Originally published March 8, 2011 at 05:58p.m., updated March 9, 2011 at 02:00a.m.

Marcus Morris named AP Big 12 player of the year

Kansas forward Marcus Morris jams the ball for two in the second half against Oklahoma State on Monday, Feb. 21, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Marcus Morris jams the ball for two in the second half against Oklahoma State on Monday, Feb. 21, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Normally a man of many words, Marcus Morris needed just one to describe his emotions upon being named Big 12 Player of the Year.

“Happy,” said Morris. He on Tuesday completed a sweep of the league’s top player awards. The Associated Press tapped him for the league’s top player honor on Tuesday, two days after the league coaches deemed him best in the conference.

“I mean, I can’t do it if we don’t win. I put it all on us winning,” Morris added.

The Jayhawks take a 29-2 record, 14-2 in league play into Thursday’s first-round Big 12 tournament game against either Oklahoma State or Nebraska (11:30 a.m., Sprint Center, Kansas City, Mo.).

“Look at Marcus ... who has been more consistent?” KU coach Bill Self said of Morris, who averages 17.3 points and 7.0 rebounds a game. “He’s very deserving. You can make a case for some others too. There are good players in our league. At the end of the day, my personal biased opinion is the right guy won it because he was the best player on the team that won it (league).”

Morris, a 6-9 junior from Philadelphia, received 15 of 22 votes from a panel of sports writers and sportscasters who cover the conference. He and Colorado’s Alec Burks were the only unanimous first-team picks, chosen on all 22 ballots. Marcus’ brother, Markieff, was named to the AP’s second-team.

The rest of the first team: Kansas State senior Jacob Pullen, Texas sophomore Jordan Hamilton and Baylor senior LaceDarius Dunn.

Texas forward Tristan Thompson is Big 12 Freshman of the Year and Missouri junior forward Ricardo Ratliffe Newcomer of the Year.

Morris is the fifth Jayhawk to be named Big 12 Player of the Year, and the first since Wayne Simien in 2005.

“Coach said it a few times that he thought I could be. Winning basically makes that possible,” Morris said. “I don’t think it’s so much being the best player in the conference. I think it’s because we won and how we weren’t picked to win the Big 12 but we won it.”

Pullen received five votes for player of the year. He’s the only repeat first-team selection from last season. Hamilton and Burks each received one vote for player of the year.

Markieff Morris was joined on the second team by Thompson, Missouri junior Marcus Denmon, Iowa State senior Diante Garrett and Texas A&M; sophomore Khris Middleton.

Anderson had fun on visit

Braeden Anderson, a 6-8, 230-pound senior forward from Wilbraham and Monson Academy in Wilbraham, Mass., completed his official campus visit to KU on Tuesday.

Anderson, who originally committed to DePaul only to recently re-open his recruiting, told he may also visit Kentucky, Florida and Arizona.

“Kansas is going to be really, really tough to beat,” Anderson told, “but I welcome those challengers. It was really hard and tough to not give coach Self good news during my visit. It was tough not to commit, but my uncle really wants me to see some other places. He wants to go on some visits with me and enjoy this process. He wants to come back with me to Lawrence, so that’s something we will talk about.”

Anderson told that KU is the leader. “Oh man, my official visit to Kansas was pretty crazy,” he said. “Being able to really see the history and tradition of Kansas basketball was really cool.”

— Doug Tucker of the Associated Press, who picks the All-Big 12 team with the help of media members, contributed to this report.

Doug Tucker of the Associated Press, who picks the All-Big 12 team with the help of media members, contributed to this report.


KGphoto 10 years, 3 months ago

I've said this before, but I'll say it again.

He is Carmelo Anthony.

He is a few years behind Carmelo in progress relative to age, and Marcus needs to tune up the free throws, but his game is so very close. The jab-step is beginning to evolve because the drive is coming along. The all-court scoring game is eerily similar to Melo's. The stroke. The confidence. Marcus is actually a little better rebounder.

Man I get jacked up when a player at KU is this good!

I'm not hating Wayne at all, but Marcus is the best player in the Self era thus far. He is the best big since Danny Manning.

And I think we can thank Danny Manning FOR that.

Thomas is next (No offense Mk, but you are grouped with Mc. And I mean that in the most incredibly good way). Then I expect KU to be the PFU of the NCAA as long as Danny is our man.

We have such a good thing going.

Michael Auchard 10 years, 3 months ago

He's not nearly as mobile as 'Melo, I say. Also, his outside game is solid, but not as fluid as Carmelo's. (Or his brother's for that matter.)

Conversely, he can rebound, body up physically, and hit the paint much better than Carmelo ever could/would/can, then or now. He might be a slightly better passer, too.

What Marcus is missing, in my mind, is that explosive dunk-over-your-best-defense punch that many 4s in the grown-up League have. He's, also, not going to get too much more mobile, I think, without a ridiculous amount of work, but he's got the big body for the other end, the physicality, of the job.

Also, his attitude, falsely perceived or otherwise, could lead to a lot of on-court issues. The NBA actively hunts down and penalizes habitual flagrant foulers. Hopefully this behavior will go away when he leaves the collegiate level, but it does seem to be a fairly major issue, coincidence or not, at this point. Gotta drop those elbows, son.

The major problem, I see, is that physicality is a huge part of his job description in his future job and he's only 3/4 of the way there. But, it's nothing he can't learn, and, at this point, he's ahead of some other players who're definitely going into the League at his position. And, I don't doubt he will learn the skills. He's a monster, he will do us proud in the NBA. Potential perennial all-star player here.

Also, knowing T-Rob can't hurt his chances. Bicep city.

KGphoto 10 years, 3 months ago

I said he IS Melo. Perhaps I overstated. But I also said he was a better rebounder than Melo. So I'm not sure about your argument there. Obviously, no two players are identical. Wait. Did I just say that?

Okay, almost no two players are identical.

If you are saying that Kieff's outside game is more fluid than Marcus', then you just know a whole lot more about basketball than I do, because I still can't tell who took the shot without looking at the number on the jersey.

The dunk thing is certainly coming. It followed the hands thing. First you catch it, then you dunk it. The Morrii already have WAY more power jams this year than Melo did in his NCAA season. Melo still doesn't do many posters. He's smooth.

Mobility? Sure he can get better. He's the same height and weight as Melo, and he's learning from the best. He's improved about a million from last year.

But that tall jumper is pure Melo. You can just see him looking over the defender's head. Every time he gets the ball he has the option of just going straight up over the defender and shooting it, from anywhere on the court. That's Melo.

100 10 years, 3 months ago

How anyone can put Kief on the second team is beyond me..... Billboard material.... Complete disrespect.

How Kansas can lose votes in the top 25 poll to Ohio State after we beat two top 25 teams, one on the road.... Again... Billboard material.... Disrespect.

Looks like there's only one way for the national press to really get what Self, Manning, Reed, Morningstar, Johnson, Kief, Marcus, Trobb, TT, Mario, Releford & the rest of the Hawks have done this year...

April 4th will be our chance to celebrate Markief Morris, a kid who should really be considered for a spot on the first team All American squad....

April 4th.... That will be our real senior night.

Count yourself as a disrespected group, Jayhawks.....

Each & every game... Let Naismith & Manning be your spiritual guides....

"Godly Passing... Pass pass pass your way to two more championships & one helluva parade!!!!"

Ron Franklin 10 years, 3 months ago

Had not put it together yet as I have not looked at the tourney set up.....but that falls right on my 28th birthday....can't think of a better present! I love is such a beautiful month!

SaltLakeHawk 10 years, 3 months ago

Your wife is approx 3 years old? I hope you're no older than 6. Otherwise, that's just weird.

Dirk Medema 10 years, 3 months ago

3 more championship (Big 12, Regional, National)

jaybate 10 years, 3 months ago

Big oversight to leave Kieff off. Kieff would start on every other team ahead of any of the bigs picked ahead of him. Had Kieff played on any other team, he would have been the best player and he would have been played through and would have averaged 25-30 ppg.

Big oversight to leave off Tyrel and Brady and TT. But I've already been around this mulberry bush exhaustively.

But frankly, the biggest oversight of all, from a sheerly logical point of view, has to be leaving TRob off. He is without question the best sixth man making the biggest impact on entry to the game of any player in the B12. No other 6th man is even close, for the simple reason that no other team is deep enough to have a player the quality of TRob coming off the bench. TRob would have started on every other team in the B12 and been that team's star. Period.

It is all complete horse excrement.

Steve Gantz 10 years, 3 months ago

One more for the bulletin board, Seth Davis of SI (as is his right!) picked Pullen for Big12 POY.

Ron Franklin 10 years, 3 months ago

Congratulations twins ....we know you are both deserving. Two more fights and you'll be kings of the world. Well, atleast this part of the world anyway.

I can't wait for revenge on the cats and horns.

Scott Morgan 10 years, 3 months ago

What a great guy, we KU fans are so lucky to have such a player here in Lawrence.

Bruce Dial 10 years, 3 months ago

Ah, witty impersonation. Now, if you were half the strategist, recruiter, or (obviously) good guy Bill Self is, perhaps your mother would have shown you affection as a child. Get lost, Trollmo.

Vittorio1224 10 years, 3 months ago

Mc Morris rocks! Congrats Marcus -- very deserving. Here's hoping you stay HUNGRY and humble until the end of the season April 4th!! Rock Chalk baby!!

finestack 10 years, 3 months ago

How about: 1st Team Academic All America Big XII Coach of the Year (and 2008 Championship Team Coach) Big XII Player of the Year

Let's see ND repeat this level of accomplishment vis a vis KU year after year after year after year after year after year after year (yes, 7); then come trolling.

ohmixmaster 10 years, 3 months ago

Since you bring up football, lets stop and think for a minute.....when was the last time ND was in a BCS Bowl? When was the last time ND won a BCS Bowl? While we're at it, when was the last time ND won ANYTHING?

Kye Clark 10 years, 3 months ago

Who would want to?!? Sorry, but KU players have better things to do with their time rather than being "tattooed" by leprachauns from behind while being forced to watch "Rudy" on a 24 hour loop.

Bring on baby Hansborough and we'll have him crying just like we did his brother in '08.

Woody Cragg 10 years, 3 months ago

Waaaaay too much snow in Southbend. My son lives about 15 mi from there so we're there often...but never in winter! It lasts alot longer up there too. Nice place to visit though.

big12fan1035 10 years, 3 months ago

how bout the fact that ND hasn't won anything of importance in a long, long time. Better go back and get Lou!

P.S no one cares about ND here!

KGphoto 10 years, 3 months ago

Yeah, but you put a kid on a shaky crane to shoot video of your worthless football team and got him killed.

It's no wonder Tyrel Reed (Academic All-American who received an offer from Stanford) didn't go to that @ss-backwards school.

dynamitehawk 10 years, 3 months ago

I suppose that "giving up being a dickhe@d" was not on your lent candidates?

Steve Brown 10 years, 3 months ago

We handled one famous Hansbrough a couple years ago and I beg and pray we are in same bracket as the kid brother. It would make a great elite game if the Irish can get there.

lee3022 10 years, 3 months ago

Yahoo! Sports had it right last week with both Marcus and Markieff on the Big XII first team. But honors don't mean a thing unless you win the championship. We did do that but as Coach says we have bigger fish to fry. Markieff this year will get noticed in the tournaments because without him we don't win (see K-State).

Congratulations to Marcus, Markeiff, Coach Self and the whole team for this milestone. The journey continues.

Woody Cragg 10 years, 3 months ago

This clown is another wannabe troll green with envy and nothing in life to associate with in a positive fashion. Has been on the board under this username for 24-36 hours and can't say anything even remotely social, relevant, or intelligent. Doubtful if even a HS grad let alone a college. Not ND material for sure. Maybe not material for hockey tickets either. Anonymous ramblings by someone with nothing to say, but HAS to say something. Maybe soobawls, or 12steps or jhawkinnebraska reincarnated. Most email accounts let you set up alias accounts so Freddy may just keep coming back! We can handle it.

Kye Clark 10 years, 3 months ago

Kind of odd to be getting Notre Dame trolls. As is always the case when getting trolls it makes you wonder if there just is no intelligent conversation taking place on their own websites. With ND, it's possible that no such websites exist. Their football team has been a joke for so long that it's possible the last successful season (and thus any reason to have discussions) pre-dates the widespread use of the internet. Of course, this is the first I'm hearing about them having a basketball team since Digger Phelps coached there. They've had it all this time? Really? Huh. No surprise there aren't an abundance of those fans around and available for any basketball dialogue. One Final Four? Over 30 years ago? Well you've still go Misery beat!

Woody Cragg 10 years, 3 months ago

Just checked the link on rivals-it's about a msery boy! Imagine that! This guy's a misery troll. Definitely not enough class for ND. Probably an anler afraid to admit it. They're like roaches in the woodwork sneeking out in the dark-afraid of the light. Hope he doesn't get stepped on-not! I shoulda spotted this guy right away, but the link did the deed. Remember...KSU may suck, but misery SWALLOWS!!!

Steve Brown 10 years, 3 months ago

Hasn't Mizzy lost 3 of last four, so sad to be a tiger waiting for baseball season.

phi4life940 10 years, 3 months ago

Rock Chalk. Congrats both deserve the best. You've worked so hard! FOE - nodaysoff

bradh 10 years, 3 months ago

I was listening to Keitzman on 610 during the drive home on Monday. He couldn't believe that the obviously superior Pullen didn't get player of the year on the coaches poll. His big point was that Marcus wasn't even a consensus first team selection. It will be interesting to see what kind of purple spew he spills now that Marcus also was chosen POY by the AP and Pullen wasn't a unanimous first team selection.

Way to go Marcus, Tyrel, and Coach Self.

bad_dog 10 years, 3 months ago

Yeah, Friday afternoon he was making a "bold" prediction that Pullen would win the coaches poll. He had to say something on Monday to occupy time while he pulled the foot out of his mouth.

jayhawktalk 10 years, 3 months ago

" personal biased opinion is the right guy won it because he was the best player on the team that won it (league).”

I have to split hairs and disagree only slightly with Self's message on this one. Marcus should not win because he is the best player on the best team. He should win because he has consistently and efficiently proven himself to not ONLY be the best player on the best team, but also to be one of the best teammates on a "best team" full of other great players. He is incredibly unselfish, a tremendous passer, and makes everyone around him better. There are a lot of stars on teams, even good ones, that take a "me first" approach to the game, putting up big numbers, and are horrible teammates - who would want to play with them? Marcus (and Markieff, for that matter) in a day and age where getting to the Association at all costs is first and foremost in a lot of top college players minds, personifies the team-first mentality. As being selfless is a learned trait, I can only assume Angel Morris deserves a lot of the credit.

Debbie Mangen 10 years, 3 months ago

One game at a time. One game at a time. We get into trouble looking too far forward. This team is special, my favorite one so far, but we need to understand that the most important game of our season is the next one.

Steve Gantz 10 years, 3 months ago

Two years ago, never thought we'd see a headline like we're reading here. I guess my memories of that season are still tainting my view of what he does. I've never really thought he was in a class with Simien, Collison, Lafrentz, etc. Very good player indeed. Maybe some of the antics that we've seen this year taint my view also. Anyways it's a great honor, let's hope that the honors and awards lead to a NC.

jaybate 10 years, 3 months ago

"Some Ways You Know Notre Dame Is Overrated as Usual"

~No one from the Illuminati on their team.

~Black Jesuits not betting on them to win the Big East tournament.

~Pope Ratzinger refused to bet the spread on ND going all the way, despite the betting line coming from Vatican City Hotel and Casino.

~In Ireland, the Dublin Druids never actually played Gaellic Basketball to resist the English occupation, the way many Irish fans claim.

~Naismith Scottish, so Irish instinctively claim they invented Toad on a Shamrock, before he even knew about Toad on a Rock, and so have a lot longer basketball tradition, which they don't.

~Blarney aside, Irish players are required to carry a football, not a basketball, to class with them, and they are required to give up practicing the game for lent.

~Latin is a very hard language to communicate pick'n'roll in.

~No one ever went broke betting against the Irish in hoops...not even Digger.

~Pope, acting as intermediary for god, often flubs when Irish coach is supposed to call for a pop off a fade screen.

~Not enough games scheduled in Brigadoon Field House to really capitalize on the luck of the Irish.

(Note: all fiction. No malice.)

jaybate 10 years, 3 months ago

"Some Ways We Know Tom Izzo Is Not Coaching in this Year's Madness"

~No MASH tents required for the tournament.

~No guys named Guido taking down back door cutters with cross body blocks.

~No guys at the 3 wearing brass knuckles painted Spartan Green.

~No Nikes with steel toes.

~No Kevlar body armor pre-ordered to be delivered to selected March Madness locations.

~Spartan band will not be heard playing "Theme from the Godfather" during time outs this year.

~Emeril has cancelled plans for a cook book entitled "Championship Gnocchi with Tom Izzo."

~Spartan Recruiting poster found hanging in Michigan State Penitentiary reading, "Coach Izzo is through messing around. He's looking for a few bad men to return the Spartans to the Madness."

(Note: all fiction. No malice.)

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