Kansas defeats Northern Colorado, 109-72

  • 7 p.m., Nov. 13, 2015
  • Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS

Friday, November 13, 2015

Easy being Greene: KU junior goes off for 18 points to lead KU to 109-72 win over Northern Colorado

Kansas guard Brannen Greene (14) throws his arms up after capping off a string of three against Northern Colorado during the second half, Friday, Nov. 13, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Brannen Greene (14) throws his arms up after capping off a string of three against Northern Colorado during the second half, Friday, Nov. 13, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Brannen Greene remembers awakening from three-hour hip surgery April 16 in Nashville’s Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center, facing the realization he’d be on crutches eight weeks and be away from basketball more than five months.

“My plan,” the Kansas University guard from Juliette, Georgia, said after Friday’s 109-72 season-opening victory over Northern Colorado in Allen Fieldhouse, “was to work as hard as I could to come back and have a solid junior season, to do whatever I can for this team.”

He’s off to a good start in making his plan a reality.

Just three days after being unable to play in KU’s second and final exhibition game because of discomfort in the hip, Greene lit up the fieldhouse scoreboard to the tune of 18 points — one off a career high. He tied a career high by sinking five threes in five tries, copying last year’s performance against Georgetown, and also had a dunk en-route to perfect 6-of-6 marksmanship (1-of-2 from free throw line) in just 14 minutes.

In all, the Greene-led Jayhawks hit 15 threes in 26 tries, second-most threes made in a game in KU history. KU iced a school-record 16 treys against Baylor on Jan, 25, 2005.

“I felt good in warm-ups,” Greene said. “What I do is shoot. I was just ready. Whenever my time came, I was going to come in and do what I did. It feels to do well in a game. I’ve been back a while playing against these guys (since late September). I’m not lacking in confidence. I have confidence in my ability and know what I can do. Luckily the shots fell.”

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Bill Self on KU's hot offensive start to 2015-16 season

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self answers questions from the media following KU's season-opening, 109-72 victory over Northern Colorado at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Greene said his hip, which was operated on by Tennessee Titans surgeon J.W. Thomas Byrd, “usually does feel fine” and rarely locks as it did Tuesday. He was able to play in KU’s initial exhibition contest.

“He was anxious to get back on the court. He did everything he could to get back,” KU senior Perry Ellis said of Greene’s efforts during rehab. Ellis, by the way, scored 16 points off 5-of-7 shooting on a night KU hit 55.7 percent of its shots to Northern Colorado’s 39.3 percent. The 109 points was third best mark in a game in the Self era and most since 109 against Texas Tech in 2008.

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Greene, Graham and Ellis react to KU's 109-point night

Kansas basketball players Brannen Greene, Devonté Graham and Perry Ellis describe the enjoyment the Jayhawks had in scoring 109 points in their season opener against Northern Colorado.

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“Everybody played well. Brannen was on fire,” said Self, who personally congratulated Greene in the locker room on having an outstanding opener.

Of Greene’s long rehab which involved working out despite periods of intense pain, Self said: “Yes, Brannen worked hard. Brannen’s done a nice job for the most part in rehab. Let’s not get too excited and talk about it after Tuesday when we play a team capable of winning the Big 10 (Michigan State, 9 p.m., in Chicago) as opposed to talking about a game tonight with no pressure. When you have a big lead everybody shoots it better. Let’s see in a tight game that comes down to the last couple possessions.

“Brannen has done a nice job,” Self continued. “He has good days and bad days (physically). He’s not 100 percent. Tonight he showed what he can do shooting the ball.”

Greene confessed that he felt as if he had the hot hand Friday. He made four of his threes the final half, a half in which he had 14 of his 18 points.

“I can kind of let it go. Whenever you get into a rhythm you can pop the shot a little bit more. You’ve got a feel for the hoop,” Greene said. “It feels a little bit different once you get on a roll. That’s what me and Svi (Mykhailiuk, five points with one three in 16 minutes) do. We’re both great shooters. I’m sure he’ll get it rolling, too.”

Greene credited his teammates on a night Devonté Graham had a career-best eight assists and Frank Mason III tied a career high with nine dimes.

“The key was to play fast, come out with energy,” Greene said. “The defense picks up and we feed each other. Perry feeds. Devonté feeds. Frank feeds. It’s a trickle effect.”

Greene can only imagine more performances like Friday’s, just seven months after he woke in a daze in that Nashville facility.

“I definitely remember when I had it,” he said of the surgery. “I remember shaking the doctor’s hand and a minute later I’m going out. It was the craziest thing. He was in an all black suit and all of a sudden he’s ready to go. That’s all I remember ... going out and waking up, nobody being there,” he added with a smile, hoping he’s able to avoid such a surgery again during his hoop career.

— See what people were saying about the game during’s live coverage.

More news and notes from Kansas vs. Northern Colorado

By the Numbers: Kansas 109, Northern Colorado 72

By the Numbers: Kansas 109, Northern Colorado 72


Steve Zimmerman 7 years ago

Great sign, offensively, Greene is so solid. Let's hope he's not just feeling it for 1 night. But defensively, there's still a lot of room for improvement. He makes it easy for the opponent to drive from baseline. He will hopefully, correct his defense soon.

Priest Fontaine 7 years ago

Greene is still terrible on defense. Self was shaking his head after Greene spent too much time celebrating his made three while he man score an easy bucket on the other end. If he hasn't figured it out now, I'm worried he won't ever.

Brianna Zaleski 7 years ago

I'm SOOOOOO over all the posturing Greene does after EVERY 3. I was hoping he would've out grown that this year, but I was wrong. He was still showing up the UNC bench after his last 3. At that point we were up by 40. Yes, you are a good shooter, Brannen, please act like you've been there before.

Marius Rowlanski 7 years ago

If Greene can repeat this performance against MSU and show consistency throughout the season...then i will be impressed.

Marius Rowlanski 7 years ago

17 total assists between Mason and Graham. I get why Self is starting two point guards. That was the most impressive stat of the night.

Darrel Stice 7 years ago

@Brianna -"Yes, you are a good shooter, Brannen, please act like you've been there before." +1000

@KUSports - Love the "By the Numbers" at the end of articles after every game! Thanks for adding it this year!

Humpy Helsel 7 years ago

Don't get me wrong, I want to beat Michigan State by a similar score to last night. I'd settle winning by one point. But realistically, and for the long haul, we need MSU to bring us back to earth, humble us, show us what happens when you pick on teams your own size. Players listen better, are more focused, and hopefully, learn to outgrow stupid things like the post-3 point make celebration while playing to the crowd as you head back up court while the opposing team runs it up your butt. To balance the post-3 celebration act, what about a "celebration" after a poor shot selection, hurried 3 while guarded miss where you grab your head and scream "dumb." I actually think Svi and Brannen look a bit better on defense and trying to more than just spot up. If you want to see an almost professional approach to the game where you just keep playing without the theatrics regardless of the score, leaving the celebration it to the crowd and your teammates, see Perry and Frank.

Rodney Crain 7 years ago

Risky post on here Humpy. Ultra unrealistic positive comments are the expected norm on here. Not to me, but to most. I like your post.

Dominating win. MSU will provide a much better test on what we are without Diallo.

Regarding celebrations a couple of things; First off there is no issue to me in playing to the home crowd, everyone does it. Just do it with respect to your opponent. Green, to me crossed the line, slightly crossed it, but still it was unnecessary and unprovoked. Secondly, it still amazes me that players jump up and body up to each other to celebrate. Enough players have ruined their season and affected their careers when they are healthy doing that. For Green when he is having good days and bad days seems risky. Have fun let the emotion out, just don't risk injury jumping 2 feet in the air putting stress on a hip that is day to day. I like the picture of him hitting threes, not sitting on the bench injured.

Harlan Hobbs 7 years ago

Thanks for your insights, Humpy and Rodney. Very reasonable positions by both of you

Bee Bee 7 years ago

I ll be really impressed IF Greene or anyone else can make a shot in the NCAA Tourney when KU needs it. I say save the celebrating for when you win the NCAA Title.

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