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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Morningstar relishes return

Kansas guard Brady Morningstar pulls up for a jumper during warmups prior to tipoff against Michigan, Saturday, Dec. 18, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Brady Morningstar pulls up for a jumper during warmups prior to tipoff against Michigan, Saturday, Dec. 18, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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2009 KU-Michigan

Reader poll

Which were you most disappointed in after KU's 75-64 win over Michigan?

  • KU's rebounding 18% 272 votes
  • KU's turnovers 77% 1138 votes
  • Undecided 4% 64 votes

1474 total votes.

Brady Morningstar received numerous text messages from friends before Saturday’s game against Michigan.

Though the senders were different — some were prep-school teammates, some were friends from way back — the messages remained mostly the same to the Kansas University junior guard.

“Good luck.”

And, “Go have some fun.”

“It feels great knowing that they have your back,” Morningstar said, “and that they’re there for you whenever you need them.”

Morningstar played for the first time this season in KU’s 75-64 win over the Wolverines. He sat out the first semester because of a team suspension stemming from a DUI charge on Oct. 3.

“It felt good (to return),” Morningstar said. “It felt like I was back in my place.”

Morningstar played 22 minutes, contributing two points with two rebounds, three assists, a steal and no turnovers. He also was solid defensively, helping the Jayhawks limit Michigan’s leading scorer, Manny Harris, to 16 points off 6-for-15 shooting.

“We all knew Brady could guard, and he showed us again — time after time — that he’s a great defender,” KU sophomore forward Marcus Morris said. “I think Brady’s going to be a great boost to our team. Even though we didn’t play well today, I thought Brady did defend very well.”

Coming in, Harris averaged 22.2 points per game, which led the Big Ten Conference.

“I feel like coach put me out there and told me to stop him, and he expects me to stop him, and I expect myself to stop him,” Morningstar said. “I try to bring the team that.”

Going forward, perhaps Morningstar’s greatest role will be taking some pressure defensively off Xavier Henry.

“Playing with Brady makes the game a lot easier, because when I’m on defense, I’m on the best player. When he comes in, we can switch it up,” Henry said. “It’ll give me a break, and he’s already had a break, so we’ll just go back and forth.”

Morningstar doesn’t mind giving Henry a breather.

“I feel that’s good for me and him,” Morningstar said. “On the defensive end, if they run him around, then he’s going to be tired on the offensive end to shoot. If I take up the slack for him on that, then he can get back to scoring.”

Self said Morningstar was KU’s best penetrator against Michigan’s zone defense.

“A 1-3-1 (zone), that’s kind of tough, because you don’t know if they’re going to trap you in the corners or not,” Morningstar said. “We should probably work on that a little more, but I felt good out there and in rhythm.”

Comments

NH_JHawk 10 years, 1 month ago

jayhawkdon - ditto!

Morningstar takes a lot of heat on these boards, but let's face it, the kid is a stud and will make a difference with this team down the stretch. He's a lock down defender on the perimeter, is highly effective at feeding the post, and can stroke the open 3 pretty consistently. Other than leaving his feet a few times during yesterday's game (with the ball in his possession), I thought he was good handling the ball and was able to break down the 1-3-1 traps pretty well. Bottom line, I feel very comfortable when the ball is in Brady's hands.

Welcome back Brady!

KANSTUCKY 10 years, 1 month ago

Reed: 2-3 for 6 points, 3 boards, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 0 fouls, 11 minutes. BM: 1-2 for 2 points, 2 boards, 3 assists, 1 steal, 2 fouls, 22 minutes.

Collins is our best penetrator. Did you not see him drive the hoop around all five Michigan players? What happened to the back door play? It was there all night.

EJ needs court time more than BM or Reed. You know he has a much higher ceiling. It was disappointing not to see him in the game. Pay your dues in practice and you will see court time EJ and CJ.

VegasJhawk09 10 years, 1 month ago

Not necessarily. EJ is a freshman and so is CJ and they gotta wait their turn, unless they show they can game like Xavier. Reed and Brady are experienced players and heading into the big 12, thats exactly what we need. Although I think CJ can play with the best of them, he just has to stay healthy long enough.

TheTruth08 10 years, 1 month ago

Playing Brady Morningstar 22 minutes and Tyrel Reed 12 minutes was kind of disappointing. Morningstar and Reed played 34 minutes and EJ and CJ, who have the potential of really helping the team plays none? I have a real problem with this because basically, when they're not wide open, you're playing four against five and that sucks. And no, Brady is not a great ball-handler. And yes, he moves the ball because he's afraid to shoot it. I'm sure EJ can move the basketball. I've seen him do it. He's a much better ball-handler and he can shoot the three. He's a better offensive threat and he's no slouch on defense. CJ, with one good knee, is better than Tyrel. He's stronger, more aggressive, can shoot the three (off the bounce) and I'm sure he can take care of the ball. I've seen him do it. Those two needs minutes. I have no problem with Morningstar and Reed. But playing that many minutes, at EJ and CJ's expense is very discouraging. KU won't be a better team for it.

Robin Smith 10 years, 1 month ago

you dissenters got it all wrong. Reed and Brady should definitely play ahead of CJ and EJ. You've seen CJ play scrap minutes against scrap players. Yeah he's great and will get pt sooner than later but it's not like you've seen him play against teams' starting five let alone guard Manny Harris. EJ doesn't defend and pass like Brady does (yet). Sure you've seen him play really well, defending well and passing well, but it's about consistency and mistake-free decision making.

also the article said Brady was the best at penetrating against the 1-3-1 and that is absolutely true. Collins is the best on the team, duh, but in this game against Michigan, Brady penetrated against the 1-3-1 better than anyone else and it's simply a matter of fact, the tale of the tape.

Brady's quality showed impressively and if anything he merits more minutes and more shot attempts. His lack of shot attempts did not come because of fear of shooting - he played intelligently and took the right shots and made the right passes, except for one where Kief couldn't handle it and Collins was wide open.

There's a reason Self makes the decisions he does and there's a reason he gets paid to make those decisions.

NH_JHawk 10 years, 1 month ago

TheTruth08 said "And no, Brady is not a great ball-handler. And yes, he moves the ball because he's afraid to shoot it."

I completely disagree with your assessment of Morningstar. What evidence do you have of him being afraid to shoot it? He's not shooting it because he doesn't need to, plus it's only his 1st game back. The only shots Brady should be taking this year will be totally wide open looks and probably from 3. Also, we are a much more balanced scoring team this year. Sherron and Cole aren't even getting as many shot attempts now. So just because Brady isn't shooting it doesn't mean he's afraid to shoot it.

You also say that Brady is not a great ball handler? I'd say Brady is an excellent ball handler and yesterday's game was a perfect example. HCBS even commented how good Brady was at handling Michigan's 1-3-1 traps. I certainly didnt see any of our other "ball handlers" handling the 1-3-1 very effectively at all. Didn't you see Sherron's 3 turnovers in a row vs. the 1-3-1? And btw, Brady is also a very effective passer into the post, which also is a testament to his ball handling and decision making abilities. Brady Morningstar is a big asset to this team without a doubt.

To me what will be interesting going forward is now that Brady's back will Cole get more post feeds and thus more attempts. Time will tell.

TheTruth08 10 years, 1 month ago

NH_JHawk:

That would be great if Brady took few shots because he didn't have to, but that's not the case. They needed him to take shots last year and he didn't. If a defender is a few steps away from him, he won't shot it. I'm sure coaches see this and it's been scouted. It's four on five when he's on the court. If he's guarded, he's not even a threat. I like aggressive, confident players. His offensive game oozes no confidence. I think Tyrel doesn't give you much when he's guarded, either. But man, at least he tries to become a threat. You can tell he believes in himself when he has the ball in his hands. It just doesn't translate to his game. I don't see that with Brady. But maybe it's the way we're looking through the glass. Tomatoes. Tomahtows. You see smart. I see insecure.

And Brady is not an excellent ball-handlers. He's just OK. He's not beating anybody's presses. He'll make the pass to get it away, but a lot of players on the roster should be able to do that. He was good against the zone, but not great. And Brady is an effective passer into the post, but you don't think E.J. or C.J. could do, or learn to do, something as easy and basic as that? Existing by disappearing doesn't mean you should log heavy minutes. If that's the case I should be a millionaire because I know how to count money.

I've just always been unimpressed with his game. I appreciate the effort he gives, I just don't think Brady playing that many minutes per a game helps KU become a better team.

NH_JHawk 10 years, 1 month ago

TheTruth08:

You're certainly entitled to your opinion, but I still don't agree with you.

You said: "Existing by disappearing doesn't mean you should log heavy minutes."

I don't have any idea what that statement means, but I think it's your rationale for why Brady will be logging heavy minutes.

You know why he'll log heavy minutes? LOCK DOWN D and ball handling. Also 2 pts, 3 assists, 0 turnovers , 1 steal, and 3 fouls in 22 minutes. I think a pretty decent line considering its his 1st game back AND he was guarding Michigan's #1 offensive threat, which he contained very well. A lot of what Brady brings to the table can't be measured by stats either. Things like the will to lock down his man. That's obviously something that EJ, CJ and even TT haven't mastered yet.

So why not trust in HCBS to decide on dividing up appropriate minutes between the guards? You may not like it, but you might as well admit it that Brady is going to be logging heavy minutes on this team by making positive contributions.

jaybate 10 years, 1 month ago

TheTruth08,

You've done a good job clarifying what you think of Brady vs Elijah.

Now, what I need from you is an explanation of why Coach Self sees it differently than you do?

Fans who can explain why coaches, who are pretty sharp guys (Self has won a ring and 80% of his games at KU) are playing the wrong guys are worth a lot to this board.

Go ahead. What doesn't Bill Self grasp that you do?

Sometimes coaches make mistakes.

Not often, but sometimes.

To me, Elijah is just too far behind Brady to play ahead of him, even when Brady has had to sit out a semester.

Steve Brown 10 years, 1 month ago

my book, I love BM crisp passes and seems to see the wide court all at once, valuable.

CA could up the Vit C and fluids & warm weather. stay out of steam room and into dry heat sauna.

Vincent Patterson 10 years, 1 month ago

Well Jaybate, let's just hope this mistake doesn't cost us another chip. You take that rotation into Texas or into the Final Four against a Kentucky team, you are going to get beat, flat out! Brady the lock down defender Morningstar. So what, Brady is going to hold a John Wall or Avery Bradley, CHILD PLEASE! Brady can't take his man off the dribble or attack the rim..he's too soft and scared. Need I go back to the Michigan State game last year? Why would you not play someone who not only gives you some pretty dam good D, but can score in a variety of ways? EJ was coming along nicely man and now no burn at all, so that Brady can eat up 22 mins for 2 points? And the whole "Brady can get the ball down low" issue..that can be learned/taught in practice and in games just from repetition, you can't teach athleticism and toughness!

I just hope HCBS doesn't waste this talent he has at his disposal. He may not have another team like this one for a while. That deep at the guard spot, HE NEEDS TO BE PRESSING FULL COURT!

Steve Brown 10 years, 1 month ago

does your chili have beans or no beans.

drgslyr says: I'm a big Brady fan. He's not the huge leaper or athletic monster... he's just a solid player with his brain as his main asset.

nice.

some cooks use recipes some adlib. my chili is simiilar (high/low) tough defense, pass the ball, yet different each time, it is fun to mix the ingredients and make a different batch in search of that perfect chili.

You take some fine talent, mix in a HCBS system, attempt to maximise each player potential and develop a team.

Sometimes the K.Durrant, M.Beasley, B.Griffin, J.Wall hot sauce over powers the meat & beans.

Like Jaybate shares, you take great coaches like the Wizard of Westwood and great talent and a blending of players and you can create some mighty memorable chili. Pass the bowls.

Kye Clark 10 years, 1 month ago

The Truth has a very good point regarding Brady's shooting. This team needed a third scoring option last year. They were desperate for it. Brady played 30+ minutes a game last year, and scored a whopping 6.5 points/game. Several posters laud his 42% shooting from behind the arc a year ago, but what good is that if it disappears all too often. Also, he shoots almost 2/3s of his shots from behind the arc so opponents don't have to respect him scoring off of the drive or on anything but a three or fast break.

Now, Brady does a great many things well, he defends, passes, is in the proper position, feeds the post. The '08 team succeeded with having Russell Robinson not be a world beater on offense. He was that team's "glue guy". I think the fundamental difference is that RR was the point guard. You can have success at the highest levels with a self-less point guard. I don't know if you can with a guy that logs at least 20 minutes (and maybe more once he gets a few games under his belt) between the 2 and the 3. And for the record, RR was a better defender and passer than Brady. He was not as good of an outside shooter as Brady, but his overall field goal percentage was about the same his senior year as Brady's was last year. Comparing those two season's, RR shot 12 more shots than Brady did (in 5 more games) and scored an average of .8 more points per game (7.3 ppg on the year) while averaging almost 3 minutes less per game...on a team that really didn't value his scoring. The purpose of this comparison is just that when you figure KU needed Mario's Miracle and overtime to survive a Memphis team, and given that this year's success will surely be measured by at least a Final Four appearance if not a NC, how does this team stack up? Can this team get where it needs to go with a Brady playing the Russell Robinson role to slightly less effectiveness? It's not an apples to apples comparison, don't mistake what I'm saying. There are a great many variables and certainly you can't simply compare two players, substitute one for the other, and try and predict an outcome. Neither can you flip coins : ). Just saying, Brady is in all likelihood either at or very near his ceiling in terms of talent and production, and I wonder if the team might be better poised for success in March if we use these next couple of months to develop EJ & CJ, two players who's potential is greater.

Kye Clark 10 years, 1 month ago

Many of the fans championing what Brady brings to the table are always clamoring "he's the glue guy, he's the glue guy." Fair enough. But when things don't run smooth, when they fall apart, when they come un-glued...are you going to be just as quick to blame "the glue guy"? Certainly things didn't always look like they were running smooth against Michigan, and Brady played 22 minutes, what happened to all that glue? Certainly a case can (and almost surely will) be made that without Brady it might have fallen apart completely. Maybe. We'll never know since no one possess that "what if?" crystal ball. My point is just that his being "the glue guy" label needs to be taken as it should. He's part of the machine, he plays a role. His contributions should be valued, but not to hyperbole. It's either that, or worship him when things go well but demonize him when things crumble. Given the talent level of the players and coaching staff there would obviously be more worshipping then demonizing if that is the path this discussion takes. But this is KU. All the regular season accolades and praise buy you very little if you are a goat in March and early April.

Lastly, Jaybate makes a good point that I agree with (shocking I know) and that is that Self is far more qualified than any of us to decide what's best for his team. Still, it's just another "what if?" to which no one will ever know the answer. Maybe we win it all playing Brady 25 minutes/game. Does that mean that we couldn't have won it if Brady played...10 minutes/game and instead either EJ or CJ played a more critical role? We'd never know. Or if we fall short this year playing Brady 25 minutes/game, does that mean things would have been any different playing EJ or CJ more? Again, we'd never know. Personally, I'm of the opinion that EJ and/or CJ should get more minutes, but I value Brady's contributions and I trust in HCBS, and I'm certainly not angry nor do I think that I know better than he does if he doesn't allocate the minutes the way I would. Can't wait for the Cal game tomorrow. Rock Chalk Jayhawk.

jaybate 10 years, 1 month ago

Vinny_Vin,

Its late in the life of this thread, and I respect you making the case for The Prophet over BMor, but...

The problem is The Prophet has had the break of a lifetime in having Brady get suspended and having Tyshawn go soft as Bally shoe leather, my man.

And The Prophet has gotten exactly diddly minutes against Memphis and UCLA, the only semi legit teams we've played (and I say very semi legit in UCLA's case).

Fate blazed a path for The Prophet and he has not been able to dribble his way down it.

The Prophet's days, unless he has been sick, or injured recently, appear to be next year.

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