In conference play, it's frightening to think where the Jayhawks might be without it.
Against Big 12 opponents, Greene is pure Red Bull off the bench, shooting .571 from the floor, a blistering .625 from beyond the arc, (20 for 32), and .800 from the charity stripe, while averaging 8.4 points, 3.3 boards and almost two 3-pointers (1.8) per contest.
In fact, the Georgia native’s trey conversion rate is the best of any player at a Power 5 program — Big 12, Big Ten, ACC, Pac-12, SEC — who has averaged at least one made triple per game this year. If Greene isn’t at the head of the line for the league’s Sixth Man of the Year award, he better darn well be within shouting distance.
"Regardless if Brannen's stats are 40 or 50 or 60 percent, the guy can really shoot the ball," KU coach Bill Self told reporters earlier this month. "I mean, he's probably as good a shooter as we've had since I've been here."
…A rival AAU coach once likened him to the second coming of Reggie Miller. Mike Thompson of McEachern High in Powder Springs, Georgia, tussled with Greene in the state playoffs and immediately flashed back to a Georgia kid he'd played against as a teenager: Dale Ellis, who was to the NBA 25 years ago what the Kyle Korvers are now.
"It just seemed like he never missed a shot," Thompson says. "Some guys are volume shooters. He wasn't. He would shoot it 10-12 times and would have 25 points. We've had kids (in Georgia) who could shoot the ball pretty good, (but) not with his size and not with the consistency that he has.
"Even at Kansas already, he's made some big shots, and I think that's just going to be his story. He's going to be a prolific shooter and probably has a great chance in the NBA to be one of those Kyle Korver, Ray Allen type of guys, because he's got a beautiful shot. I don't see that getting worse; I see that getting better."
Fox Sports Keeler
…Before Tuesday's game, Hoop-Math.com had KU making 54.8 percent of its shots at the rim and 40.1 percent of its 3s. Let's do our math from earlier. That means we can expect 1.096 points per possession from KU on layups and 1.20 PPP on 3s, not taking into account offensive rebounding (layups are rebounded about 41 percent of the time by the offense, while 3s are grabbed 30 percent, according to Ken Pomeroy's numbers).
Yes, teams that rely on 3s have a wider range of outcomes. A bad shooting night is a risk in the NCAA Tournament.
Then again, KU has shot so poorly inside this year, layups are probably just about as risky as 3s if we look at the numbers.
Sounds like even more reason to #Freethe3 to me.
Most outstanding Jayhawk vs. Texas Tech: Frank Mason
Stat of the day: Selden and Greene have combined to hit 28 of 40 3s (70 percent) in KU's last four games.
KU junior forward Perry Ellis needs three points Saturday against Baylor (noon, Allen Fieldhouse) to become the 56th KU player to score 1,000 points.
“Perry’s been a consistent scorer for us,” Self said. “If Perry is here next year and doesn’t opt to try to do something different and go out and play pro ball, you’d think he’d have a chance at the 1,400 to 1,500 range which would probably put him in the top 20 in career scoring. That would be a nice accomplishment. For our sake, let’s hope it happens Saturday. He’s only three away and we need him to score more than three points,” Self added.
…A Hawk Talk caller asked about the progress of freshman Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, who had no points in nine minutes in Tuesday’s win at Texas Tech. He had played three minutes in the previous six games.
“It’s hard to play 10 or 11 guys. He’s a little behind some of the guys playing in front of him now or he’d be playing. Defensively he’s probably more advanced than a couple of those guys. Offensively he’s behind because of youth, strength, experience,” Self said.
“That is the way it is at places that win,” Self added of players in the past such as Thomas Robinson, Jeff Withey, Sherron Collins and Markieff Morris waiting their turn.
“It may be disappointing to him (Svi) ... I know it is because we’ve talked. He wants to play more and contribute more but he’s going to be a good player. I feel good about him. I think he’ll be terrific.”
… So far, three Jayhawks in the NBA have said they’ll be in town for Saturday’s game against Baylor. Philadelphia 76ers rookie Joel Embiid is coming to town over NBA all-star weekend, Self said Wednesday. Also on hand will be Nick Collison (OKC Thunder) and Ben McLemore (Sacramento Kings).
“It’s real tough,” Selden said of the Big 12. “We get a game every night. There’s a lot of tough teams. You have to really come out and compete every night.”
Scott Ferrall believes that Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa State, West Virginia, Oklahoma State and Baylor are all NCAA Tournament teams without a doubt.
“Oh, definitely,” Selden said. “Those are all good teams, and those are all challenging teams for us to play.”
Kansas has lost just twice since Christmas: at Iowa State and at Oklahoma State, both by five points. The loss to Oklahoma State on Feb. 7 was a tad surprising, as the Jayhawks led 41-30 at halftime but were outscored 37-21 thereafter to fall, 67-62, in Stillwater.
“We didn’t play smart,” Selden said. “We didn’t take care of the ball and we got out-toughed, which should never happen. We just didn’t play the type of basketball we’re capable of playing.”
Kansas has several tough games down the stretch. The Jayhawks host No. 16 Baylor (18-6, 6-5) on Valentine’s Day, still play No. 21 West Virginia (18-5, 6-4) twice (Feb. 16 and March 3), and close the regular season at No. 17 Oklahoma (17-7, 8-4) on March 7.
It’s a tough slate, but it should get Kansas ready for the Big 12 and NCAA Tournaments.
“Our schedule all year has been preparing us for the next chapter of our year,” Selden said. “We feel like we’re getting ready with each game we play.”
AUDIO: CBS radio
While most of the nation's top recruits of the 2014 class completed their campus visits in the fall and chose a school to attend by early winter, Graham was still busy leading his Brewster Academy team to a prep school national championship, uncertain of his commitment to Appalachian State the following year. During that season, Appalachian State's head coach was relieved of his duties.
Bad timing, indeed. Graham had already endured the stress of choosing a school and was grateful to Appalachian State for its belief in him. Without the head coach that he committed to however, Graham used the opportunity to reopen his college search after finishing his prep school season. This time around, top-basketball programs were vying for his talents, but Graham did not have much time to make a decision.
"It was getting late so I did my visits back-to-back-to-back. I left Kansas and went straight to NC State and then I left there and went straight to Virginia. It was definitely hectic," Graham recounted.
It would have been easy to panic considering it was already April. Graham didn't have time on his side, but he did have experience and a better idea of what he was looking for in a school. He knew he wanted to make an impact right away on the court, while feeling safe and comfortable away from it.
Despite the added pressure of having to make a quick decision, Graham took advantage of the second chance he was given.
"I just enjoyed myself the second time around. I didn't stress myself out," Graham recalled. "My mom and I sat down and talked and felt like we made a great decision."
That decision was to attend the University of Kansas. Looking back on why he chose Kansas, Graham cited the connection he immediately developed with sophomore guard Wayne Selden Jr. Selden told Graham about the chance to get instant playing time, the opportunity to be a star, Kansas' need for another point guard and the history and traditions of Kansas basketball.
"I just remember [Selden] taking me under his wing like a little brother which I didn't really feel with the other schools," Graham said. "That stuck out to me."
“He was one of the most well-known young European players. As a 16 year old, he had tremendous success for the Ukraine in the various European championships. He also played in the Ukrainian SuperLeague, which is mind-boggling,” Fraschilla said. “So he was already a prospect who was on the radar. He showed up at the Nike Hoops Summit as a last-minute addition to the international roster. It was there during the practices mainly that he blew away people who were watching, including a lot of NBA scouts. By the time the week ended, everyone knew he was a very good prospect and that he was interested in coming to college.”
Mykhailiuk presented a unique opportunity for college coaches. Due to NBA rules requiring prospects to turn 19 the same year as the draft to be eligible, the 17-year old must wait at least two years to declare for the NBA. This guaranteed schools at least two seasons with Mykhailiuk on their roster, a player NBA teams could not wait to get their hands on. Adding to his appeal was that the Ukrainian teen had no desire to sign a pro contract overseas.
“I liked the NCAA more than playing in Europe because it was something new for me and I was ready to try it,” Mykhailiuk said. “I thought it was the best option for me because from the NCAA it is easier to go to the NBA because it is more similar than Europe.”
In Portland, Mykhailiuk reciprocated Kansas’ interest. He arranged a visit to Lawrence with his parents.
“It was actually their first time in the United States,” Townsend said. “He had a really good visit and called us before he left the United States and said he wanted to come and sign the papers.”
Mykhailiuk put it simply.
“Kansas was the best option for me, so I chose Kansas,” he said.
Kansas’ coaches agreed that being a Jayhawk was the best option for Mykhailiuk, as the exposure and the opportunity to play are important to a kid who has aspirations to play in the NBA. Certainly, he could’ve signed for a lot of money and played professionally over in Europe or anywhere else, but his goal is to reach the NBA.
“He thought this was his best avenue,” Townsend said. “We were just fortunate that he picked us.”
Fraschilla also believes that Mykhailiuk has found a perfect home for at least the next two years. Mykhailiuk’s path to Kansas is just the beginning of what Fraschilla and many others predict will be an outstanding collegiate career due to its longevity of the minimum two years and Mykhailiuk’s tantalizing potential.
“Svi was looking for a place where he could continue to grow as a player, and in my mind he picked as good a spot as he could pick because he gets to play for a great program with great tradition and for a future Hall of Fame coach,” Fraschilla said.
Big12Sports.com Student Spotlight
2/11/15, 10:30 PM
This Cliff Alexander dunk rocked Allen Fieldhouse es.pn/1ANx2oT
Use #ForLoveOfTheDunk to tell us your vote for dunk of the year!
Jerrance Howard, an assistant men’s basketball coach at Kansas, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor possession of marijuana last summer while in his hometown of Peoria, Ill., the Peoria Journal Star reported on Wednesday afternoon.
Howard was charged in July 2014 with unlawful possession of cannabis, a Class B misdemeanor in Peoria County, and was ordered to pay $1,178.26 in fines and was placed on six months of court supervision, according to the report. The six months of court supervision was set to end on Friday.
Kansas coach Bill Self told The Star on Wednesday evening that he first became aware of the situation late Wednesday afternoon. Self declined comment beyond saying he was still deciding on a course of action.
“It’s an internal matter,” Self said. “It will be handled like all personnel matters.”
Howard, 34, who played for Self at Illinois, is in his second year on the staff at Kansas. Before coming to Kansas, Howard spent one season as an assistant at SMU under Larry Brown. Howard previously worked five seasons at Illinois for Bruce Weber, who is now at K-State.
Known for his personality and enthusiasm, Howard is known as one of the college game’s more effective recruiters. During his time at Kansas, he was instrumental in landing freshman forward Cliff Alexander.
▪ Operating revenue: $97.681 million
▪ Operating expenses: $90.057 million
▪ Operating profit: $7.625 million
Unlike most athletic departments, KU made more money after expenses from men’s basketball ($9.774 million) than it did from football ($8.333 million) in fiscal year 2014.
…The Kansas athletic department enjoyed an increase in total operating revenue for the second straight year, bringing in a record $97.7 million during the 2014 fiscal year, which ended June 30, according to financial documents reported to the NCAA.
KU athletics also spent more than ever before, reporting more than $90 million in expenses during 2014, an increase of nearly 13 percent over last year’s reported $79.7 million in expenses.
The operating revenue figure, KU officials say, was slightly inflated by a major capital donation for a new on-campus apartment complex that will house Kansas basketball players. The reported expense figure of $90,056,511 includes $7 million in depreciation, which inflated the year-over-year growth, according to Pat Kaufman, the chief financial officer for KU athletics.
“Four million of it is real growth — inflationary increases, salaries, utilities and travel costs, and so forth.” Kaufman said. “But $7 million of that is depreciation expense.”
…In 2014, yearly donations held steady, but overall contributions were boosted by the gift given to KU for the building of McCarthy Hall, the new multimillion-dollar complex that will serve as the new home for Kansas basketball players, beginning in 2015-16.
Kansas also received a record $22.3 million in revenue from the Big 12 and NCAA, according to the documents submitted to the NCAA. That figure was up from $20.7 million in 2013.
Kansas, meanwhile, saw an increase in football revenue despite lackluster results on the field. After bringing in $20.9 million in 2013, the KU football program reported revenues of 23.1 million in 2014. The increase came despite plummeting football ticket revenues. The football program brought in just $5.2 million in football ticket sales, down from $5.5 million in fiscal year 2013 and a record-high $9.5 million in 2009.
…Among the other major areas of expense: KU reported an expense of $3.13 million for men’s basketball coach Bill Self’s salary and benefits. KU basketball assistants were paid a total of more than $1.1 million, according to the documents submitted to the NCAA.
Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self on Wednesday remembered his good friend, Jerry Tarkanian, as a man who not only cared deeply about the team he was coaching, but many other squads around the country, as well.
“One thing I always respected about ‘Tark’ is that he loved ball. He liked watching everybody else play. He loved watching Kansas play,” Self said on his weekly Hawk Talk radio show. He shared stories about the former UNLV, Fresno State and Long Beach State coach, who died earlier in the day at the age of 84.
“I mean he’d call me after games and say, ‘Hey you guys are doing great.’ Or, ‘I like how you do this.’ Or, ‘How do you do that?’’’
Self’s relationship with Tarkanian blossomed when Self coached at Tulsa and ‘Tark’ coached at Fresno State, two schools in the WAC.
“My best ‘Tark’ story ... my last year at Tulsa, we were 32-5. All five losses we had a chance to win on the last possession or get a stop on the last possession and we lost. Three of ’em (losses) were to ‘Tark,’’’ Self said.
“After he beat us the third time in his building for the conference championship he asked if he could talk to our guys. I said, ‘Sure, ‘Tark’ what do you want? We’re not very happy.’
“He said, ‘Gosh you guys are great.’ I said, ‘Tark’ you just beat us for the third time.’ He said, ‘We played like crap all year long, but these three games we played well. We get up to play you guys.’
“He said, ‘I’m telling you what, you can go to the Final Four. Your team is so good. You guard so well. I love playing against you guys.’’’
Self’s 1999-2000 Golden Hurricane wound up reaching the Elite Eight.
A couple days after coach Mike Budenholzer — the leader of Eastern Conference leading Atlanta Hawks — called Wiggins a force on the floor, coach Steve Kerr — the bench boss of the Western Conference leading Golden State Warriors — had even bigger praise for Wiggins.
“I don’t even know who else would be in the conversation [for Rookie of the Year],” Kerr said of Wiggins. “He’s going to be an All Star. He’s a terrific player, a good talent, and it looks like he’s figuring out the NBA game. … He’s really going to be a good player.”
“Pay Heed. The game you love began here. Respect those who came before you. Make their legacy your own. Because destiny favors the dedicated. And rings don’t replace work. In this game you don’t get what you want. You get what you earn. We are Kansas. Together we rise. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!
Big 12 / College News
A limited number of tickets are being made available for the public to purchase for the 2015 Philips 66 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championship. The 2015 event marks the 14th time that Kansas City will host the postseason men’s basketball championship - more than any other city. The limited number of tickets will go on sale on Tuesday, February 17.
“This year marks the seventh time that Sprint Center has hosted the Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championship,” said Brenda Tinnen, Sprint Center General Manager and Senior Vice President. “Showcasing Kansas City’s unique hospitality to student-athletes and fans from throughout the conference is both an honor and privilege.”
Each ticket includes all five sessions for the 2015 Championship, providing the same seat location for the four-day event held from March 11-14. Fans may purchase up to four (4) all-session tickets for the Championship at face value directly from Sprint Center, the event’s only authorized ticketing outlet. Tickets go on sale at 10:00 a.m. CT on February 17 - online only at SprintCenter.com.
For additional information, visit sprintcenter.com or call 816.949.7100.
One by one, Kansas State basketball players sulked off the court when West Virginia finished a 76-72 victory on Wednesday.
They were understandably frustrated. It was their fifth loss in a row, and the Wildcats now have a losing record in February for the first time since 2004.
Worst of all, they knew how close they were to avoiding both scenarios.
“I thought we had it,” K-State sophomore guard Nigel Johnson said after scoring 14 points. “At the end of the game, they got some calls we didn’t get … But there isn’t much you can do about that. I feel like we fought hard.”
Texas guard Javan Felix returned after missing two games with a concussion to score 16 points and Longhorn coach Rick Barnes got career win No. 600 with a 66-43 win over TCU on Wednesday night.
The junior has had three concussions in the past year and said he worries that if he gets another one "I won't be able to play again."
Texas school policy mandates that team doctors, not coaches, decide when a player returns from a concussion. Texas medical staff had refused to let Longhorns quarterback David Ash back on the field after a concussion in the first game last season and Ash quit the sport several weeks later.
"It's my brain, so yeah I was concerned," Felix said. "I healed up well, thank God."
Barnes is the 13th active major college coach to reach the 600-victory mark and did it in his 28th season, his 17th with the Longhorns. Texas (16-8, 5-6 Big 12) also won its second consecutive game after a four-game losing streak.
Felix made four of Texas' seven 3-pointers. Cam Ridley added 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Longhorns.
The 7-footer was the No. 2 prospect in the country last summer, per RecruitingNation. He's a top-10 pick on most NBA mock draft boards. He's an efficient, shot-blocking terror who's still growing.
Into his body.
Into his game, one that prefers jump shots over banging in the paint.
Into this role of the young cowboy who was sent to Austin to save a Texas program that's clearly in distress.
His youth is irrelevant.
The legacies of college basketball's Myles Turners are defined by their lone seasons at the collegiate level these days. When you're ranked ahead of every player in America not named Jahlil Okafor in high school, the pressure to perform rises.
This is probably it for him. His parents have secured a multimillion-dollar insurance policy for the big man who will protect him financially if he suffers a career-altering injury. That's often evidence that a player will declare for the NBA draft and sign with an agent shortly after the season ends.
There is just one month to go before Selection Sunday.
So Turner, much like the entire Texas program -- which has lost four of five and six of its past nine heading into Wednesday's game against TCU (8 p.m. ET, Longhorn Network) -- is running out of time to show what he's capable of.
The NBA is watching. Barnes is watching. Texas fans are watching.
It's all happening so fast for a youngster who's been instructed to take his time -- and improve as quickly as he can.
"That form of player is difficult to guard," said T.J. Ford, a former Longhorns star and Wooden Award winner. "Basketball is instincts, and if you can't use your instincts, then you're limited at the end of the day. I don't care how good you are. If you don't have good instincts, you're limited."
With his current program, Haith finds happiness in a defensive-oriented, junior-laden squad surprising outsiders — and sometimes himself — and stirring up increasing fan interest in this basketball-rich community.
To leave Missouri for Tulsa surprised many basketball observers, including Tulsa guard Shaquille Harrison. Haith said he was confident he would have the personnel to win 20-plus games this season at Missouri and even more the following season. But he sought better job security: He said he had three years left on his Missouri contract; Tulsa offered six years (about $1.3 million per year).
Tubby Smith, a former Tulsa coach and one of Haith's confidants, said Haith made a "wise and proactive" decision to leave Missouri because "you hear those rumblings, you have to make sure your ear is to the ground" and leave at the right time.
With six representatives, the ACC leads all conferences in the Wooden Award Late Season Top 20, which was announced Wednesday on ESPN.com.
Players who were not included on this list can still earn a slot on the Final Ballot 15, which will be announced on March 7 and later reduced to five finalists by a panel of voters.
Duke teammates Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones, Louisville's Terry Rozier and Montrezl Harrell, Notre Dame's Jerian Grant and injured Virginia wing Justin Anderson represent the ACC on the Wooden Award Late Season Top 20.
Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky, arguably the front-runner in the Wooden Award race, is on it, too. Willie Cauley-Stein is No. 1 Kentucky's lone representative on the list, which also includes freshman stars D'Angelo Russell and Stanley Johnson.
Three members of both the Big 12 (Buddy Hield, Georges Niang and Juwan Staten) and the West Coast Conference (Kevin Pangos, Kyle Wiltjer and Tyler Haws) are also on the list, along with Bobby Portis, Delon Wright, Chasson Randle and Ron Baker.
No. 6 Villanova and No. 8 Kansas are the only two top-10 teams without a player on the Wooden Award Late Season Top 20.
Seth Tuttle, a star for No. 13 Northern Iowa, could also make a late push to be considered for a spot among the final 15 nominees.
Former Indiana star Victor Oladipo charged into the Wooden Award conversation in 2012-13 after failing to receive a mention on the midseason list.
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