KU hoops notebook: Marcus Morris named Big 12 player of the week

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 85-65 victory over Baylor on Jan. 17, 2011.

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Marcus honored

Kansas University junior forward Marcus Morris on Monday was named Big 12 player of the week for the second time this season. Baylor’s Perry Jones was tapped rookie of the week, also for the second time in 2010-11.

Morris exploded for 33 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, both career highs, in the Jayhawks’ narrow 84-79 victory over Iowa State. He connected on 11 of 15 floor shots. He scored 13 of his 16 points in the second half of a come-from-behind, 63-60 home victory over Nebraska.

For the week, the Philadelphia native, whose brother, Markieff, has been named Big 12 player of the week once this season, averaged 24.5 points and 12.0 rebounds, while shooting 70.8 percent from the field

Marcus Morris last week surpassed the 1,000-point scoring mark for his career, entering Monday’s Baylor game with 1,001 points.

“Marcus has played very well,” KU coach Bill Self said. “Really going back to the Michigan game, I don’t think there’s been many players around that’s probably played better over a span of three games. They all three (Michigan, ISU, NU) were hard wins. He played a huge role in us pulling out all of them.”

Baylor coach Scott Drew said Morris, “is one of the most impressive players in the country. There’s not much he isn’t doing — passing, shooting, dominating inside/outside, (being) emotional on the court, getting his teammates fired up. He’s having a banner year. He’s doing a good job in his all-around game and really become a great player.”

Nailbiters

Self was asked about the Jayhawks’ tendency to play close games on the Big 12 teleconference Monday.

“I don’t think we’ve gotten consistent play. Either our bigs have been inconsistent or our guards,” Self said. “The last couple games, it’s been our guards for the most part. Our bigs have been pretty consistent.

“I’d like to see us put it all together so we can see what we look like. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll win when you do that. In conference, we’ve played two teams that were preseason low (picks). I’m looking at it now, if there are five or six teams better than Iowa State, Nebraska, it’ll be hard for everybody. Not too many teams will go to Ames and win. If Doc’s group (Sadler, Nebraska) keeps playing like they played us ... that was on our home floor. If we play there, they win the game based on how the game went this past Saturday,” Self added. “I’d like to see us become more consistent because I know in order for us to win in this league, we have to.”

Drew says …

Drew on KU: “If you want to be a successful team, you have to win close games. That’s what they’ve done, won close games when challenged. They have chemistry, toughness, all those things. In their games that have been close, they’ve not made shots. Definitely why they are so good year in and out ... it starts with their defensive effort.”

NBA in the house

In all, 35 NBA scouts, including 10 general managers, attended Monday’s game, with 21 of 30 teams represented. Ten general managers were on hand, including former KU assistant coach R.C. Buford of the San Antonio Spurs. Former KU player Milt Newton, vice president/player personnel director of the Washington Wizards, also attended.

This, that

Self said there’s a good chance Travis Releford (ankle) could play in Saturday’s game against Texas. ... KU is 18-0 for the first time since the 2007-08 team opened 20-0. ... KU is 3-0 in the Big 12 for the fourth straight year. ... KU is 4-0 in true road games this year and 8-0 in games played away from Allen Fieldhouse. ... KU is 16-2 all-time against Baylor; 7-1 in Ferrell Center. ... Self won his 220th game at KU against 43 losses. ... He is 8-2 versus Baylor. .. KU’s 53 first-half points were most in a half since it scored 55 in the second half versus Ohio earlier Nov. 26.