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Kansas defeats Texas Tech, 89-63

  • 12:45 p.m., Jan. 16, 2010
  • Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Motivated force

Marcus Morris on a roll

Kansas forward Marcus Morris goes up against Texas Tech's D'walyn Roberts Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Marcus Morris goes up against Texas Tech's D'walyn Roberts Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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2010 KU-Texas Tech

Reader poll

Whose performance were you most happy with following the Jayhawks' 89-63 victory over Texas Tech?

  • Marcus Morris 50% 1176 votes
  • Brady Morningstar 31% 736 votes
  • Tyrel Reed 10% 238 votes
  • Cole Aldrich 6% 152 votes
  • Undecided 1% 42 votes

2344 total votes.

Ever-honest Marcus Morris, who is Kansas University’s leading scorer and No. 2 rebounder through two games of the still-young Big 12 season, shrugs his shoulders when asked if he can keep up his highly productive pace.

“I can’t predict the future,” the 6-foot-8 sophomore forward said after scoring 20 points off 7-of-10 shooting and grabbing eight rebounds while playing 22 minutes in the Jayhawks’ 89-63 rout of Texas Tech on Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse.

He had 19 points and seven boards in Wednesday’s league lid-lifter at Nebraska.

“I can try to do what my team asks me to do and what coach (Bill) Self asks me to do. Every game I will try to give my best because I want us to win, but if I don’t score, I can try to do other things,” he added.

Morris has hit 14 of 18 shots and nine of 12 free throws in conference play, but insists it’s a mere coincidence that he has blossomed since Self sat him at the beginning of the Nebraska game.

“It wasn’t the non-start,” said Morris, who was back in the starting lineup Saturday. “I listened to Brady (Morningstar) and the coaches. Coach Self pulled me in front of everybody (after loss at Tennessee) and said, ‘I don’t think you or your brother are playing hard. You need to turn it up.’

“I sat back and looked at the film and saw I was taking plays off, and the coaches were right about what I was doing. You think you are doing well, then when you watch tape, you see, ‘I missed a screen here or didn’t try to go for the offensive rebound here.’ That plays a major role.”

Morris had 11 points the first half and also took a turn defensively on Tech’s Mike Singletary, who missed his only two shot attempts the first half (0-for-4, zero points for the game) as KU blazed to a 42-18 lead.

“Defensively, I turned up the intensity. I tried to grab my man and keep him off the glass,” said Morris, who had five offensive rebounds, three defensive. “I brought my intensity a little more than usual, but took a couple plays off.”

A reporter asked Morris why his effort varies game to game.

“I feel it varies with everybody,” he said. “If you don’t bring effort and intensity to the game and the other team takes the first shot at you, it can get you back on your heels. Just bringing intensity to the game can put the intimidation factor on the other team.”

A work in progress, Morris said he’ll simply try to bring the same juice to Wednesday’s 8 p.m. home clash against Baylor.

“When he plays well, he’s more active,” Self said. “Usually being more active is getting his hands on more balls. He’s played very well the last couple of games.”

Marcus had seven points and brother Markieff four during a 23-5 run that closed the first half. Cole Aldrich sat out the final 9:26 and Sherron Collins the last 4:26 with two fouls apiece, and Tyshawn Taylor sat the final 10 minutes after committing a wild turnover.

“I think it’s a good sign when your two best players combine for six (actually four) points total and you’re up 24,” Self said. “It tells me our bench is playing well. Over time, that’s going to be real important.”

Aldrich did score 14 points and grab seven rebounds, while starters Xavier Henry and Collins had 14 and nine, respectively.

Brady Morningstar had eight points, six rebounds and four assists and Tyrel Reed five points, three assists and three steals. Thomas Robinson and Markieff Morris combined for 11 points and eight boards as 11 Jayhawks scored.

The No. 3-ranked Jayhawks (16-1 overall, 2-0 Big 12) also showed some flash against the Red Raiders (12-5, 0-3), with Morris firing home a dunk to close the first half and Elijah Johnson a slam to beat the final buzzer.

“It was OK,” Morris said of his one-handed slam. “I wanted to actually do something else. The game moved so fast, the only thing I thought about was scoring.”

Where would he rank the dunk on his all-time list?

“Maybe fifth,” he said with a smile.

As far as the game, Morris wouldn’t rank it as one of KU’s finest.

“We held them to 18 points the first 20 minutes, which is excellent,” Morris said. “The second half we took our foot off the gas and kind of fell back because we were up so much and playing by the score.”

That’s what Self told his team after the contest.

“We played the score the second half as opposed to in our mind the score being 0-0,” Self said. “We’ve had a lot of good teams here ... the younger teams do that more often than the experienced teams.”

Comments

Kye Clark 10 years ago

A bit of a ho-hum game today. Great play by the Twins and our bench. It was good to see Cole come out of his offensive funk a little bit today. And how bout that dunk by EJ? Wow!

Hotel_Mirimar_1 10 years ago

alonzo jamison played amazing. you agree jaybate?

Steve Yeakel 10 years ago

"Brady and the coaches told me." I wonder if Brady might end up being a great KU coach in 20 years after Bill wins his 10th national championship and turns over the reins?

Dyrk Dugan 10 years ago

Marcus Morris....like any very, very good high school player and then big time college bball competition hits you like a mack truck....is now learning what it takes to really play well and be successful at this level.

the consistency of doing this very thing, game in and game out....practice in and practice out....is something you can't learn unless you go through it. very few guys...and i mean very few....get by in major college basketball on talent alone. And Marcus...along with his brother....are learning what it means to actually be relied upon by your teammates, for the team to win.

i expect Marcus to continue with the effort and want to....i don't expect him to go 20 and 10 every night. we don't need him to do that...but i think 13 to 15 and 8, is not out of the realm.

Chris Shaw 10 years ago

Post Game Obsrvations and Notes (Turbo Version). I am just having one of those mornings where I don't want to put forth the effort! LOL!

Bench: Played fantastic and unlike my effort in this post showed great intensity, energy, and poored out an extreme amount of effort. It was probably good for the starters to sit and watch play from a different perspective.

Xavier Henry: He's trying ladies and gents. You can tell he is trying to make us all happy. He is starting to figure out his "Spots" and when to and when not to drive. He is showing more aggressiveness and I just wish he would get mean at trying to take his defender to the rack. Finally, Mark it down! KU posted up Xavier Henry at the 7:34 around the 12 foot mark and guess what? He never got the ball, but got a foul called on his defender. That my friends is offensive pressure on the defenders and it was simple, effective, and a nice little adjustment that I was calling for earlier in the week. I would like to see more of it.

Morningstar and Reed: Yes, had some mental lapses with turnovers, but got caught up in the pace of the game. Can't fault their hustle or energy as it was actually those two who set the tone for the game. Fantastic by those two!

CJ Henry: Another one of the bench stars. Fantastic pass of a nice baseline drive.

Thomas Robinson: Part of the bench group that gave the Jayhawks the fire they needed for the first half run.

The Twins: They have picked up their game since Robinson started. Great to see because we are going to need even more effort and energy from these two. They are getting better and I love it! I just hate the coaches have to keep reminding them on how they need to play instead of just playing and doing it on their own.

Cole and Sherron: Same repeating story for these two. Cole is great defensviely and is quite frustrating to watch on offense. Sherron had a couple of bad turnovers, but again I am not worried about Sherron. Probably good these two sat for a number of minutes just to watch and observe and make their own analysis from the bench.

Chris Shaw 10 years ago

Tyshawn: All I can say is that the kid is just thinking too damn much. He isn't playing instinctively and is concerned about more how to please Self than he is playing basketball. It's a hard thing to get through because you feel like no matter what you do out there, you are doing it wrong and the coach is on your ass all the time. Unfortuantely, ruts like this happen with basketball players and Tyshawn is going to have to "Mentally" get through this on his own. He is in a danger zone right now because he could go one of two ways: 1) Regress and feel sorry for himself which is good possibility 2) Just say "Screw It" and I am going to prove you all wrong. We'll see which one of the two personalities he has. I think Tyshawn will be fine in the long-run! He's a good kid that is just struggling with his game. He needs to go to the "Y" or fly to New York and play quick game at Rucker Park and just remember how fun it is to play the game of basketball.

EJ: I've already given my thoughts about EJ this wholes season. He has the highest ceiling of any Jayhawk, but Self just doesn't trust him in the game yet. If you think because of his "Highlight Reel" dunk is the sole reason he should be playing than you truly don't understand the components of this team and where he should or should not be getting playing time. EJ will be fine! His attitude is fantastic!

Conclusion: I do agree with Self about the idea of "Pressure" vs "Pressing"! Don't let the press completely put you in the "Fools Gold" category ladies and gents. It's a good thing to set a tone, but I do agree with Self that you use it in spots and spurts. It definitely worked yesterday, but it also makes you careless in transition and offense where KU demonstrated that in increased turnovers. It's a fun brand of basketball to watch, but in overall efficiency it's not the most efficient. Good job Hawks and I like the press in spurts and not long-periods of the game. Great Energy! Loved It!

Robert Brock 10 years ago

1) Taylor is not thinking too much. Just the opposite...

2) EJ is not playing due to his defense. He will play when he improves.

Steve Brown 10 years ago

hinsight is 20/20, wonder now about this yr. being red shirt yr. for EJ. that horse has left the barn.

T. Shylar Taylor everything you seek is right before you grasshopper. Reflect why you accepted Kansas and what you hoped and what you may yet achieve. Fans adoration follows fresh frosh and fans confidence follows upper classman yet the soph & juniors are the glue, the mortar, the yeast that makes the team gel and perform to highest level. Can you rise to that challenge, I think you are capable. do you?

Marcus nice game.

Don't feed the Bears. RCJHKU

Tony Bandle 10 years ago

From a purist's standpoint, probably one of the worst 26 point victories in Kansas history! :}

Numerous starters underachieving, The opponent with plenty open shots [and misses, thank goodness], Steal to turnover continuity, Unless there were technical difficulties, the quietest KU crowd I've ever heard - until EJ's dunk with 3 seconds left!!! * Friggin' Jon Sunvold spending the whole friggin' broadcast talking about his friggin' career at friggin' Misery...I turned off the friggin' sound [mmmm..maybe that's why the crowd was so quiet??!!]

However, everyone, if we got everybody on the team playing to their potential at the same time, we'd score 150 points!!

Anyone want to bet that North Carolina drops out of the Top Twenty Five.....I don't!!!

stravinsky 10 years ago

North carolina probably should be dropping out of the top 25, but they won't. According to Ken Pom, we are going to pass them on the all time victories list this year (I think he expects them to win five more games) but likely not before they hit the 2000 mark. Too bad!

I'd put them somewhere around 17-22. Losing to a ranked team, although at home, won't drop them much farther than that. They're UNC, and Dick Vitale will through a hissy fit if they drop farther than that.

Too bad about that Texas game though, I was hoping that they would lose that one to give us more breathing room when it comes to winning the Big 12. The game in Austin will be tough.

They're talented, but Texas does not look like a title team. They take games off to more of an extent than we do (near losses to A&M yesterday, near loss to what was it, A&M corpus christi earlier in the year?) and I've thought for a while that Barnes isn't a coach who is going to be capable of winning a title.

Jack Wilson 10 years ago

Brock: So by that logic, Taylor is playing because of his defense. And watching the last handful of games, his defense has been just so-so. I sense by Self not starting Taylor in the second half, and his limited minutes, a change may be coming. Taylor did have a good game vs. Nebraska.

Here is the EJ highlight reel dunk, just for entertainment.

hawkstl 10 years ago

The crowd was actually good, it is good to have the students back, the play was a little out of sync, but the energy was turned up and we are scary when we get in that mode. In sync we beat a pretty good Tech team by 50. We were by far the best of the Top Three teams on Saturday.

Brady, made plays his pass to Marcus on the break was the best pass this year

Martin Rosenblum 10 years ago

One of the ESPN Sportscenter commentators, sorry I don't remember which one, made a prediction. after A&M took Texas to OT Saturday, that KSuck will beat Texas in Manhattan on Monday night.

What an awkward dilema. Do we dare hope for a Wildcat win? We've got a larger target on our backs when we play them on the 30th on their court, if they do win against Texas. But, Texas having a loss would be great for us in several ways.

Either way, however, we benefit from whichever team loses on Monday.

kvskubball 10 years ago

mem...

However the KSt & Tex game plays out, we will have our hands full with those two this year...double tough as we have to go to Austin, and play the Kittles twice...but that will help prepare us for the tourney!

Lot's of good, tough basketball in the Big !2 this year!

I'm enjoying it!

VegasJhawk09 10 years ago

Ralster, yah I saw that footage of good ole Roy. I giggled a bit on that one. I gotta feel a little bit for him though, they havent reloaded as good as they should have apparently. OH well. They will come back and be strong again soon.

VegasJhawk09 10 years ago

Question to anyone who reads this.
Sherron is obviously our team general being the only Senior on the team but, who between him and Tyshawn is the main point guard? I automatically lean to Sherron but I keep hearing about Tyshawn being a point guard and I see him being more of a 2 than the point. Especially when Sherron is playing sooo much better than TT is.
And, do they switch up the 1 and 2 spots when the both of them are in the game? Can both of them be considered point guards?

VegasJhawk09 10 years ago

I just heard on the Bill Self show. My sincere condolences go out to Cole and Sherron who both lost close family members a couple days ago. Best wishes to you both and remember your fans are always thinking of you. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

Steve Brown 10 years ago

Prayers and best wishes for the families....

VegasJhawk09 10 years ago

Hey Ralster, thanks for clearing that up for me. 'preciate it!

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