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Friday, November 19, 2010

Keegan

KU’s Brady Morningstar mired in shooting slump

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Brady Morningstar’s high school coach at Free State, Jack Schreiner, has a good laugh when he thinks back to his former star player coming into the gymnasium all fired up, convinced he finally had found the perfect jump shot.

“Yeah,” Morningstar confirmed. “I wasn’t the strongest guy out there. I was a little scrawny white boy, so I was hitching on my jump shot and my set shot would come off too slow.”

Morningstar would wear out the Shoot-Away in practice.

“I was trying to figure out who I should shoot like,” Morningstar said. “Obviously, you’ve got to have your own shot, but you know, sometimes I’d have a high arc, sometimes I wouldn’t. Each week, I’d just try to perfect my shot. I was young and immature and I wanted to look like the guys on TV and shoot like them.”

Now Morningstar’s one of the guys on TV. And on YouTube. Nobody will imitate his YouTube moment in a game. Everybody imitates it on YouTube. The moment of course, is the hilarious, inept free-throw attempt against Texas last Feb. 8.

“Bloopers happen,” Morningstar said. “That was pretty funny. I don’t know how many hits it has on YouTube, a couple million or so, I think. I never in my lifetime thought I’d have a couple million hits on YouTube.”

Morningstar obviously doesn’t have the clip bookmarked and hasn’t been to it in quite a while. As of Thursday night, Morningstar’s free throw slip clip had been viewed 3,626,327 times. (Prepare to cringe because you have arrived at the point in the column where I desperately attempt to show I’m not only young, but also hip to Internet lingo.)

It’s gone viral. Think about that number: 3,626,327. That’s whack.

Anyway, Morningstar happens to be in a shooting slump that has lasted 12 games.

In the first 68 games of his KU career, the senior guard had a .431 overall shooting percentage and a .432 three-point accuracy rate. In the past 12 games he has shot .342 overall and .211 from long range. His free throw rate has dropped from .769 to .400.

The slump started the very next game after the Texas game. He shot better before he went viral. Just a coincidence?

“Yeah, I think so,” Morningstar said with a smile. “That has nothing to do with it.”

To the naked eye, his shot looks as if it has a hitch and a higher arc this year. When it comes to watching shooters, results can fool the eyes into thinking the process has changed when it really hasn’t. A guy who used to tinker as much with his shot as Morningstar did ought to be able to feel if it’s different. The trained eyes of coaches would catch any differences.

“I don’t think it’s different and I haven’t heard it’s any different,” he said. “It’s just not going in as much right now. I’m not worried about it. Shooters go through slumps. They feel good. They’re in rhythm. All my mechanics feel good. They’re just not falling.”

Morningstar has attempted all of 18 three-pointers during his slump. Xavier Henry hoisted 49 shots during a nine-game, .265 three-point shooting slump last season.

Look for Brady to nail slump-busters as soon as tonight against North Texas.

Comments

Ben Kliewer 9 years, 3 months ago

Well, get ready for the Brady-Haters to say things like "Slump? You mean his entire KU career?" and other BS like that... Props to Brady, love that guy.

James Miller 9 years, 3 months ago

We all love Brady. He is a Hawk. There are just better players at his position.

Ben Kliewer 9 years, 3 months ago

No, there are people out there who are haters...

KEITHMILES05 9 years, 3 months ago

I can not fathom the coaches concurring with Brady there is nothing wrong with his form. I don't buy that for a second. His form is horrendous and he is doing a JUMP shot from 3 point range! Any and everybody knows his form is way off and it's shocking he is living in denial.

KUFan90 9 years, 3 months ago

Absolutely agree. Not only is it a jump shot, it's rarely a set, straight up shot. He is jumping toward the basket, or sideways, or cross ways, ridiculous. Not surprising he is hitting at a 20% clip.

To be honest I noticed the same thing about Tyrel last game. In the first half, when he was on fire, he was hitting nice, stable, straight up set shots and they were money. In the second half when he went cold, he looked like Brady, jumping toward or sideways to the basket during the shot. Sometimes it looks like they are in a long jump competition and trying to shoot a basketball mid jump!

Watch the game tonight with this in mind and I bet you will notice it too.

Guys, just catch the ball, set your feet and go straight up!

Nutflush21 9 years, 3 months ago

Keegan should learn what Mark Grace deemed a slump-buster before he talks about Brady "nailing slump-busters"

Kye Clark 9 years, 3 months ago

LOL - first thing that came to mind when reading that!

Jack Wilson 9 years, 3 months ago

When I read it, I had to read it again .. exactly what I thought. Pretty funny.

Eliott Reeder 9 years, 3 months ago

Keegan is a big baseball fan, and a bit of a weirdo. Sure he knew exactly what he was slipping in there... (pun intended).

Ashwin Rao 9 years, 3 months ago

Great positive comment, Drgnslayr! Kudos to you!

I agree! Crimson and Blue runs in Brady's blood. I wish him well this year. He will find ways to help the team. You have my support, Brady!

ParisHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

drgnslayr, very interesting comment! In your mind, which players will thrive at this frequency and which other players will struggle? Do you think we can keep this up in March, when the games generally slow down?

I would say TT is the opposite of Brady in that last's year pace was a struggle and he is much more comfortable now. Reed seems to be adjusting OK.

NH_JHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think after Brady's done playing at KU, he will be the all time most winning individual player in KU history. Not bad for a "little scrawny white boy" from Kansas. Regardless of the haters out there, that's an impressive accomplishment.

ParisHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Brady's the winningest if you count his redshirt year: should you?

Andrew Moore 9 years, 3 months ago

I was watching the Texas - Illinois game last night, and I couldn't help but notice the Texas has all of the same problems as last year: too much one on one and a 'sticky' ball. I started thinking to myself how they much better they would be if they had a better coach. Barnes just can't coach. The guy is an elite recruiter but struggles getting his guys to play the right way and play together.

I think Texas is a Brady Morningstar away from being a good team.

justanotherfan 9 years, 3 months ago

afmoore,

I thought Texas looked pretty good on the offensive end last night, particularly in the first half. Texas' biggest problem is that Balbay, while being a good ball handler, is a non-threat to score, so he brings their offense down, and he plays a lot of minutes for them because they don't really have another true PG.

If you were to put Balbay out there with Brady (a guy that can't create his own offense) then you have two guys out there that can't really get things going offensively. A guy like Brady would probably hurt Texas more, particularly if Brady were to shoot like he has recently.

The guy that Texas is going to depend on this year is Thompson (freshman PF). If he can get easy buckets inside (8-11 last night) they will be tough. If he can't, they will be a jumpshooting team and they only have one real shooter.

Andrew Moore 9 years, 3 months ago

I did all of this theorizing while watching Jordan Hamilton continuously force shots. Balbay was forcing things. Just a whole lot of one on one, forcing shots, and playing as individuals.

Brady's a glue guy, a chemistry guy, who can (usually...) hit the open 3 and stay in front of his man.

They looked really good when they got the ball to Thompson or worked it around to the open man. They're all really talented players, they just lack chemistry.

They have all the same problems they had last season. I didn't see much improvement in the chemistry department. Thompson is a big time player and Joseph has the potential to become one.

JayViking 9 years, 3 months ago

And not bad as in, that's bad, dude. Bad as in, that's bad bad, dude.

Jim Roth 9 years, 3 months ago

Another coincidence: the slump started around the time allegations of his dad's involvement in the ticket scandal started getting attention. True or not, even the suggestion must have been devastating for someone who has bled crimson & blue his whole life.

REHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

"...has bled crimson & blue his whole life." Well worded, tundrahawk. Brady is a second generation Jayhawk hoopster who has committed his young life to being a vital segment of the winning Kansas tradition. I really hope to see him regain his shooting touch and smile.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 3 months ago

I would respectfully contest that comment.....Brady's triple pump, errant foul shot last year on national television and replayed constantly on ESPN for weeks must receive considerable consideration......also, that's right around the time things started to go south for Brady!!

Joe Joseph 9 years, 3 months ago

He completely air-balled a dunk and then faked an injury to try and save face.

Julian wins.

miltnewton 9 years, 3 months ago

Brady is a defensive liability and if he's not hitting close to 40% from 3, then he is only worth his limited senior leadership. Nothing personal but if/when Selby gets cleared Morningstar should see 10 minutes per game. (Unfortunately for us, Mario is starting to show he is too slow to guard effectively as well.) Brady is a good story on paper but I don't want to lose to anymore Northern Iowa teams when it counts. Not sure why the coaching staff hasn't pointed out his obvious jump forward during his shooting motion?

mjioknees 9 years, 3 months ago

BM barely played in the second half of the UNI game. Why put the UNI loss on him?

Ron Franklin 9 years, 3 months ago

I agree with you about his jumpshot...he is lunging forward, and pushing the ball out instead of going straight up and keeping is elbow in...using his elbow, wrist, and fingertips...

completely disagree about the UNI comment...Brady had nothing to do with that.

Tyshawn & Sherron went 1-11 from Three. Cole could not stop their 7 footer The refs sucked.

That's why they lost to UNI

miltnewton 9 years, 3 months ago

Not blaming the loss on Brady. My comment was about the bigger picture. When Brady takes up valuable time during the regular season (and is not shooting well), that rears its ugly head in the tourney when we are playing smaller, quicker teams and the guys on our team who are relied up to counter that could have used the extra minutes during the season to figure some things out. I agree with the comment below that Reed/Brady should split 30 mins per game and Self should lean heavily towards the hot hand...right now Reed.

Benjamin Piehler 9 years, 3 months ago

honestly, if brady isn't hitting the shots, I'd put in the other white kid (reed).

chriz 9 years, 3 months ago

Guys, I've been saying it for the past two years. So long as we have Reed and Morningstar getting significant minutes, we're not going far. I understand: Morningstar carries with him intangibles. I understand: Reed is speedy and aggressive and a good shot, despite his slow start. And that's all fine. Give them some playing time. Give them about 7-13 minutes per game a piece as needed.

But that's it. Bring in Morningstar only when things seem to be falling apart. Bring in Reed when we need an offensive spark or a counter to their marksmanship. Any more, and we're shooting ourselves in the foot. We have too many athletes.

chriz 9 years, 3 months ago

Yes, I am a genius. Thanks for noticing. Really, though, and I can't believe I'm saying this, but the twins are doing more than enough right now from 3. Would we like to have the prototypical shooter who is also an athlete (Rush, Chalmers)? Yes. Do we have that? No. So the trade off for an extra point here or there is athleticism. I'll take that over OUR three-point shooters anyday.

Remember, I'm not saying keep them on the bench the entire game. I'm saying bring them in as needed.

Also, I think that we have more shooters than we think.

Michael Leiker 9 years, 3 months ago

Brady plays basketball for KU...he doesn't need to nail any slump-busters.

Benjamin Piehler 9 years, 3 months ago

elephant in the room; the accusations that brady got on the team because of his dad.

Ron Franklin 9 years, 3 months ago

or it could have been because he was a 4 star highly ranked shooting guard when he came out of hampton prep.....

justanotherfan 9 years, 3 months ago

I thought he was a three star. Maybe he was a 4 star. He wasn't rated in the top 20 at his position, so he wouldn't have been a top 100 player, I do remember that.

I also remember that KU was the only major conference program that showed much interest in him. A lot of Missouri Valley and MAC schools showed interest (Creighton, Wichita State, Northern Illinois, etc.). And really, I understand why. Brady would have been a very good player in those conferences. He just isn't quite to the level to be a heavy minute player in a major conference night in and night out. He can be a good player, but he can get exploited over the course of a long season in a major conference if he's playing major minutes. In a limited role, his leadership and basketball IQ are valuable, but in heavy minutes, his lack of size, speed and ball handling ability keep him from being effective.

Ron Franklin 9 years, 3 months ago

I agree with you.....I'm not saying he was/is a top player on the roster, but to state he got on the team because his dad is Roger is bogus.

Brady is a solid player. He's not gonna blow people away with his skills, but he does contribute whether people like to admit it or not.

FairgroveJayhawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Self isn't going to play anyone based on who their dad is.

justanotherfan 9 years, 3 months ago

I've said for a while that I don't mind Brady playing, just that he needs to have a very clearly defined role. That role should be as a spot up shooter and secondary ball handler. That's where he fits in best. Ideally, he would be on the floor with Tyshawn, either Releford or Little and the twins. That lineup would give you four scorers on the floor and allow Brady to spot up. It also would keep Brady from having to guard a guy bigger than 6-4, which has been where his size has been exploited in the past.

Playing Brady and Tyrel at the same time kills us offensively because either we don't have a true PG on the floor, or we don't have an explosive slashing wing player. It also hurts us defensively against longer teams because both Brady and Tyrel are under 6-4, and can't keep bigger 3's off the glass. That is, in my mind, the least effective lineup for KU.

Since Tyrel is the better shooter, he should get more of the minutes. Right now, I'd say Tyrel and Brady should be splitting about 30 minutes per game since they shouldn't be out there together. I'd say at least 18 of those minutes should be Tyrel's unless Brady breaks out of his shooting slump.

Oh, and it should be noted that Little was a high quality 3pt shooter in juco, so I wouldn't rate him a D-. He's probably a C shooter, maybe a C+.

justanotherfan 9 years, 3 months ago

I've said for a while that I don't mind Brady playing, just that he needs to have a very clearly defined role. That role should be as a spot up shooter and secondary ball handler. That's where he fits in best. Ideally, he would be on the floor with Tyshawn, either Releford or Little and the twins. That lineup would give you four scorers on the floor and allow Brady to spot up. It also would keep Brady from having to guard a guy bigger than 6-4, which has been where his size has been exploited in the past.

Playing Brady and Tyrel at the same time kills us offensively because either we don't have a true PG on the floor, or we don't have an explosive slashing wing player. It also hurts us defensively against longer teams because both Brady and Tyrel are under 6-4, and can't keep bigger 3's off the glass. That is, in my mind, the least effective lineup for KU.

Since Tyrel is the better shooter, he should get more of the minutes. Right now, I'd say Tyrel and Brady should be splitting about 30 minutes per game since they shouldn't be out there together. I'd say at least 18 of those minutes should be Tyrel's unless Brady breaks out of his shooting slump.

Oh, and it should be noted that Little was a high quality 3pt shooter in juco, so I wouldn't rate him a D-. He's probably a C shooter, maybe a C+.

Kurt Eskilson 9 years, 3 months ago

Golly. I sure do hope that Coach Self is reading all this so he can see the error of his ways and quit playing Brady so much. If only he could see in weeks of practice what we can see in minutes while watching on the tube …

miltnewton 9 years, 3 months ago

Yeah, he's got it ALL figured out after that loss in the tourney.Sometimes you are too close to the situation to see some of the picture.

James Findley 9 years, 3 months ago

Keegan,

I think I think it is "Wack".. Like Wacky.. Not "whack" like I'm gonna whack you in the face hole...

jaybate 9 years, 3 months ago

Every time a good shooter goes into a slump, which every good shooter does, many doubt that the good shooter will ever start hitting again, even though good shooters always do start hitting again.

This phenomenon tells us much more about the insecure psychologies of those who doubt the good shooter, than about the good shooter.

Good shooters know they are good shooters and know the shots will fall, if they keep their mechanics in order, and if they keep shooting. Good shooters are very confident, secure personalities about their abilities to shoot. The doubting observers are often highly insecure about their own shooting. :-)

ParisHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

So what about Connor Teahan? Is he a good shooter?

dynamitehawk 9 years, 3 months ago

The child in me....Scratch that. The me in me would make a joke about Markieff helping him with shooting tips.

REHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Well, we just ran away with Game #3, with Brady starting and playing major minutes. At this juncture, I throw my support to Bill Self's confidence in the players he is using. I was pleased to see EJ get so much playing time. Coach might have to evaluate his pluses and minuses much the same as he does Tyshawn's. That hardball slam off the backboard had to be his finest minus of the contest. Otherwise, his offense looked good and he is beginning to keep his man in front of him on defense. At times, the ball was sticking in his dribbling a bit long; but then he often whipped passes around in the manner of Tyrel and Tyshawn. Just needs more game minutes....

brewmaster 9 years, 3 months ago

...not a typical 4-year player, more like a 6th or 7th year senior.

hawkhoops 9 years, 1 month ago

There are plenty of others to make shots. So what if he isn't scoring points. He's usually top in assists and steals, and fewest turnovers at his position. When Brady is in, the ball is constantly moving. As far as a denfensive liability, he assignment is always the other team's top guard. Brady is a true ball player. He's the one no one notices, yet makes the biggest difference.

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