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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Jayhawks’ Greene declares for NBA Draft

KU guard's father: NBA feedback seems 'promising'

Kansas junior guard Brannen Greene takes pre-game shots before the Jayhawks take on Oklahoma, on Jan. 4, 2016, at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas junior guard Brannen Greene takes pre-game shots before the Jayhawks take on Oklahoma, on Jan. 4, 2016, at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Brannen Greene, a 49 percent three-point marksman (31 of 63) in limited duty his junior season at Kansas University, on Wednesday said he would forgo his senior campaign to enter the 2016 NBA Draft.

The 6-foot-7 native of Juliette, Ga., who averaged 5.4 points and 2.1 rebounds while playing 12.4 minutes a game in 30 of KU’s 38 games, was hindered by suspension (five games) and occasional back stiffness this past season. He had hip surgery last offseason.

“Brannen has elected to declare for the NBA Draft with the intent of hiring an agent at some point,” KU coach Bill Self said, noting Greene’s decision is final. “I certainly understand Brannen making this decision. We wish him nothing but the very best. He has an NBA skill (shooting) that I think will translate very well to the next level. We appreciate his efforts during his time at Kansas.”

Greene had a season-high 18 points off 5-of-5 three-point shooting against Northern Colorado. He had multiple threes in eight games. Of his 44 field goals, all but 13 were threes.

“After talking with my family, weighing the options, and talking with the coaching staff, I feel like it is the best decision for me moving forward to take my talents to play professionally,” Greene said. “I want to thank my teammates for all the great times we had and all the battles we went through together. I want to thank the coaches for taking the time to work with me throughout my three years. I definitely want to thank the fans. Running out to 16,000 every night, that won’t be replaced at all in any way. I want to thank the fans and everybody I met across the campus for their support.”

Greene had four or more rebounds in 10 games this past season.

“Brannen is talented and very competitive. This combination should allow him to play professionally for many years to come,” Self said.

Greene hit for a career-high 19 points against Georgetown his sophomore season. He was a career 42.2 percent three-point shooter (81-for-192) and 87.2 percent free thrower (102-of-117).

“It was definitely a big-time high for me when I hit a three in Allen Fieldhouse,” Greene said. “Just to see how the crowd reacted, and I had a signature three fingers to the head, and everybody ran with that. It gave me a ton of energy every time I played there (fieldhouse), as it did all of my teammates.”

Greene’s dad, Jeffrey, said his son “is thrilled. He spent the last two, three days talking it over with coach Self. Everyone agreed with the decision. Feedback (from NBA) seems promising. It may come as a shock to a certain group of folks, but Brannen is fully confident in his decision and I support it.”

Of Brannen not playing against Maryland or Villanova in the NCAAs, Jeff Greene said: “He was about 85 percent, and you needed to be at 100 percent. I agreed with coach’s decision to rest him. By the following weekend (Final Four), he’d be 100 percent. Now we’ve got a healthy Brannen Greene running sprints with no pain.

“I have spoken with three agents who feel he’ll get the invitations and workouts (with NBA teams). He’s fully committed, all-in to make a roster of an NBA team next year and say goodbye to college. He wants his legacy as a Jayhawk. We love the school and community. It was a great experience for him. He needed to be in an environment with a Bill Self-type coach, an elite coach not afraid to give him honest feedback. He needed that environment and had that at Kansas.

“Because of being under the tutelage of coach Self three years, he has the strength and resolve now that he’ll handle the next phase in his life. As a dad, how proud am I of his son’s legacy at the University of Kansas? I get to wear that badge the rest of my days with pride.”

Awards: KU coach Self has been named national coach of the year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches and will receive the award Sunday in Houston. He’s also been so honored this season by USA Today and Bleacher Report.

“All that means is you had a group of kids that cared an awful lot and played to a ridiculously high level all year long,” Self said. “Awards appear to be nice, but for me, a hundred times over, I would give any of that up to have those kids experience getting to play in Houston (at the Final Four).”

Forward Perry Ellis has been named CBSsports.com second-team All-American and NCAA consensus second-team All-American.

Transfer talk: Coppin State’s leading scorer, 6-2 combo guard Christian Kessee, will transfer to a yet-to-be-determined school. He averaged 14.3 ppg last season. He will be immediately eligible to play next season as a graduate transfer. KU has been mentioned, along with Washington State, Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee and Old Dominion according to analyst Jeff Borzello. ... Jimmy Whitt, a 6-4 freshman guard from Columbia, Mo., has announced plans to leave the University of Arkansas. He averaged 6.1 points with 35 assists, 31 turnovers, logging 17.2 minutes a game. Cal is the first school listed as a possibility.

Comments

Steve Ramsey 6 years, 4 months ago

First of all of course, thank you to the young man for his efforts at Kansas, and best of luck in the future.

Given the new rules about declaring for the draft, not hiring an agent and maybe coming back later, maybe not - is someone like Greene doing a school a favor by openly hiring an agent right off the bat? Seems to me that clarifies things for a coach, and makes recruiting for next year a bit easier.

Right or wrong?

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 4 months ago

Hiring an agent certainly puts a mark of finality on a career. In the end, what a lot of people will remember about BG regardless of the reasons, is he was not there when his team need him most.

Janet Olin 6 years, 4 months ago

Agree, Suzi. Wish him all the best but can't say I'm heartbroken about his decision.

Jared Reeves 6 years, 4 months ago

Thank you Brannen! Best of luck in the future!

Joe Joseph 6 years, 4 months ago

Methodical, or coincidence that Diallo, Selden, and Greene all declare on separate consecutive days?

Makes me wonder if Svi is next. And if he doesn't declare today - or soon - what does that say about his prospects of returning? Is he waiting to see if Jackson commits? Even then, Svi will either be starting or the first guard off the bench next year.

Craig Alexander 6 years, 4 months ago

I think they stagger the announcements so each kid gets their day in the press rather than having to share the spotlight. They put in hard work and deserve that moment.

As for Svi, I'm with you hoping he delays and just outright decides that he could be a major and consistent contributor next year. If we get Jackson and Svi is first wing off the bench then Vick can eat up minutes as back up to Mason and Dtay.

Gerry Butler 6 years, 4 months ago

Maybe I'm in the minority, Like a lot of other teenage kids Brannen made his share of bone head decisions, mistakes. They were wrong moves, and he paid for those mistakes. Just kind of curious as to some posters here, would be interested to see did you make mistake- - really dum bone headed decisions when you were his age?-- No wait no need to answer I know you did- - we all did, You ever heard of you live and learn through your mistakes? Kids have to experience bad decisions and live with the result of those decisions, we all have, you know it, I know it, we all know it. Having said that now I'll say this for some of the posters here that are in question about Brannen's thought process- - possibly indicating questions to whether his back was REALLY an issue, Brannen's heart and competiveness about the game and his love for the University of Kansas all I can do is SMH. Question is why do you feel it necessary to as soon as we find out he has declared- - we does it seem necessary to challenge this kids integrity, start launching personal attacks, cheap shots at the kid- - again not ALL POSTERS but there are some that feel that they need to challenge this kid about his desire or just plain attitude WHY do you feel that's necessary? There is no doubt when Brennen played he played the best he could- - he was just not a defensive player period- - doesn't mean he wasn't trying but yet we have people saying how he let the team down when they need him the most- -REALLY SERIOUSLY? have you eve had issues with your back? have you ever had health issues you that limited what you did? you come across as like you challenge that he really was having back issues- -so basically your calling this young man a liar. He let the team down when they needed the most? so you think he did this on purpose? Ya that's it- - he woke up and thought- - - hmmmmm I think I let the team down today when they really need me- - ya that's exactly what he did.- - holy crap How about this instetad, why can't we just acknowledge to Brennan how much we appreciate his time while he was here and be happy for him instead- - give him thanks for being part of the Jayhawk family and will always be a part of the Jayhawk family how about that instead of taking shots at him . Is thias the best move for him? maybe not- - probably not- -but that's his decision. Brannen as far as I'm concerned I say thank you for being a part of the Jayhawk family- - you'll be missed. Good luck and you know you'll always be welcome home ANYTIME RCJH.

Joe Joseph 6 years, 4 months ago

I'm in the camp that wishes Brannen would have gotten more of a chance. Some of it (his relative lack of PT) was clearly brought on by his own actions, but the kid could ball. I never questioned his competitiveness.

Self has his guys and BG was never one of them.

Tim Browne 6 years, 4 months ago

So the kid is highly recruited out of high school, sits the bench at Kansas for three years. Probably could have played a lot of other places... maybe made the NBA. Sorta stupid, no?

Jonathan Allison 6 years, 4 months ago

What are you getting at? Are you calling Brannen stupid, are you calling Bill Self stupid, or are you calling something else stupid?

Are you saying that he should have signed with a different school? Transferred? Or are you saying that Bill Self should have played him? Cut him?

I'm confused.

Jay Scott 6 years, 4 months ago

Self has his rules and Greene never followed them. My guess is that his parents chose Self, not Brannen.

Tom Jones 6 years, 4 months ago

"I never questioned his competitiveness."

I sure as hell did.

Doesn't mean I wanted him to bail, but he has certainly (thus far) wasted the wonderful gifts he has by not developing the other parts of his game.

That, to me, is a lack of competitiveness.

Joe Joseph 6 years, 4 months ago

A) I'm willing to bet you have no first-hand knowledge of what type of work BG put into improving his all-around game.

B) No one but BG, and maybe a very small group of individuals, know the extent to which his hip/back problems limited his effectiveness on defense. It might have affected him a little, a lot, or not at all.

Tom Jones 6 years, 4 months ago

Bet all you want, Joe. The proof is in the pudding, as they say. And it wasn't just defense. Ball-handling, decision making, toughness, rebounding. The guy was a one trick pony.

I wish him nothing but the best but a competitor he has not been. Sorry.

Jay Scott 6 years, 4 months ago

Neither played much. Greene was the hotter hand from 3.

Jonathan Allison 6 years, 4 months ago

I am a little disappointed in some of the posters on this site as well.

Obviously not everyone here was a Brannen Greene fan. But no need to kick him on his way out the door.

A couple years ago I had wished that Greene would have transferred and AWIII would have stayed and maybe redshirted. But I've been very pleased with what Greene has been able to provide when he's been on the floor the past couple seasons. He's absolutely the purest shooter we've had in the Self era, and would have been a huge weapon for us if he were a better two-way player. I really like the effort he gave this year. He can learn to be a better defensive player. He just lost focus too often and found himself out of position.

David McGee 6 years, 4 months ago

He "lost focus" because he's a passive-agressive pothead. Which is fine if you're a net-positive player, but not if you're not. He will play some ball in Europe or China, but the NBA has no use for him because he has no handles, no court vision, is a turnover-machine, and can't create his own shot. Things he could have developed at KU over three years, but chose not to.

His ONLY skill is spot-up 3's. When you turn the ball over or let the opponent break your ankles on defense whenever they so much as look or sneeze at you, you are a net-negative player. KU had very little use for him, and the NBA has NO use for him.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 4 months ago

Interesting that of all the players who are leaving early, none of them had a better year than Andres White. In hindsight, it seems that coach Self ran the wrong player out of Lawrence.

Gerry.. A lot of good info in your post but seriously, it's not the easiest one to read.

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 4 months ago

Andrew White doesn't put up the numbers here he did at Nebraska this year because he was one of the two or three best players at Nebraska this year. Odds are White wouldn't haven been a starter this year at KU.

Tom Jones 6 years, 4 months ago

"In hindsight, it seems that coach Self ran the wrong player out of Lawrence."

You're usually spot on but this is just silly, man.

John Boyle 6 years, 4 months ago

This may not agree with a lot of the posters on this site but I think Brannen's game translates better in the NBA than in college. With his shooting ability, he will get a very serious look from some NBA franchises. I wish him nothing but the best. RCJH!

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 4 months ago

John, if Greene had developed a step back jumper then I would be in complete agreement but unfortunately, he didn't and depended on his teammates to get off an open shot.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 4 months ago

John Paxton and Steve Kerr had great careers, made lots of money, doing exactly what BG can contribute...hang back behind the arc and hit the long ball. That's all Paxton and Kerr ever did! Jordan drew all the heat leaving the perimeter open, like Nova just did with Ellis but BG was nowhere to be seen.

Casey Olson 6 years, 4 months ago

Brennan could have made a big impact in the Villanova game. We had plenty of open looks, just couldn't knock them down. His confidence might have been perfect for the situation

David McGee 6 years, 4 months ago

Brannen Greene will not play in the NBA next year.

Kurt Eskilson 6 years, 4 months ago

Brannen's father's comments showed real class: "He wants his legacy as a Jayhawk. We love the school and community. It was a great experience for him. He needed to be in an environment with a Bill Self-type coach, an elite coach not afraid to give him honest feedback. He needed that environment and had that at Kansas. " We posters might strive to show as much class as we bid Brannen farewell.

Colby Hebert 6 years, 4 months ago

Anyone that was even sniffed by an NBA scout should declare for the draft.

The key is, are they going to hire an agent?

Greene and Selden plan to hire agents. They are gone.

Diallo is testing the waters.

Svi should test the waters too. Bragg, hell if an NBA scout looked in Vick's direction, declare..

As long as they do not hire an agent they have the opportunity to possible get feedback from someone as to what kind of things to work on to be a better pro prospect.

All these kids dream of playing basketball for a living...

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 4 months ago

Good luck Wayne. Hope nothing but the best for you. I try keeping up with Kansas players who are playing professionally but getting info from some of the overseas sites aren't the easiest to keep up with.

Casey Olson 6 years, 4 months ago

Good luck to Mr Greene. He will make a lot of money playing basketball somewhere. I don't think his shortcomings were ever from a lack of effort. He might be the best shooter in the history of Kansas when his feet were set. Not most prolific but I wouldn't want to play horse againt the guy. It isn't easy to do multiple things in basketball well at a high division 1 level. Back and hip issues are incredibly limiting. Sure he did some stupid things but so did Jamari, Ben Macklemore, the brothers Morris, Brady Morningstar, etc..... most college kids are going to make these choices. He never threatened to leave and I respect him for that. He was a pretty highly recruited kid and I'm sure had thoughts of more playing time. Seems like a passionate kid with an elite ability to do the most desirable skill in basketball. People being critical now that he's leaving because he wasn't there against Villanova or didn't work hard or didn't fulfill expectations or whatever else should instead just wish him luck

Harlan Hobbs 6 years, 4 months ago

Sorry, but I don't seen Brannen as having a future in the NBA. The players of today have to be more versatile on offense, and Brannen simply hasn't shown that ability at all. I would pick him for a game of "horse", but nothing else.

I hope that I am wrong because it would be nice for him to realize some of his dreams. However, five years from now, I predict that he will be a forgotten piece of KU history, notwithstanding his dad's clearly classy comments. It would be a shame, but I think that'a the reality of the situation.

Casey Olson 6 years, 4 months ago

I don't think he can play in the NBA either but his jump shot should allow him to play somewhere overseas. When I say making a lot of money, I guess I consider making $100,000 a year on up to play basketball, a lot of money. I know people with regular jobs can make that but for a 21 year old kid, it's not chump change. No need to apologize, just what I think. Pretty small chance he would jump into the first round next year. I would guess he won't get drafted at all this year and he is limited in what he can improve on enough to be NBA level at. Basically, I think he's making the best decision for himself and his chances to play basketball for a living. To judge that is purely selfish because you want Kansas to be better next year. I think he knows his limitations, understands he might not play a hell of a lot next year and is ready to move on with his life. I wish him well.

Bill John 6 years, 4 months ago

Agree, poor defense, average ball handling and will not take it to the hole.

Yonatan Negash 6 years, 4 months ago

I have a feeling Brannen Greene was forced to turn pro.

Not sure, I believe Brannen had any back problems during the NCAA.

Harlan Hobbs 6 years, 4 months ago

I don't believe that Brannen was "forced" to turn pro. He just viewed the landscape and came to the conclusion that now is the time to make the leap if he is ever going to have a future in basketball, which at best will be overseas.

When it comes to playing time, Coach Self rules with his head, not his heart - - just as it should be.

Nick Kramer 6 years, 4 months ago

I was stunned when I read about BG and the NBA. Is it possible that he and Diallo could wind up as last and next-to-last of all NBA early entrants on points per game and minutes per game in college? Must have had lottery picks playing ahead of them.

Timothy Rake 6 years, 4 months ago

Obviously, I don't know what the team dynamics were with BG and his mates, other than the stupid things he apparently did to provoke HCBS's wrath. But I can say this, by his last minutes on the court as a Jayhawk, he had a more rounded game (I'm not saying "well-rounded" but "better" game) - he was a consistent rebounder, showed more intensity on the defensive end (even if he got burned) after he got out of Self's doghouse. Yes, he made bone-headed drives and turned it over all too frequently, but one thing I will miss dearly…(and I can see countless replays in my head even now) Frank or Devonte driving to the hoop and finding BG on the wing, feet set and ready to throw it up. Watching Brannen Greene stroke it from the corner (or downtown) was pure bliss - like watching Arnold Palmer stroke a golf ball straight down the fairway, or George Brett connect on a curve ball with the game on the line, or Sandy Koufax whiff the last batter in a perfect game. Pure mechanics, pure magic, pure bliss to behold. I will miss that. Best of luck Brannen

Tony Bandle 6 years, 4 months ago

Hangs around the three point line ready to shoot.

Considers defense an imposition on his talents.

Overall basketball skills undeveloped...and that's being generous.

Tends to get in trouble once in a while.

Sounds to me like the prototype NBA player this day and age.

I do wish him well, however, and hope he finds his dream but, selfishly, Mr. Jackson, that wing spot is yours to lose, so come on down!!!

Larry Phillips 6 years, 4 months ago

I really loved watching Greene shoot that jumper. He was about as pure a shooter as you will ever see. I hope a League team will see a value......and bring him on board.

Someone mentioned earlier about the bone-head decisions he made. In my opinion, the biggest bone-head decision might have been hiring an agent. I think he could have been a major player next year for the Jayhawks. After his senior year, I think there would be a lot of teams on the next level interested. Now......I really doubt it.

Good luck Brannen.

David McGee 6 years, 4 months ago

Going pro wasn't a real choice. It was that or get kicked off the team to free up a scholarship. "... player next year for the Jayhawks." was not an option.

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