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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

cummingshawk 3 years, 1 month 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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Vittorio1224 3 years, 1 month 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.

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3 years, 1 month 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

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William Blake 3 years, 1 month ago

Congrats to the seniors... congrats to the team for at least sharing another conference title.

Now... back to business... time to kill another kitty on Saturday. Load your weapons and happy hunting, Hawks!

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HawkBBall 3 years, 1 month ago

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

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HawkKlaw 3 years, 1 month 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.

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jayhawkinnebr 3 years, 1 month ago

Babbling Brady can't even make a speech, thats the way he plays basketball, or trys. The moron still acts like a grade school student. It's too bad that they have him on the team. No production brady, can't measure up to what he is suppose to do.

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Brianna Zaleski 3 years, 1 month 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.

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bossman1962 3 years, 1 month 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.

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BewareofthePhunk 3 years, 1 month 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.

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Andy Tweedy 3 years, 1 month ago

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

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clevelandjayhawker 3 years, 1 month 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

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floridajayhawks 3 years, 1 month 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.

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KSA_21_3503 3 years, 1 month ago

One more than Jordan?

uhh... Jordan's were WORLD titles, these are crappy-conference titles. Have KU win 7 national titles in a row and you might be able to talk about Jordan in the same sentence.

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Alohahawk 3 years, 1 month 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

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overseashawk 3 years, 1 month 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!

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