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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Keegan

Morningstar, Reed help save day

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Jayhawks conquer Cornhuskers for 12th consecutive time

The Jayhawks haven't lost against Nebraska since Bill Self's first season at Kansas.

Audio clips

2009 KU-NU Jan. 28

— Supposedly, size matters in basketball.

OK, so why did Cole Aldrich and Markieff and Marcus Morris, all taller than Nebraska’s tallest player, enter the locker room at the half with a combined two points and zero rebounds?

Because size doesn’t matter if you can’t get measure up anywhere else. Nebraska played harder and smarter basketball at the outset, and if not for a weapon generally viewed as an equalizer for smaller teams, Kansas might have lost a Big 12 game for the first time.

Instead, KU rode the timely three-point shooting of a pair of role players to a 68-62 survival Wednesday night against the Cornhuskers at the Devaney Center.

Brady Morningstar hit a pair of big three-point shots in a nine-point first half, and Tyrel Reed did the same late in his seven-point second half.

Still, it’s not as if the two home-grown guards, Morningstar from Lawrence and Reed from Burlington, felt boastful afterward.

“That was a bone-headed play,” Reed said of his late-game intercepted pass intended for Cole Aldrich. “That was absolutely terrible on my part. I wish I could have that one back. I knew what to do with it. I just got caught in the moment and threw it away. I’m just very fortunate we won the game. I should have just picked it up and dribbled it out. They had to foul us for them to win the game, so there was no reason for us to try to force it and score.”

Morningstar: “We made a lot of dumb plays. Even me. I had two turnovers, just stupid plays. In order to win, you can’t have that. Fortunately, we got away with it and came out on top.”

It was that sort of a night for the Jayhawks (16-4 overall, 5-0 in the Big 12). Pretty it wasn’t, but they escaped with a victory in front of a passionate crowd and a team as relentless as it was short. They shot their way out of what would have been a tough loss.

Every team needs a reliable three-point shooter, especially on nights when the team turns it over 21 times. Kansas has not one, but two players whose main offensive contributions come from long range. Morningstar hit two of three from long distance, and Reed made both of his attempts. On the season, Morningstar hits them at a 46-percent rate, Reed 40 percent and climbing. Kansas doesn’t take as many three-pointers as many teams, but tends to make them count with a 38-percent success rate, the equivalent of a two-point percentage of 57.

On this hectic night, Nebraska made just seven of 24 three-pointers, Kansas five of 10.

“It helps a lot of teams, and it hurts a lot of teams,” Morningstar said of the three-point shot. “Today it helped us out. If I’m open behind the arc, I’m going to shoot the ball. And Tyrel did a good job of hitting the two big-time shots, and that helped us out. ... Tyrel has proven in the past couple games he hits shots when we need him to hit shots.”

Reed on Morningstar: “Brady played excellent in the first half. Without him, we could have been way worse off. Brady’s been playing great defensively as well as offensively.”

Their sure shots no doubt made for a more lively, four-state bus ride back to school.

“Going back to Lawrence happy,” Morningstar said. “I guess.”

Comments

TheTruth08 10 years, 11 months ago

The LJW loves some Morningstar and Reed.

actorman 10 years, 11 months ago

"Their sure shots no doubt made for a more lively, four-state bus ride back to school."Perhaps Mr. Keegan can enlighten us as to which four states are between Nebraska and Kansas.

Mark Kelly 10 years, 11 months ago

actorman - coming back from Lincoln you travel briefly through Iowa and also through Missouri.... Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas = 4

DCJayhawk0208 10 years, 11 months ago

If that's how they went, it's the long way. They should have gone south from Lincoln on 77 to Marysville, then East on 36 to Fairview, then south on 75 to Topeka. I can't count the number of times I took that drive from Lincoln to Lawrence, and that drive was far and away the best.Although, it's mostly 2-lane, and taking 2 down to the interstate would be mostly four lane.

KUPROUD 10 years, 11 months ago

TheTruth08, I love Morningstar and Reed, too. And LJW, their contribution is more than 3-pointers. They play tough defense, fight for loose balls, and normally help settle the team down when they come off the bench. And now Reed is learning to talk smack...what more could you want?

JayhawkPhil64 10 years, 11 months ago

I have a system similar to Keegans where I give stars to players I think played an important role in each game and then add them up at the end of the year to determine my MVP. Of course it is a no brainer to say that Collins and Morningstar deserved the stars for this game but it is hard not to give one to Reed also. He only hit two shots but they were two of the most important shots of the game.By the way, I always laugh when announcers always say that a 3 pt shooter didn't have his feet set when he missed a shot and that he had his feet set if he made the shot. While it never hurts to have you feet set when shooting a 3ptr, that explanation is one of the myths in basketball. A shooter is a shooter and it doesn't matter that much what the circumstances are. Reed didn't have his feet set on either shot but he had the substance to make both.

jaybate 10 years, 11 months ago

Keegan nailed this one.Morningstar and Reed's steadiness in the face of extreme adversity bought Sherron the chance to come back and be the Sarge down the stretch.What nobody is recognizing though, is that the Twins came in in the second half and played together for a brief time and they are who really turned the game around. While they were in, they basically re-established KU's inside game and from that point on, KU played like the better team. Cole and Little reappeared and were not as effective as the Twins, but they were enough. I believe when Self studies the tapes, the Twins are going to see more time together on the floor next game.

actorman 10 years, 11 months ago

Guess I haven't been to Lincoln enough to know that one way to get back is through the edges of a couple of other states. I always think of it as a direct four-hour drive down to Lawrence.

King_Kaun 10 years, 11 months ago

hahaha. Not that it matters, but either route from Lawrence to Lincoln is just a little over 3 hours. However, taking the 4-state path literally puts MORE MILES on your vehicle, but you can drive much faster the whole time on the Interstate. etc. If you take the HWY 75 route, there is one stretch of road that is only 55 mph.Now...back to basketball, shall we?? sheesh...

David Reed 10 years, 11 months ago

man how Clutch is Reed proving to be?it seems like everytime KU needs a 3 he is draining it

darnelljackson32 10 years, 11 months ago

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darnelljackson32 10 years, 11 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Eurekahwk 10 years, 11 months ago

What else could you want out of Reed or Morningstar? I tell you what, tattoos.

KansaKid 10 years, 11 months ago

Aldrich broke his nose. That probably did not help his game much. Reed and Morningstar are good and keep getting better. Instead of praising themselves they were humble enough to admit to several bad plays. As long as we have players like this at all positions, Kansas will always be a force to be dealt with. Was not a pretty win but a win it was.

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