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Kansas defeats Oakland, 89-59

  • 7 p.m., Nov. 25, 2009
  • Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS

Thursday, November 26, 2009

KU gobbles up Grizzlies

Marcus propels Jayhawks

KU's Marcus Morris goes up for two against the Oakland Golden Grizzlies Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

KU's Marcus Morris goes up for two against the Oakland Golden Grizzlies Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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The Kansas men's basketball team takes on Oakland in Allen Fieldhouse Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2009.

Reader poll

Who do you think will lead KU in scoring this season?

  • Sherron Collins 26% 429 votes
  • Cole Aldrich 7% 126 votes
  • Xavier Henry 63% 1040 votes
  • Marcus Morris 1% 30 votes
  • Other 0% 8 votes

1633 total votes.

Reader poll

Which sport do you watch most during Thanksgiving weekend?

  • Football 65% 510 votes
  • Basketball 29% 228 votes
  • Other 4% 38 votes

776 total votes.

Marcus Morris, who had missed three of his previous four free throws, caressed the basketball and gave it a little kiss.

The result of his act of affection?

First one swish from the line.

Then another.

“I’ve got to have a good connection with the ball. I felt the connection was off, so I grabbed it, kissed it and said, ‘Please go in.’ Maybe I’ll do that every time from now on,” Morris said after scoring a career-high 19 points and tying a career high with 11 rebounds in Kansas University’s 89-59 rout of Oakland on Wednesday night in Allen Fieldhouse.

Morris, who hit six of 10 shots, including two of three three-pointers and also went 5 of 8 from the line, received a loud ovation from the student section after his free throw make with 13:18 left and KU up, 53-33.

He pointed a finger in the air, but not in response to his fans.

That gesture was for his mom, Thomasine.

“That was funny because I think about my mom every time I shoot free throws,” Morris said. “Every time I miss a free throw, I can hear her in the stands saying, ‘Bend your knees.’ I can actually hear her.

“I’m like, ‘Mom, that doesn’t have anything to do with me missing a free throw. I can stand straight up and still miss it.’ I bent my knees on that one and made it. It’s why I started laughing more. It’s why I pointed up in the air, because I knew she was watching.”

Morris — as one might correctly infer from his bubbly postgame chat with reporters — had a blast Wednesday in scoring from both inside and out. He and brother Markieff (eight points, four boards) as well as Xavier Henry (19 points, five boards) helped pick up the slack for Cole Aldrich, who had an off night with four points off 2-of-10 shooting with nine rebounds.

“I guess their coach told them to play off me. I was wide-open,” Marcus Morris said. “Coach (Bill Self) told me, ‘If they are going to drop down in the lane, we know you can shoot and make it.’ If they are playing in the lane, I hope I make it.”

Of Aldrich’s play, Marcus Morris said ... “Cole is a preseason All-American. He knows what he is doing wrong and what he has to do to correct it. He knows he had a bad night and will bounce back. Coach said, ‘Cole you had a bad game. You’ll get better next game.’’’

Self was impressed with Marcus Morris’ play and not alarmed at the play of Aldrich, who has been battling flulike symptoms the last several days.

“I thought he was the best player in the game,” Self said of Morris. “He did a little bit of everything, showed range and some post moves. He didn’t get any easy baskets and scored 19.

“Cole has gotten off to a bad start. That’s not being negative, that’s just being factual,” Self added. “He is so much better than what he is playing like right now, but his attitude has been great.

“He won’t dwell on that. It’s a different deal for him. Here’s a guy who scored seven points his freshman year that anybody remembers (in Final Four semifinals). Next thing you know, he’s a third-team All-American last year. Now there’s a different pressure. Everybody’s thinking he should be this, that. I think he’s handled it well, but he’s never gone through that. He’s been a blend guy. He made some moves tonight where the ball just didn’t do down.

“The biggest thing with him is he’ll get his confidence back, his swagger back,” added Self, who indicated the Jayhawks pounded it into the big man better than they have all season.

“He just didn’t finish. He will. I think he’s the best big man in the country. He hasn’t played to it yet. He will.”

KU, which led 37-22 at half, will meet Tennessee Tech at 7 p.m. Friday in Allen.

Comments

jayhawker97 5 years ago

have a nice thxgiving Gary. thx for your sharing thoughts & love for Jayhawks bball, too. BTW, your title sounded more like "The twins gobbles up Grizzlies" :) anyway... good efforts from KU team, especially from the Marcs, X, Reed, Collins.. tough night for Aldrich, Benson looked much better than him around the basket.. and poor Ty, Gurley wasn't quite happy with his performance.. give Ty a break, man.. this team is becoming more and more efficient in scoring game after game.. impressive!! have a wonderful thanksgiving break, guys! thank you, thank you, thank you!!! rock chalk!!

kerbyd 5 years ago

HCBS has rated Cole's game a "7" on a 1-10 scale. I think both Self and Cole realize there is still some work that can be done.

Steve Brown 5 years ago

Acey how was your 1st visit to AFH, did your child enjoy it. Wonder where you parked. What was your favorite- membrance: I'm thankful you got to see it.

thanks for not storming court he he he

Dee Shaw 5 years ago

Hate to even bring this up but Cole reminds me of Eric Chennowith. Scary comparisons. Please Cole proof me wrong.

exiledhawkfan 5 years ago

with KU's philosophy of team basketball and unselfish play, why in the world would cole need to figure out a way to score when double and triple teamed? if he's double and triple teamed, that means someone is wide open and he needs to pass, not score, out of it.

Scott Smetana 5 years ago

Waaa waaaa, thanks Downer Debbie! (aka soobawls) Cole's not going pro now because he had a fair game, half sick in November. hahahaahahahahahahahahhahaha! Thanks for the laugh.

This is huge... Marcus with a good attitude having fun is a very dangerous man! Nobody will get the smiles of Dblock, but I think Marcus can be our biggest stud if he tries!

SCHNBALL 5 years ago

shaw74, you can't be serious, Cheno? He couldn't score when he was wide open. Check my post after light night, I thought Cole had not improved over the prior year, but to compare him to Eric, as Keeshawn would say 'Come on man'.

Tony Bandle 5 years ago

I think I may have badly misjudged the potential impact the twins could have on this season. All summer long all I heard was Aldrich, Collins and X..oh yeah, the twins are working out hard. That's nice.

Well, if last night was a preview of their developemnet, Kansas just got twice as scary for the rest of Division One!! I was expecting this kind of progress NEXT season, not this one. I can't believe I am going to say this but, I think it's possible we may see both twins on the floor together for extended periods of time...and that would be a very, very, very good thing!!!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!!

jc1306 5 years ago

Cole doesn't need to score when double or triple teamed, he needs to score one on one. When your team is talented at all spots why would you want one player taking on two or three when that means others are wide open???

SCHNBALL 5 years ago

OAKVILLE, already called for the twins at the same time, go big. What a difference a year has made, unreal.

milehighhawk 5 years ago

soobawls and 74 -

You guys are nuts: confirmed.

Chenowith? That is nothing short of STUPID.

Cole is battling the flu, and he's had two off-games in November.

Grow up.

thmdmph 5 years ago

First of all, I'd like to be thankful for having the awesome KU and Cole representing my team.

Now, the ugly side of my post.

I'm concerned about Cole this year. I have been an huge fan since his freshman year, even with the few minutes that he played then. However, I'm worried about his ability to manage double/triple teams. I've said this before and I know some of you disagree with me - in that some do not think that this is one of his weakness. However, I think this is the one weakness he has to develop before the next level. He's not bad with it, but he's not good with it either. Considering he's a top flight center, this is essential that it becomes natural for him to expect and BEAT the double teams.

This year, he is going to be the target for ever team we meet (it's been evident the first few games). Additionally, every team is going to attack him intending to get him into foul troubles. The last couple of games have been a fluke, plus he hasn't feel well. However, when he meets real competition going toward March, it's going to get worse.

Think of all the great centers and big men, they beat double and triple teams repeatedly and many times with some ease. I just haven't seen that from Cole yet. To be a true all-American center, this has to be more natural for Cole. AM I wrong?

Chris Shaw 5 years ago

After watching this game I came away with many observations.

1)Oakland is a legitimate NCAA participant and Benson is a very very good Big Man. Aldrich is the better defender, but Benson is the better offensive player at the moment. Based on tonight's game if I was a GM if I had the choice between the two players, I would maybe think about taking Benson over Aldrich. Aldrich definitely had an off night, but I think Benson was the better player TONIGHT. I really wish Self and KU would have played Benson "Straight Up" a little more instead of double teaming on every posession, but I understand what Self was trying to accomplish tonight. Benson is a terrific big man and Self really wanted to work on his double team in the post defense. I get it, but I would have liked to have seen Aldrich and Benson play straight up a couple of possessions. As a fan I have to remember that it's not about me and it's about getting better and putting a "W" and future "W's" in the win column.

2) Aldrich-I was curious how Aldrich was going to fair against a big man that was his own size and IMO he didn't fair very well tonight. Benson was more athletic and completely out-played Aldrich tonight on the offensive end. I was pretty pleased with Aldrich's space on the defensive end, but I do think Aldrich needs some improvement in the footwork department. He really needs to learn that drop step over his right shoulder and use that left hand. Everybody is camping on his left side trying to prevent him from using his right hand and Aldrich is still trying to go that direction. He needs to start developing that left hand. Aldrich is the key to the Jayhawks sucess whether he is having a bad or good game. He takes up space so as long as he doesn't get down on himself he will be a game changer. Keep improving everyday in practice Aldrich.

3) Collins-I love the fact that Collins is just going about his business letting everybody to find their own rhythm and speed. I am curious to see how this will all work when everybody else is struggling and it's time for Collins to take over. You can see Collins wants to take over, but he is showing great discipline by allowing everbody else to get better during their game minutes and get "Experience". The only problem I had with Collins tonight was the shot at the end of the half where he forced it. You just have this feeling that Collins is just waiting for the "Big Games" to completely EXPLODE AND GO OFF!

.

Chris Shaw 5 years ago

4) Marcus Morris-I said that if Morris could get 8-11 shots per game that that will benefit Morris and the KU team. Well, Mc Morris shot 6-10 tonight for 19 points and looked really really good. His getting to the rim is still a little shaky after his 8-12 foot pump fake, but I am sure that will get better from game to game. Mc Morris has gotten better each game and I think he is going to be a beast once the confernce slate starts. Mc Morris is the guy that has impressed me the most so far this season. Keep up the good work.

5)Kief Morris-He is being very very aggressive on the glass and I like it. He is still a little awkward at times, but you can see his improvement. I still don't like him taking 3's, but I guess if he is knocking down that shot there isn't much you can say. He is playing very well early in the season. Would like to seem him a little more aggressive.

6) Xavier Henry- Not much I would change about his performance. You know, I have been saying that Xavier has "Settled" for jump shots during the first 3 games, but this was my observation this game. X has such a good knowledge of the game and such body control that he can pull up for those 8-15 footers and look like he is "Settling". Actually, I think if were to continue to take it to the rim there is a good chance that the "D" would catch up and could very well get a charge out of the situation. I really think that is why you saw Taylor struggle a little bit last year and is struggling this year. Taylor only wants to get to the rim and he is either creating a turnover or getting a charge. I think if Taylor would follow X's example and pull up for a little runner in the lane or a little floater that would get Taylor out of his funk. I think if X is getting to the middle of the lane and pulling up for a baby jay then I think that is exactly what the Jayhawks need.

7) Tyshawn Taylor-He is getting closer, but still having mental lapses. You can fault his effort because he is giving "Full Effort", but it's not controlled. Taylor had some good drives to the basket, but he also created some bad turnovers with those drives. If Taylor would pull up a few times and hit that baby jay similar to how X hits that shot then I think Taylor would eliminate some of things that is getting him in trouble. Self is being hard on him right now, but Self also knows Taylor's potential so I am sure it is certainly deserved. No doubt Taylor looked a lot better tonight, but he is still trying to "Find His Way". Taylor will be fine, but he eventually will need to become consistent.

8) Reed- I thought Reed played excellent for the second game in a row. You can see his confidence building with every minute on the court. What a vast improvement since the Memphis game. Reed is playing "D", hitting shots, and getting people the basketball. When that is happening you know KU is having an extremely good night.

Chris Shaw 5 years ago

9) Robinson and EJ-I still think Robinson needs to focus completely on the defensive end. I don't like how he is looking for his shot on offensive. He needs to focus on picking up rebounds on both ends and not making mistakes. His offense should be garbage points, but you can't fault the kid for being aggressive. He is definitely getting better. I thought EJ looked great tonight. He played within himself and got people the basketball. He still looks a little "Shaky" with the basketball, but that may just be freshman nerves. I think EJ is also improving and building confidence with every minute on the court.

10) CJ-I don't know what it is with CJ, but he rubs me the wrong way in a negative way. It seems like he has a "Chip" on his shoulder about something when he is out there for "Garbage Time". You can tell he is a good ball player, but I don't necessarily think his ballhandling skills or handles are that great. Time will only tell, but I don't see him getting off the bench anytime soon.

11)Overall-You can see the young guys getting better and the chemistry is getting better. It's a process and only game experience will get these guys where they want to be. I was really pleased with the game tonight because I think Oakland is a really good team and I think Oakland was a good test for the Jayhawks early in the season. See you all Friday Night against Tennessee Tech!

Steve Brown 5 years ago

It's the twins, and I called it 3 minutes prior to schnball at late night. ;)

Truth is HCBS has called it and he sees it and he must be giddy with the Twin Towers. Every game they get more fan converts.

I posted this couple weeks ago how our championship ran thru the twins and got scoffed by many of you. was told then they are average. come on over to the twin fan club j nation.

as for past references, Dreiling, Mokeski, Chenowith, Ostertag, (whom I mssing) all of them have one factor in common, their ultimate success to capture banners depended in large part upon the guards and forwards that accompanied them. As coach says, Cole has chance to become best true center here since '57. hope he is correct. but not yet, and yes, it's early and yes, he is under weather, just saying.

Chris Shaw 5 years ago

Let's all remember that the Benson kid isn't just some big man scrub on a mid-major team. This kid is a legitimate NBA first rounder and from last night's performance he may have just increased his stock. Aldrich finally played someone his own size and defensively he played really well IMO. Offense needs some work, but we all know his work ethic will pull him through. Work Ethic alone separates Cole Aldrich and Eric Chenowith. Please don't mention "EC" again on this site! Bad, Bad, Bad, memories for me!

Chris Shaw 5 years ago

soobawls: Well Marcus, teams aren't just playing "off" you, there is a reason you are wide open and it has a lot to do with why Cole went 2 for 10. Teams are focusing on Cole for some crazy reason and you are one of the beneficiaries. Having said that, if Cole is a legitimate All American he is going to have to learn to score EVEN when double and triple teamed. That's what All Americans do. Cole has the skills but does not appear to have put in the body work that the twins did in the off season and that may have just bought him another year in College.

Completely disagree with your post. Why on earth does Cole need to score against double and triple teams? That doesn't make any sense. If there willing to sag an extra man in Aldrich's direction then it is Cole's job to take the necessary time to swing the ball cross-court and offset the "D" by finding the open man. I thought Cole passing out of the Double Team last night was great. A lot better than the UCA game. Again, Benson was no slouch as I stated above. I think Cole did put in the necessary work in the offseason because you can tell by the strength of his left hand. It's still not where it should be, but it's getting better. I think this was the perfect game for Aldrich to evaluate his current progress this early in the season. Defensively I thought Cole played really well. Yes his offensive game wasn't there, but he did the necessary things in an "Off Night" to get other people the basketball. That's the sign of a "True Winner".

SCHNBALL 5 years ago

I still wish we had an option for an athletic 2, Releford or Little, or move x to 2 and play the twins.

SCHNBALL 5 years ago

LIGHTHAWK, what article for late night was it, I know I posted, but I cannot locate.

59Jayhawk 5 years ago

Interesting game, Morris's one good game and Cole's one bad means nothing. Cole will have many more good than bad and we can only hope MC Morris will repeat this game over and over. It will really be fun in he does.

Jack Wilson 5 years ago

Aldrich compared to Chenowith? That demonstrates utter ignorance. Can't believe I felt compelled to dignify that with a response.

My big problem is Taylor. I think Johnson is much farther along now than Taylor was at this point last year, or he is now for that matter.Johnson seems like a better shooter, and seems as though he can get to the bucket better. He seems like a better ball-handler. I say "seems" on all of that because we've only had a few games. Taylor, though, I am sure about. He has little concept of the floor and spacing, forces passes, and appears selfish at times with the ball. He makes poor decisions. I don't see another RR or Mario there.

Johnson only played 13 minutes, but those minutes seemed more productive than Taylor's 21 minutes. Self made the comment about Morningstar being able to move the ball, and that the offense was in a better flow with him in the game, in practice. It just appears to me (total subjective) that Johnson moves the ball, cuts, and seems in the flow better than Taylor. Taylor is choppy and forced.

Anybody see what I see?

SCHNBALL 5 years ago

Below is my post from late night, i think this is spot on, let's go big!!

Kanstucky, just curious, are you from Kentucky? I know most people don't like to judge off of 20 minutes of scrimmage, but I will give my observations since I drove 8 hours to watch:

  1. Twins, very impressive, hope this translates to the season.
  2. Releford, never understood why he did not see more playing time last year.
  3. C. J. Henry looked a step slow and lost
  4. X, will struggle getting to the rack at first, but will make the transition by mid year.
  5. Robinson, very impressive on both ends, plays above the rim and see major minutes.
  6. Collins looked the part of a leader
  7. Cole, no improvement on footwork from last year, remember the chippies he missed in the Michigan State game.
  8. Withey, at least a 2 year project. Can be used as a backup!
  9. Tyshawn, very talented, can he become a closer, still a question.
  10. Little, looks caught between a guard and a foward.
  11. Johnson looked aggressive and like he belonged amongst the talent

Nick Cole 5 years ago

Am I the only one that remembers Cole having some off games in November last season (especially with fouls)? I believe, if I am not mistaken, that he got his "problem" corrected before conference play. Not to mention the FACT that he has been battling the flu. Geesh people, cut the man some slack. We all know how good he is, he Cole knows how good he is. Let's stop this negative talk (sourbawls) and enjoy some college basketball.

Plus, lets beat Tenn. Tech tomorrow and mizstupid this Saturday at Arrowhead. I will be there Saturday before the gates even open.

Rock Chalk Turkey Day everyone.

Steve Brown 5 years ago

schnball: guess I was late in posting my twin tower admiration- you got me. yet I do want to join your TTowers fan club.

11.17 fans in adoration of the new kids, naturally. fans steady devotion to our all/stars all/americans, certainly.

Tonight, you will see the twins break out game, just watch, sophomores rule the house tonight.

They have shown moments of brilliance in AFH and tonight, all that they have invested to build bodies, stamina, endurance, plus learn what is required, tough defense, relentless yet controlled aggression will break out tonight.

for variety of reasons, MEM will want to double X so to limit him & show their fans they didn't lose anything overly special, plus frosh 1st road game, might pressure too much internally, so what, he may get 8 & shoot 30% yet the soph twin towers will get 27, & shoot for high average, with 3 blocked shots, 2 steals and a partridge pear tree. November 17, 2009 at 9:40 a.m.

SCHNBALL 5 years ago

Light, I had a hard time finding the day I posted, but I knew I posted, I will be pleasantly suprised if Tyshawn develops into a 2 we can count on every night. We will have options will Brady back. I guess we have enough options in "crunch time" with Sherron, X, twins and Cole, still would like to see Releford or Little play this year for more depth. I can say I was on the twins last year in a negative way, freshman will always be freshman. I really like this team if the keep deveoping throughout the year. Watch the big games, Cincy, Gonzaga, MIchigan State, Syracuse, we will need to be physical!!!

Beak 5 years ago

shouldnt the article at least report the final score?

Beak 5 years ago

oops. nevermind. forgot how to read.

Dr. Robert s. Mosser 5 years ago

Chenowith NEVER, I repeat, NEVER, had a game like Cole did in his few minutes in the North Carolina game in 2008. Wash your mouth out with soap. And then all the great games he has had since then. To top it off he is a CLASS athlete, no hotdog in him. With all the talent around him maybe his greatest contribution this year will be the way he alters shots of those who make the mistake of coming into the lane and pulling enough defense to him to open others for wide open shots, like Morris had in the Oakland game.

100 5 years ago

If we ever run into a "really tall" team (like the Boston Celtics), we might not do too bad with this lineup. Kief of course would have to take a few lessons at the guard spot first, but judging from his 3 last night he's put a little work in already...

  1. Cole
  2. Withey
  3. Kief
  4. Marcus
  5. CJ

Average Height: 6'9"

Now if we're running into a team like the Phoenix Suns, we might have to try a little something different. We lose a little height, but we have a shot to run past & outshoot the Suns:

  1. Cole
  2. Kief
  3. X-man
  4. Marcus
  5. Sherron

4 excellent three point marksmen & a rebounding auto-dunk-o-tron.

If we run into a defensive mismatch with Nash pulling jumpers over Sherron, we might have to go with utter simplicity & match people's height & speed better to the NBA style. It would look something like this:

  1. Cole
  2. Kief
  3. X-man
  4. Tyshawn
  5. CJ

The key is absolutely not letting Nash pull CJ & two other KU defenders out -- all he does after that is dish it over the top for a dunk to their 6'11" racehorse. It's much like Cal's dribble dribble offense -- stick on your man & your man only. They're dribbling setting you up? Push them to the outside & let your guys keep containment with good body positioning -- let them dribble to the corner & see what happens -- like Phog used to always preach, "use the out of bounds lines to your benefit!"

Don't get sucked into letting them drive the middle (like all coach's seem to plan for simply because an average coach's players are outnumbered in height, athleticism, fitness & numbers). If we're playing college rules & the zone is legal, the middle can be an OK place to push their attackers, but only if the exterior defenders are staying home. Unfortunately the way help defense is taught nowdays, almost invariably someone is open on the outside & uncoachable & investigated teams like the dribble attackers get easy points this way. Stay home against dribblers defenders! You'll get your money later in the NBA!!!!!! No help, No help, No help!

(Luckilly KU has the size & athleticism to properly attack teams like Cal's dribblers the proper way)

Man we have some solid players this year, we even have like 99 fans on the sidelines this year who look like they're ready to jump in the game full force (the shirtless Kirk Hinrich clone last night with the Hawk on his chest for one). It's been very enjoyable to see how hard they're working in practice on the important things. It's all about fundamentals, working hard & getting better every day.

"Practice Wins Championships"

40-0.

Steve Brown 5 years ago

schn you were riding the twins last year for 'good' reason, nice to see them now.

God knows we are NOT supposed to look ahead, just one game at a time, yet I need help.

I dreamt it was march 2010 that we were down 2 in st. louis final 8 game less than a minute against uconn and SC had ankle sprain, on the bench w. cole who fouled out with touchy feely west coast officials and we needed 3 pts. CJ had the ball pumped faked to a guarded X at the wing, and fed Marcus who was driving the lane cleared out by a double man clearing block by Keif for the dunk and after foul and he bent his knees like mamma says and sank the FT for the win. Nice to have two sets of brothers, question of the day, who was our 5th player on the court, and it can't be our all americans. anyone want a guess as I don't know. I woke up waving the wheat driving to indy. who was our 5th - you can all guess but I trust 100 will know and it wasn't even his dream.

help?

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