An ugly game for the Kansas Jayhawks on Wednesday against Sunflower State rival Kansas State was punctuated by an even uglier ending.
KU’s perennial dog house resident Brannen Greene set off an immediate firestorm of criticism by Kansas State fans for dunking the basketball with one second left in the game, violating the so-called unwritten “code of ethics” that says to dribble a game out when the winner has been decided.
This is another in the long laundry list of questionable actions by Greene, who earlier this season was suspended for six games for allegedly griping to KU coach Bill Self about his playing time, so much so that his parents were called in at the time of the incident.
I just don’t know what runs through Greene’s mind at times. Self gives him countless chances because of his God-given ability to shoot the basketball from long distance and certainly not because of his matador defense, where he often gives little more than a casual wave to the man he’s guarding.
The frustrated Self, predictably, went totally off after the game on Greene, who may find himself in street clothes again for the next game. Greene had played a key role in the first half, but was buried on the bench until the final few minutes of the second half. He couldn’t have been thinking about the reaction when he dunked the ball because he apparently wasn’t thinking in the first place.
Wildcat fans are deservedly irate, much like KU fans were last year when Jamari Traylor was roughed up after KSU fans stormed the court at Bramlage Coliseum after a Wildcat upset. My guess is that Greene will eventually be contrite and issue an apology on social media or through the beat writers who regularly cover the team.
As for the game itself, the Jayhawks played like they were entitled. They were out-rebounded by a staggering 15 and were outhustled by the plucky Wildcats. KU had a decided talent, size and experience advantage, but was careless with the ball and three-year regulars Frank Mason and Wayne Selden were somewhere else. Mason’s play continues to be puzzling as he can’t finish at the rim or keep his man in front of him on defense. I still think the OU game took a lot of out him because he hasn’t been the same guy who was the team’s most indispensable player the first dozen games of the season.
KU’s sporadic play doesn’t inspire a deep NCAA Tournament run. Self can’t seem to settle on how to divide the minutes and he’s worn the core four of Mason, Selden, Devonte’ Graham and Perry Ellis to a nub. He has players that he doesn’t seem to trust in big situations and the team has no inside offensive presence other than Ellis. The tremendous 3-point shooting of the first dozen games has proven to be Fool’s Gold and the team doesn’t get to the rim enough to make up for it.
Kansas most likely is going to see its Big 12 record of 11 straight conference titles go by the boards. Experienced Oklahoma is playing at a high level and I almost shudder what’s going to happen when the Jayhawks play in Norman. That could get real ugly.
Just like Wednesday’s game with the Wildcats.