Kansas Jayhawks

KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 13:  Head coach Bill Self of the Kansas Jayhawks coaches from the bench during the Big 12 Basketball Tournament quarterfinal game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Sprint Center on March 13, 2014 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Kansas lands transfer big man Evan Maxwell

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Kansas is looking to add big men to its roster and the Jayhawks landed a future player to its roster on Friday. Liberty sophomore big man Evan Maxwell is transferring to Kansas after averaging 10.0 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, Maxwell said to Gary Bedore of the Lawrence Journal-World.

Maxwell was a much-improved player as a sophomore for the Flames, as he became a starter and averaged 21.5 minutes per game. The 245-pound Maxwell now has to sit out a year due to NCAA transfer rules as he’ll have to add strength and improve his skill level to make the transition to the Big 12.

Adding Maxwell gives Kansas another big man in its rotation for a few seasons for now and also gives them another body in practice to work with this season. Kansas is still trying to add to its recruiting efforts in the Class of 2016 as they’ll continue to search for players to add to its talented roster.

KU’s Greene turning pro

Brannen Greene
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Kansas junior Brannen Greene plans to enter the NBA draft and hire an agent, the school announced Wednesday.

“I certainly understand Brannen making this decision. We wish him nothing but the very best,” Jayhawks coach Bill Self said in a statement released by the school. “He has an NBA skill that I think will translate very well to the next level. We appreciate his efforts during his time at Kansas.”

Greene has the look and skill set of a 3-and-D wing in the NBA with a 6-foot-7 frame and a 3-point shooting percentage over 40 the last two years, including a 49.2 percent mark this past season. Still, he rarely had much opportunity to display it over long stretches while at Kansas, never averaging more than 15 minutes a game and actually seeing his playing time dip this past season.

He often was located in Self’s doghouse., getting suspended one game last year and again for six games this season following a “contentious and prolonged argument over playing time” in November. When Greene dunked late in a blowout February win over rival Kansas State, Self went on the school’s post-game radio broadcast and called it “probably the biggest (expletive) move I’ve ever had a player do during the game.”

In short, a parting of the ways may be best – and inevitable – for both sides here.

No. 11 West Virginia upsets No. 1 Kansas

West Virginia guard Tarik Phillip (12) fouls Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) as he drives to the basket during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016, in Morgantown, W.Va. (AP Photo/Raymond Thompson)
(AP Photo/Raymond Thompson)
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West Virginia pressed and physically beat down No. 1 Kansas on Tuesday night as the No. 11 Mountaineers pulled off the 74-63 upset at home. Always a tough matchup for the Jayhawks, West Virginia now owns three consecutive wins over Kansas in Morgantown.

Jumping out to an early lead and never relenting, West Virginia was simply the more aggressive team on both ends of the floor. The Mountaineers crashed the offensive glass for a 15-7 advantage in that category and forced 21 Kansas turnovers. As the No. 1 team in the country, the Jayhawks were thought to have a strong backcourt with veteran leadership but Frank Mason and Wayne Selden combined for 13 turnovers and looked shaky against West Virginia’s guards.

West Virginia (15-1, 4-0) had a strong efforts from Jaysean Paige (24 points, four rebounds, four steals) and Devin Williams (17 points, 12 rebounds) as they looked like a potential threat in the Big 12. Their press is obviously difficult to handle, but this team really plays well together and has a tremendous attitude at all times.

Early in the game, the Mountaineers set the tone by constantly attacking the basket and drawing fouls. It helped West Virginia win the free-throw battle, as they were 32-for-46 from the charity stripe while Kansas was only 13-for-21

Perry Ellis was the leader for Kansas, as he finished with 21 points and seven rebounds. But credit has to go to West Virginia’s defense with making it difficult for Ellis to get touches so the Kansas offense could not go through him. With guards like Mason and Selden forced to make plays off the dribble, it made it difficult for the Jayhawks offense to function and they looked disoriented. Mason finished with 12 points while Selden added 11 points.

The Jayhawks (14-2, 3-1) still have plenty of time to fix their press break and re-tool their offense to face a pressure-oriented defense, but this loss was still a bit concerning. Their veteran guards looked flustered, and although Kansas has barely seen any press situations this year, they should have handled it better.

West Virginia has a chance to make another statement later this week when they take a trip to No. 2 Oklahoma. They’re already at 4-0 in the Big 12 with two road wins and a win over Kansas, so that’s certainly as good of a start as Bob Huggins could have hoped for. Paige is a major sparkplug off the bench and Williams continues to be one of the more underrated big men in the country on a national level.

Greene back to lead No. 2 Kansas to 92-59 rout of Holy Cross

Bill Self
Associated Press
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LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) While the rest of his teammates were enjoying a holiday trip to Hawaii, and winning a title at the Maui Invitational, Brannen Greene was shooting baskets in an empty gym in Kansas.

Talk about a punishment.

Suspended for conduct detrimental to the team, the smooth-shooting forward was reinstated by Jayhawks coach Bill Self in time for Wednesday night’s game against Holy Cross. He responded by hitting three 3-pointers and scoring 14 points in a 92-59 rout of the Crusaders.

“Definitely felt good to get back on the court,” said Greene, who has declined to discuss what led to the suspension. “Me and coach, we had a sit-down, we talked. I dealt with my punishment. Looked at it as a positive and tried to get back on the court.”

Self had told Greene the previous day that he would suit up.

“Let me make this real clear, we don’t need to get on the same page. He needs to get on our page,” Self said. “And we had several, or a few, good talks initially, really good talks. His attitude has been really good and I think he wants to be part of what we’re doing here.”

Wayne Selden Jr. had 15 points to lead all scorers. Frank Mason III added 13, Perry Ellis and Cheick Diallo scored 12 apiece, and Devonte Graham finished with 10 for the Jayhawks (7-1), who blew most of a 20-point lead before building an even bigger margin in the second half.

“I told them, `Don’t go near an offensive rebound. A shot goes up, just get back,”‘ Crusaders coach Bill Carmody said, “and they still beat us back in transition.”

Karl Charles led Holy Cross (3-6) with 12 points. Malachi Alexander had 11.

Kansas played without forwards Landen Lucas, out with a toe injury, and Jamari Traylor, who has been dealing with a sore ankle. Both suited up and participated in warmups, but Self decided to start Hunter Mickelson and give his two big men the night off.

“They got the shaft tonight in some respects because they could have played, but I didn’t see any reason to do it,” Self said. “It wasn’t anything negative that they’ve done.”

Besides, it wasn’t like the Jayhawks needed either of them.

The reigning Big 12 champs resembled the high school team from “Pleasantville” in the first half, making nearly every shot that went up. They were 8 of 10 from beyond the arc, connected on 70 percent of their field goals and even managed to make all four of their foul shots.

The lead reached 20 at one point late in the half, and Mason converted a 3-point play on a drive to the basket to give Kansas a 50-33 advantage at the break.

The Crusaders stubbornly stuck with their 2-3 zone in the second half, though, and for a while it allowed them to climb back into the game. Kansas missed four of its first five shots, and Holy Cross ripped off a 13-2 run to get within 52-46 with less than 16 minutes left in the game.

But like they have in 97 of their previous 101 non-conference home games under Self, the Jayhawks proved to be too much. Ellis answered the run with a bucket in the paint, Graham took his own steal in for a dunk, and Mason’s 3-pointer from the corner restored order.

Kansas pushed the lead back to 20 on Selden’s two free throws, and right past the mark when Diallo followed up Selden’s miss with a dunk to help put the game away.

“The pressure got to us, forced some turnovers and we sort of lost control of things,” Carmody said. “It’s a very good team, and it’s a good passing team – there didn’t seem to be any greedy guys out there.”

HOT SHOOTING

The Jayhawks weren’t the only ones who couldn’t miss. Holy Cross shot 55 percent from the field in the second half, and they were 19 of 23 from the foul line for the game.

TIP-INS

Holy Cross: Anthony Thompson had four points on 1-for-9 shooting. He had 23 points against Albany in his last game. … The Crusaders beat Kansas in December 1949 with Bob Cousy on the roster.

Kansas: Graham also had five assists before leaving with what appeared to be a minor injury in the second half. … Kansas wound up 12 of 20 from 3-point range and shot 63 percent from the field.

UP NEXT

Holy Cross travels to Hartford on Saturday night.

Kansas plays Oregon State on Saturday night in Kansas City, Mo.

Brannen Greene’s suspension ends one game early

Brannen Greene
Associated Press
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Originally suspended by Kansas head coach Bill Self for six games following the Jayhawks’ loss to Michigan State in mid-November, junior wing Brannen Greene will make his return a game early.

Self announced the news Wednesday afternoon, meaning that Greene will be available to play when Kansas takes on Holy Cross Wednesday night. The original six-game suspension was supposed to end with the Jayhawks’ game against Oregon State Saturday in Kansas City. In making the announcement Self praised Greene for his attitude since being suspended.

Greene averaged 12.0 points in the two games he played before the suspension, averaging 11.5 minutes per contest. Also of note is that at the time of his suspension the Jayhawks were coming off of a 3-for-15 night from beyond the arc in that loss to Michigan State. On the season Kansas is shooting 45.5 percent from three, and the return of Greene (5-for-5 3PT) gives them another capable three-point shooter.

SATURDAY’S SNACKS: Georgetown, No. 19 Arizona among the winners

Bradley Hayes, John Thompson Jr.
Associated Press
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This will be updated throughout the evening.

GAME OF THE DAY: No. 23 Providence, 74, Rhode Island 72

The rivalry game wasn’t decided until time expired, as Ben Bentil tipped in a Kris Dunn miss to move the Friars to 8-1 on the season. Bentil finished with 23 points and eight rebounds, and Rodney Bullock added 16 points, four rebounds and two blocks. Jared Terrell, whose jumper with 6.2 seconds remaining tied the score at 72, led Rhode Island with 19 points.

And Rhode Island’s Hassan Martin did this during the second half (video credit ESPN):

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

Georgetown 79, No. 14 Syracuse 72: The old Big East rivalry is back as Bradley Hayes (21 points, 10 rebounds) and Marcus Derrickson (13 points, 10 rebounds) had double-doubles to help pace the Hoyas.

CBT’s Rob Dauster was at this one and has more.

No. 19 Arizona 68, No. 13 Gonzaga 63: The Wildcats, despite trailing by as much as 14, managed to edge out the Bulldogs for a second consecutive season. Gabe York scored 14 of his 18 points in the first seven minutes of the second half, sparking the Wildcats’ run to a big road win. Kyle Wiltjer and Domantas Sabonis combined to score 51 points for the Bulldogs.

More can be read about this game here.

Arizona State 67, No. 18 Texas A&M 54: Willie Atwood led five Arizona State players in double figures with 15 points as the Sun Devils beat No. 18 Texas A&M 67-54 in Tempe. Not only did Arizona State limit the Aggies to 31 percent shooting but they also scored 22 points off of 14 Texas A&M turnovers. Danuel House scored 17 points and Alex Caruso 15 for the Aggies, but House shot just 6-for-21 from the field. This caps a good week for Arizona State, which eked out a win at Creighton Wednesday night.

STARRED

Michigan State’s defense: The No. 3 Spartans easily dispatched Binghamton, 76-33, as they held the Bearcats to 16 percent (10-for-60) shooting. Denzel Valentine had 13 points, 12 rebounds and four assists in limited minutes. Valentine’s 13 first-half points was more than Binghamton (12) had in the first half.

The Spartans also moved the ball well. The ball not hitting the floor off the opening tip? That’s good ball.

Maverick Rowan, N.C. State: The freshman wing finished with 27 points and was 9-for-14 from the field in a win over Bucknell.

Brandon Taylor, Penn State: The Nittany Lions came away with a home win over Eastern Michigan as the senior forward had 27 points and collected 12 boards.

Kelan Martin, Butler: It was a strong performance from the sophomore forward as he went 10-for-14 from the field with 24 points, five rebounds and four steals in a win over Indiana State.

STRUGGLED

Gonzaga players other than Wiltjer and Sabonis: The remaining Bulldogs managed to score just 12 points in a five-point loss to No. 19 Arizona, combining to shoot 4-for-18 from the field.

Rutgers: Just five days removed from pushing Wake Forest to the brink the Scarlet Knights brought nothing to the table against rival Seton Hall. Rutgers shot 33.3 percent from the field and lost 84-55.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • West Virginia cruised to an easy victory over Kennesaw State as Devin Williams had 26 points and nine rebounds to lead the No. 20 Mountaineers.
  • No. 24 Louisville trounced Grand Canyon, 111-63, as Damion Lee had 24 points, six rebounds and Trey Lewis chipped in 16 points.
  • Malcolm Brogdon and Anthony Gill scored 16 points apiece as No. 10 Virginia beat William & Mary 67-52 in Charlottesville. And Darius Thompson did this.
  • Frank Mason III tallied 21 points, five assists and four steals as No. 4 Kansas held off Harvard, 75-69.
  • Brandon Ingram scored 23 points and Grayson Allen added 22 and 11 rebounds as No. 7 Duke beat Buffalo 82-59.
  • Isaac Haas scored 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds and A.J. Hammons added 16, 11 and three blocks off the bench as No. 11 Purdue pulled away from New Mexico, 70-58.
  • No. 21 Miami picked up its second straight win, beating Charlotte 88-60 in Coral Gables. Ja’Quan Newton led four Hurricanes in double figures with 14 points.
  • No. 22 SMU rolled to its seventh consecutive win, beating New Hampshire 98-44. Five Mustangs finished the game in double figures, led by Keith Frazier (23 points) and Shake Milton (20).
  • No. 12 Xavier remains undefeated, as they beat Western Kentucky 95-64. Trevon Bluiett lead the way with 21 points and ten rebounds, and the Musketeers limited the Hilltoppers to 38.7 percent shooting.

OTHER NOTABLE OUTCOMES

  • Khadeen Carrington had 18 points to lead Seton Hall to an 84-55 win over Rutgers. The Pirates are 6-2.
  • Nigel Hayes (18 points, 12 rebounds) and Bronson Koenig (17 points) paced Wisconsin to a home win over Temple.
  • Despite losing Ivan Rabb and Jaylen Brown to foul trouble late in regulation, California won in overtime at Wyoming 78-72. Tyrone Wallace accounted for 23 points, six rebounds, six assists and three steals to lead the Golden Bears, with Wyoming’s Josh Adams leading all scorers with 32 points.
  • Terry Allen led five in double figures with 21 points to go along with seven rebounds and five steals as Richmond beat Northern Iowa 82-67. The Spiders shot 13-for-25 from three.
  • Dayton moved to 7-1 with an 86-71 win over North Florida. Charles Cooke led five Flyers in double figures with a career-high 24 points.
  • They needed ten extra minutes to do it, but South Dakota picked up an 86-81 double overtime win at Minnesota. Casey Kasperbauer led five Coyotes in double figures with 17 points. Jordan Murphy went for 19 and 17 boards for Minnesota.
  • Missouri State led by as much as 17 before hanging on to beat Oklahoma State 64-63 in Stillwater. Dequon Miller scored five points in the game’s final 20 seconds to ensure that the Bears got the win.
  • Obi Egemano’s jumper with 1.9 seconds remaining gave Oral Roberts a 70-68 win at Tulsa.
  • Jae’Sean Tate led four starters in double figures with 19 points as Ohio State beat VMI 89-62.
  • Indiana limited Morehead State to 31.4 percent shooting in a 92-59 win. Troy Williams led five Hooisers in double figures with 16 points.
  • Dedric Lawson scored 28 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in Memphis’ 80-65 win over Southeast Missouri State. Also of note is that senior guard Kedren Johnson (shoulder) played eight minutes in his season debut.
  • Fred VanVleet played for the first time in five games and his impact was noticeable in Wichita State’s 68-53 win over Saint Louis. Ron Baker and Zach Brown scored 14 apiece, but VanVleet’s leadership and playmaking abilities were critical.