Kansas defeats Illinois, 73-59

  • 7:40 p.m., March 20, 2011
  • BOK Center, Tulsa, OK

Monday, March 21, 2011

Stayin’ alive: Morris twins help Kansas bury Illini

Kansas forward Markieff Morris delivers on an alley-oop dunk from teammate Tyshawn Taylor during the second half against Illinois on Sunday, March 20, 2011 at the BOK Center in Tulsa.

Kansas forward Markieff Morris delivers on an alley-oop dunk from teammate Tyshawn Taylor during the second half against Illinois on Sunday, March 20, 2011 at the BOK Center in Tulsa.



KU defeats Illinois

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Kansas took down Illinois on Sunday, March 20, 2011 in Tulsa, Okla. to advance to the Sweet Sixteen.

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 73-59 victory over Illinois on March 20, 2011.

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— There were no funeral services held for Bill Self and his Kansas University basketball players on Sunday night in BOK Center.

The 2010-11 Jayhawks are still breathing today, marching on to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 after a convincing 73-59 victory over Illinois and coach Bruce Weber, the man who held a mock burial service for Self after Self left U of I for KU in 2003.

“We’re all alive and well and glad coach Self is our coach,” KU senior guard Tyrel Reed said in a festive locker room.

The top-seeded Jayhawks (34-2) wanted to play well for several reasons Sunday, none bigger than taking care of their beloved coach.

“When we broke the huddle at halfcourt before the game, Marcus said, ‘We want to do this for coach. We have to win this game for coach,’’’ said KU junior guard Tyshawn Taylor. “He said we couldn’t let coach down.”

Marcus backed up his pregame words by scoring 17 points and grabbing 12 rebounds on a night his brother, Markieff, hit the No. 9-seeded Illini (20-14) for 24 points and 12 boards.

“That’s our guy,” Marcus Morris said of Self. “Coach didn’t say anything about it, but I felt this game meant a lot to him. I told the guys, ‘Let’s do it for coach.’’’

“We definitely did that for coach,” noted Markieff, who had eight points in a 10-0 run that stretched a 56-51 lead with 6:33 left to an insurmountable 66-51 at 2:31.

The players were unanimous in their feelings about the matter.

“Coach always has our back in everything. We had to have his back tonight,” noted senior Brady Morningstar, who contributed five points with six assists against just one turnover.

Self, who downplayed his personal feelings about playing his former school before the game, admitted walking away from his postgame media interview session that this was a red-letter day in his career.

“Yes, that was big for me,” Self acknowledged. “It’s one of those games when the bracket comes out you say, ‘Geez,’ because I know it’d bring some talk back and forth. But eight years is a long time. It wasn’t like it’s been two or three years.

“It’s big for me personally in coming back home to Tulsa (where he coached at Oral Roberts and Tulsa) and playing the school I used to coach at where it was controversial when I left. This was big.”

Of course, by winning for Self, the Jayhawks did themselves and KU’s legion of fans a favor. The season continues Friday in San Antonio, where the Jayhawks will meet No. 12 seed Richmond at 6:27 p.m. in the Alamodome. The game will be shown on TBS. The winner will play either No. 11-seed VCU or No. 10-Florida State in the Elite Eight in a region full of upsets.

“We had a little celebration in here,” Marcus Morris said of the locker room. “We finally got over the hump after losing to Northern Iowa (in second game) last year. Now it’s time to see if we can get two wins in our next weekend tournament.”

Self again was brutally honest when asked if he felt “relieved” the Jayhawks advanced after losing as a top seed so early last season.

“I’d be lying if I said no,” Self said. “You say all the time ‘attack mode’ and smile and have fun, but at the end of the day it was a big win for us. They’ve been reminded a long time of what happened last year.”

As far as the specifics of actually how KU advanced, the Jayhawks not only had the back-breaking 10-0 run late, but a 14-1 surge in the first half (Tyshawn Taylor had five points and Markieff Morris four) that turned a 5-4 deficit into an 18-6 lead.

“The twins were awesome,” said Self, who felt confident at halftime despite the fact the Illini lagged by just four, 33-29.

“I told our guys it was the same score as the Boston game,” he added of a 72-53 first-round victory. “Even though they cut the lead from 12 to four, I still felt we had control of the game because it really hurt us when Tyshawn got his second foul (with KU up, 20-13 with 10:04 left in first half; Taylor sat out the rest of the half).

“I thought Elijah did a great job on Demetri in his absence,” he added of guard Demetri McCamey, who had just six points off 2-of-9 shooting, including one of five from three.

“Then in the second half we kind of got it going and played through these two guys,” he added of the twins, who erupted for a combined 26 points the final half.

Illinois’ Mike Davis had 17 points, D.J. Richardson 15 and Mike Tisdale 13, but holding McCamey down was pivotal.

“Coach said if we cut the head off the rest of the team would follow. That’s what we did,” Taylor said. “I’m really excited about next week. Coach told us to be happy, have fun, but not to be content. Just know it’s not over yet.”

Interactive Timeline

2010-11 KU men's basketball timeline


REHawk 3 years ago

If TT stays focused and relatively careful for three more games, we should see the Jayhawks move along smoothly to the National Championship contest. Bill Self and staff have worked some marvelous magic in late season efforts to stabilize the point guard play. Tyshawn, most of us have long been aware of your potential. Lately, it has been a joy to see it in productive action. When you are "on," this squad shines.


Luan Do 3 years ago

tyrel reed and brady morningstar kept getting beat to the basket and were too slow to moving through screens. we'll get killed by a good 3 point shooting team.


Andy Tweedy 3 years ago

There is a lot of Tyshawn love going on lately, which is great. But one thing I haven't seen a lot of regards free throws. I cringe sometimes when we get the foul called during the 1-on-1. But not when it's Tyshawn. If it's him or Tyrel at the line, I know they're going in!!! I suppose I should give Brady some love on that, too, but there is nobody I'd rather have at the line lately than Tyshawn!


100 3 years ago

Lets do some more vicious, clean, swarming attacking D..... for...

40 minutes...... For

4 more games!!!!!

This, from the Chicago Tribune, regarding the Illinois' team & its trouble scoring yesterday:


"But ultimately, they were a team that would go only as far as McCamey, their best player, was able to take them. He hit his first shot, a 3-pointer, then did not hit again until 2:13 to play -- a meaningless layup. Kansas' defense, led by guard Tyshawn Taylor, ground him to the core. Whatever tricks McCamey tried didn't work.

"They swarmed me all night," McCamey said.

Step-back move? Somebody was in his face. Call for a ball screen? Kansas hedged him away from the basket. Drive to the hoop? Multiple defenders were there to greet him."


......... That's championship level Jayhawk defense the man from Chicago is talking about!!!!!!!!!!!!

And after we do this for 40 minutes for 4 more games......

Get ready for one helluva parade Jayhawks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Redlandsjhawk 3 years ago

re camera angles; if I were at the game I don't see a scenario where I would be lying with my chin on the floor, so why would I be interested.... oh never mind.

Glad to see the bench hasn't shortened. Believe we used 10 players in each game.

I'm going to smash every spider I see this week. Hope KU does the same.

Whoever posted earlier this year that we will go as far as TT can take us, could you please forward me some lottery numbers? Before Tuesday if possible, thanks.


JayDocMD 3 years ago

From the Illini newspaper The News-Gazette:

"For one thing, Illinois couldn't make a shot. And that has been its specialty. It wasn't that Illinois (20-14) was intimidated by Kansas (34-2), either. After going toe-to-toe with the Jayhawks, players said No. 1 overall seed Ohio State is better."

Another reason to play with a chip on your shoulder fellas.


sf3 3 years ago

does anyone know when and what time the team will be returning to allen fieldhouse? so we can go welcome them back? Thanks!


justinryman 3 years ago

This is a "team" in every sense of the word. it seemed like everybody couldn't for Selby to start over Brady this year, and at first, WOW! He justified his headlines. But Brady has started went to the bench and started again and has only gotten better. TT being suspended was the greatest thing ever in a lot of post, that this team would flourish with EJ at the point. And for a game they did, but when TT came back, he to got stronger. The same was said about Little too, people said he wasn't productive and couldn't help this team and was a distraction. He came back and has played his heart out!

I don't think I have to say anything about the HE!! Thomas has had to go through this year, and now that he is healthy and his mind is at rest, he is back in "Beast Mode".

Now if Tyrel's foot would just heel it's self(no pun intended), I think he would be more effective on the D side of the ball, just keep shooting Mr. Reed.

The team fought for coach Self, they smiled for each other, they made the right passes, took the right shots and helped out on D greatly against Illinois.

I don't think after what these guys have all went through individually and as a team they will overlook anyone left in their way. I know that the target is bigger on them now, I mean you are supposed to beat 12 seeds and 11 and 10 seeds, but lets face it they are good teams too.

Teams win National Titles in Basketball, even 'Melo had very good teammates. I think this years KU team has a chip on it's shoulder and it starts with Marcus and his wide shoulders he has put this team on.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk


BCRavenJHawkfan 3 years ago

And to think that there was a time when we all would beg, plead, cry, and insist that the twins try to dunk or do something approaching a dunk......... Now look at them!

I know I was harsh on them some three years ago.


Ryan Sullivan 3 years ago

This may not be a great team, but it is a very, very good team, and I like the chemistry and togetherness the guys seem to have. The Twins are so tough to match up with when they're on their game. With Taylor taking care of the ball and also getting in the lane and Tyrel and Brady knocking down shots and TRob coming in and banging on the boards and EJ and Selby coming in and trying to do some things on defense, we have a real shot. I've loved our defense so far in the tourney; that may be the most impressive thing so far.


Rockchalk_Mom 3 years ago

I'm enjoying reading all the posts to the different articles, but most of all, enjoying the Final Four pics in everyone's brackets. I'm not much of a gambler, but I'd wager no one will go through the tourney with a perfect bracket this year. Who'd a thunk it! What a great NCAA tourney.


William Blake 3 years ago

"Stayin’ alive: Morris twins help Kansas bury Illini"

Okay, Gary... drop the BeeGees cassette, stand back from the stereo and put your hands behind your head.

This is the Taste Police and you have violated Code 39, section 12, paragraph 3 of the KU Code of Taste Ethics:

39:12:3 - The use of song titles from any of the BeeGee's music collection is strictly prohibited. Violators will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.


William Blake 3 years ago

"Stayin’ alive: Morris twins help Kansas bury Illini"

Okay, Gary... drop the BeeGees cassette, stand back from the stereo and put your hands behind your head.

This is the Taste Police and you have violated Code 39, section 12, paragraph 3 of the KU Code of Taste Ethics:

39:12:3 - The use of song titles from any of the BeeGee's music collection is strictly prohibited, and violators will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.


JayCeph 3 years ago

We can't afford to take Richmond lightly. I was at the game in Self's first year when Richmond came into Allen and broke the Jayhawks' homecourt winning streak against non-con opponents. I still grouse about that day...


Focus on Richmond and survive to play on Sunday.


kjohnson 3 years ago

I believe that Taylor has finally grown up. He's now playing like a leader, and coming through in the clutch. If he keeps it up, KU might be playing for the national championship.

Ken Johnson (KU MS '70)


Brian Powell 3 years ago


1) fans in orange with their arms folded sprinkled throughout a SEA OF BLUE 2) Brady showing some emotion for maybe the first time in a game, ever?? 3) ANY of the Morris' plays. The Double double-double is a great thing to have on your team! 3b) the huge smiles on their faces after those dunks 4) Coach Self's quick handshake afterwards :P 5) highlights of more 'Big' East team getting owned.


BCRavenJHawkfan 3 years ago

What I am more sick over are these never ending TV timeouts. Illinois benefitted big time on three of them. The first one in the first half was a huge momentum killer.

The other sickening thing was Marv "women's panties" Albert. It's the Morris twins, of which Marcus is one of.

With lower seeds left in the Southwest bracket I hope our guys understand how much bigger the target on their backs just got.


jayhawktalk 3 years ago

The play those last 10 minutes was surgically precise and beautiful to watch.

If I were a recruit watching that game, I cannot imagine leaving with any feeling other than a tremendous desire to a part of it.


Andy Tweedy 3 years ago

Has anybody else felt almost sick with these stupid camera angles CBS is breaking out on occasion? We completely missed Elijah's dunk and Brady underneat move because we had some sort of floor shot or ceiling shot. They don't stay with them long, but they are absolutely driving me crazy!


HAWKTOPIA 3 years ago

I love the dynamics of the Morris twins. Usually you have a player or two who enter the game to inject the physicality needed to tame a few opponents. M and M bring it whenever they have to, spot on! They then transition right back to the skilled, unselfish, dynamic duo that runs the floor, attacks the rim, and rebounds with tenacity. Great Play!

I love to watch the Jayhawks methodically turn the opposition inside out by passing the perimeter and having the bigs reposition on the reverse for dominant inside shots. Work it Hawks!



REHawk 3 years ago

Our steady ball movement and deep bench appear to have worn down both opponents by the final 7 minutes of action. I know that Self has given the green light to most of our players for 3-pt. shooting when they are open. However, sometimes I think that more patient passing might serve better both to elevate our scoring percentage and wear down defenses earlier in these desperate win or go home tournament contests. We churned McCamey's legs to butter at one point in the second half when he took himself to the bench for a break.


TimmytheJayhawk 3 years ago

Tyshawn was THE MAN!!! WOW did he play well! Obviously Keef and MC were too, but I am loving what Tyshawn is bringing right now!

Rock Chalk!


SaulGood 3 years ago

Stifling defense carried the day. If McCamey was the head of the Illinois body, we were executioners yesterday. I am happy to see the team picked a cause for the game (Self) and followed through. Tyshawn in the clutch - can we continue to expect these kinds of performances? Absolutely. It's a great feeling that he made a believer out of me. Thomas - I saw some downright scary-good moves yesterday, and some good minutes on the boards. The only downsides I had were that it's a little disappointing that we're shooting threes in the halfcourt, yet we don't have bigs set up to box out. This is the only problem I can see with having forwards (Twins) that have immense guard skills. No doubt, they picked up the rebounding slack elsewhere, but the longer we can play offense...You know the rest. If we have an off-day for perimeter shooting, we've got to have a better day on the offensive glass. Guys get fouled more on offensive put-backs, and when Marcus and Markieff get to shoot 10-15 free throws, their percentage goes up.

At the end of it all, stellar game to watch. I was the most worried about this game to date, but our second half of destruction just made my week complete!


AsadZ 3 years ago

Great game by the TWINS but I have to give MOJ to Tyshawn. He is the one who controlled the offense and made things happen with his driving ability. With him sitting on the bench the offense was stale.

Tyshawn, You have been playing great since coming back from suspension. Continue to excel and lets hang another banner in AFH


Mike Bratisax 3 years ago

Tyrell has his worst game that I remember and still..the outcome was never in doubt. That was KU BB at a high level. Inside domination! The twins and TRob dominated while our guard play was good..but not great. I know that must have been really sweet for HCBS.


jhawkrulz 3 years ago

Another comment I was going to make is how much I'm surprised the power conferences are struggling in the tournament.

The Big Least I think is the amazing story with only 2 of 11 teams advancing and that was the minimum they could have had after the round of 32.

The Big XII is down to 1 of 5 teams.

The Big 10 is down to 2 of 7 teams.

These were clearly the top 3 conferences in the tournament and really none of these conferences showed up.

The ACC has really shown up with 3 in the 16 and I have to give credit to the Mountain West having 2 of 3 making it to the 16 (although they had favorable seeding).


jhawkrulz 3 years ago

I've actually never seen Tyrell off like he was last night. Usually that guy is nothing but money. I was pleased that they still lined him up with shots and of course the twins just kept draining them.

I thought KU was a little bit of off and still crushed Illinois.


jayhawkinATL 3 years ago

Man, for some reason, I'm just really pulling for Josh to contribute in this final push. He's not really doing much with the limited minutes he's being given. Doesn't really look like he's interested. I try to look for him during TOs and at the end of games to check out his body language and far, doesn't look good. Would be nice for him to have fond memories of his time at KU, the end of which I believe is as close as our last game. I know a lot of folks don't believe he's ready for the NBA, but I think he's as good as gone.


lincase 3 years ago

I have not read all of the comments on every thread, so forgive me if this has been addressed elsewhere, but, when the announcers were talking about Angel, they said that Jayla Robinson had moved to Lawrence and that Angel was helping to raise her. Can anyone confirm this report? Did I not hear correctly (always a possibility)?


RockCaCO3 3 years ago

Went to vote for Tyrel this morning, and got this:

Rock Chalk Tyrel!


RockCaCO3 3 years ago

Great game Hawks! Lets smoosh some spiders.

I have to say, I like what CBS did this year and put the games on other channels. However, the TV breaks seemed longer on TNT than on CBS (could just be me), and Marv Wilbert needs to learn players last names. Marv, you make a good living, f'n earn it.


jhwkfan162515 3 years ago

It's a good thing we have the Morris twins, because the guards, especially Tyrel Reed, almost shot us out of the game.

Can't wait to stomp the Spiders on Friday and avenge the humiliating loss from 2004.


wyansas 3 years ago

Marcus lately reminds me of Drew Gooden, who was the last Jayhawk big man whose offensive skills really wowed me. Those turn around jumpers he's hitting are hard. I'm really enjoying him play.


actorman 3 years ago

"Carpe Beak 'em"

I love it!!! That's one of the best lines I've ever seen here!

It was such a fun game to watch and it looked like the team was having so much fun too. Not to be picky, but I'm a little concerned about them focusing so much on winning for Coach Self. It's great that they care so much about him, but they really need to be focusing on playing well for themselves and not trying to find external reasons, especially with the next two (hopefully) games coming against low seeds. I'm also a little worried about playing a mid-major in the next game. In a way, that will be a bigger test than Illinois. Let's see if they can find the same motivation and insensity without the incentive of winning against Self's old team, and without playing against a big-conference school. Richmond is exactly the type of team that KU has struggled with numerous times over the years (including the only time that KU's played against Richmond). So hopefully they can come out with the same kind of fire on Friday.

One other item to comment on: did anyone else feel a little uncomfortable with the beginning of this column being about funeral services? Don't get me wrong, I get the connection to the whole Bruce Weber thing, but given that all that KU has gone through this year, it somehow seems a little in poor taste to open the article with that.


gammimc 3 years ago

A much better showing by far. However, KU should have had them ran out of the building within the first ten minutes. Illinois is slow, we should have exploited it.

Now, on to the regional stacked with mid majors. Beware Jayhawks.


William Blake 3 years ago

About 3-4 minutes into the game, Marcus grabbed a defensive board, and dribbled up the court at full speed, drove into the paint, and dished to an open Tyrel for his only 3pt make of the game.

I know Marcus is talented... but it was at that moment that I realized Marcus finally 'got it.' In the 3 years he has been here, I never saw him turn on the juice like he did in that play!

And you know if Marcus gets it... Kieff gets it, too!

Great game Cus and Kieff!

Great game Hawks!



W.C. Beck 3 years ago

Great game, boys! Unbelievable showing by the Morrii. Fab game from Taylor. Excellent play as always by the 3 seniors. Dominant presence from TR. Solid minutes from EJ, Selby. On a weekend when it was tough to be a Big XII fan, what a great day it was to be Jayhawk.

Congratulations Tyrel Reed on becoming the winningest player in the storied history of Kansas basketball. Way to go, bud!

Mr. Dark Horse himself, the consistantly improving and increasingly amiable Tyshawn summed it up quite well:

“I’m really excited about next week. Coach told us to be happy, have fun, but not to be content. Just know it’s not over yet."

Four more to go

Carpe Beak 'em


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