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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Morningstar different player in ‘09

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Some Kansas University basketball fans questioned Bill Self’s judgment in offering former Free State High guard Brady Morningstar a scholarship back in September of 2005.

“Here is a guy when we recruited him, a lot of people said, ‘Can he help you guys?’’’ Self said. “Now it’s a matter of ‘where would we be without him?’ He’s been very valuable to us.”

The 6-foot-3 Morningstar, who red-shirted last season, has proven one does not have to score a lot of points (6.9 ppg) to earn major minutes (28.8).

What soph Morningstar — who chose KU over Tennessee, West Virginia, Northern Illinois and others his prep school year in New Hampshire — provides for (14-4, 3-0) KU is ...

Sticky defense

He held Texas A&M;’s Josh Carter to seven points off 2-of-6 shooting (1-of-4 threes) in Monday’s 73-53 rout of the Aggies. He’s also crowded Temple’s Dionte Christmas, (21 points, 6-of-14 shooting), Arizona’s Chase Budinger (five points, 1-of-9 shooting) and others all season.

“Brady is light on his feet. He understands angles,” Self said. “Coming in (to the season) I didn’t know if he could guard bigger guys. I’m not saying he is Brandon (Rush) defensively yet, but he has nice balance. He plays smart, can front the post. He’s one of our better blockout guys.”

Of his own defense, Morningstar said: “I drill in my head, ‘In order to help my team, I can’t let my man score.’ Whoever I’m guarding, whether it’s their best player or leading scorer, I’ve got to hold him to less good shots and we’ll have a better chance of winning.’”

Good ballhandling and decision making

Morningstar has had zero turnovers in four of KU’s last five games with 13 assists, four turnovers in that span.

“The ball doesn’t stick in his hands. He is a good ball mover, good post feeder,” Self said.

Of his decision making, Morningstar said: “I know it’s not good to turn the ball over. I’m a little older (turns 23 on Friday). I see the game more in slow motion than a freshman would maybe. I try to not make crazy plays and be efficient when I have the ball.”

Three-point accuracy

Morningstar has made 26 of 57 threes for 45.6 percent.

“Brady, to me, showed flashes of being an unbelievable scorer playing on the scout team last year,” Self said of practice. “He’d get on rolls being the other team’s best player and light it up.”

Of his shooting, Morningstar said: “It’s just repetition. I always think the next one is going in.”

Self believes Morningstar has room for improvement.

“I can see Brady growing an inch, filling out,” Self said, noting Brady’s dad, former KU player, Roger, had a late growth spurt and wound up 6-foot-6, 200 pounds. “Brady weighs 170. He’ll get to where he is 180, 185. He has good bounce. He can run. The big thing for him is he needs to continue to get stronger. As far as an efficiency standpoint, he is having a heck of a year.”

Comments

Lance Hobson 11 years, 4 months ago

Hopefully he'll keep hitting threes as he gets more comfortable and gains experience. That is one part of our game that is certainly lacking, at least when Sherron's not hot.

KUPROUD 11 years, 4 months ago

A strong candidate so far for team MVP as far as I can see. He's not the best player, but he's been the most consistently effective player. I'm again impressed with Self's ability to see the value and potential in an unproven player.

Jonathan Allison 11 years, 4 months ago

I don't understand this sentence,"Morningstar has had zero turnovers in four of KU’s last five games with 13 assists, four turnovers in that span."Does this mean that over the last 5 games he's had 13 assists to 4 turnovers (all 4 occuring in one game)?I think that Brady is on his way to earning the Danny Manning Mr. Jayhawk award. The veteran style of leadership that he is providing to these young players is fantastic, and to imagine that we get Brady for two more years.

Chris Shaw 11 years, 4 months ago

I admit it I have a problem! The problem I have is that I have this infectious passion to root for Brady Morningstar to prove all the naysayers wrong. I said if from day one that Morningstar was a good ball player and would do nothing, but take this team to new heights. Last week or a couple of weeks ago "Jaybate" had a beautifully written post about all of the so-called "limitations" Brady Morningstar has in his-game; Yet Morningstar seems to keep thriving and prospering under "Self's" command. Jaybate, you should repost because 1) it made me laugh 2) We are one of the few that have backed Morningstar from Day One. I'm not as good with the anaologies, but we're finding out that he's an "Energy Bunny" that is touting around on a "Pogo-Stick". Well, we are two thirds the way through this season and the "Naysayers" are just lying in the weeds ready to pounce when that one "Bad Game" does occur. Who knows what the future holds for this kid, but I would put my money on Brady Morningstar. I'm not comparing Brady Morningstar to Kirk Hinrich, but I'm comparing the situations of Kirk HInrich and Brady Morningstar. I remember during Kirk Hinrich's sophomore year when he got completely torn up by Frank Williams in the NCAA Tournament and "Most" questioned the ability of Kirk Hinrich. The same could be said for this entire season for Brady, but as of late "Slowly but Surely" people are coming around for "Ole' Reliable" Morningstar. Again, it's a revolving door from my camp, but Keep up the "Great Work" Brady.

jaybate 11 years, 4 months ago

kushaw,Thanks, but I have to say you were out front of even me on Brady. It took me three games to see what you apparently saw going in. But, otherwise, yessssssssssssss.And my favorite part of Self's comment is this:“Brady, to me, showed flashes of being an unbelievable scorer playing on the scout team last year,” Self said of practice. “He’d get on rolls being the other team’s best player and light it up.”Think about this quote by Self for a minute. This means Brady was lighting up Mario Chalmers and Russell Robinson--two of the best defensive guards in college basketball history--last season. This is huge!!! Chalmers is starting in the NBA right now, in case anyone has forgotten. This is sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet!I've just had a hunch ever since the game early in the season, when Self told Brady to go out and score for a game, and he amped to double figures for that game, that this guy was a natural born scorer doing odd jobs for the coach this year.This means we've got a big time perimeter scorer waiting to come on stage next year.Here's what KU has possibly brewing in Brady Morningstar--KU's first real Jeff Hornacek type 2-3 swing man. By this, I mean, a great defender and a very good shooting glue guy, who is an ideal compliment to two superstars down the middle playing pick and roll. Remember Hornie, from ISU, on all those Utah Jazz teams with Stockton and the Mailman; this is what I am envisioning for Brady. If he grows one lousy stinking inch and adds 15 pounds, and increases his upper body strength 15 percent; then puts in two years as a double digit scorer on the wing in Selfville; he too is NBA bound.Brady is not Haase, Walters, or Hinrich. Those guys all had to play balls to the walls to be effective. They had to be diving and clawing and scratching and flying across the floor just to keep up with the game. Hinrich was the best of the three by a long way, but even he always had to play on the edge of his envelope to get it done.Brady is like Hornacek. He plays totally within his limits. He is totally efficient. No wasted motion. He knows how its all going to play before it happens and he plays the angles and he's always getting it done without gambling and the errors that come with gambling.And again, like Hornacek, guys who can play this way get to have long careers, when they find teams with a star big and a star point, because they minimize the wear and tear on themselves.Call Jerry Sloan in Utah and ask him how much he would love to have another Jeff Hornacek?Jerry, its still a little soon to say for certain, but it looks like we've got another one brewing here in Lawrence. Is it great to be a Jayhawk, or what?!!!!

Chris Shaw 11 years, 4 months ago

One component that most seem to forget in the "College Game" is that sometimes Basketball IQ, Court Savy, and all around-good game can make up against supreme athletic ability and "Basketball Look". What I mean by "Basketball Look" is having the overall length, body, and just god given ability to have that "Look" that NBA scouts drool over. More times than not, "The Look" doesn't always pan out. Just ask Josh Carter.I guess that brings up the question which most of Brady's "Naysayers" represent.Would you rather be 6'3", not much athletic ability (Can be deceiving though), but have a basketball IQ that is off the charts and play with an intensity most can't find? Or............Would you rather be 6'6", jump over the backboard, slash to the basket like a freightliner, but doesn't really know what the definition of a "Back Door cut" is, doesn't properly know how to run a pick and roll, and plays defense like the UNC Tar Heels (I know that was low to throw the Carolina faithful under the bus)? Both good questions and hard to answer. They both have their place in the college game, but so many are convinced that the second question is always the perfect recipe.

Nick Cole 11 years, 4 months ago

I am not trying to toot my own horn here, but last year when Brady was a RS, I said all along he was going to "ball out" this year. He has done nothing thus far but prove me right. I love this kids attitude and work ethic. He may not be the most athletic person on the team (not even close), but what he lacks in talent he certainly makes up fore with hustle and swagger. Many of our little froshies could learn a thing or two from Brady. I am excited about him over the next couple years. Rock Chalk!

KUFan90 11 years, 4 months ago

It's pretty cool that 2 years from now he'll still be on the team, 25 years old, schooling the youngsters, some of which will be 7-8 years younger than he is!

jasonsgill 11 years, 4 months ago

Why is BM still at 170 after a redshirt (not to mention he's 23)? Why not in the weight room already?I wouldn't say Brady's is the MVP, 'cause Sherron is just doing so much, but he's definitely a V(ery)VP on this team

jayhawk15 11 years, 4 months ago

Brady is a decent player, that has played pretty well for us. He has a nice combination of defense and outside shooting. Problem is he has very limited upside (he's like 23), he's not going to get to much better. I really think Brady eventually will be a good glue guy of the bench. He is not athletic enough to be a dominate 35min player against top competation. I rather see us rotate him and reed, give them both 12-15 minutes a game. I hate when both are out on the same floor together, bc there the same type of a player. They both are barely athletic enough to play at this level, they have decent defense, great outside shooting, undersized, poor ball handling skills. Our offense is very poor when there on the same floor together with the exception of when we play a four guard lineup bc extra guard to ball handle, but if there is a three guard lineup and there both out there it puts tremondous pressure on the point guard usually sherron to create, reed & brady are not effective at attaking the ball screens bc they can't drive, our hole offense is based off of pick and roll with some high slow added in. Plus we gett out rebounded bc both are undersized. I believe they should play some, but the moment releford is a little more advanced and we get elijah johnson, plus mario little eventually will be moved to the 3 when he's more healthy there minutes should be reduced. Plus Jaybate Kirk Hinrich and Jeff Bosche are twice the players morningstar and reed are, both of them were more athletic complete players, no way does Brady stack up with Kirk Hinrich who is one of the best guards in KU history, Brady has no shot at the NBA! All Brady is a good hard working guy who has been a KU fan his whole life and who can play some nice defense off the bench and hit some big threes when we need it, that's all he is.

Chris Shaw 11 years, 4 months ago

A couple of posters have brought up the age issue (Brady Morningstar is 23 and in two years he will be 25). Nobody that I've seen has compared Morningstar to Boschee or Hinrich, but a few have compared him to Haase and Robertson, but I don't think that is a good comparison either. I do like "Jaybates" comparison of "Horny", but it would take a lot to live up to those standards. Maybe a better comaprison would be "The Mayor" that is Fred Hoiberg (Another ISU alumni). Anyway, back to this age issue. Yes, Morningstar is 23 years of age, but I don't think "Age" has any revelance in the college game. It can be two-fold depending on how you look at it. Yes, Morningstar is probably more mature than most college basketball players, but kudos to him for recognizing that he needed to go to "Prep School" and then "Red-Shirt" a year. Everyone develops at a different rate and it so happens that Morningstar's opportunity came when he is a 23 year old sophomore. I'm not comparing him to Hinrich, but Hinrich had "His Opportunity" when he was an 18 year old freshman. Darnell Jackson didn't get "His Opportunity" until he was a 21-22 year old Senior. My point is that everyone had an "Adjustment Period" to whatever competition level their playing. Some say that Morningstar's "Ceiling" has been reached, but we don't really know "How High" his ceiling really is no matter how old he is. Some would say that Kirk Hinrich reached his "Ceiling" 3 years ago during his playoff run and then his 2006 USA World Championship performance. Maybe? Steve Nash sure was a late bloomer. Jordan didn't really reach his "Peak" until he was well into his 30's. I don't know, I don't think it's so much about "Age" as it is the opportunity, timing, trust, belief, team make-up, and performance of the Coach and Team you play for. There are so many variables involved on how an "Individual" will succeed and you need all of them to fall into place for it to happen. Right now, all of those variables have hit the "Bulls Eye" for Brady Morningstar. How long will it last? Who Knows, but at least for now Morningstar is an "Everything" do player for the Kansas Jayhawks.

cklarock 11 years, 4 months ago

@Jaybate: Ideally, we get elite athletes with high basketball IQs, a la Chalmers and Rush. That aside, I'll take the smart, hard worker any day, and so would Self. Russell Robinson, Darnell Jackson, Brady Morningstar, etc.The kids that can jump through the roof, but don't have the discipline to play smart go by the wayside: CJ Giles was a freak of nature, but where is he now? Kansas is not the right program for those kids.

Chris Shaw 11 years, 4 months ago

"@Jaybate: Ideally, we get elite athletes with high basketball IQs, a la Chalmers and Rush. That aside, I'll take the smart, hard worker any day, and so would Self. Russell Robinson, Darnell Jackson, Brady Morningstar, etc.The kids that can jump through the roof, but don't have the discipline to play smart go by the wayside: CJ Giles was a freak of nature, but where is he now? Kansas is not the right program for those kids."Jeez! Jaybate gets all the credit when it's not even his post. LOL! I hate you Jaybate! Just kidding!

Chris Shaw 11 years, 4 months ago

Brandon Rush is also considered "Older", but we didn't think twice about it when he was draining "3's" for us. He's a 23 year old rookie and was considered "Old" when he came to Kansas.

Lance Hobson 11 years, 4 months ago

Jaybate, do you honestly thing Morningstar is anywhere near the same league as Hinrich, Haase, and especially Rex Walters? They called Hinrich "Superman" for a reason. Rex Walters could jump out of the gym and like Hinrich, was a lights out shooter. Haase was incredible but that wrist injury his senior year killed his legacy.Brady is coming along nicely, but he can't hold those guys' jock straps.

jaybate 11 years, 4 months ago

kushaw,Sometimes hate IS love. :-)But, yes, you get the chits on this one.I'm just the glue guy.

Chris Shaw 11 years, 4 months ago

Jaybate: I like the idea of "Dove Wings".

Chris Shaw 11 years, 4 months ago

Jaybate: How come everyone keeps thinking you are comparing "BM" to Haase, Boschee, Robertson, Hinrich or even the President himself "Obama"? I don't find it anywhere in your post.

jaybate 11 years, 4 months ago

jayhawk15,Brady is not now, nor will he likely become better than Kirk Hinrich on the wing, and I cannot conceive of how he could ever be the PG of an NBA team as Kirk was for a couple seasons. I argue simply that Brady plays the perimeter game differently--more efficiently and more under control--than a player like Kirk, Haase, or Walters. And I indicated several things that would have to happen for Brady to mature into a player with the quality and longevity of a Jeff Hornacek. At 23, the odds are he will not grow another inch and add the strength. But Self says Father Roger was a late bloomer physically (and I know that to have been the case having played in a few pick up games at Robinson during his years at KU) and that Brady appears to be also. So: jayhawk15, I've got to side with the old coach on this one and say there is at least a chance of Brady growing a bit more. Who knows, maybe he'll take a growth hormone over the summer. :-) Regardless: I don't see how we can disagree much on this. If Brady were to mature and develop as I have described, he would be in the NBA for sure. If you can shoot the trinity, lock down defend, jump as well as most, stand 6'4" or taller, and play the 2, you get to at least sit on the bench in the NBA. It is a done deal. And if you land with a team that lacks a 2/3 guy, or has a budget that cannot afford a superstar 2/3 guy, because it is invested in superstars at the 1 and 4/5, then you not only get to be on the team, but you get to play quite a bit. And if you prove you can drain the big trinity when Stockton and Malone get hand cuffed, you have a long career starting and playing until your joints won't permit it any longer. Regarding Jeff Bosche: with all due respect to an extremely hard worker and a good shooter who made good contributions to his team, Jeff never really could compensate for how short and slow footed he was. He didn't have jumps. He couldn't get 7-8 reebs when asked to by his coach. He couldn't have played Selfdefense, if his life had depended on it. And in the end, he was just a good, but streaky shooter that required defensive help almost every game. One of the reasons Roy trapped a lot in those days was to mask the defensive weakness of Bosh. Bosh came to KU as "Bobby Hurley with a J" and left as a "A J Without the Bobby Hurley."

jaybate 11 years, 4 months ago

We cannot compare Bosh and Brady at the 1, because Brady has not played the 1 and, though a credible dribbler and excellent passer, does not appear able to play the 1 except in a pinch. And comparison at the two can only be indirect, as Brady has played the 3. But there are similarities between the 2 and 3 that allow for some comparison and Brady is almost certain to play the next two years at the 2 and/or the 3. As Bosh's limitations began to be recognized as permanent, and as Hinrich developed, Bosh played some 2. It is still hard to compare them, because Brady has been logging 30 mpg at the 3, not at the 2. But I will say that the Bosh I remember could never have guarded an opposing team's best perimeter scorer and shut him down, or even decisively contained him, whether at the 2, or the 3 spots. Bosh guarding Budinger? Bosh guarding Dionte Christmas? That would have been ugly for Bosh. Brady? He made it look effortless. And the fact is, Roy had to have Bosh's scoring, so Bosh was never asked to be a glue guy, as Self has asked Brady to be this season. I still suspect that unless an OAD comes in that can play Selfdefense out of the cradle next year, Brady is a 25-30 minute man his last two years at KU and will average in double figures both years.I mean, imagine what Brady could do offensively the next couple of years, if called on, given that he could light up Mario Chalmers and Russell Robinson in practice as a redshirt freshman, according to HCBS.But whether Brady grows, or not, and becomes Jeff Hornacek-style NBA material, who but the basketball gods can say right now?

jaybate 11 years, 4 months ago

kushaw,I probably don't have to tell you this, but...People here often do not respond to what one posts. They respond to what a post makes them think about and they attach their thoughts to the post that catalyzed their thoughts. And if it helps them make a point, they just say you said something when you didn't. It is strange, but that is how life is on the net. Neither internet networks, nor neural net networks inside the brain case, apparently are highly linear. I used to try to unsnag these sorts of nonlinear comments, but I found myself spending all my time unsnagging. I said this. I didn't say that. etc.Explaining what I did or didn't say to someone who was only using my comments as a spring board to try to formulate some of their own thoughts is kind of cul de sac. Either they don't care, or they take offense to being corrected because it assaults their construct of what they were doing.After some deliberation, I decided that if someone were just using me for a catalyst, well, that was okay, so long as they were not being belligerant, or were not otherwise maiming my core position in a malignant way.Now, I try to go with what the respondent writes, whether it has much to do with my comments or not, if the respondent raises an interesting point, again, regardless of its relevance to my preceding post. If someone aggressively criticizes me for something I did not say, well, then I try to correct that, but otherwise, I am beginning to look at this posting activity a little like a combination of basketball play and jamming in a jazz ensemble. There is a general outline of how the game/music is supposed to go, but there is a lot of leeway within the actual process for how and where the process will play out based on very subjective and diverse reads by the various players.Rock chalk!

CasperCorps 11 years, 4 months ago

Morningstar or Reed? Hmmm.. I remember his statue of liberty dunk his freshmen year... Rockem Hawks..

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