Sunday, December 13, 2009

Gary Bedore’s KU basketball notebook

Kansas forward Markieff Morris delivers a dunk over LaSalle forward Yves Mekongo off a feed from Tyshawn Taylor, not pictured, during the second half, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Kansas forward Markieff Morris delivers a dunk over LaSalle forward Yves Mekongo off a feed from Tyshawn Taylor, not pictured, during the second half, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.


Audio clips

2009 KU-La Salle

Reader poll

Which Jayhawk's stat line were you most happy with against La Salle?

  • Xavier Henry's 31 points on 10-for-15 shooting 31% 713 votes
  • Tyshawn Taylor's 6 assists and 0 turnovers 28% 653 votes
  • Markieff Morris' 12 rebounds and four blocks 13% 305 votes
  • Cole Aldrich's 19 points on 8-for-10 shooting 26% 613 votes

2284 total votes.

GameDay Cram Session: La Salle online editor Jesse Newell and Journal-World sports writer Matt Tait take a look at what to expect from the Kansas basketball team's matchup against La Salle.


Kansas University’s Marcus and Markieff Morris visited with La Salle guard Rodney Green before and after the Jayhawks’ 90-65 victory over the Explorers on Saturday.

“I told him, ‘Good game, man,’” Marcus Morris said after watching his Philadelphia Prep Charter High teammate score 19 points off 8-of-21 shooting with four assists and three turnovers in 40 minutes.

“I told him (before game) we were going to beat them anyway. He can play on any level. We knew that coming out of high school.”

Markieff noted: “I talked to him a lot before the game. I told him, ‘It’s going to start out close, but eventually we’re going to pull away from you because all we had to do was get it together.’ Once we get it together, there’s no stopping us.”

No juice for E.J

KU freshman guard Elijah Johnson made his second straight start. He had one point and two assists in six minutes.

“I didn’t think Elijah had any juice today from an energy standpoint. He said his ankle was bothering him,” coach Bill Self said of an ankle Johnson sprained several weeks ago. “That (energy) is what he has to give us. He didn’t have it today because of health reasons.”

Self indicated it was a minor injury and Johnson would be fine heading into finals week.


KU, which was outrebounded, 22-17, the first half, won the board battle, 44-34.

“They killed us on 50-50 balls and rebounding the first half,” Self said. “To be plus-10 after being dominated early is good. That’s one of the better rebounding teams we’ll play all year.”

Stats, facts

KU is 9-0 for the third time in the Self era, 6-2 in Sprint Center, 191-76 all-time in Kansas City, 3-0 versus La Salle and 46-14 all-time against teams from the Atlantic 10. ... The 18,830 fans made up the largest regular-season crowd at Sprint Center. ... Xavier Henry had 31 points. The last KU player to score 30-plus was Sherron Collins, who had 32 against North Dakota State in last year’s NCAA Tourney. ... Markieff Morris (12 points, 12 boards) had his first career double-double. He had a career-best four blocks. ... Cole Aldrich’s five blocks pushed his career total to 160 and moved him into sixth place all-time at KU, behind Danny Manning (200) ... La Salle hit 36.1 percent of its shots, marking the 83rd-straight opponent the Jayhawks have held under 50 percent. ... KU has held eight of its nine opponents under 40 percent. ... KU’s 11 blocked shots were a season high.


KU used a 2-3 zone part of Saturday’s game. “Statistically, it was good. They scored two possessions out of six,” Self said. “We’re not going to do any (highlight) videos on it in the near future.”


UmbertoConforti 10 years, 9 months ago

Someone needs to make a point about Cole. He had good stats last night and played a good game. Nevertheless, at times he seemed tired and a bit not into the game. He has not shown the same drive this year that made him such a valuable asset to the team last year. I suspect pro scouts have noticed this. He seems a half a step slower this year than last. I don't know if "bulking up" has done it or what, but he isn't the same Cole Aldrich this year that he was last. Of course, he may know the team doesn't need him as badly this year as last to win most games. I hope this post is all nonsense and that I am wrong, but I fear I am not.

Steve Brown 10 years, 9 months ago

Umbert: I've been saying same theme, hope staff knows what it is, I would have dental work checked for low grade infection or if on anti-biotics change them. I also heard 1st time about his ill grandmother and that can affect his pyschy as anyone knows that has lost a loved one and for his and all our grandmothers we offer our prayers.

nice to practice a zone, will need it a few times before april 5th.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 9 months ago

umberto and lighhawk: I disagree with both of you assessments on Cole. Cole is a "Focal Point" for defenders now unlike last year. Everyone focused on Sherron last year which created opportunities for Aldrich.

I thought Aldrich played one of his best games yesterday against one of the best rebounding teams in the country. You both need to remember that Cole is getting double teamed more than ever this year (He wasn't as much yesterday). Cole's role has changed a little this year compared to last year just like Sherron Collins's role has changed this year.

When your "Team" gets better overall it should look like your individual accomplishments aren't as a good. That's how a great "Team" truly works.

thmdmph 10 years, 9 months ago

Self said that KU hasn't played with toughness and urgency and I think this is especially true of Cole. We haven't seen the toughness he needs to have to play the post this year. I completely agree with kushaw because so far this year, Cole has been the focal point of defenses and understandably why. What surprises me is that, great players step their games up even more in situations like these, however, Cole seems to allow the opponents to dictate his performance. Fortunately for KU, we have enough fire power to allow this, but I wish he plays with more "toughness" as Self put it.

I think as the year goes along, the defense will start to shift over to X more because he's consistently putting up huge numbers with percentages above 50%. That's the kinda numbers you'd expect from the paint, but from all over the floor? You've got to step up the defenses if this continues - and it will with X.

Lastly on Cole, he's one of my favorite players. So I give him a benefit of doubt because it's been circulated around that he had mono. I don't know this for a fact, but if it is mono, it can take the juice out of you for a while. So I hope that he'll turn around in 2010.

Matt Bowers 10 years, 9 months ago

intersted to see how the line ups change for the michigan game. can a team this deep really mesh and find a rhythm? it was good to see tt have such an impact on the team yesterday and cj for that matter. does anyone think that the twins will pick up a tech for hanging on the rim too long? is x a good passer or does he look to score too much, is that a bad thing? these are just thoughts and it would be interesting to see what some of you think.

rock chalk

Matt Bowers 10 years, 9 months ago

forgive me for the misuse of this site, but i am glad that gill is our next fb coach. good luck gill and welcome aboard.

rock chalk

Billy Derringer 10 years, 9 months ago

kustrong-what was gills record last year, o yeah it was 5-7 enough said!!!!!!!

truefan 10 years, 9 months ago

Not enough said, derringer29. He had a rebuilding year with young talent this year. Most of his starters were sophomores. They were also killed by injuries early in the season which cost them a couple of winnable games. You obviously don't do research on any of your posts.

lee3022 10 years, 9 months ago

Learning to play with double teams is a new game for Cole. He seems fine to me although I do see it is taking more energy for him and he is being blocked out by two guys on offensive rebound opportunities. The offense is dictating the defense by starting inside with Cole and forcing them to pack around him. This is the exact purpose - to get open shots for teammates. When they are hitting the threes it is impossible to defend. It is also the end of the game that is most advantageous to Cole as the opponent will likley not have 4 bigs rotating like KU. This wears them down while Cole can rest.

The Morris brothers are doing really well and Thomas Robinson is developing nicely. Thomas might be our most critical reserve before the end of the year. In 2007 the use of 4 good bigs was really advantageous for us in our run to the banner. Most teams have some good perimeter players but the bigs are much harder to choose and recruit. This is where KU has done well in recuriting and keeping depth. I am also intrigued to see how Jeff Withey will integrate with the team. Adding a 7 footer to this core is another reason for opponent coaches to need sleeping pills.

Jeffery Barrett 10 years, 9 months ago

truefan - thanks. Still disgusted by people who post that don't have their facts straight. derringer29 probably still thinks Lew hired Bill Self.

Dan Harris 10 years, 9 months ago

Welcome Coach Gill All true Jayhawk fans(unlike posers like derringer29) are excited to have you as our coach! RCJH!

Billy Derringer 10 years, 9 months ago

sgtjb123-for your info i know interm A.D. and long time booster "jennings" was the man pulling the self deal thank you....just because i dont have the same opinion as everone else doesnt make mine the wrong one thank you.-and what facts did i have wrong? was he not 5-7 ok then..i hate some posters on here, as soon as someone says something that is not butt kissing to ku then we are getting cheap shoots taken at us, this is not a CULT, i will feel and say as i please. thats the reason these boards are here!!!!!!!!!!!!!.as far as cole goes i think he is just being a team player and when he has been doubled teamed he just looks for his team mates to do there thing....

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