Brannen Greene

Associated Press

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

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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

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.

Kansas suspends Brannen Greene six games

Associated Press
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While freshman forward Cheick Diallo will get to make the trip west for the Maui Jim Maui Invitational, one of his teammates will not.

Friday morning head coach Bill Self announced that junior wing Brannen Greene has been suspended six games for “conduct detrimental to the team.” That rules him out for the Jayhawks’ three games in Maui, beginning with their matchup with hosts Chaminade on Monday.

Greene will be allowed to practice with the team upon their return, but he’ll miss games against Loyola (MD), Harvard and Holy Cross. The first game Greene, who’s averaging 12.0 points per game and hasn’t missed a shot from the field (6-for-6 FG, 5-for-5 3PT), will be available for is the Jayhawks’ game against Oregon State December 12.

Not having Greene in Maui means that Kansas will be short a perimeter shooter, which is important when considering the fact that Wayne Selden Jr. is 5-for-12 from three through two games and Devonte’ Graham is just 2-for-10. Already important scoring options, those two will need to be even better from a perimeter shooting standpoint in order to give Kansas the offensive spacing they need for their big men to be successful in the post.

Hip surgery to sideline Brannen Greene for five months

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Brannen Greene will be out for the next five months as he is set to undergo surgery on a torn labrum in his hip.

“It (hip) hurts, but that’s not the problem. The problem is it’s continuing to get worse,” head coach Bill Self told Gary Bedore of the Lawrence Journal-World. “He’s had it (bone spurs) for years, and they’ve decided to get it corrected. He’ll be pain-free.”

Greene will be laid up for the majority of the offseason as he recovers, which means that he will miss the Kansas trip to the World University Games in South Korea this July.

Assuming he’s back to 100 percent by the start of the season, Greene, along with rising sophomore Svi Mykhailiuk, will be asked to play much bigger roles on the wing for the Jayhawks as Kelly Oubre has declared for the NBA Draft.

Greene averaged 5.7 points in 15 minutes per game this season. There was one seven-game stretch where he shot 17-for-24 from three

New Year’s Resolutions: Kansas Jayhawks

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Cliff Alexander (AP Photo)

Conference play is right around the corner, so over the course of the next two weeks, College Basketball Talk will be detailing what some of the country’s best, most intriguing, and thoroughly enigmatic teams should resolve to do with the New Year right around the corner. What can we say, we’re in a giving mood. Thank Jessica Simpson.

MORE: The rest of our New Year’s Resolutions | Midseason catchups

KANSAS PROMISES TO: Play their best players the majority of the minutes.

  • It will happen because: Bill Self isn’t stupid. He hasn’t won a decade’s worth of consecutive Big 12 titles by accident. He’s as good of a coach as there is in the country, and he understands what he needs to get out of his guys if the Jayhawks are going to be real Final Four contenders. If that means that he has to limit minutes early on for guys like Cliff Alexander and Kelly Oubre while he drives home the importance of things like offensive execution and attention to detail defensively, than that’s what he’ll do. Remember, Kansas has not yet played their best, and they’ve beaten Utah, Michigan State, Florida and Georgetown in D.C.
  • But it might not because: There’s no guarantee that those guys ever get to a place where they’re as good as they’re expected to be. These are college freshmen, 19-year olds that have a long, long way to go in their basketball careers. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was Wayne Selden’s left-hand, Alexander’s awareness or Oubre’s knowledge of defensive rotations. This is a by-product of recruiting guys that will only be on campus for a year or two.

KANSAS ALSO SWEARS THEY WON’T: Continue to get beaten up in the paint.

  • It will happen because: Maybe you hadn’t noticed, but one of the biggest issues that Kansas has had this season has been the play of their big men around the rim. Some stats: They’re 310th nationally in how often their two-points attempts get blocked (13.5 percent), they’re 287th in the country in two-point field goal percentage and they’re allowing opponents to grab 30.5 percent of the available offensive rebounds. With the number of title contenders with powerful front lines, that’s a concern, one Self will no doubt make a point of emphasis. Alexander’s growth should help in that regard.
  • But it might not because: As good as Perry Ellis and Alexander are, they’re never going to be as bigas opposing front lines. At some point, it is what it is, which is why Self has publicly discussed playing someone like Oubre, Brannen Greene or Svi Mykhailiuk at the four. If you’re going to get beat up inside, you might as well tryto create mismatches at the other end of the floor while you’re at it.

Kansas big man returns to lineup, sophomore inserted to starting five vs. Utah

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No. 10 Kansas follows up a road victory over Georgetown with a neutral site meeting with No. 13 Utah on Saturday afternoon at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

On Wednesday, Brannen Greene dropped a career-high 19 points, including 5-for-5 from three, in the Jayhawks’ 75-70 win over the Hoyas. His performance will be rewarded with a spot in the starting five against the Utes, replacing Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk. It’ll be Greene’s first start since opening night against UC Santa Barbara, a game in which he scored three points in 17 minutes.

The 6-foot-7 Greene had gone scoreless through the previous two games in limited action, but is averaging 6.4 points per game and shooting the ball well from beyond the arc. The Utes are allowing opponents to shoot 33 percent from three this season.

This is the first change Bill Self has made to the starting lineup during KU’s current six-game winning streak. However, this wasn’t the only roster move made on Friday.

Self also announced  that Jamari Traylor will suit up against Utah. The junior forward was arrested earlier this week, charged with interfering with a police officer.

“Jamari is going to suit and play. He’s obviously paid the penalty for making a poor decision on not cooperating on something he wasn’t remotely involved in,” Self told reporters, via KUSports.com. “It brought a lot of negative attention on him. Certainly he’s embarrassed by it. The only way you can handle this, like we’ve told him is become a better man because of it and identify why that would happen. He’s certainly working on that and open to doing that. I don’t see any reason for penalizing him any more than what we’ve already done.”

Traylor is averaging 3.3 points and 3.9 rebounds in 19.1 minutes per game this season.