Friday, February 20, 2009

Morningstar’s minutes not affecting endurance

Kansas guard Brady Morningstar pulls up for a shot during warmups before tipoff against Iowa State, Saturday, Jan. 24, 2009 at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa.

Kansas guard Brady Morningstar pulls up for a shot during warmups before tipoff against Iowa State, Saturday, Jan. 24, 2009 at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa.


GameDay Cram Session: Nebraska

Journal-World sports editor Tom Keegan and online editor Jesse Newell take a look at what to expect during KU's matchup with Nebraska on Saturday.

KU gets season sweep of ISU

Craig Brackins stole the show the first time the Kansas men played Iowa State this season. That was not the case in the rematch on Wednesday night.

Lance Stephenson plans to visit KU during Nebraska game

On Wednesday, the 2009 McDonald’s All-American Game Rosters were announced.

Kansas University guard/forward Brady Morningstar, who red-shirted last season, averages an Ironman-like 30.6 minutes per game through 26 games his red-shirt sophomore campaign.

Only junior point guard Sherron Collins (34.7) has logged more minutes on a KU team that will take a 21-5 record — 10-1 in Big 12 Conference play — into Saturday’s 3 p.m. home contest against Nebraska (16-8, 6-5).

“I’m not in incredible shape. Lance Armstrong is in incredible shape. I’m in good shape, though,” Morningstar said.

He’s averaged 34.2 minutes per game in 11 conference contests, compared to his roommate Collins’ team-leading 35.5 mpg mark.

“The minutes have not gotten me tired,” Morningstar said. He played 33 minutes in Wednesday’s 72-55 home victory over Iowa State. “I love playing out there and being out there. I’ll be out there as long as coach needs me on the court.”

Morningstar — he’s played 30 or more minutes in 11 consecutive games — said he’s made a conscious effort to take care of his body.

“Personally I’ve got to prepare myself to play, be hydrated, eat right, sleep right,” Morningstar said.

He insists he never discusses minutes with coach Bill Self.

“No, he never says how much you are going to play,” Morningstar said. “I never ask him or tell him I’m tired because I never want to come out of the game unless I’m injured and can’t help the team.”

Morningstar the last week or so has been wearing a boot on his left foot in response to a minor lower leg injury.

“I don’t know how to explain it. It’s like a bruise. A lot of guys get nicked up this time of year, on other teams as well. You’ve got to learn to play through it. Everything will be fine,” Morningstar said.

KU coach Bill Self paid Morningstar a great compliment recently in explaining why he relies on him so much.

“Kansas won a national championship with a guy named (Jeff) Gueldner,” Self said of the versatile guard who played a key role on KU’s 1988 national title squad.

“Brady to me is a lot like Jeff. He makes shots when he’s open. He guards the other team’s best perimeter player for most of the game. He doesn’t take many chances. He’s very efficient.”

Morningstar, who hit two of four three-point tries against Iowa State, has made 42 of 89 threes for a Big 12-best 47.2 percent mark.

Overall, he’s made 63 of 138 shots for 45.7 percent en route to averaging 7.3 points per game (with 70 assists against 38 turnovers).

“Brady has worked at it. We always thought he could be a good shooter. His shot was inconsistent,” Self said. “He was well-drilled in high school and worked on his shot a lot in prep school, but one thing we kept talking to him about is it’s something he had to improve. He’s put himself in position where he knows he can score.”

Morningstar has put in the work to become a reliable deep shooting threat.

“Shooting every day is the main thing,” Morningstar said. “If you want to have a good jump shot you need to get in the gym every day and have repetition, repetition, repetition. It’s how shooters get better.”

• Recruiting: Lance Stephenson,’s No. 9-rated high school senior basketball player, will make an official recruiting trip to KU this weekend. Stephenson, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Lincoln High in Brooklyn, N.Y., has a final list of KU, St. John’s, Maryland, Wake Forest and UCLA.

“I can see myself fitting in their program,” Stephenson told, referring to the KU program. “They play as a team and they’re just willing to win, so I’m just going to see what they're about and see how I can fit into the program.”


Kevin Long 11 years ago

Brady has been a great suprise for KU this year. I like how he always keeps his head even when getting slapped it the back. He will be a very good player in the future.

Ben Kane 11 years ago

Brady's the man! No one really thought he could or would have this kind of impact before the season started. This team just keeps getting better which is really all you can hope for from such a young team.

Michael Pannacciulli 11 years ago

He's filled a need. Thank godness for that. I doubt it was ever intended but sure is welcomed.

Hey off topic...anyone know if I could download the version of the rock chalk song featured in the KU commercials you see during the nationally televised games?

Lance...get ready for the royal treatment!

KUPROUD 11 years ago

Love the guy, but it has seemed to me that he's tired or not feeling quite right lately. He has made some uncharacteristic fumbles or stumbles. We sure need him at full strength for the stretch run, so if that means only 25 minutes a game, fine. He's my vote for the "quiet hero" award.

omng392 11 years ago

Does Morningstar remind you of another great three point ace we use to have? I look at him and I think Boshee, Hass, and sometimes Kirk. There was nobody who had more floor burns than Jared and Morningstar is that mold. Great D, Great 3 point shooter always plays a solid game.. Though, not to take anything away, but I Tyrel reminds me a lot of Kirk too... Speaking of that, Marcus Morris is really starting to remind me of a young Drew Gooden. Maybe at this point, even better. I don't remember Drew canning threes like Morris has until his soph/junior year.

DCJayhawk0208 11 years ago

mpann, good question. I'd love to have that version of the chant as a ringer. Anybody have any ideas?

keith horinek 11 years ago

Absolutely right on omng392, Morningstar is Jared Haas reborn! He has the same defenseive skills as Haas and is always there when the team needs to step it up. With an added bonus, he can hit the three. I've thought this all season long, but thought I was the only one who noticed. Also Collins could be another "Jauque Vaughn", Aldrich could be La Freintz, the only players we don't quite have is a Paul Pierce or Scott Pollard. Just a thought........

lonestarjayhawk 11 years ago

This is off topic, but has anyone heard how Jeff Withey is doing. Is his presence in practice helping the twins? Does he look like he is pushing for immediate playing time when he becomes eligible? Some one, anyone throw us a bone here and let us know who he is progressing!

Chris Shaw 11 years ago

I like the idea of comparing Morningstar to the "Mayor", Fred Hoiberg. Boschee could never guard the opposing teams best player, Haase didn't have the oustide shot, and Hinrich was just a freak. Hoiberg fits the mold better than anyone. Although, Self is pretty right on about the Gueldner comparisons.

Ron_Kellogg 11 years ago

From what I've seen, Withey's presence in practice really has helped the twins. He's getting worked on a daily basis, and the twins' confidence is soaring.

UncleMiltyN 11 years ago

Hey, call Brady a "legacy" all you want. Growing up in Lawrence and having Roger for a father certainly factor in, but the guy can play D1 ball. I personally would like to see him take more shots.

KGphoto 11 years ago

Check the vid. Would be nice if the crowd showed up to give Lance a show.

9 player overall. It's our last chance to woo the kid.

mbmerriman 11 years ago


if all those comparisons are spot on than were can all look forward to getting upset by rhode island or arizona in this years tourney

jchief40 11 years ago

Kansas head coach Bill Self and assistant Joe Dooley had an in-home visit with the Stephensons last fall and Self later watched Lincoln lose to Duncanville (Texas) earlier this year on ESPN.

“I’m thinking about going to play with Bill Self,” Stephenson said. “I think he’ll change me around and [make me] be a smarter player and more focused.”

Jared Grillot 11 years ago

Oljhwk, I don't know if I'd go with ALL of those comparisons... that was my era on campus and I met and watched most of those guys, but I definitely agree, Morningstar reminds me a LOT of Haase - minus, of course, that Haase grin that sent the girls on campus all a-flutter. Scrappy, hard-nosed defense, reliable scoring, reliable minutes, probably not going to be an NBA all-star, but has definite potential as a coach because he just knows what needs to be done, though Brady hasn't spent QUITE as much time on the ground... a lot, but not quite! As someone mentioned earlier, other than a couple of slips these last couple of games, have we seen Brady make very many obvious mistakes? He's playing 30 minutes a game because, well, you don't have to worry about him when he's in.

JayhawkPurist 11 years ago

Some advice regarding Stephenson from a Kansas baskeball die-hard fan from Maryland: The Washington Post recently published an article that contained a quote from Stephenson's father, who commented on how Stephenson is looking to get away from NYC because the fans there "only want to see a show every night," and that Lance wants to go to a place where he's warmly supported in all facets of life.

Stephenson has been knocked for his attitude in the past, but I'm starting to think KU could be a terrific place for him to grow -- not only as a basketball player, but as a man. So for those of you who will be at the game tomorrow, please show him sincere KU warmth.

missKU 11 years ago

This link has the fight song (I'm a jayhawk), crimson and the blue, fighting jayhawk, and some others for download.

Don Everett 11 years ago

All great links. Living in Montana, we obviously don't get the same exposure. We have burned a CD with all the songs and play them on game. Get's us as close to home as possible.

Brady is my favorite because of his hustle, the way he carries himself, etc. He doesn't remind me of anyone inparticular. He is very important to the success of this team.

And the Collins to Vaughn comparison: Laughable!! Sherron isn't afraid to take a game winning shot like Jauque would pass an open shot up to get it to ANYONE else. I'll take one Sherron over a hundred Jauque's.

MIZ_NIT 11 years ago

Damn! I was sooo wrong about Morningstar. I said over and over earlier in the year that if he played 20 plus minutes a game, that this team was in REAL trouble! Thanks for proving me wrong Brady! Everyone is talking about how good this team is going to be next year... I think this team could make a run at an elite 8 and even final four if things go their way!

indianajayhawk 11 years ago

Brady's composure, I think, is probably his most important contribution to the team.

As to jayhawkdon, one big advantage that Jacque had was that he had lots of other guys who want to take that last shot, and always put both himself into a position to get the best shooters the shot. Hopefully with Tyrel & Brady's more consistent shot Sharron won't have to take as many of those very difficult shots

bayareajhawk 11 years ago

Brady Morningstar is the biggest reason KU is doing better than we all thought. Last year there was a lot of talk on this website about how Brady was a waste of a scholarship and that he would never contribute to the team. Some of it was very ugly. I'm sure nobody remembers it but me, but I called those people out and told them that Brady was a smart player and a hard worker and that he would definitely be a major contributor before his days on campus were done.

I have to admit that I never thought he would be this good, though. Congratulations, Brady. You are one of the best players on the Kansas Jayhawks. I bet Roger's pride knows no bounds (and rightly so).

rp67ku 11 years ago

Brady shoots really well but needs work on passing in-bounds. Throws it away allot. He keeps himself in check when he's fouled. I would want to smack the guy who elbowed me and then hit me in the back of the head.

jchief40 11 years ago

Good question posed recently to me:

Here are the top 3 mock drafts when I do a google search for NBA Mock Draft 2009 and Collins is not on any of them! So it appears that the NBA agrees with me! Even the first one has a list below the chart saying other possible early entrys and Cole is on there but no Collins. So, what do you think about that? I cant see the one on ESPN without paying but I imagine that he isnt on there either.

What do you all think? Will Sherron leave?

Keckadek 11 years ago

I love Brady Morningstar!!! Arkansas too!!! Eureka Springs in the house!!!

KGphoto 11 years ago

jayhawkdon: Sherron over 100 Vaughns? I dare you to walk into AFH on game night and say that into the loud speaker. You would be bled. That's some hallowed ground you're trouncing there.

Perhaps you should do your homework before you go to bed tonight. Sherron and Vaughn are different players, and different people. But first, and foremost, you just don't ever smear what Vaughn meant to KU. Shame, shame!

What are you? Twelve?

Dan Pawlowski 11 years ago

rp67ku, Sheron throws the ball away way more then Brady and given that he is a true point guard that does more damage.

easyfive 11 years ago

Kgphoto, Why do you have to throw rocks at jawhawkdon? It is just his opinion...
It was Sherron that ramroded the big come back, with 9 down and about two minutes left.
Sherron is the best! It was his "wanting it" bad enough, that got the win... Everyone remembers Mario's shot but, it was Sherron that got it to that point.
Sherron is cool!!!

Vaungh said, "he was waiting for the kick back!"

Sherron did not wait on no body, he just got it done... You guys got to quit nit picking Sherron on every little thing.

I always liked Brady. Like coach Manning a Lawrence guy was a good sign. What i can not believe is how Matt K. is such a big drop off. What is he good for? Five years and nothing.

Dirk Medema 11 years ago

I don't think Brady's had more slip-ups recently because of the minutes as much as because he has started to push himself to do more for the team than just hang out on the perimeter waiting for Sherron to drive and kick the ball out to him. That is not meant as a knock on him either before or now. Just observation.

I think it was good for him to establish his game early, and his 3 is a component that is needed - he reminds me a lot more of John Paxson (da' Bulls) than Jared Haase (more spastic energy, and no O game). I also think it is great that he has started to step up his involvement in the O lately. Tyshawn's game has hit a bit of a plateau, and Sherron needs someone to carry more of the load. Coach Self said at the beginning of the year that he expected Sheron's numbers to decline (lower FG%, higher TO's), because he expected him to force the action at some times, because it will be what the team needs. Some people on the board have ragged on Sherron this year, but he is playing the game that this team needs. Brady taking a more aggressive role for the team will go a long ways to taking some of the pressure off of Sherron, and making his game so much better.

I'm looking forward to Lance becoming the next great Mr New York, NEW YORK.

Rock Chalk

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