Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Marcus finds his spot

Freshman favors straight-on threes


Little scores 15 in Jayhawks' victory

It looks like Mario Little made the right decision. Little, who pondered red-shirting this season, scored 15 points as KU beat Texas A&M by 20.

Little scores 15 in Jayhawks' victory

It looks like Mario Little made the right decision. Little, who pondered red-shirting this season, scored 15 points as KU beat Texas A&M by 20.

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2009 KU-TAMU Jan. 19

Reader poll

Who was KU's first-half MVP against Texas A&M?

  • Sherron Collins 15% 12 votes
  • Mario Little 68% 53 votes
  • Cole Aldrich 5% 4 votes
  • Tyshawn Taylor 6% 5 votes
  • Other 3% 3 votes

77 total votes.


6Sports Preview: Kansas vs. Texas A&M

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The Jayhawks take on Texas A&M on Monday night at Allen Fieldhouse.

Reader poll

Who do you think is KU's best defender?

  • Brady Morningstar 60% 1187 votes
  • Cole Aldrich 29% 579 votes
  • Tyshawn Taylor 5% 111 votes
  • Travis Releford 2% 40 votes
  • Other 2% 42 votes

1959 total votes.

Marcus Morris’ secret is out.

“I like shooting from the top of the key — I don’t know why,” the freshman forward said. “It’s just straight on. I’ve got a better chance of making it.”

Morris couldn’t miss the shot during a 38-second stretch in the second half of Kansas’ 73-53 victory over Texas A&M; on Monday.

On two straight possessions, the 6-foot-8 Morris buried three-pointers from an identical spot just outside the three-point arc.

With his 2-for-3 performance Monday, he is now 4-for-7 from three-point range (57.1 percent).

“It gets me energized, when I shoot a three and you hear the crowd,” Morris said. “That’s just something I’ve been working on a lot is trying to stretch the defense, basically. Just trying to make the guy guard me, because I know maybe on some teams’ scouting report, they see that I haven’t shot the three well, so they were giving me space.”

Morris has made a commitment to his shot since Big 12 play began.

Most days, he and brother Markieff are the first ones in the gym. Marcus said his goal is to get 200 extra three-pointers in before and after practice each day.

He also has adjusted his shot based on advice from the coaches. Because most of his early shots were low line drives — and missing by either hitting front rim or back rim instead of veering off to the left or right — Marcus has focused on getting more arc on his three-pointers to give them a better chance of going in.

KU center Cole Aldrich might be the biggest beneficiary if Marcus can continue his long-range touch.

“It opens the defense up a lot,” Aldrich said. “Sometimes, they tend to really sag down and kind of crowd you and what-not. Him making open shots outside kind of releases a little of that burden.”

Marcus critiqued his rebounding; the forward had just one board in 20 minutes.

KU coach Bill Self, meanwhile, would like to see a better effort from the free-throw line, as Marcus went just 2-for-5.

“He and his brother should both shoot threes and not free throws, because he definitely shot (threes) better than free throws,” Self joked. “He’s definitely playing better. He had a pretty good game in Boulder. If those guys play, I don’t want to say less minutes, but in that 20-minute range, it seems like their energy level is a little higher.”


Jayhawk444 11 years ago

I think M&M might want to also shoot 200 free throws before and after each practice. We need those more than the threat of a 3-pointer, I think

Matt Bowers 11 years ago

Good point Jayhawk444! Cool to know that they are the first in and last out of the gym, it says a lot of their dedication to the team, and school. Rock Chalk

Lin Rahardja 11 years ago

drgnslayr is right... Mk, at times, looked like he was mugging somebody when he guarded his man. There is a fine line between playing physical and playing rough resulting in abundant of fouls. Mk has to pay attention where the ball is while blocking out his man, he must keeps his feet light and not use his body or hand to foul. We have no doubt Mk will improve, he is trying hard, perhaps too hard that he doesn't have control yet. Mc is more offensive minded and is good that he stays that way. At times, he looses focus as well (like missing 2 free throws in a row).Both have improved, and they will get better over time.

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