Thursday, January 22, 2015

Less than perfect: Greene misses FT, but his trey huge vs. Oklahoma

Kansas guard Brannen Greene throws up three fingers after sinking a three against Oklahoma to reclaim the lead late in the second half on Monday, Jan. 19, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Brannen Greene throws up three fingers after sinking a three against Oklahoma to reclaim the lead late in the second half on Monday, Jan. 19, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Brannen Greene is no longer perfect from the free-throw line.

So is Greene, Kansas University’s sophomore guard from Juliette, Georgia, devastated by the free throw he missed with 27.8 seconds left in Monday’s 85-78 victory over Oklahoma in Allen Fieldhouse?

“A little bit,” Greene said with a smile.

He stepped to the line— with KU leading, 82-78 — 17-for-17 on the season.

“I smiled at the free-throw line. I would have liked to have kept it going, but it’s fine. I would have liked to make it in that situation, obviously. It’s all right, though,” added Greene, who did hit his second toss, putting the Jayhawks ahead by five down the stretch.

Greene connected on what was referred to as the biggest shot of the game — a three with 3:25 left that turned a 71-70 deficit into a two-point lead.

“It’s up there,” Greene said, asked to rate the importance of the shot with others he’s taken in his life. “I’d say top two or three while I’ve been here. We needed that.”

Greene, who played nine minutes the second half and 15 minutes total, had logged just five minutes in a loss at Iowa State and three in a win versus Oklahoma State in KU’s prior two games.

“I need to improve on defense. I know that,” Greene said. “I’m not making excuses for myself. I’m trying to improve.”

He said “of course” three times when asked if he’d had any meetings with coach Bill Self lately.

“Got to have ’em,” Greene said, smiling. “We’ve talked. We’re both on the same page. I’ve got improvements I need to make to get on the court, but I just want to help this team. I feel I can. But I’ve got to do what coach wants out of me.”

Greene, who talked some trash with OU’s Isaiah Cousins after three made threes (in four attempts) and had the trash talk returned by Cousins (3-for-8 from three), said the woofing was not personal.

“It was fun. In the heat of the game, we were having a good time. He was having fun. I was having fun. It was competitive talk,” Greene said.

He listened intently during a batch of timeouts taken as KU saw a 20-point lead turn into a four-point deficit versus the Sooners.

“Just how you’ve got to make plays ... that’s what coach was saying in the huddle — get stops and make plays on the other end,” Greene said. “Going to your best players. Getting the ball inside to ‘P’ (Perry Ellis), forcing help, getting the ball to Frank (Mason III), letting him dribble drive. Getting the ball to Kelly (Oubre Jr.), making plays.”

Greene said, looking back, it was not that difficult playing Iowa State in an 8 p.m. game Saturday in Ames and then facing OU on Monday night in Allen.

“Their offensive sets are pretty simple,” Greene said of the Sooners. “Just a bunch of dribble weaves: Take the guy, take the guy. It’s not so much knowing their sets. It’s guarding their players.

“That’s the hardest part, guarding (Buddy) Hield, Cousins, (Ryan) Spangler and (TaShawn) Thomas. They’ve got a really good team, better than last year.”

KU (15-3, 4-1) will meet Texas (14-4, 3-2) at 1 p.m. Saturday in Austin, Texas.

Hoops fan destined to meet Jayhawks?: President Barack Obama, a huge basketball fan whose brother-in-law is former Oregon State hoops coach Craig Robinson, will be speaking at 11:20 a.m. today in Anschutz Pavilion, which is next to historic Allen Fieldhouse.

“Hopefully we are going to get lucky and have a chance to run into him, just like I’m sure everybody else is hoping they can, too,” Self said Wednesday.

President Obama told Topeka mayor Larry Wolgast upon arriving Wednesday at Forbes Field that he planned on “seeing the Jayhawks” today.

Pursuit of Ingram: KU’s coaches this week attended a game of Brandon Ingram, a 6-foot-8 senior forward from Kinston (North Carolina) High who is ranked No. 18 nationally by He has a final list of KU, Kentucky, UCLA, Duke, North Carolina and North Carolina State.

Ingram said KU’s landing No. 14-rated power forward Carlton Bragg helps the Jayhawks’ cause.

“Of course it is appealing. That’s my guy and I love the way he plays and I love Kansas. My Kansas visit was great. When I went out there (for Late Night in Phog) I developed a good relationship with Norm Roberts and Bill Self,” Ingram told “After the season stops I want to take a few unofficials again and then narrow it down and see who is leaving after March Madness.”

Pursuit of Rabb: Ivan Rabb, a 6-9 senior power forward from Bishop O’Dowd High in Oakland, who is ranked No. 7 by, is working to schedule visits to KU, UCLA and California, his mom told Rabb, who has visited Arizona and Kentucky, may visit KU for the KU-Kansas State game on Jan. 31.


Joe Ross 7 years, 6 months ago

I suppose judging from Ingrams comments that he would be softer on KY than Kansas. The Wildcats have 6 forwards on their current roster, none of which are seniors, and they are recruiting more. If Ingram is waiting to see who leaves after March Madness, it is an indication that he would like space cleared for playing time. He wont have as much of it at Kentucky who, despite the annual exodus of its players to the NBA, is restocking the roster with fresh blue-chip recruits. They will also be a deep team next year, so Ingram may look forward to another platoon-type system or something related to it that seeks to distribute minutes as evenly as possible to a stable of uber-talented phenoms. Kansas, on the other hand, has less forwards on its current roster (5) but Ingram would undoubtedly be placed above three of them: Mickelson, Lucas, and Traylor. Perry Ellis and Cliff Alexander, provided he stays, would earn the nod over Ingram. Yes, we are recruiting forwards as is Kentucky, but as this fact is true of both schools its really a wash. Except that, of course, Ingram has a great relationship with the incoming Carlton Bragg. Considering his comments, I think things look good for landing Ingram. He's very athletic, is aggressive around the basket, has the rudiments of an outside shot, and has the instincts to be a rim protector. The knock on him is that he's so skinny. When you play in Division I basketball you have to body up on some big boys in the paint area. At 6'8" and 180 pounds, he'd probably have to put on forty more to be at playing weight. Hudy has her work cut out for her if we land this kid. Ivan Rabb said he'd like to package with Newman and/or Stone at Kansas or Kentucky. I just dont see how KY has room for all of those guys. Kansas has considerably more space. And gosh, Id feel badly for a couple of guys, but I dont see Landen Lucas or Hunter Mickelson figuring into the picture at all next year.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 6 months ago

You sure Ingram would play over a senior Traylor? Who here realistically thought Traylor would still be starting and playing ahead of Cliff more times than not still down the stretch. I'm not saying you're wrong, just that based on this year, I don't see how you can automatically put Ingram over Traylor.

Realistically, KU's chances with Ingram and Rabb rest on what Cliff does. Kentucky is likely going to lose 3 of the bigs so there's a good chance they land a couple more front court players. One other unknown that could throw a huge monkey wrench into recruiting is Calipari. David Blatt isn't likely to back in Cleveland next year and that happens, Cal is going to be the front runner for that job the he is who LeBron wants to play for.

Joe Ross 7 years, 6 months ago

Traylor starting has more to do with what Alexander has been doing wrong and less with what Traylor has been doing right. Am I sure Ingram would play over Traylor? No. None of us would know except Coach Self, but we are all here to offer our perspectives. I don't have any difficulty making the statement though, despite Traylor's senior status next year. The best players will play. I imagine you could see something like Tarik Black and Joel Embiid, where the veteran player plays while the freshman comes along, and then the freshman takes over...perhaps in January.

Dont look for Cal to move to the NBA though. Cal is a glory hound (he LOVES the attention...especially nationally). He wont get that in the NBA to the same extent he does in college. Kentucky boosters have deep pockets and can match monetary offers by prospective NBA teams. Cals not going anywhere.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 6 months ago

LeBron is a bigger deal than Kentucky basketball and LeBron wants Cal to be his coach which is why his name was linked to the Cavs last season. If David Blatt get fired, I will 100% guarantee you that you will a ton of Calipari to Cleveland talk because that's LeBron's first choice of coach.

Joe Ross 7 years, 6 months ago

In the first place, LeBron is not a bigger deal than the winningest program in college basketball. But even if that were true, it matters not. Nor does it matter what LeBron wants concerning Cal. It matters what Cal wants concerning his future whereabouts. There is no money to be gained by moving to the NBA. There is much less adoration waiting for him there, where fans adore teams and players rather than coaches (in college BB the coach is the face of a program). There is the risk that he will not be successful; after all, the Cavs aren't exactly lighting it up despite having LeBron and KLove. And the fact is, Calipari has job security at KY and autonomy. And I guarantee that Cal's failure in the NBA in his first stint will play in his head. Cal has gone on record saying that the lines of coaching and changing young mens' lives are blurring, and that he really loves that. Cal has had multiple opportunities to return and he hasn't taken them. It's clear why. The upside in returning to the NBA to coach is far outweighed by loss and the risk of loss by leaving Kentucky. He's not going anywhere.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 6 months ago

Ingram is a small forward, a wing -- a three. He is not a post player. He would not be competing with Traylor, who is of course plays the four and is strictly a post player.

With some luck, Traylor won't play much at all next season.

Joe Ross 7 years, 6 months ago

Good points. Were Ingram a wing with smaller size I would agree with you, but Self will attempt to add weight to his 6'8" frame and play him in the post some when he gains experience, because Ingram's post footwork is off the charts. We've heard Coach on countless occasions extol the virtues of swingmen and guys who can play multiple positions because it increases the number of combinations in which he can play his best guys. And because it's a numbers game (in terms of how many players can play certain positions) this will have an impact on Jamari Traylor's PT, although to what extent I am not sure of (coach's decision). But there is also value on the defensive end of the floor if your 3 wing can defense post players. Ingram has a lot of weapons in his arsenal.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 6 months ago

I just read an article on Ingram at

and he seems to be leaning a bit more to KU than in the past. He spoke of a good relationship w/HCBS and is good friends with Bragg. To be honest, i thought more of him as a 3 than a 4 so in my opinion KO's decision could have a major impact on his plus with Greene and Svi, he is not going to be guaranteed minutes at either KU or UK.

Depending on scholarships, I still have Newman ahead of Ingram but wish we had any shot at Stone.

Good points on Cal..

Greg Lux 7 years, 6 months ago

That is the Bluest of Blue Chips out there.

Robert Brock 7 years, 6 months ago

Zimmerman, like Maker, enjoys goofing around on the perimeter most of the time. Diallo, on the other hand, is a great athlete - a terrific rebounder, defender, and shot blocker. Diallo is the defensive dynamo Bill Self would like to add to the squad. Unfortunately, I think we miss on him. Iowa State. Yep, ISU.

Zimmerman will choose a program that will allow him to roam the outskirts. UNLV.

Maker? Too much hype and too little strength. China, perhaps.

Ingram? Tobacco Road.

That leaves Jaylen Brown and Malik Newman. That'll do.

Elias Dunlavy 7 years, 6 months ago

Iv heard a couple of guys on the recruiting circuit say that its doubtful that we ever see Thon Maker in a CBB jersey. They said he is more likely to go to Europe for a year after he reclassifies to 2015 or even go to Prep school for a year before becoming eligible for the NBA

Gerry Butler 7 years, 6 months ago

not quite sure where your hearing Ingram is wrapped up for Kentucky there Adam. I've head and read from multiple sources quite the opposite. have heard as Joe stated Ingram and Bragg are very tight loves the Ku program we shall see multiple recruiting sources shows KU leading for him. as far as far as Zimmerman coming you can FORGET that not going to Kentucky either but have said for some time and now seeing more and more that's its highly likely he staying home or very close to home probably ends up playing at UNLV. the feel I get from things I seen, and heard we end up pretty good chance of Malik Newman, Brandon Ingram and of course Carlton Bragg GO HAWKS

Dan Burns 7 years, 6 months ago

Joe, I'd have to agree that ranked freshman forward would get play time over Traylor, Lucas and Mickelson. personally, i think Hunter should be seeing more play time than Lucas whose missing easy shots, turnovers and missed opportunities.

Dirk Medema 7 years, 6 months ago

It's really smart move by the elite (top 10) players that are potential 1-dones to wait to see what the make-up of the various teams will be NBA declarations. There's not that much difference between where they'll eat/sleep, train and play ball for a year compared to who they'll be playing/sharing PT with to not have the latter be a significant/determining factor in their decision.

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