Kansas Notebook

KU’s Jamari Traylor returns against TCU but Brannen Greene is suspended

Updated: 2014-02-16T06:00:10Z

By RUSTIN DODD

The Kansas City Star

First half

•  Key play: Freshman Andrew Wiggins hit a three-pointer right before halftime, giving Kansas a 47-40 lead at the break.

•  Key stat: TCU’s Kyan Anderson had 21 points.

Second half

•  Key play: Wiggins hit Tarik Black for an alley-oop that stretched the lead to 52-40 with 17:12 left, and the rout was on.

•  Key stat: KU outscored TCU 58-18 in the paint.

Traylor back; Greene suspended

Sophomore forward Jamari Traylor had a near double-double against TCU after returning from a one-game suspension for an undisclosed case of “irresponsible behavior.” But freshman wing Brannen Greene served a game suspension Saturday, sitting for what KU termed as “a pattern of irresponsible behavior.”

Kansas coach Bill Self said Greene would likely return Tuesday, when KU plays Texas Tech.

“We can have slippage from a responsibility standpoint, and that’s basically what happened with (Greene),” Self said. “This could have been a game where he could have played a lot of minutes. … But certainly to me, I would rather try to have their heads right early in their career.”

Traylor, meanwhile, appeared motivated to make up for whatever transgressions led to his benching. He finished with a career-high 10 points and eight rebounds in 22 minutes.

“I feel like I did something to let my team down,” Traylor said. “So I wanted to get out there and (light) a spark.”

Traylor, who is now shooting 77.4 percent (24 of 31) in Big 12 games, said he felt personally responsible when he was on the bench for KU’s loss at K-State last Monday.

“If it was up to me, I wouldn’t want to have to sat out,” Traylor said. “But that’s between me and coach. … It was definitely a physical game at K-State, and I think if I was out there, we would have had a better chance to have won.”

Traylor and Self talked Thursday afternoon, and Traylor said they came to a mutual understanding.

“Pretty much,” Traylor said. “I’m not going to screw up anymore.”

• Freshman center Joel Embiid should return Tuesday at Texas Tech. Embiid missed Saturday’s game while recovering from an ailing knee and back. Embiid hasn’t practiced since the loss at K-State.

“He could have played today if he needed to,” Self said. “But he wasn’t totally pain free. But we’ll get him back out there tomorrow and see what he can do.”

• Former Kansas standouts Jeff Withey, Nick Collison and Brandon Rush were at Saturday’s game. All three players had the weekend off while the NBA’s All-Star weekend took place in New Orleans. Rush, a Kansas City native, took his son into the locker room and met with KU players after the game.

“He’s battled so many injuries and those sorts of things,” Self said “It’s great to see Brandon. I told our guys: ‘He’s the best defensive player since we’ve been here.’ Withey got a lot of attention because he blocked shots, but Brandon Rush was the best defensive player we had. And he didn’t even know how to spell it when he first got here.”

• The 95 points were a season-high for Kansas. The Jayhawks have recorded six 90-point games this season, the most since the 2010-11 KU team racked up seven 90-point games.

• Kansas moved to 10-2 in the Big 12, making it the 20th straight year KU has won 10 or more games in league play.

| Rustin Dodd, rdodd@kcstar.com

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