Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Flying high

Bears’ Tweety Carter leads Big 12 in assists

Baylor’s Tweety Carter (45) shoots over Iowa State’s Diante Garrett in this file photo from Feb. 24, 2009, in Ames, Iowa. Tweety and the Bears face off against the Jayhawks at 8 tonight at Allen Fieldhouse.

Baylor’s Tweety Carter (45) shoots over Iowa State’s Diante Garrett in this file photo from Feb. 24, 2009, in Ames, Iowa. Tweety and the Bears face off against the Jayhawks at 8 tonight at Allen Fieldhouse.


GameDay Cram Session: Baylor online editor Jesse Newell and Journal-World sports editor Tom Keegan take a look at what to expect from the Kansas basketball team's matchup against Baylor.

Marcus Morris making most of minutes

Marcus Morris has been rising to the occasion ever since being benched by head coach Bill Self. He has been more aggressive going to the basket and defending and his numbers have reflected his level of effort.

When Baylor University senior Demond Carter reflects on his days as a child in Louisiana, he’ll admit he had no problem keeping his family up at night.

“I used to cry a lot,” the guard said with a laugh.

The Carter family had to do something to lower the volume of his cries. So one day, Carter’s grandmother turned on the television and placed Carter in front of the set.

“I was crying, and my grandmother put a show on,” Carter recalled. “It was the tweety bird. I stopped crying. She said, ‘You know what, I’m going to call you Tweety.’”

From that point, any time the Carter family wanted their child to sleep, on came the show with the energetic bird.

Fast forward nearly two decades, and the 5-foot-11 Baylor guard nationally known as Tweety bears a slight resemblance on the basketball court to his favorite childhood cartoon.

“That bird’s a little quicker than me,” Carter said, laughing. “He’s a little bit quicker. That bird is something, though. He’s kind of got something special.”

As does Carter, whose No. 25 Baylor squad (14-2, 2-1 Big 12) will take on No. 3 Kansas (16-1, 2-0) at 8 tonight in Allen Fieldhouse.

From an early age, Carter had a natural gift on the basketball court. He played varsity ball in Reserve, La., as a seventh grader.

As Carter matured and became a standout prep guard at Reserve Christian, it became clear he could score in bunches. On Dec. 5, 2005, for instance, Carter poured in 74 points in a single game.

In choosing Baylor, Carter became the first McDonald’s All-American in Bears history. He didn’t score as much as he did in high school (8.7 points per game his freshman year, 9.6 ppg his sophomore year), but the Bears were making progress. By Carter’s sophomore season (2007-2008), BU was an NCAA Tournament team for the first time since 1988.

Last season — Carter’s junior year, in which he averaged 10.6 ppg — the Bears fell in the NIT finals to Penn State.

This season, as the only senior guard on the Baylor roster, Carter’s role has drastically changed since his prep days. Instead of being an all-out scorer, Carter is primarily a distributor. He currently leads the Big 12 and is second in the country with seven assists per game.

“Tweety has done a phenomenal job,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said. “He really has a good feel of when and where the ball needs to go.”

He still sees his chances to score. But Carter (15.6 ppg) is typically looking for backcourt mate and three-point sharp shooter LaceDarius Dunn, who averages 19.1 ppg, third in the Big 12.

“Their guard play may be as good as we have in our league,” Kansas coach Bill Self said.

As he’s gotten older, something else has changed about Carter’s game: His attention to detail on defense. Baylor plays a lot of 2-3 zone, which requires Carter to be active at all times along the perimeter.

“I want to stop everybody,” Carter said. “My defense is the thing I take most seriously.”

Carter said former Baylor guard Curtis Jerrells, the only Bears player in school history to lead BU in scoring and assists in all four of his seasons (2005-2009), was the most difficult player he’s had to defend.

How about the toughest defensive assignment from another team?

“It probably would be Sherron Collins,” Carter said of KU’s 5-foot-11 senior guard who averages 15.6 ppg. “His willingness not to be guarded and not to be denied, no matter who’s guarding him. Any time you have to play against an offensive mind like that, he’s going to be tough to guard.”

The two floor generals will likely guard each other quite a bit tonight. Carter and Collins have known each other awhile from their high school days on the AAU circuit. They were both 2006 McDonald’s All-Americans and played on opposing teams.

“He is a good friend of mine, one of my best friends throughout college,” Collins said of Carter. “He is a good player. He has a jump shot, and his range is unlimited. He can shoot from anywhere.”

Added Carter: “Every time we see each other, it’s like, ‘Man, how you been over there?’ That’s one of the great things about it. You don’t forget each other.”

Baylor’s zone has a recent history of limiting Collins. Last season, Baylor used its 2-3 zone to knock out top-seeded Kansas in the Big 12 tournament. The Bears held Collins to 6-of-20 shooting (4-of-12 from three-point range) and 16 points. He didn’t visit the foul line.

“It’ll be fun,” Collins said about meeting back up with the Bears. “They take the challenge the same way we do. They won’t back down. Hopefully we’ll be on, and if they play zone, hopefully we’ll be ready for it.”


ParisHawk 10 years ago

Using a tennis comparison for a minute :

Holding serve is important. Holding serve right after breaking serve is vital.

KSU just "broke serve" for us: they gave us the lead in the Conference standings.

We are playing at home tonight.

We must hold serve. Cannot lose at Allen.

Mike Kendall 10 years ago


Totally agree--we can't let Dunn and Carter have an "All-Star" night in AFH!

leonard 10 years ago

Another thing we could get from the KSU win over Texas is a look at the game film.

Shooting 38%...committing about 20 turnovers...and only getting 17 points from Clemente and Pulen should spell disaster....except for one thing...the relentless effort from KSU.

That's the kind of 40 minute commitment that our team has been the film and take it to heart.

KU 10 years ago

leonard............Bingo! Some people snarl, "KSU won ugly (like that's a bad thing), they shot poorly, turned the ball over.....they were lucky to win. They're not that good."

Really? That's just the kind of game it was. UT chose to make it a high possession, ugly-fest, too. If you can shoot that poorly and turn the ball over that much and your 2 star guards have an awful night and you STILL win, that's beautiful. Bill Self probably had sweet dreams about that game.

I want to see some EFFORT tonight! Rock Chalk!

Timmay97 10 years ago

Does anyone else find it odd that Tweety's parents had to put him in front of the TV for him to stop crying? I'm a father of twin 5 year old girls and I just think that's wrong. To me, it's just bad parenting.

Either way, he did get a clever nickname out of the whole deal.

Hawks are in for a major test tonight! I'm sensing that Xavier is going to be more aggressive tonight.....22 points for the freshman stud.

knayte 10 years ago

Totally nervous about this game. Baylor is dangerous. We're gonna need some serious leadership tonight.

bradynsdad 10 years ago

DEFEND THE PHOG!!! i would like to see retribution for last years big twelve tournament.

Mike Kendall 10 years ago

Timmay97-- You have a point. Using the TV for a child to occupy time is bad parenting. When I was getting my education, I had a professor who didn't have a TV in their house and his daughter benefited from that by having better grades. There is lots of research on this subject--TV watching for young children. Obviously, a classic nickname for one of the better players in the Big 12!

Vincent Patterson 10 years ago

Timmay97/mikendal - Okay, are you really going to callout Tweety's folks parenting skills? Yeah, using the TV to stop a child from crying is probably not the optimal method, but hey, the kid obviously turned out alright. McDonald's All-American, getting a free college education, and playing a key role on a pretty good D-1 basketball program? Not too shabby....

Joe Baker 10 years ago

SC is the guardian of the Phog winning streak!! He will protect the house at all costs.

I don't see Baylor making too much noise. I don't underestimate them, but we should be up for this game. I think BU over plays in a run and gun game. I see Udoh on Cole and the Twins having a huge game over Lomers. X will have to step up when necessary and produce some D and O. Drew will try the Vol's method of doubling Cole with a big and a guard.

CS needs to unleash the guard fury and wear Carter and Dunn down. Give them a big dose of TT, EJ, CJ, SC, BM and Reed. Run, run, run...wear, wear, wear!! If you take their air and their legs, they can't jump! Their bigs, especially Lomers will wear out.

RCJHKU Beat Baylor

Chris Shaw 10 years ago

I better not put that spanish CD or learning to sign CD in my DVD player for my one year old. I don't want to be accused of bad parenting.

mbmerriman 10 years ago

hahaha...ya guys use all your effort on a game that doesn't matter in January...KU and Leonard, how bout they save it and use it when it matters in march, like the '08 team. Teams that are playing their asses off right now are the teams that get burned out in March. KU is good enough that they don't need to try hard and could probly still win the league.

Tony Bandle 10 years ago

Totally off topic but there is a strong rumor that Josh Selby is as good as gotten for HCBS.

He's not the flashy slasher that McKnight is, but he is definitely Primetime and not a OAD. My only concern if he commits, what does that mean for Elijah.

Selby, Tyrell, Brady, Tyshawn, CJ, Orlando and Elijah....that's a lot of talent at the 1 and 2. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

mbmerriman 10 years ago

tyrell brady and tyshawn are gone next love all those guards

Tony Bandle 10 years ago offense,man, but where are Tyrell and Brady going? I think they are both juniors. And Tyshawn shouldn't be going anywhere unless he transfers.

Tony Bandle 10 years ago

Baylor, KSU and MU will be excellent tests of the winning streak although losing any one would be a disappointment....KSU, MU and UT will be excellent road tests for survival. Winning two of three would be outstanding.

However, the combination of the six games could have Kansas end up 3 and 3..we'll see

Marcia Parsons 10 years ago

Mbmerriman: A January game may not be so important, but a 52-game home win streak is. Plus, it's losing those January games that loses you the conference title in March.

Chris Shaw 10 years ago

oakvillejhawk: Totally off topic but there is a strong rumor that Josh Selby is as good as gotten for HCBS.

I wouldn't say it is a "Lock" just yet. Zona is also a front runner according to , but it does seem that KU and Zona are frontrunners at the moment. Zona has a lot of appeal with guranteed minutes and playing time. It would be hard to pass on something like that, but at the moment the Pac 10 is horrible without much National coverage. Which would choose?

As for KU and where Selby fits in? I don't see an issue at all. I could see another guard rotation very similar to what Collins, Chalmers, and Robinson had with Elijah Johnson, Tyshawn Taylor, and Josh Selby.

Again, Reed and Morninstar are complimentary players and "Specialty" type of players. They help with flow and coheisveness. They will most likely still would come off the bench next year, but I could see Morninstar starting again with two of the 3 out of Selby, Taylor, and Johnson if X does not return for a sophomore campaign. That's a 5 guard rotation that is pretty strong and I think Selby and Johnson can both make up for the lack of penetration by X at the moment.

If X does return that gives you a 6 guard rotation and you're just plugging Selby into the equation to replace Collins. It does create somewhat of a logjam if X does return and KU would experience some of things that is going on this year.

As for CJ and Woolridge, I don't see Woolridge getting a lot of playing time to start his career. I seem him as a Travis Releford type that will just need time to figure out the college game. As for CJ, I don't know what to do with a guy like that. That is why Self makes the big bucks and his toughest job is managing egos.

Just some food for thought, but think for a moment if X and Cole would stay next season and KU replaces Collins with Selby and KU also adds Woolridge. Wow! That would be tough because that would put KU 1 scholarship over their limit in that scenario. I do see a situation that is about 50/50 at the moment where one or the other in X or Cole leave for the draft, but not both. Out of the two, I can definitely see Cole possibly staying for his senior year. Wow! How sweet would that would be?

only losing X and Sherron and replacing those two with Selby, Woolridge, and Eljiah Johnson. That's not a bad trade-off, but one you could live with if Cole would decide to stay another year.

Joe Baker 10 years ago

mbmerriman (anonymous) says... KU is good enough that they don't need to try hard and could probly still win the league.

mbmerriman- I share your zeal my friend. Let's not get too far ahead. We all started taking one game at a time. I believe this team can do whatever they want, but let's consider some facts we've discussed. Basically, this team is inconsistent and until they find some consistency, let's not say "they don't need to try hard and still 'win' the league. They are good, but 'not try hard' good. I think we learned that lesson with the Vols.

Also why are Brady, Reed and Taylor gone next yr? Did I miss a whole year of KU b-ball? Please enlighten me as to the logic of your comment.

Tony Bandle 10 years ago

If X leaves, maybe CJ leaves as well and becomes his agent.

Something tells me that one way or another they are a "package deal", Xavier will get his exposure as a OAD, X and CJ will have fulfilled the dream of playing together, they will have been part of [hopefully[ a National Championship contender and they will both be Jayhawks and fulfill the family legacy.

Opposite side of the coin, if X stays, CJ stays...period.

Steve Brown 10 years ago

If our talent played with State intensity we would be something special.

Play like the other team has your mother's head under water. Man up boys.

State did not execute well at times, yet they did NOT look soft.

Joe Baker 10 years ago

kushaw- Your food for thought could be a very real possibility!! I really think X is learning he's not quite ready for the NBA. I thought it was really premature in the first place. Unless he improves his game drastically, I don't see him going. I would say the same for Cole too. These guys are not bad or unable, but the season hasn't quite met expectations.

I really see only adding Selby or Lamb, if at all.

If SC grads and Woolridge is committed, where is that other scholly? Are we assuming that Cole and X will leave an extra scholly? If Cole and X stay, do we need Selby or Lamb?

Where is Selby or Lamb's scholly coming from?

Joe Baker 10 years ago

oakville- If X leaves, CJ plays baseball for KU! lol

bradynsdad 10 years ago

can anyone recommend the best place to get tickets please.

KU 10 years ago

bradynsdad...........You need tix for tonight's game? How many?

Tony Bandle 10 years ago

truehawk93...all HCBS has to do is dial up Roger Morningstar and, BINGO, another scholarship awaits. After last semester, I think the Morningstars will do anything to help Kansas.

Chris Shaw 10 years ago

truehawk: Good stuff! Not "If" Sherron graduates, but "When" Sherron graduates and leaves us this year that leaves one schollie. Woolridge at the moment is taking that schollie spot. Orginal thinking way back when was that Mario Little was going to free up the second schollie, but that theory is obsolete now. The only way KU frees up another schollie is if X or Cole leaves. Hmmmmmm

Nonetheless, I think it is imperative to sign Selby (Schollies have a way of figuring themselves out) to replace Collins and have Taylor, Selby, and Johnson as the next in line for great point guards which most likely it would be Selby and Johnson. I think the only way Lamb comes to KU is if both X and Cole leave as well. I think Lamb is a long-shot at best at the moment. I'm not getting a good vibe from his recruitment.

on another note: Does anybody know if Royce has grown any this year? Some were saying that he was still growing and maybe had a chance at 6'5" or 6'6". Is this a myth or even a possibility. I think he's 6'3 at the moment. If anybody has any goods on this info that would be great appreciated.

Joe Baker 10 years ago

oakville- Yeah, I remember that little hidden chip. I just wanted to make sure all was well in the nation. I would hate to have a recruit waiting and no scholly, especially Selby or Lamb!

I hope you're right!

Kevin Huffman 10 years ago

To me the best news about next year will be Little and Releford being back in the mix. To me there've definitely been times when I've seen places where they could've helped us in games.

Joe Baker 10 years ago

kushaw- Yeah, the "if" was to be a "when" on SC. I hope X and Cole both stay. We should work the scholly for Selby. I haven't actually heard about Lamb.

No. I haven't heard about Royce either. I do know they were expecting him to shoot up a few inches though.

Joe Baker 10 years ago

khuff80 (anonymous) says... To me the best news about next year will be Little and Releford being back in the mix.

Absolutely good stuff. I want weapons, weapons, weapons!!

I don't want to leave anything undone. I want HCBS to master the possibilities and have all the weapons for war.

Brak 10 years ago

I would put money on the fact that Cole and X are gone after this year regardless if they are ready or not. There are talks that the NBA's new collective bargaining agreement will put a cap on 1st year players salaries so its pretty much a done deal that if you are a projected lottery pick you are going to the draft while the money is good. I also wouldn't be suprised to see TT test the waters of the draft to see how high he would go, earlier in the year he was projected to go late first round, but I'm sure he's dropped alot since then.

sherron4life 10 years ago

I say no chance Henry returns, and no chance Cole returns.. Both are in top 10 on espn's top prospects, and even if they both start falling down the boards in their recent play i still cant see cole passing up a second time and X came to college knowing he would only be here 1 year.... I really think we are gettin selby tho, which is good..

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