No. 4/5 Kansas Shoots Sharp in 109-72 Season-Opening Win

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LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas opened the 2015-16 regular-season with a swish.

The No. 4/5-ranked Jayhawks drained 15 3-pointers to defeat Northern Colorado, 109-72, inside Allen Fieldhouse on Friday night.

The Jayhawks (1-0) shot 56 percent from the field and 58 percent from beyond the arc to earn their 14th consecutive season-opening win and 43rd consecutive home-opening win at Allen Fieldhouse.

The Jayhawks’ 109 points are their most in a season-opener since KU scored 113 against Longwood on Nov. 12, 2010 and the second-most ever under Bill Self.

Junior guard Brannen Greene scored a team-high 18 points off the bench on a perfect shooting night – 6-of-6 from the field, including five 3-point field goals. Greene made his first triple from at the first-half buzzer, which gave KU a 53-31 advantage at the break.

Devonte’ Graham

Greene was one of five Jayhawks who reached double-figure points. Senior All-American candidate Perry Ellis posted an efficient 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting in 20 minutes. Junior guard Frank Mason III dished out nine assists with 11 points on 3-of-3 shooting from long range. Junior guard Wayne Selden Jr., added 15 points on 4-of-8 shooting in 23 minutes.

Northern Colorado (0-1) committed 35 personal fouls to send Kansas to the free throw line 34 times. The Jayhawks netted 26 points on 77 percent shooting from the charity stripe. The Bears, picked seventh in the Big Sky Conference preseason poll, were led by a game-high 27 points from Cameron Michael.

Junior guard Wayne Selden scored the first basket of the regular-season on a fast-break layup for a 2-0 Kansas lead. The Jayhawks didn’t look back, leading by as much as 45 points late in the game. There were no ties or no lead changes throughout.

Greene ended with the most 3-pointers, but it was sophomore guard Devonte’ Graham who started KU’s upwards shooting momentum. Graham made two treys in the first four minutes to help give Kansas an 8-2 lead. Graham finished with 13 points and eight assist in 24 minutes.

Freshman guard Lagerald Vick introduced himself to the sold-out Allen Fieldhouse crowd with an alley-oop dunk, assisted by Selden, at the 7:11 mark of the second half for his first points as a Jayhawk. Vick finished with three points in 11 minutes.

Freshman forward Carlton Bragg Jr., made his first bucket as a Jayhawk on a layup in the paint at the 12-minute mark of the first half. Bragg finished with seven points and three rebounds in 17 minutes of action.

Juniors Tyler Self and Clay Young joined senior Evan Manning on the court during the last three minutes of the game. Manning chipped-in to KU’s hot shooting night with a 3-pointer at the 1:43 mark of the second half. The basket marked Manning’s fourth career trey and 20th career point.

Kansas leads the all-time series with Northern Colorado, 2-0.

Kansas has a quick turnaround before facing Michigan State in the State Farm Champions Classic in Chicago on Tuesday (9 p.m., ESPN). Fellow blue-blood programs Duke and Kentucky compete in the first game of the event at the United Center.


#4/5 Kansas 109, Northern Colorado 72
November 13, 2015
 Postgame Notes

KU STARTERS (Season/Career Starts): Jr. G Frank Mason, III (1/40), So. G Devonte Graham (1/1), Jr. G Wayne Selden, Jr. (1/72), Sr. F Perry Ellis (1/72), Sr. F Jamari Traylor (1/20)

SERIES INFO: Kansas leads, 2-0

ATTENDANCE: 16,300 (228th-consecutive sellout)

  • Made Kansas 1-0 for the 14th-consecutive season beginning in 2001-02
  • Gave Kansas a 2-0 record against Northern Colorado and a 16-0 mark against current membership of the Big Sky Conference
  • Gave KU its 25th-straight win in Allen Fieldhouse which ties for the ninth-longest home court winning streak in school history
  • Gave KU its 43rd-consecutive home-opening win inside Allen Fieldhouse
  • Made Kansas 729-109 all-time in Allen Fieldhouse, including 191-9 under Bill Self
  • Made Self 353-78 while at Kansas, 560-183 all-time and 2-0 versus UNC
  • Made Kansas 2,534-183 all-time


  • After his 200th game in Allen Fieldhouse, Bill Self now owns a .955 winning percentage on James Naismith Court.
  • The Jayhawks’ 109 points were their most in a season-opener since KU scored 113 against Longwood on Nov. 12, 2010 and the second-most ever under Bill Self.
  • Kansas hit the 100-point mark for the first time since the Jayhawks topped Iowa State 108-96 on Feb. 25, 2013 in Ames, Iowa.
  • KU’s 37-point win was its largest margin of victory since March 4, 2012 when the Jayhawks topped Texas Tech, 79-42.
  • Kansas connected on 15 three-pointers, which marks the most by a KU squad since the Jayhawks also hit 15 treys against American on Dec. 29, 2012 and was just one three-pointer shy of the program record (16 vs. Baylor, 1/25/05).
  • The Bears were whistled for 35 fouls, the most by a Kansas opponent since the Colorado Buffaloes were also called for 35 fouls on Jan. 31, 1995.
  • Both teams combined for 59 fouls, the most in a KU game since Kansas and Nebraska were also called for 59 fouls on Feb. 4, 1989. The mark was just three fouls shy of the all-time record of 62 combined fouls between KU and Oklahoma on Feb. 23, 1991.
  • Kansas tallied 27 assists, its most in a game since it posted 29 helpers against West Virginia on Feb. 6, 2013.


  • Junior G Brannen Greene was one point shy of his career high after scoring a team-high 18 points on six-of-six shooting. His six field goals is a new career high.
  • Greene was a perfect 5-for-5 from behind the three-point arc, which marks the second time in his KU career he was 100 percent from three with a minimum of five attempts. Greene also connected on all five of his three-point tries against Georgetown on Dec. 12, 2014.
  • Greene only had one blemish on his stat sheet, going 1-of-2 from the free throw line. Missing his first free throw of the year broke a stretch of 15-straight from the end of last season.
  • Senior F Perry Ellis scored 16 points and moved ahead of Milt Newton on KU’s all-time scoring chart to No. 37 with 1,173 career points. Ellis is now 10 points behind Aaron Miles on the all-time list.
  • Ellis was a perfect 6-for-6 from the charity strip, marking the third game in Ellis’ career he was perfect from the free throw line with a minimum of five attempts.
  • In his first-career start as a Jayhawk, sophomore G Devonte Graham scored 13 points and added a career-high eight assist. Graham is now averaging 11.3 ppg over his last four outings, dating back to last season.
  • The Jayhawks’ three starting guards (Mason III, Graham, Seldon, Jr.) combined for 21 assists and just four turnovers.
  • Senior F Hunter Mickelson added three blocks, his most as a Jayhawk. His career-high is seven rejections, which he achieved twice while at Arkansas.
  • Senior Evan Manning connected on the fifth three-pointer of his career, scoring the Jayhawks’ final field goal with 1:43 remaining in regulation.


Kansas head coach Bill Self
On how well the team played:
“We did some good things. We shared it. We shot the ball from three unbelievably well. We did a lot of good things but there were way to many defensive break downs. All and all a good first night.”

On Brannen Greene:
“Brannen was great. There’s only been one other guy that’s ever gone at least five-for-five from the field twice for three in KU History.”

On the foul calls:
“I thought that this was by far the tightest anybody’s called so far. Fifty-nine foul calls in a game. After our first exhibition game there wasn’t that many foul calls, I think there was about thirty. We did a decent job shooting from the line and we need to use that as a weapon, but I thought everybody played well.”

On Perry Ellis and Frank Mason picking up early fouls:
“Perry and Frank have to be smarter. Getting two fouls in the first eight or 10 minutes of the first half…that’s not good. They have to be smarter than that because they are too important. But they played with decent energy and it was a lot of fun.”

On the play of his bench:
“Other guys need to play. I thought our bench did a great job, I though Hunter (Mickelson) was terrific again. I thought Jamari was great. Landen gave us some really good minutes.”

On the Michigan State game next week:
“We have to stop them in transition and we have to defend the three. We have to do a much better job on the defensive glass.”

Kansas junior guard Brannen Greene
On tonight’s performance:
“I felt good in warmups. What I do is shoot, and I was ready whenever my time came. I was going to come in and do what I did. The key to tonight was just playing fast. Coach said they didn’t transition very well so we just tried to play fast and play with energy – come out with energy. Defense picks us up overall and we feed each other. Perry feeds everybody. Devonte’ feeds everybody. Frank’s the same way, it’s a trickle effect.”

On coming back from his hip injury:
“It feels pretty good to finally do well in a game. I’ve been back for awhile. I’ve been playing against these guys in practice so I’m not lacking in confidence. I’m confident in my abilities and I know what I can do and I just went out there and played. Luckily shots fell.”

On how his hip feels:
“I got in some extra work and treatment. Got taped up, got a few things changed and rearranged so it felt good. I didn’t feel anything in the game and I don’t feel anything right now so it’s fine.”

On the next game against Michigan State:
“We’ve already flipped the switch. Coach told us after the game to flip the switch…everything from this point forward is Michigan State, so our focus is Michigan State. We’ll get in tomorrow, go over a few things, go over their actions and that will be the focus.”

Kansas sophomore guard Devonte’ Graham
On tonight’s performance:
“We were making shots this game so that helped, especially with the three balls where everybody hit in. Just playing fast like Coach said he wanted to do. I wasn’t expecting us to come out and score 100 points but shots fell in.”

On teammate Brannen Greene:
“He did what he does – he makes shots. We tried to find him. It’s Frank’s and my job to get guys open and drive the ball so it forces his defender to help and then he knocked down open shots so he played well.”

On setting a new career best for assists:
“I’m just being aggressive and listening to coach. Just listening to what he tells me to do, which is being aggressive and getting in the paint, get guys open shots because it just helps the team and I am trying to do what’s best for the team.”

Kansas senior forward Perry Ellis 
On teammate Brannen Greene:
“He was anxious to get back and he did everything he could just to get back.”

On tonight’s performance:
“Coach wanted us to play fast and we did that. That’s going to be a good push for us going forward – trying to play fast and good things happen from it.”

On the next game against Michigan State:
“Every game is the next game so we’re going to take this next game and go from there and just try to get better each game.”

Northern Colorado head coach B.J. Hill
Opening statement:
“Scheduling that game seemed like a good idea about a year ago. It was a great experience for our guys and our program. All you want is a chance to play against the best and that’s a very impressive team. We appreciate the opportunity – we’re a young team and we’ll learn from it. I think it’s the second youngest team I’ve had but I like them. They play extremely hard and we’ll get better.”

On how a talented team like KU takes away from what his team wants to do:
“Well we played Wichita State, the year they went to the Final Four, and we played them at a similar time of the year. I think they (Wichita State) hit 14 or 15 (threes) and I remember I told them at the time, if they shoot it like that, I think that’s where they could end up and they did. This is a similar deal. With the weapons that they have, the mixture of experienced players and the raw talent that will obviously get better, because they are getting coached by one of the best in the business, it’s a pretty daunting task for anybody. They had it rolling tonight, but we didn’t. We had a lot to do with that. We didn’t play our best and looked like a bunch of young pups. Hats off to them, we appreciate the opportunity and wish them the best because they are a heck of a team.”

Northern Colorado junior guard Anthony Johnson
On his performance in the game:
“It was just a fun opportunity to come compete and play hard. We didn’t really finish through how we would’ve liked, but we just came in here looking to compete and play hard.”

On the experience of playing against KU:
“For us, the whole week was kind of a cool experience. There’s nothing like this in all the country, so every player wants to play in an atmosphere like this. So just the experience is something just to be thankful and grateful for as you leave it behind.”

On the most difficult part of trying to guard KU:
“They got a lot of leads in transition. They would chase you from the get-go, just because they push the ball so well and it just feels like you’re flying around, never really getting your defense set the whole game. With how many shooters and bigs they have, you can’t afford to be chasing or trailing the play at all.”

Northern Colorado junior guard Cameron Michael
On the experience of playing against KU:
“I think it was a great experience. We learned a lot today about what we’ll need to work on and how we need to approach practice each day. We’ve got to get out there. I think we did good from the start, but as things got down to the stretch, we kind of fell off a little bit among each other. We got a lot of things we need to learn from. It was a good experience.”