Posts tagged with Brannen Greene

Stock watch: Will Celtics snag a Jayhawk with one of their 8 picks?


In just more than two weeks, Kansas basketball players Cheick Diallo, Wayne Selden Jr., Perry Ellis and Brannen Greene will all have much better ideas about what comes next in their respective basketball careers.

On June 23, the night of the 2016 NBA Draft, each will find out which organization thinks he can contribute at the next level — or, in the cases of Ellis and Greene, whether a team wants to use a pick on him at all.

Based on the number of Jayhawks on the board and the vast range of where they’re projected to be taken, it seems as if there is a good chance at least one of them could end up with Boston.

The Celtics have the No. 3 overall pick in the draft, and certainly won’t take anyone from KU at that slot. But the franchise also owns the 16th and 23rd picks in the first round, as well as the following second-round picks: 31st, 35th, 45th, 51st and 58th.

Boston might end up trading away some — or, who knows, maybe all — of those picks. But if the storied franchise hangs on to those choices, one would have to assume the names and games of various Kansas players will come up in the Celtics’ draft war room throughout the night, with as many as seven opportunities to select one of them.

In’s latest predictions, Diallo comes off the board at No. 23, to Boston.

Selden, meanwhile, is projected to go 47th — right in the range of the Celtics’ mid-to-late second-round picks.

While Ellis isn’t listed at all, it is easy to envision some team snagging him in the final 10 picks or so, and Boston owns the third-to-last choice in the draft.

In fact, Ellis worked out for the team on Monday.

At this point, it seems unlikely Greene will hear his name called on draft night. But the Celtics are in the market for 3-point shooting after finishing 28th in the league in long-distance accuracy (33.5%) in 2015-16 while attempting 26.1 3-pointers a game (11th most). So a summer league deal for Greene wouldn’t appear to be out of the question.

If Diallo, Selden or Ellis ends up in green, It wouldn’t be the first time Boston looked to KU for some help in the draft. Paul Pierce, of course, became a franchise great after the Celtics took him 10th overall in 1998.

Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce, center, dunks as Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James, left, and center Anderson Varejao of Brazil, right, watch during the second half of Game 4 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series, Sunday, May 9, 2010, in Boston. The Celtics won 97-87, tying the series at 2-2. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce, center, dunks as Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James, left, and center Anderson Varejao of Brazil, right, watch during the second half of Game 4 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series, Sunday, May 9, 2010, in Boston. The Celtics won 97-87, tying the series at 2-2. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Nearly two decades earlier, Boston selected Jo Jo White at No. 9, in 1969.

But not every KU-Boston connection has been Hall of Fame worthy. When put together a gallery of “Biggest draft busts in Celtics history” a pair of former Kansas players made the list.

In 1976, Boston selected Norm Cook 16th overall. As described in the feature, Cook “accumulated just 138 minutes on the floor as a rookie before the Celtics declined to pick up his second-year option.”

In 2008, the Celtics used the 30th overall pick on a wing out of New Mexico who began his career at KU: J.R. Giddens. “Despite the low expectations that come with being the last pick of the first round (30th overall), Giddens still disappointed to the tune of just 28 points in 27 games spanning one full season and part of the next.”

Boston hasn’t selected a player who suited up exclusively for Kansas since Pierce.

Courtesy of, here is a list of every KU player drafted by the Celtics:

  • Gil Reich, Round 11 (pick not listed) — 1953

  • Maury King, Round 6, Pick 48 — 1957

  • Jo Jo White, Round 1, Pick 9 — 1969

  • Dave Robisch, Round 3, Pick 44 — 1971

  • Roger Morningstar, Round 8, Pick 144 — 1975

  • Norm Cook, Round 1, Pick 16 — 1976

  • Tony Guy, Round 2, Pick 46 — 1982

  • Paul Pierce, Round 1, Pick 10 — 1998

Will 2016 be the year the Celtics add another Jayhawk? We’ll find out soon.

Reply 3 comments from Jayhawkmarshall Brett McCabe

Bill Self expects improved toughness, defense out of Jayhawks

Kansas forward Jamari Traylor is photographed while filling out a humorous list of questions during Kansas basketball Media Day on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2014.

Kansas forward Jamari Traylor is photographed while filling out a humorous list of questions during Kansas basketball Media Day on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2014. by Nick Krug

Thursday marked the very unofficial start of the college basketball season at Kansas University, where Bill Self and the Jayhawks went through media day at Allen Fieldhouse.

Self provided some insight on what’s to come in the months ahead for KU, as well as some of the shortcomings that impacted last season, and what he, the coaching staff and the players learned from those experiences.

• KU has three smaller point guards. He doesn’t know yet what the norm will be. Kansas needs more ball-handling and play-making from its lead guards. That position didn’t play as he hoped in 2013-14. Wayne Selden, a bigger option, could play point with two big wings or Frank Mason or Conner Frankamp or Devonté Graham could be out there running things.

• The Jayhawks could be very versatile this season. Self sees them playing small a lot, but could play Kelly Oubre or a bigger wing player at the power forward.

• Junior forward Hunter Mickelson is a “prototypical” four-man. He faces up. The challenge will be for him to play bigger than he is. Self can’t see anybody beating Perry Ellis out for power forward minutes. With Mickelson’s skills, he’ll have to do some more things to see playing time. He is the team’s best shot-blocker. Mickelson blocked more shots than Joel Embiid did last year in his last season at Arkansas.

• Self likes who Ellis is. He doesn’t want to get him too much out of his comfort zone in some aspects. Ellis won’t be a vocal leader. Leading by example involves doing your job. If Ellis adds a little leadership to his repertoire, it will make KU a lot better. Self wants Ellis to go score. That’s who he is.

• Brannen Greene has really improved. He was very talented last year, too, and didn’t play much. He is in a loaded position, with Selden and Oubre and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk. Greene is arguably as good a shooter as Kansas has. He still has to buy into guarding on the other end.

• So far Mykhailiuk is transitioning great. "Svi" understands the language maybe less than Joel Embiid did when he first arrived. The only knock on Svi is he is young. He is going to be really good. His youth could be a factor in how much he plays. A defender could knock him off his line pretty quickly. He may have played against the strongest competition, among current KU players, in his international experience.

• Alexander can be a physical player. He will have to learn how to guard and pick his spots. Self sees some similarities with Thomas Robinson and Alexander. Alexander has to get where he goes after every ball. If he plays his best and everyone else does, too, Alexander should be their most physical player.

• Without seeing this team going up and down a lot yet, Self doesn’t know for sure what the team and some young individuals will look like. But Devonté Graham is a well liked guy that pushes the ball up the floor and is certainly capable of challenging for starting minutes. Graham reminds him of Aaron Miles. He is a leader and can make a shot. His intangibles will probably allow him to play more immediately. The Marines who worked with the Jayhawks picked Graham as the best leader. But Oubre and Selden will be leaders, too.

• The Jayhawks need to be better defensively than last year. They “stunk” last season on defense. Embiid could cover up mistakes. They don’t have that this year. But Self expects KU to be better defensively.

• KU has a lot of things that will be good for recruiting, with the DeBruce Center and McCarthy apartments and new locker room renovations.

• Self used to do more micro-managing when he was young. Now that he is older he doesn’t think as much about things that don’t impact wins and losses, such as where guys sit in a locker room and things like that.

Junior forward Jamari Traylor attempts a long 3-point basket before a team photograph during the 2014 KU men's basketball team media day, Oct. 2, 2014.

Junior forward Jamari Traylor attempts a long 3-point basket before a team photograph during the 2014 KU men's basketball team media day, Oct. 2, 2014.

• Mason didn’t guard last year like he can. Graham can pressure the ball. Svi can slide his feet and anticipate defensively, he is so quick and athletic. Jamari Traylor does some things with pressure and running the floor, as well. Self isn’t a big press-defense advocate. You play a style that gives you the best chance to win in the postseason. When you play good teams they have good guards, and good guards often love to see a press. Full-court pressure won’t be a staple.

• Landen Lucas might have had as good an offseason as anyone. He is fighting for major minutes.

• Frankamp, in high school, was a volume shooter, as most high school stars are. Then he only got a few looks as a freshman and he felt like he had to make them. His whole play was based on whether he made a shot. Strength has been a factor for him some in the past, but he can help the team in other ways, besides shooting the ball. He had to make shots for minutes the way it played out last season. … Frankamp has to get stronger. Everybody has something they have to get better at. Strength and shooting are key for Frankamp becoming great.

• Self learned something through “The Program” they went through with Marines. KU has some guys who are really good at what they do and they don’t want to take away from who they are. Kansas needs Graham and Selden to be leaders.

• Selden, Self thinks, needs to play more consistently and knock down more shots from three-point range.

• It is hard for Self to make a complete evaluation of Oubre yet. And Oubre is good enough that he won’t be at KU very long. He can do some things that a lot of wings don’t typically do. He is a talented player.

• You always think about a starting five before the season begins. Whether he will tell anybody publicly right now is another thing. Guys have to earn it. By Big 12 play, Self has a team in mind but a lot has to do with how fast the young guys pick stuff up.

• Top to bottom, this Kansas team reminds him a little bit of the 2008 team. That team’s best player was Brandon Rush and he went in the NBA lottery. That team had pros. This is a team like that, there isn’t a top-three pick right now, but KU has a whole bunch of good players and depth. There isn’t much size, but they are skilled and deep. A lot of balance.

• There isn’t hoopla this year like they had with Andrew Wiggins, who handled it well. But KU has players that will be as good at the college level as Wiggins and Embiid. Kansas has more guys who can impact the college game this year.

• Self doesn’t know who would be a candidate to red-shirt this season. Right now he doesn’t think it will be a possibility.

• Late Night is always big for recruiting. It is big for the players, too. Guys look forward to it. Last year there were some issues with getting people in and those have been resolved. Only twice has KU had to turn people away, Self’s first year and last season.

• Self may talk about last year’s NCAA Tournament performance with this year's players. But that team wasn’t truly who the Jayhawks were. That team on the floor wasn’t a No. 2 seed. They didn’t have Embiid. That could be their motivation, to not let that happen again this coming postseason. But sometimes unexpected things just happen in sports. They didn’t have a lot of margin for error last season.

• Looking at the All-Big 12 preseason team, Self was surprised that not one of KU’s players got a vote other than Ellis. “That may be something that we tell our guys.”

• KU might be picked to win the Big 12 when those predictions come out. But Texas could be a top-5 team nationally and plenty of other teams appear to have top-25 talent.

• With the personnel KU had last year, the Jayhawks weren’t as tough as a typical Kansas team. The staff didn’t do a good enough job fixing that. Coaches will emphasize toughness this year. Personalities and youth probably had a lot to do with that last season.

• Just a bit off topic, on the Kansas City Royals… It’s awfully cool to watch. It’s fun to see guys having the time of their lives. They had the fastest guy in baseball (Jarrod Dyson) dancing at third base in extra innings on Tuesday and he hadn’t even scored yet. That’s cool. Self gets a kick out of all the strategy, too. The Royals are really good.

— Listen to the complete press conference: Self talks 2014-15 expectations at media day

Reply 7 comments from Rodney Crain Erich Hartmann Bryce Landon Len Shaffer

Bill Self press conference notes: Feb. 13, 2014

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self had his weekly press conference Thursday afternoon at Allen Fieldhouse, two days before the No. 7 Jayhawks (18-6 overall, 9-2 Big 12) play host to TCU (9-14, 0-11).

The Jayhawks rolled past the Horned Frogs, 91-69, on Jan. 25.

Here are the bullet-point highlights from Self's Q & A with the media.

• Joel Embiid's status: No update at this point. The freshman center feels better. The MRIs and things like that have been done, and they show that his injuries should get better quickly. A lot of his availability for Saturday depends upon whether he can practice on Friday. You think about it longterm, and they're not gonna do anything to jeopardize his health down the road. A lot of times there is no reason to hold guys out if they're healthy. Embiid's not doing anything at practice. Just dressed out for practice on Wednesday. No activity. Didn't even shoot free throws. He looks a little different — not exploding, not as likely to initiate contact. The big man just hasn't looked like himself.

• On Jamari Traylor, who didn't play against Kansas State due to disciplinary reasons: Self will visit with Traylor today and hold off on a decision until after they visit, but he anticipates that visit going well.

• KU's dribble-penetration defense: If you look at KU against K-State, the Jayhawks scored "all their points" on dribble penetration. It's the hardest thing to guard. In that particular game, KU didn't defend the rim "worth a flip" and allowed K-State to get inside off the bounce. Sometimes it is a matter of pride and want-to. Players have to be tough and mentally into it. On Monday, the Jayhawks didn't have that type of mindset.

• KU's ball-screen defense: There is a toughness element in fighting through it. K-State probably scored five baskets off ball-screen offense against Kansas. Three of those, KU's players probably weren't in tune to what they should have been doing.

• Self doesn't know what the players have learned from the K-State overtime loss, because they haven't played yet and have only had one 75-minute practice since then (the team had Tuesday off). Syracuse and Wichita State are the only teams that haven't had tough losses. KU is playing in the best conference in America and is 9-2. The Jayhawks aren't doing badly. But KU needs to be better at making other teams play poorly. They didn't do that at K-State.

• Brannen Greene was a spark against K-State. He was good late and helped KU's comeback to force overtime.

• You only play roughly 35 games in a season, so players should be excited every time they play. There are dog days in baseball, football can become more of a grind late in the season. The key in basketball is how does a player's body feel. A lot of guys are sore but they're not hurt. That's natural at this time of year.

• On Conner Frankamp playing well in limited minutes: All the role players have done well but they haven't had the same opportunities as their starters. All the players have done well, and that's great for the team moving forward, even into next year as guys who are coming back will be chomping at the bit to play a bigger role.

• TCU is winless but they'll get one before the year is over. It's just a matter of time. They were actually close in the second half at Iowa State, and Melvin Ejim scored 48.

• SMU emerging under Larry Brown and Tim Jankovic: To see the interest level and the new arena and brining college basketball excitement back to the Metroplex is very cool to see. They probably did that faster than a lot of people thought.

• Saturday, Monday format of the Big 12 is great preparation for the NCAA Tournament.

• Several former players have said they will be back for this weekend with the NBA All-Star break. Self probably won't find out until about 5 p.m. Friday that they need tickets. "That's kind of how my guys operate."

— Click here for complete audio from the press conference.

— Hear from freshman Brannen Greene and senior Tarik Black by clicking here.