Brannen Greene’s Suspension Deals a Blow to Kansas’ Hopes in Maui

Posted by Brian Goodman on November 20th, 2015

The continuation of Kansas’ offensive struggles from last year have been a huge lightning rod for discussion, and it looks like they’ll continue for at least another few weeks. News released this morning that Bill Self had suspended forward Brannen Greene for the next six games because of conduct detrimental to the team.

This isn’t the first time Greene has found himself in trouble off the court. In July 2013, he was cited by Lawrence police for leaving the scene of a car accident, an incident for which team discipline was handled internally. Last March, he was held out for the final game of the regular season against Oklahoma, with Self citing “irresponsibility” as the culprit.

The length of Greene’s current suspension means that he will miss three games in addition to the Jayhawks’ three contests next week at the Maui Invitational. The opponents for those games will be Loyola (MD), Harvard and Holy Cross, with all three tilts taking place in Lawrence. Greene’s return is currently pegged for December 12, when the Jayhawks are scheduled to face Oregon State in Kansas City.

This suspension is significant because Kansas will have to look elsewhere for production on the wing against the most competitive stretch of opponents they’ll face in non-conference play — the Jayhawks are likely to play two of the group of UCLA, UNLV, Vanderbilt and Indiana after Monday’s opener against host Chaminade.

If there’s a silver lining here, it is that the three is arguably the deepest position on Kansas’ roster. While Wayne Selden‘s shaky play has continued, Kansas’ best chance of success likely entails him being positioned in the corner. If his struggles persist in the islands, though, Self may turn to Svi Mykhailiuk, who could potentially replace the potent three-point shooting that Kansas figures to lose in Greene’s absence. Yet another scenario, and perhaps the most likely one if history is any indication, is that Self will continue to put the onus on his big men to convert close looks, which they’ve struggled to do against high-level competition.

Even though Self hasn’t been too keen on stretching his team’s offensive attack more to the perimeter, Greene’s absence during Kansas’ most daunting stretch of non-league action significantly reduces its margin for error while in Hawai’i. It’s certainly on Greene to find the same page as Self off the court, but winning the Maui Invitational just became a much more challenging task for the presumed favorite.

Brian Goodman (987 Posts)

Brian Goodman a Big 12 microsite writer. You can follow him on Twitter @BSGoodman.

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