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Originally published February 22, 2009 at 12:00a.m., updated February 22, 2009 at 09:02a.m.

Self singles out Markieff

Kansas forward Markieff Morris wrestles for a rebound with Nebraska defenders Ryan Anderson, left, Steve Harley, Ade Dagunduro, and Sek Henry, right, during the second half, Saturday, Feb. 21, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Markieff Morris wrestles for a rebound with Nebraska defenders Ryan Anderson, left, Steve Harley, Ade Dagunduro, and Sek Henry, right, during the second half, Saturday, Feb. 21, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Collins, Kansas shuck Huskers

KU's Sherron Collins exploded for 22 points in Kansas' 70-53 over Nebraska.

Kansas takes down Nebraska

Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins combined for 40 points in the Jayhawks' win over the Cornhuskers.

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2009 KU-NU Feb. 21

Though Markieff Morris’ putback was one of the highlights in Kansas University’s 70-53 basketball victory over Nebraska, the freshman still criticized his effort afterward.

“I could have dunked it way better than I did. It kind of slipped out of my hand at the end,” Morris said. “It got to my fingertips. I could have caught it way higher than I did, but as long as I finish it … ”

The stickback was just part of a confidence-building day for the 6-foot-9 forward, who contributed one of his most complete performances as a Jayhawk.

Morris finished with six points, nine rebounds, three blocks and an assist with no turnovers.

“He hasn’t been bad, but he’s been a little stale and hasn’t had a game where he impacted it as much as he did today,” KU coach Bill Self said. “Other than Sherron (Collins), I thought he was the best player in the game today from an activity standpoint.”

Markieff had averaged only 9.3 minutes in his last four games before playing 19 minutes Saturday — his most minutes since logging 19 against Baylor on Feb. 2.

His three blocks also tied a career high.

Markieff received extra playing time because his brother, Marcus, battled foul trouble all game.

“(Coach) asked me if I could be our high-energy man,” Markieff said. “When I come off the bench, I just try to give as much energy as I can, try to go after every ball.”

Markieff stayed positive even as his brother started to break out in the last few games.

Marcus averaged 11.5 points, five rebounds and 28.5 minutes in KU’s victories over Kansas State and Iowa State.

“I was just happy for him. He was playing really well, and I was just waiting to get my turn,” Markieff said. “Whenever coach put me in, I was just going to try to mimic (Marcus) and do what he does when he’s in the game.”

As for the stickback dunk, Markieff said he anticipated the play before it happened.

“I just saw his eyes get big,” Collins said of Markieff.

When Quintrell Thomas went up for his shot, Markieff said he predicted it would be too strong, as Thomas was being guarded closely by a Nebraska defender.

Markieff ended up guessing right.

“It’s a good feeling to finish one — to get one like that, anyway, over the top of everyone,” Markieff said. “Hopefully, I get some more.”

Self, who previously has told reporters that the Morris twins had more leaping ability than they had shown in games, seemed pleased that he had been proven right.

“He showed off his athletic ability there for a play,” Self said. “Now everybody’s seen it, so everybody can write about him being capable as opposed to me just telling him all the time.”

Comments

Ed Fox 12 years, 11 months ago

Really Jesse, win over "Iowa State"? Didn't you blog the game? I know errors get by, but writing the wrong team? And no one catches that?

LAJayhawk 12 years, 11 months ago

The Morris twins can dunk!! Who woulda thunk it??

jayhawker_97 12 years, 11 months ago

highlights, highlights more highlights from the twins. we want more. they keep clicking as top contributors and have each realized their potentials - thanks to the coach who believes in the players and stick with his principles from the start. congrats to beasty performance by MkM. superb block! dang! look at that quick leap and long arm. hopefully between the two - they'll only copy those 'good plays'!!

yikes, good grief Griffin, why are you always hiding when it comes to play KU? it won't be fun winning another Big12 conf without you!

rock Chalk!!!!

Tony Bandle 12 years, 11 months ago

Enjoy this year..embrace next year. This team will be very,very,very dangerous.....and if Bill adds Lance or John Wall, deadly!!!

Hays_Hawk 12 years, 11 months ago

Could've swore I saw him turn it over a couple of times. Oh well, I'd rather be wrong than right with something like that!

Tony Bandle 12 years, 11 months ago

Maybe the LJW could have picked a little more complementary picture of Markieff. This one above appears that he is being "huskered". :}

All kidding aside, the preseason word was that Markieff was somewhat behind Marcus in Development and Ability but that they would grow. It appears to be happening. It was a thrill to see the twins on the floor at the same time and playing well [although I am afraid they are paying for their early propensity to foul, by now being targeted by the officials. I felt a couple of those fouls on Marcus were totally bogus].

At Kansas it's never to early to talk about next year. Assuming that Collins declares [which is not an automatic in my mind], the rotation could look like this:

First Team: PG - Taylor, SG - Stephenson, Wall or Johnson, C - Aldrich, C1A - Withey [yes, 100, I am still 100% onboard], G - Morningstar Second Team: PG - Johnson, if we get W or S/Reed may get a shot if we don't get S or W, SG - Little, PF - Robinson, PF - Marcus, C - Markieff That still leaves Releford and Thomas that may squeeze in somewhere. With Teahan, Appleton, Buford and Juenemann riding the pine.

I really believe that Cole will be back next year and, maybe just maybe go the full four.

ALL COMMENTS ARE APPRECIATED.

cffighter86 12 years, 11 months ago

Stephenson won't play as a SG. He will play as a #3. Collins and Cole will both stay for next season. Collins isn't projected in the first round this year or even next year for that matter.

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