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Kansas defeats Texas A&M, 64-51

  • 8 p.m., March 2, 2011
  • Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A senior moment: KU men’s basketball clinches share of 7th consecutive Big 12 title

The Kansas University seniors and their families — from left, Tyrel Reed, Brady Morningstar and Mario Little — are showered with applause and flowers prior to tipoff of the Jayhawks’ game against Texas A&M. KU won on Senior Night, 64-51, Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

The Kansas University seniors and their families — from left, Tyrel Reed, Brady Morningstar and Mario Little — are showered with applause and flowers prior to tipoff of the Jayhawks’ game against Texas A&M. KU won on Senior Night, 64-51, Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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KU 2011 Senior Night speeches

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Kansas seniors Mario Little, Brady Morningstar and Tyrel Reed addressed the crowd after their last game at Allen Fieldhouse on Wednesday, March 2, 2011.

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Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters after the Jayhawks' 64-51 victory over Texas A&M on March 2, 2011.

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Brady Morningstar senior speech, pt. 1

Kansas senior Brady Morningstar gave his senior speech after his last game at Allen Fieldhouse on Wednesday, March 2, 2011.

Kansas University’s basketball players looked at, but did not hoist, their new, 2010-11 Big 12 championship trophy, which sat solemnly in the middle of the Jayhawks’ locker room after Wednesday’s historic 64-51 victory over Texas A&M in Allen Fieldhouse.

The Jayhawks, who wrapped up at least a share of their seventh-straight conference title heading into Saturday’s regular-season finale at Missouri, put on hold any wild celebrations after a hard-earned, emotional Senior Night victory over the Aggies.

“It is amazing,” KU coach Bill Self said of the longest league-winning stretch in school history. KU won six straight from 1922 to ’27. It’s also the longest streak from a team in a major conference since UCLA’s stretch of 13 from 1967 to ’79. Gonzaga of the West Coast Conference has won 11 in a row.

“But it kinda ... it wasn’t a big deal to celebrate, by any stretch,” Self added. “We would rather do it ourselves than hope for help from anybody else.”

A victory over Mizzou and KU (28-2 overall, 13-2 Big 12) has the title to itself; a loss, coupled with a Texas win over Baylor, would mean the Jayhawks would have to share with the Longhorns.

Either way, KU is a champ.

“Coach said, ‘Congratulations,’ when we walked off the court,” junior Marcus Morris said after tying brother Markieff for team-high scoring honors with 13 points. “But it’s not over. We are going to practice tomorrow. We’re not going to have a day off. We’ve got to go to Missouri and win. That’s when we’d probably really have a conversation in the locker room congratulating players.”

Morris modeled his new Big 12 championship T-shirt in the locker room with his title teammates.

“I was about to walk in here with my shirt on. They made me take it off,” Morris said of the interview room. “They don’t want us to get too big-headed about sharing it. That instills in my mind we have to keep working.”

They’ll keep working while acknowledging the fact KU already has achieved something special.

“One more than Jordan,” KU senior Brady Morningstar said with a smile, referring to Michael Jordan’s six titles with the Chicago Bulls. “It’s a pretty good accomplishment, but we have business to take care of Saturday. We don’t like sharing.”

Perhaps Self put the night best into perspective when he grabbed the microphone after the game and told the fans: “It’s a special night when you can win seven in a row and send these seniors out in style like that.”

KU grad Mark Turgeon’s Aggies (22-7, 9-6) were in this Senior Night game up until a back-breaking 13-2 KU run turned a slim 43-41 lead into a 56-43 advantage with 5:25 left.

Fittingly, seniors Reed and Morningstar each hit a three in the run.

“Isn’t it amazing that regardless of who you recruit, you have to have a guy from Lawrence and a guy from Burlington in order to look good?” Self said. “Brady and Tyrel certainly played well tonight.”

Burlington bomber Reed had 12 points, and Free State High grad Morningstar nine, while fellow senior Mario Little did not score but had three boards in 15 minutes.

The country today will be talking about KU’s mind-boggling streak of consecutive Big 12 titles.

“We focus on winning the Big 12 every year,” Reed said. “It’s our main goal. We say it after every practice. The coaches instill that anything else is sub-par. It comes down to a lot of coaches and a lot of guys.”

Noted Morningstar: “A lot has to do with our homecourt advantage, our fans. This is the best place to play in he world. I’ve heard Cameron Indoor (at Duke) is pretty cool, but there’s not a better venue than this one. Also we don’t look past our conference season.”

The KU fans chanted “One More Year” in the direction of Marcus and Markieff Morris as they exited the game at the final time out.

“Definitely, I thought about it,” Marcus Morris said of having his own Senior Night at KU, “but I’m just trying to finish the year out and see how the year goes. Of course I want to do a Senior Night because I see how special it is for these guys, but I’m not making any decision right now (on NBA).”

Comments

overseashawk 3 years, 9 months ago

Basically, Marcus is gone first chance he gets. I don't blame him though. I think he's ready. Also, I think that having Selby around next season is going to be huge for us in rebuilding. It's very exciting seeing glimpses of his potential.

RCJH go KU.....7 in a row!

omng392 3 years, 9 months ago

Speaking as a twin and as a parent of twins, I'm not so sure. When your a twin (have twin children too) its a special bond, kind of like an old married couple. You see it in their eyes, the love they have for each other. That's pretty special thing. When they have to go get real jobs, they won't be with each other everyday and I could see these two coming back one more year. I really think too that Marcus and Markieff have a pretty special bond with coach Self and the rest of the KU nation.

lee3022 3 years, 9 months ago

Your assessment seems right, But the only countering factor is family. Marcus will likely never again be able to play with Markieff. He will also never again have a situation of having his mother become queen bee of the team and live so closely to both twins. Another year gives them something more precious than money, It might also depend on how far we go this year in the tournament.

dylans 3 years, 9 months ago

Win the national title and the whole team is gone.

Alohahawk 3 years, 9 months ago

Congratulations to the entire team, and a special thanks to all three seniors. You left Allen Fieldhouse in style.

As I said on another thread, it's a fantastiic way to end the almost defunct Big 12, with seven straight conference championships/co-championships..It has never mattered what conference - Big Seven, Big Eight, Big 12, or whatever, KU has always been the cream of the crop. Proud to be a Jayhawk!!

One game at a time, Hawks. Bring on Missery's kitty litter cats. RCJHKU

100 3 years, 9 months ago

Hey look below the basketball troll was let out of jail!

Kevin Studer 3 years, 9 months ago

He was clearly making a joke. I don't think Brady Morningstar fancies himself a bigger champion than Michael Jordan. Come on.

Wildcat54 3 years, 9 months ago

Who is this? Talk about snivel, whine, whine, snivel.

yates33333 3 years, 9 months ago

What is crappy about a conference title? If K-State ever won one again you'd change you description. Just because you are from a college that specializes in cows doesn't mean you need to be manure.

KGphoto 3 years, 9 months ago

uhh.. Jordan's were NBA titles. He wasn't playing China you moron.

cklarock 3 years, 9 months ago

Jordan's titles with the Bulls weren't world titles. And the NBA Playoffs and NCAA Tourney are apples and oranges in any case.

If Jordan had to play the best teams from the rest of the world's leagues in a one-loss-and-out tournament at the end of the NBA season, he wouldn't have won six of those either.

And on the other side of that question, how many of our KU teams might have won the NCAA tourney if they were best-of-5 or best-of-7 series? I'd think at least 2, maybe more.

Also, Brady was joking. I laughed.

tylerku07 3 years, 9 months ago

Crappy conference titles? If you guys won ONE you'd make 3 dvds for it.

HawkKlaw 3 years, 9 months ago

+1! Haha...oh, poor, sad KSU fans. DVD's to commemorate winning regular season home games are classy. Especially when you have only beaten that team on your home court twice since 1984.

KU_FanSince75 3 years, 9 months ago

KSA----Ha, ha----obviously, you missed the point. I knew what Brady was talking about. Geeze!!!!!!!!!!!!

kcglowboy 3 years, 9 months ago

Ya'll must be new on this board. No one takes KSA seriously ... ever! Just look up what KSA_21_3503 refers to, and you'll never pay attention to this creep ever again. Now, everyone enjoy the moment and enjoy the day. And thank you Hawks.

hawksforlife 3 years, 9 months ago

Troll.

Crappy? This aint the SWAC or Great West . The Big 12 has the highest conference winning % this year, and is 3rd RPI. Obviously Morningstar was joking.

Krohnutz 3 years, 9 months ago

I rarely stick up for total suck-up homer posts, but yeah, your comment is ridiculous.

Jordan won one collegiate level championship, he was a great player, but not the world dominator he became in the NBA. If KU, or any college, were to win 7 national titles in a row (particularly in today's game of parity and early exiting recruits) it would trump the Bull's three and three in terms of rarity. So stop selling apples as potatoes.

I like the "crappy" conference titles. That's rich.

floridajayhawks 3 years, 9 months ago

Are the Morris twins really ready for the NBA? They are lazy on defense and I know someone on here will say they don't play defense in the NBA.

cklarock 3 years, 9 months ago

Yes. Yes they are. But I hope that they'll look at their Senior year at KU for what it is -- the last chance to live and play together for a long time. Family Over Everything, fellas. FOE.

lee3022 3 years, 9 months ago

Perhaps you have missed the finals the past three years? Defense is really good for the winners in the NBA. Watch Chicago, Boston, Miami, Atlanta, LA, SA, Dallas. They play defense.

slowplay 3 years, 9 months ago

You may be right. I stopped watching the NBA about 10 years ago.

James Miller 3 years, 9 months ago

In my opinion, they are the most NBA ready players we have since PP. The offensive part is the hardest to learn, and they got it.

KU_FanSince75 3 years, 9 months ago

I hope Angel has some say in the decision. You don't want to mess around with that mama!

hawksince51 3 years, 9 months ago

Agree, but wasn't she on her calculator figuring out the boys' earnings next year?

KU_FanSince75 3 years, 9 months ago

51---Yea, it was a calculator or the iPhone talking to an agent! I got a good chuckle at your post.

Mark Anderson 3 years, 9 months ago

Thanks so much for your daily posting of this link. It makes it so much easier to vote for Tyrel, which I've tried to do daily. Great support of a great Jayhawk!

lewstinks 3 years, 9 months ago

vote every day from every computer / smart phone!!! RCJH!

Alohahawk 3 years, 9 months ago

+1 As we say in the islands: Mahalo (thanks) for the easy feed/daily posting.

mispay4ku 3 years, 9 months ago

Every day, twice a day! I make sure to put in my kiddos vote at work! :)

clevelandjayhawker 3 years, 9 months ago

“It’s a pretty good accomplishment, but we have business to take care of Saturday. We don’t like sharing.” -BM

I like that

Andy Tweedy 3 years, 9 months ago

Where did Tyrel get the height? He's a good head taller than both his parents!

RockChalkGuy 3 years, 9 months ago

the mailman.

(just a joke...as Jaybate would say, "no malice")

BewareofthePhunk 3 years, 9 months ago

"The country today will be talking about KU's mind-boggling streak of Big 12 titles."

Whats mind-boggling to me is how ESPN could care less. But Duke winning 36 straight home games...? Thats, in their boggled minds, extraordinary.

Brianna Zaleski 3 years, 9 months ago

Totally irritating. I turn on ESPN hoping to get a mention of it, but I have to sit thru like 3 or 4 segments before they even get to it. They talked about Duke, Clemson like it was some special game or something. Senior night I know, but they did not clinch the conf yet??? F-ing irritating.

bayareajhawk 3 years, 9 months ago

Exactly. I read that sentence and thought, nope. The country has no idea that we have ever won the Big 12. It amazed me that when we had a 69 game home winning streak, it was only mentioned offhand during our games. We lost, and the next day ESPN was going crazy about Duke's 30 game home winning streak. Some day I will stop caring about being ignored by the national media. Can you imagine how many statues would have been built by now had KU done this in the Big East, Big 10, or ACC?

Maybe we really should join the Big East (like the rumors said during the conference reshuffling), win the conference a few times and then leave to join the Mountain West, telling everybody on our way out the door that we're looking for some real basketball competition. I can dream...

100 3 years, 9 months ago

That's the biggest public reason we need to put the rules in the Fieldhouse.

And a Naismith statue out front of the Fieldhouse.

And a Chamberlain statue inside....

Besides the bigger reason, that "we are Kansas" and it's the right thing to do....

We need to use ESPN games to show the players running out of the tunnel slapping the rules... High giving Chamberlain's statue....

With the opening shot of Naismith in front of the Phog....

Some things we control, like having the most incredible tradition in hoops.

Others we don't control, like UT signing a 300 million dollar contract with ESPN...

100 3 years, 9 months ago

Since Wilt could high jump 7 feet & the majority of current mentally challenged NBA fans tend to think of Wilt as an unathletic big man simply due to years passing & the current fans having no recollection of Wilt in tandem with the pro Shaq crowd & the pro MJ crowd who won't begin to consider that Wilt owning the record books for 50 years could have anything to do with him being really good or really athletic....

How about an in action hanging statue, with Wilt hanging in the air. The statue's action's inspiration could come directly from the famous Wilt photo where he's dunking on the Colorado players.

Attached to the base needs to be a hanwritten sign in Wilt's handwriting that says "100"....

Underneath that sign can be a digital readout, updated by the day, listing current NBA teams that scored under a hundred points the previous night.

How man other colleges can claim to have an ex player drop one hundred points in an NBA game?

100 3 years, 9 months ago

This is a great idea Slayer. Strangely I'm hearing the NBA network go on about Wilt right now. Two of the guys are going off about Wilt's godliness. The other commentator is claiming Wilt scored in garbage time. The other two are laughing at him, saying the year Wilt scored a hundred, he played in all the games & only missed 8 minutes because he was a winner who had no teammates until he got picked up by the Lakers. Now they're going off about the night he had 55 rebounds mocking the respectable numbers Kevin Love is throwing up this year, occasionally getting 20 rebounds a game.

Also another thing KU could do to build up the ESPN/ national image is to purchase the ball Wilt scored a hundred & put it in a Smithsonian case with his statue.

PhogAdvisory 3 years, 9 months ago

Slayer, 100 -- This is pretty much the best conversation ever. Thanks for the midday pick-me-up.

3 years, 9 months ago

For those who haven't read it yet, here is a good article from this morning by Jason King:

http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/basketball/news;_ylt=AraoTayWvGmWyc8258mniw7evbYF?slug=jn-kansas030311

About 2/3rds the way down, he has an interesting take regarding the lack of recognition for our conference championship streak:

“The shame of it all is that, impressive as the feat may be, Kansas will never receive the attention it deserves for its seven straight Big 12 championships. It’s the same way for any school when it comes to league titles…”

bradynsdad 3 years, 9 months ago

Thank you for that link. Amazing article!

AsadZ 3 years, 9 months ago

Nice article. In one of hos media conferences self appeared said that at Kansas and for KU fans winning Big 12 is not that of a big deal as folks are more interested in the NCAA tournament. He said that at Illinois after winning their 2nd championship in a row there were 3000 people at the airport to welcome them.

bossman1962 3 years, 9 months ago

K-State The only place you can watch a game and see pop up on the sideline banners "11 Elite Eight Appearances" LOLOLOLOL Thats something to be proud about.

Jacobpaul81 3 years, 9 months ago

I won't knock K-State for that.

1 time - NCAA Championship Runner Up

4 - Final Fours

12 - Elite Eights - yes 12. I can count.

I would rate them in my top 25 Basketball programs of all time. They had a rough time after Lon Kruger and Dana Altman moved on, but Frank Martin is rejuvenating that K-State program to what it was during Tex Winter and Jack Hartman eras.

I know their last Final Four was in 1964... but they are tied for 17th overall in Final Four appearances right along teams like Arizona, Syracuse, LSU, Utah, Oklahoma, Florida, UNLV, Villanova... Those are all pretty good basketball programs.

100 3 years, 9 months ago

You can credit them for those. Keep in mind those final fours were in the days it took one win in the NCAA tournament to get to "the final four". We have 4 of those "type" of final fours too. The amazing thing is Missouri somehow never snagged a final four back then when essentially all a team had to do was win a conference with 6 teams and then win one game in the NCAA in a field of.... Eight (which by the way is where a lot of KSU's great 8's come from, making the NCAA tournament in the 40's & 50's in an 8 team field).

We're not above listing those final fours from back then. But for them to list elite 8's when the NCAA tournament was 8 teams.... Lets just say its questionable what the KSU athletic department's agenda is here.

Jacobpaul81 3 years, 9 months ago

A.) any Kansas "fan" who badmouths a team below them on the Titles/Wins rankings, doesn't get it. Everyone else strives to have the same program Kansas, Duke, UNC and Kentucky have. As the upper tier, we should respect our position. It can (and in our case, has been taken away in the past (see the Ted Owens era).

B.) K-State's agenda is to increase the visibility of their program. They are a top 25 basketball school and rank in the top 17 in NCAA tourney final appearances, no matter when those occurred. If we claim them, they get to claim them. Period.

C.) NCAA Titles, Final Fours, etc are not awarded to the best team. The current title is awarded to the team who can navigate a chute of upper tier opponents over a 3 week period. Rarely are the best teams in the NCAA Final game. As an example: In 1988, KSU had the second best team in the Nation and in my humble opinion, the second best player in Mitch Richmond. He went on to be one of only 7 guys to average 21 or more points a season in their first 10 years in the NBA. They lost to Kansas (the 4th time they played that season.. which they split 2-2) in the elite 8. If they are not in a bracket with Kansas, KSU would have likely made the Final Four.

D.) If anyone has a questionable agenda, it's anyone who slanders a program for representing FACT.

100 3 years, 9 months ago

I think you are misunderstanding me or im misunderstanding you. I support all Big 12 schools (except admittedly have a hard time supporting Missouri ever).

My point is KSU's athletic department is listing Elite 8's when by simply making the NCAA tournament you were in a field of 8. Not making fun of their fans or their players. But it's on par with Kentucky listing all 50 NCAAs as elite whatevers.

So no disrespect to their fans or players.

And in case there is a misunderstanding about those final 4's, we are proud in our tradition too. But I will say the first 4 final 4s we made we only had to win one game in the NCAA tourney.

Iowa State, Nebraska, all of these schools can list a few of these "elite 8s" if they wanted.

Again nothing personal against you. Just questioning their athletic department's thought process here.

100 3 years, 9 months ago

I think you are misunderstanding me or im misunderstanding you. I support all Big 12 schools (except admittedly have a hard time supporting Missouri ever).

My point is KSU's athletic department is listing Elite 8's when by simply making the NCAA tournament you were in a field of 8. Not making fun of their fans or their players. But it's on par with Kentucky listing all 50 NCAAs as elite whatevers.

So no disrespect to their fans or players.

And in case there is a misunderstanding about those final 4's, we are proud in our tradition too. But I will say the first 4 final 4s we made we only had to win one game in the NCAA tourney.

Iowa State, Nebraska, all of these schools can list a few of these "elite 8s" if they wanted.

Again nothing personal against you. Just questioning their athletic department's thought process here.

Brianna Zaleski 3 years, 9 months ago

Viking76

aTm scored 51 pts last nite. I seem to remember a poster yesterday saying that Turg is not an elite level coach because his teams don't score any pts. Yeah, 51 ain't getting it done. You also said that aTm is avg 69 pts/ game. While true, that number is going to be skewed a bit by the non conf scores. Plus KU avg's 87/ gm. Almost 20 more and I can't remember the last time KU scored 40 or 50 pts in a game. So, although I love Turg as a KU player/ alum, you can keep him as a coach.

Kurt Eskilson 3 years, 9 months ago

It's all good, ZIg. No offense meant – and none taken. Regarding Turgeon's game plan, I'm guessing two things: It was not the plan for his team to score nearly 20 points below his team's average (had they scored their average, they might have won) … but it was his game plan to hold KU 20 points below theirs. On that point, they succeeded very well. And of course aTm's average is effected by non-conference scores. I also made that point yesterday. Actually, KU's average as of today is 83.1, dropped more than half a point due to scoring only 64 last night. I positively agree that Self is the best coach in the nation, and I hope he stays (as I said yesterday) until Turgeon is already retired. I simply felt your assessment of Turg's coaching style as being designed to only score 40 or 50 points per game was harsh and not mathematically accurate. That said … RCJH!

Brianna Zaleski 3 years, 9 months ago

Right on. Appreciate your class. Rock Chalk

HawkKlaw 3 years, 9 months ago

As a twin (which by no means makes me an expert), I would say that there's very little chance that Marcus goes pro without Markieff. If they are like me and my bro, they will want to be on the same team for as long as possible. Sad thing is, they have both put up the numbers and have shown NBA-level talent, so there's a decent chance that this will be the last year at KU for both of them. Think about it, if Xavier can go pro (didn't do a whole lot to warrant a one-and-done season), the twins are ready to go pro. They are two of the top 5 big men college basketball, and they've had Danny Manning coaching them up for 3 years.

As far as Selby goes, I thought all season that he would eventually put up the numbers to be a one-and-done player, but he hasn't. I think it really depends on how deep KU goes in the NCAA tourney. If KU makes it to the Final Four or something, Selby could very well be gone next year. That would be sad, but the best part about being a Jayhawk fan is knowing that KU Basketball is a train that keeps on rolling, no matter who is on the team.

HawkBBall 3 years, 9 months ago

Mario, Mario, Mario. Never saw a shot he didn't like.

Jacobpaul81 3 years, 9 months ago

Milt Newton won us a National Title with that kind of mentality. =)

hawksince51 3 years, 9 months ago

Yes, but Milt could hit the 3. That is out of Mario's range.

Kye Clark 3 years, 9 months ago

Mario is 9-22 on the year. That's a better percentage than a lot of our players. Before last night he was 9-19 on the year. That shot is definitely within his range.

More to the point, part of the reason Coach Self likes Mario is that he is aggressive. He's not afraid to take shots. He jokes about it a lot, but on a team this deep do you think he would still be getting minutes this late in the season if Self was unhappy with his play?

I'm not going to let an 0-3 performance from beyond the arc worry me. After all, Brady was allowed to struggle through pretty much a whole season's worth of games (the 2nd half of last season and the 1st half of this one) before finding his shot again. And now most fans want him taking open 3s. Mario is never going to be a guy who we rely on to put up and make 3-4/game, but like the Twins he might take 1 or 2. He probably deserves to be cut a little slack on Senior night.

Kurt Eskilson 3 years, 9 months ago

Agreed, drgnslayr. And let's kill some bunnies while we're at it. Way too many escaped last night!

3 years, 9 months ago

Some more love from Yahoo Sports, their All-Big 12 Team, POY, COY, etc.:

http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/basketball/news?slug=jn-big12030311

Kurt Eskilson 3 years, 9 months ago

Thanks for the link! Great news for the Morri and Self. Not so good that not a single Hawk guard shows up anywhere until we see Brady listed as "most underrated."

Vittorio1224 3 years, 9 months ago

Ridiculing ANY school for winning SEVEN (and counting) conference titles in a row is simply asinine. It just demonstrates the second rate level of intelligence we're dealing with when it comes to some of these baseless comments. Granted we're all Kansas "brethren" in some way, shape or form, but still... really? Go and try winning more than ONE in a row, then come talk smack.

cummingshawk 3 years, 9 months ago

Good to see the Big-12 had the trophy ready this time. What season was it that KU won their game and wound up sharing the title but the conference didn't have the trophy to present to the Hawks but had one for the co-champs?

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