. It could happen and it has a better chance then me winning the lottery, a dream of mine, but both are not very likely. It would be great to make the final four this year.

Mick Allen 7 years, 5 months ago

Thank you Jack. You are correct Frank is still a work in progress but his upside is very encouraging to me. Your point about his defense preventing the point he is guarding from penetrating into the lane and breaking us down is very insightful and reflects your understanding of the game.It is a nuance the casual fan wouldn't assess any importance to.

Tyler Capone 7 years, 5 months ago

if Selden is going to be inconsistent all year again we need Oubre or Greene to really step it up. Svi can't be the only 2/3 that makes an impact. Also think its pretty funny when Mari takes're wide open for a reason.

Mick Allen 7 years, 5 months ago

Thank you Rodney. As far as importance to the team I agree he is our second most valuable now, right behind Perry. Work on the floater. I do respect your knowledge of the game Rodney.

Erich Hartmann 7 years, 5 months ago

Selden's defensive presence is sorely missed whenever he goes to the bench...He as a frosh, was the 2nd best defender last year, behind Wiggins. That was very raw, young Wiggins+Selden+Mason that beat Duke, with help from Ellis and Jamari. This year, I do expect Selden's scoring will come. He just needs to keep being aggressive. His aggressiveness to the hoop drew how many fouls on MichState, which took the aggressiveness right out of Izzo's bunch. And could it be that MichState was afraid to take it inside vs. BigCliff (who is nothing but a dose of Izzo's own medicine in the paint).

And didnt Selden have 7+ assists in one of the Orlando games? Wayne Selden will be just fine. Selden is already a big-impact defensive player, and ya know that just warms Self's heart. Selden will get 30+mpg because of it. As will Frank and Perry. Svi is an unbelievable 17yr old force...So refreshing to have Dickie Vitale gush over several of OUR diaper-dandies for a change!

Erich Hartmann 7 years, 5 months ago

Bill Self doesnt let 5star recruits NOT play like 5star recruits. Especially when his "developmental track" guys start to compete for precious game mpg...that's all the motivation the 5star guys will need.

Joseph Bullock 7 years, 5 months ago

I was at both the Champions Classic, and the Orlando Classic, and I often watch what happens, off the ball (which is not often shown on television). To watch Mason defend the MS Point Guard and fight through picks, was a joy to see. The way he slides his body, and contorts it, to get around those screens, is totally impressive. He is a much better, overall defender, this year (which you always hope is the case, that a player will improve). But what I was most impressed with, is how from a couple weeks ago, to this week, he looked more, to pass first! Against Kentucky, he seemed to try to prove himself, going more 'one on one'! It is true that he never played PG b4 last year, and it is a process, which he is still working to master, but what a competitor, he is.
Also, where are all of those idiots now, who were wishing Perry Ellis would be gone, after the Kentucky game!!! Nobody had a good game against Kentucky, and let us not forget, that Kentucky was practicing as a team, during the summer, because they played in a tournament in the Bahamas, which put them light years ahead of us. That is not to take anything away from them, but they play their best, and we played our worst. I do hope to play them again, when it matters most. PS: KO will be fine, and it would surprise me if he were to transfer. The game simply needs to slow down for him. His minutes will go up. Also, it isn't always who starts, but pay attention to who finishes. See Lucas/Alexander! Rock Chalk!

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