Thursday, March 10, 2016

Jayhawks roll vs. K-State to open postseason

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) gives some instruction to Kansas forward Carlton Bragg Jr. during the first half, Thursday, March 10, 2016 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. At right is Kansas guard Brannen Greene.

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) gives some instruction to Kansas forward Carlton Bragg Jr. during the first half, Thursday, March 10, 2016 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. At right is Kansas guard Brannen Greene.


— After playing, and winning, two hard-fought battles against Kansas State during the regular season, the Kansas University men’s basketball team made it clear it was not interested in a third.

In the quarterfinal round of the Big 12 Championship at Sprint Center, top-seeded Kansas jumped out to a double-digit lead early in the first half and never looked back, rolling to a 85-63 victory over the Wildcats.

Kansas, which shot 57 percent from the floor and looked incredibly smooth and efficient on offense all afternoon, got contributions from all kinds of players in this one. But few were as impressive as the one delivered by senior Perry Ellis, who, three years ago on this very floor, enjoyed his breakout as a freshman. Thursday, Ellis finished with 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting and 6 rebounds and played with the kind of fire that made it clear that he’s interested in capping his Big 12 tournament career the same way he began it — like a beast.

Devonté Graham also had a memorable day in the win over the Wildcats, particularly in the first half. Graham finished with 11 points, 8 assists and 3 steals on 5-of-8 shooting in the first half.

Frank Mason III (16 points, 7 assists) and Carlton Bragg (career-high 12 points, 7 1st half, on 5-of-6 shooting) helped pace the KU offense.

Defensively, the Jayhawks (28-4) were up and down throughout the first half but played hard from start to finish. They refused to let up even after getting up by 20 points or more midway through the second half and looked like a team hellbent on developing its killer instinct heading into crunch time of the season.

The victory was the third, and by far most decisive, for the Jayhawks this season over K-State (17-16) and also marked KU’s 12th consecutive win overall.

Here’s a quick look back at some of the action:

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Self, Mason and Bragg discuss tourney win vs. KSU

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self, as well as Jayhawks Frank Mason III and Carlton Bragg Jr. answer questions from the media following KU's 85-63 victory over rival Kansas State at the Big 12 Tournament, in Kansas City, Mo.

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• The game turned when: Kansas built an early 17-7 lead and established an early cushion that allowed the Jayhawks to play freely the rest of the way. K-State, as it has done all season, never quit playing and hung around down 15 for most of the game until a 12-5 Kansas run midway through the second half turned a 61-45 lead into a 73-50 lead and set the tone for the finish.

• Offensive highlight: After K-State’s zone defense swarmed him for most of the first half, KU senior Ellis caught the ball in the short corner after an offensive rebound by Brannen Greene and immediately drove it to the lane. After two hard dribbles, Ellis hesitated, which bought him space, and then launched a soft shot off of his back foot from 10 feet. The shot hit nothing but net and Ellis calmly ran back down to the other end. Later in the first half, Ellis struck again. This time after a careless turnover by K-State, which Mason tracked down and proceeded to sprint toward the rim. With Ellis trailing, Mason dropped a perfect pass off to the KU senior, who soared through the lane and flushed the dunk with one hand. That bucket gave KU a 45-30 halftime edge. Early in the second half, Ellis flashed his favor of the fierce dunk once again, finishing off a sweet lob from Graham to put KU up 55-37 with 15 minutes to play.

• Defensive highlight: It’s hard to say if it was the steal, the save or the pass that capped it all off. Either way, Graham’s gem of a play midway through the first half that led to an easy break-away layup for Mason was something to watch. Even before Mason finished the layup, Graham was back in front of the KU bench celebrating the score and getting the Jayhawks’ energy up. That has 100 percent become his role on this team. That and many, many other things. With KU leading by 26 late in the game, K-State’s Brian Rohleder stole a pass and raced up the floor toward the rim. As he rose for his layup, Jamari Traylor flew through the air and swatted it out of bounds with his full palm.

• Key stat: KU’s offense was terrific in this one and the Jayhawks finished with 24 assists on 32 field goals. Graham led with 8 assists and Mason added 7, with Wayne Selden Jr. and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk chipping in 3 apiece.

• Up next: The win moved the Jayhawks into Friday’s semifinals, where they’ll face No. 5 seed Baylor (a 75-61 winner over Texas in Thursday’s early game) at 6 p.m. at Sprint Center, with a berth in the Big 12 title game on the line. 

— See what people were saying about KU’s quarterfinal vs. rival K-State during’s live coverage

More news and notes from KU’s Big 12 Tournament win over K-State

By the Numbers: Kansas 85, K-State 63

By the Numbers: Kansas 85, K-State 63


Steve Macy 6 years, 3 months ago

They say beating a team three times in a year is hard, one down and one to go.

The most interesting thing, was the comments by the announcers. If you didn't hear it, basically it is that Cheick and his mom knew that there would be little playing time this year, but come in and learn and it will pay off. Does that mean he is here next year? If true, that bodes well for the future, especially with the range that Carlton showed.

That is for the future, for now, let's make it come down to coaching decisions against Baylor, they don't have one. RCJH

Sean Doherty 6 years, 3 months ago

They were talking about Lagerald Vick. Not Diallo. After getting hit in the face, getting stitches, not playing most of the season, and not getting paid at all. Would you stay? Don't lie, would you stay and miss out on either millions or hundreds of thousands in the next couple of years. I want him to stay, but like Bill Self, I want these guys to have a prosperous life. What say you?

Dave Cook 6 years, 3 months ago

the one and done for the majority of them never pay off at the ultimate level. I mean, go now, possibly make a couple million, or learn to play a few years and make much more money. The oversea's leagues are full of one and done players. Check needs to be back next year, if he doesn't, then he goes to waste like the Josh Selby's.. getting a "quick paycheck" is not the answer

Drew Bender 6 years, 3 months ago

I believe they were talking about Vick when they said that

Steve Macy 6 years, 3 months ago

I guess I heard it wrong then. I sometimes tune out Brent and Fran, if you taped the game, please check. Thanks, RCJH

Bert White 6 years, 3 months ago

Yeah it was about Vick. They said the staff loves what he could become, but that he likely wouldn't see the floor much this year.

Bryce Landon 6 years, 3 months ago

You should always tune out Brent Musty-berger. Should Kansas and Iowa State meet in the finals again, you simply MUST tune him out.

Andy Tweedy 6 years, 3 months ago

This has nothing to do with the article, but I'm finding myself totally watching Carlton Bragg when he's on the bench. That dude is a trip, he looks just as happy when he's not in the game as he does when he is in the game. I'm really looking forward to more years of Carlton Bragg!!!

Mick Allen 6 years, 3 months ago

Played very well. Looked like a Final Four team. As I mentioned once before the refs should require Squeaky[Liberace] to wear a mildcat uniform as often as he is on the court.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 3 months ago

• The game turned when: KU won the tipoff..

Brian Mellor 6 years, 3 months ago

I wasn't able to watch mid 1st to mid 2nd, was there any mention as to why Diallo didn't get on the floor? Injury? Doghouse?

Mike Greer 6 years, 3 months ago

Stiches from practice yesterday is what I read.

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 3 months ago

Svi busted Diallo's lip in practice yesterday. Needed 6 stitches and was still rrally swollen today. Don't expect to see Diallo at all this weekend.

Sean Doherty 6 years, 3 months ago

Contact with Svi in practice. Stitches in his mouth.

Mike Greer 6 years, 3 months ago

It was absolutely horrid! I couldn't get Jayhawk radio and had to listen to the KSU radio announcers throughout the game. Just glad the Jayhawks put them away early so it toned down the rhetoric, but it was still painful. RCJH

Mike Greer 6 years, 3 months ago

Since I had to listen to wildcat radio, I spent some time in the box score, my thoughts: 1)Perry is reliable and steady, regardless of what kind of D they put on him. 2)Frank really is back. 3)Carlton can shoot and needs to keep out of foul trouble, 5 in 11min.? 4)Devonté is best under pressure. 5)Mari plans to make the most of these last Nine games. 6)Svi seems to have the hot hand off the bench from 3.

Perry is 21 points and 6 rebounds further up the KU all time chart, great game!

Kit Duncan 6 years, 3 months ago

Get the tunein radio app for your iPhone/iPad or go to Type Kansas Jayhawks in the search window and Kansas IMG Radio Network will come up. Click and listen. Best of all, you can hear Bob Davis for his few remaining games!

Bryce Landon 6 years, 3 months ago

Really? How did that happen? Is there not a Jayhawk IMG Sports Network affiliate in your area, or was it broadcasting something else?

Mick Allen 6 years, 3 months ago

Brian, I heard Diallo took an inadvertent elbow from Svi in practice. Could have used him in an emergency today. Obviously no need for that today. Should be able to play tomorrow evening if necessary.

Harlan Hobbs 6 years, 3 months ago

I agree, Mick. I can't believe how far Weber gets on the court without getting called. Perhaps the refs are just taking pity on him as he stands there gaping, mouth wide open. You can sure catch a lot of flies that way, especially in Manhattan, if you know what I mean.

Glad to see the bench get more playing time, with Jamari, Carlton, and Svi having their moments. Hunter even got a chance to put in a couple of good plays. This team is beginning to look like perhaps our best team since 2008. Hope I haven't jinxed them!

Gary McCullough 6 years, 3 months ago

Weber is trying to inherit the Jayhawks, like he did the Illini. LOL

Bryce Landon 6 years, 3 months ago

That will never happen, not even with Dr. Zenger running the show.

Gary McCullough 6 years, 3 months ago

Bragg impressed me with his range today. His jump shot is much improved. He's getting a lot more air under the shot so it has a better chance at falling. And he's added 3-pt. range to the repertoire. ME LIKIE!

David McGee 6 years, 3 months ago

Yeah Bragg's faces and antics on the bench are hilarious @andy

Bryce Landon 6 years, 3 months ago

Of the three games KU has played against KSU this year, this was their best game. And I had the good fortune of enjoying the game with my father in a Sprint Center luxury suite.

The atmosphere today was superb. There were fans from all over the Big 12 (including an extremely high number of Cry-Clown fans). The suite my father and I were in also had several other KU fans, three KSU fans, and even three Missouri fans who miss the Big 12 and wanted to see how their former conference brethren were getting along.

The Baylor-Texas game was fun to watch. There was a small contingent of BU fans we saw celebrating their team's victory, but the UT contingent seemed even smaller, even before the game started. Of course, when it was time for KU-KSU, not every seat was filled, but most of the crowd was cheering for the Jayhawks. Very definitely Allen Fieldhouse East.

Mike Greer 6 years, 3 months ago

Since you mentioned Missouri fans, and I know the Sprint Center is Allen East, but why does the Big XII have their tournament in a state where they don't have a conference team? Couldn't we move the Sprint Center a few miles west into Kansas?

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 3 months ago

Why does the ACC have their tournament in Washington DC this year? Why is the PAC 12 tournament in Las Vegas?

Harlan Hobbs 6 years, 3 months ago

No place else sells out like the Sprint Center. They tried having it in Oklahoma City and Dallas, and they couldn't draw the crowds. Everyone seems to travel well to KC.

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