Tuesday, December 22, 2015


Tom Keegan: Greene has shot to lead nation

Kansas guard Brannen Greene (14) watches one of his first-half three pointers, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Brannen Greene (14) watches one of his first-half three pointers, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.


— If Brannen Greene consistently puts forth the effort in all areas that he did in Saturday’s rout of Montana, then it’s not premature to say Bill Self already has made his best move of the season by suspending Greene for six games (minus one for good behavior).

Making a start in place of late-arriving Devonté Graham, Greene did all the things coaches and NBA scouts have wanted to see out of him since falling in love-at-first-sight with his drop-dead-gorgeous jump shot.

One game does not serve as proof of a permanent change, but in his third game back from the penalty imposed on Greene for flipping out over playing time, he played like somebody beginning to see the error of his past ways.

Greene not only moved aggressively without the ball, he looked as interested in preventing his man from scoring as in scoring himself. He hustled all over the court to stay with him and alertly retreated in defensive transition. All that hustle didn’t prevent him from having the energy to shoot as he usually does from long range, which is to say superbly.

In five games, Greene has a three-point percentage of .786 (11 for 14), .833 overall (15 for 18), .889 from the line (8 for 9). Emmett Naar from St. Mary’s of California leads the nation in three-point shooting (.694). In order to qualify, a player is required to play in 75 percent of his team’s games and average at least 2.5 made threes per game.

Greene is capable of reaching those minimum requirements and leading the nation in three-point percentage. Here’s how: defend the way he did vs. Montana so that he averages 18 minutes instead of the current 13.2. So far this season, Green has averaged a three-point field goal every six minutes on the floor. If he plays every game the rest of the way, he’ll reach the required 75 percent by the 20th game, at Iowa State on Monday, Jan. 25. It won’t require .786 or even Naar’s .694 to lead the nation. A year ago, Eastern Illinois’ Cornell Johnston led with a .519 three-point percentage.

As well as Kansas moves the ball, Greene will have no shortage of open shots, so it’s just a matter of whether he defends and rebounds well enough to earn ample minutes to put up enough shots to qualify.


Suzi Marshall 6 years, 7 months ago

I can't believe how loud the snap of the net was from Greene's corner 3 ball when he told the dribble vs Montana. The pop of the net indicates reminded me of how the catchers mitt sounded from a Nolan Ryan fastball. Very distinctive.

Kent Richardson 6 years, 7 months ago

Nice stuff from our on site reporter. Thanks.

Jay Scott 6 years, 7 months ago

Greene or Svi are going to have to play significant minutes at some point. It may be the difference between winning or not winning a national championship. There are too many contenders with 6'7, 6'8 and 6'9 wings. Selden isn't going to be able to guard the 3 effectively every night. For all the discussion about getting certain post players minutes, this is every bit as critical, maybe more.

Kent Richardson 6 years, 7 months ago

Nice call Jay, and confirmation of your belief in the deep rotation need. Not only minutes to spell the big three but the size factor as a reposte to taller wings we will see. So far Frank is our MVP and you need to protect your King or game over. The post play is our possible trump card when "fools gold" becomes plain old iron pyrite. Since we are talking national championship we need to have a full house.

John Randall 6 years, 7 months ago

Could you please repost that last riposte?

Armen Kurdian 6 years, 7 months ago

After reading just the headline, I thought Brannen was entering the Presidential race. He could hardly do worse than a lot of folks on both sides.

Mike Riches 6 years, 7 months ago

Only two things can get in Brannen's way, attitude and injury. We've seen both hold him back. I'm hoping he steers clear of both for the rest of his career. I think he's proven he can outplay Svi, which I did not see coming when they both signed. We need BG to be at his best in March and hopefully April, to really contend for a NC.

Brett McCabe 6 years, 7 months ago

Sort of bored with BG at this point. If he hasn't figured it out by his Junior year, will he ever figure it out? For the good of the team, let's hope that he does, but I'll believe it when I see it against someone other than Montana's Sisters of the Blind.

Eric Bernauer 6 years, 7 months ago

Outplay Svi? I've never seen BG outplay Svi. Out shoot Svi, sure. But outplay? Svi plays night and day better defense, makes better passes, and handles the ball much, much better. When Kansas is at it's best on offense the ball is pass, pass, pass,pass, and great shot. When BG is in the game the ball sticks to his hands a bit. Maybe not a lot, but enough to allow the defense to move. He still plays a bit too nonchalantly. That steal that Montana took from him in the first half was embarrassing. It wasn't done under pressure, he wasn't blindsided.

He has a great shot. A wonderful shot. Even with Wayne scorching the nets, Brannen has the best, most reliable shot. We need him. But outplay Svi when you look at the total package over the course of the season, not that I've seen.

Jay Scott 6 years, 7 months ago

Agreed. Svi is a far superior player. There's a reason he's a first rounder in mock drafts.

Benz Junque 6 years, 7 months ago

Svi makes plenty of errors out there that most people ignore because he's not the resident whipping boy.

Doug Longstaff 6 years, 7 months ago

He won't get it, because it's highly unlikely that he or anyone on KU's roster will average the 2.5 per game minimum. KU's only had 3 guys EVER average 2.5 makes per game (Brown twice, Boschee and Thomas). Bill's never had one. I'm surprised the NCAA has such a high minimum made requirement.

He has a good chance to lead the conference, though. The Big 12 has a 1.5 makes per game minimum to qualify. He has a good shot at that.

Benz Junque 6 years, 7 months ago

If he keeps playing hard like he did against Montana then he will easily get enough minutes to get the numbers needed to qualify. Greene made three of four from deep in the first half and spent the entire second half trying to get assists on passes to Svi and others. He could have easily put three more shots up and finished with 5 makes on the game.

In the three games where Greene played more than 10 minutes he had 3, 3 and 5 made threes. In the two games where he did not play hard enough to earn double digit minutes? He had ZERO threes made in both of them.


John Randall 6 years, 7 months ago

The Montana game was such a mis-match, nobody could tell who was playing hard or just coasting through a laugher. Would be nice to get the same results against OU and ISU.

Michael Bennett 6 years, 7 months ago

He currently averages 2.2 made threes a game, I'd say that if another guard or wing gets injured or even if he keeps up his current production (3/game since suspension) he has a very good chance of qualifying.

Humpy Helsel 6 years, 7 months ago

I keep going back to the Michigan State game. I didn't rewatch the game because I preferred keeping food, even with my post-game reduced appetite, firmly in my stomach. But what jumped out at me while watching that game live was how MSU was able to defend the perimeter, and neither BG or Svi could get an open look. Not every team can defend that way, but they could on that night.

Jay Scott 6 years, 7 months ago

Bad news Humpy. As you get older you'll have less and less trouble keeping food in and around your stomach. You'll have to work harder and harder to limit it's staying power.

Benz Junque 6 years, 7 months ago

Greene made no effort to move around to GET open. That's why he was benched. That's kinda what we're getting at here and in this article. If Greene plays like he did against Montana (moving without the ball trying to get open, making efforts on defense) then he will get minutes and will make shots.

I agree with Keegan that IF Greene sees the pattern that playing more aggressive gets him that he'll at the very least break the school record of 50.5% by Hinrich and be in the running for the Big 12 and national leader in 3 pt. fg%.

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