Sunday, March 27, 2011

KU hoops notebook: Jayhawks undecided

Twins, Robinson mull pro future

The Kansas Jayhawks sit in a somber locker room following their 71-61 loss to Virginia Commonwealth on Sunday, March 27, 2011 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

The Kansas Jayhawks sit in a somber locker room following their 71-61 loss to Virginia Commonwealth on Sunday, March 27, 2011 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.



KU vs. VCU

video thumbnail

Kansas fell to Virginia Commonwealth in an Elite Eight matchup Sunday, March 27, 2011 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 71-61 loss to VCU on March 27, 2011.

Download podcast

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU senior guards Tyrel Reed and Brady Morningstar

KU senior guards Tyrel Reed and Brady Morningstar talk to reporters following VCU's 71-61 victory over Kansas on March 27, 2011.

Download podcast

— The Morris twins didn’t say if they were staying at Kansas University or leaving for the NBA Draft after Sunday’s Elite Eight loss to VCU in the Alamodome.

They have some time to finalize their plans.

Players have until April 24 to declare for the draft. Those who do not sign with agents can withdraw by June 13.

“I love this university and this team. That’s the main thing,” junior center Markieff Morris said after scoring 13 points, grabbing 12 rebounds and committing eight turnovers while playing 32 minutes in KU’s 71-61 defeat.

“Whatever decision is made will be the best decision for us and my family. It’ll be a tough decision. I’m not sure what I’m ready to do yet. I need to sit down and talk to my coaches and my family about my future and my brother’s future. Whatever happens, it will be the best decision,” Markieff added.

Junior Marcus Morris’ statement on the matter was not as long. “I don’t know. I’m not really sure,” he said of his plans for next season.

KU sophomore Thomas Robinson, who said recently he definitely would be back for his junior season, was not saying that after Sunday’s game.

“I’m not thinking about that. Whatever’s the best decision for me, that’s what I’ll do,” Robinson said. has cited unnamed sources as saying Robinson is headed for the draft.

Junior guard Tyshawn Taylor implied, but did not say for certain, he would be back for his senior season.

“I really don’t think I’m one of those guys who has got to make a decision,” he said. “Everybody knows who the guys who have to make the decision are. I think I know what I’m going to do, but that’s not really my focus right now.”

Pressed on the matter, Taylor said: “I don’t think it’s anything I really have to think about.”

Is his decision good news for fans?

“I guess so, guess so. I don’t know, man. It’s not my focus right now,” Taylor said.

Also, freshman Josh Selby (see related story) indicated he would need to consult family members before finalizing his plans.


KU’s Marcus Morris was named to the All-Southwest Regional team with VCU’s Bradford Burgess, Joey Rodriguez and Brandon Rozzell. Jamie Skeen of VCU was most outstanding player.

Point guard shines

KU’s Marcus and Markieff Morris were impressed with VCU point guard Rodriguez, who had nine points, five rebounds, five assists, four turnovers and two steals.

“He controlled the game,” Marcus Morris said. “He kept his guys settled, even when we were coming back.”

“Their point guard runs the team, and he made passes, and then they made their shots. That killed us,” Markieff said.

Not following orders

KU’s players failed miserably in one area.

“We didn’t follow the scouting report like we should have in the first half. They got some open shots and knocked them down,” KU’s Taylor said of guarding the three. VCU hit nine of 17 threes the first half and three of eight the second.

“They made us pay for not doing what we were supposed to do. We did a lot of stuff we weren’t supposed to do, and they capitalized on it,” Taylor added.

Noted Tyrel Reed: “There were times we just didn’t play the scouting report. We gave open looks. They’re a great three-point shooting team, and you can’t let them get on a roll. We didn’t defend the three-point line like we should have. Give credit to them, they were knocking them down. But it was a poor performance by us guarding the three. That was basically it.”

Added Markieff Morris: “We knew they wanted to shoot threes. We didn’t get out to stop them.”

Brick city

KU hit 35.5 percent of its shots and missed 19 of 21 threes.

“It happens,” Brady Morningstar said. “When teams miss shots, you have to find another way to stay in the game. The ball didn’t go in today. It’s tough to win when you are not making the shots, when a team is on a roll like that.”

“I don’t think we’ve shot that bad from the three-point line and from the field,” Reed said. “We had good looks, I thought. We got some open shots, and down low, the ball wouldn’t fall as well. I don’t think we ever lost confidence that we weren’t going to make shots. We kept shooting them. They just didn’t go in.”

Of the threes, coach Bill Self said: “We just didn’t make shots. You look at it and say, ‘Why did you take 21 threes?’ A lot of those were late, best shooters shooting them. The guys that go 1-10 finish first and third in our league for field-goal percentages (Morningstar, Reed). You play to your law of averages a lot of times, and it just didn’t work out today.”

Quite a matchup

Self on No. 11-seed VCU and No. 8 Butler advancing to the NCAA Final Four semis: “I think what it does, as much as anything, it just puts a spin on the NCAA Tournament. It’s wild. A lot of people said we caught breaks. I don’t know if we caught any breaks or not. I didn’t feel we caught any breaks. Seeds are so overrated, it’s about matchups. Their players could play for us any day. If we played ‘shirts and skins’ today, you wouldn’t have much of a difference on players or how they look. They’ve got some good-looking kids. They got what they deserved today. They outplayed us.”

Technically speaking

VCU coach Shaka Smart was whistled for a technical with 15:43 left. Reed made one of two free throws, and KU scored on its next possession to slice what once was an 18-point deficit to 43-39.

“I felt like the momentum was switching in our direction,” Reed said. “We had opportunities. We just couldn’t quite get over the hump. And VCU kept making plays, kept knocking down shots and attacking. We just didn’t quite have it today.”

Free-throw woes

KU hit 15 of 28 free throws to VCU’s 17 of 22. “We missed, like, 13 free throws, and it’s hard to win when you miss that many free throws,” Taylor said. “Then we went, like, 2-for-21 from the three-point line.”

Scrambling team

How much did KU’s chasing on defense hurt the Jayhawks offensively?

“I think we just missed some easy ones,” Taylor said, “and they made some tough ones. They got a lot of open looks, and they got some contested shots that went in. They just hit some big shots.”


Was No. 1 seed KU overconfident playing No. 11 VCU?

“No. I think we understood this year you couldn’t look ahead,” Morningstar said. “You saw the roll that VCU was on, and they continued their roll by hitting shots. When teams hit like that, you have to defend. When you don’t defend, you dig yourself a hole, and you have to try to make a comeback. It’s a lot easier to play with the lead than without the lead. The first half was the key to them winning this game (in building 18-point lead; 14 at half).”


cragarhawk 3 years ago

Who are the misery and kstate fans?


bbhawk234 3 years ago

I love it how Kstate and Misery fans sign up to our site and pretend to be Ku fans. Just shows how obsessed they really are when it comes to KU. We should be be flattered with their obsession. Thanks guys for showing us your love.


cragarhawk 3 years ago

I don't know if Shaka is destined to go to mizzou, but I will say that it looks like they may be waiting on him to be done for the year, or got turned down by Matt Painter, and are pursuing some other unfortunate soul.

I have wondered about OU as well. Are they waiting for Brad Stevens to be done for the year? I have heard nothing at all about their search for a coach.

Anybody got any recruiting news?


Kevin Huffman 3 years ago

If you guys are wondering.....draft projections would put a HUGE dent in our frontcourt. Chad Ford of ESPN has Tho. Robinson like 21st, Mc. Morris 24th and Mk. Morris 27th.

You won't find a Kansas G until the 2nd Rd. and before the year started Selby was like an easy lottery selection.

The dude would be an ABSOLUTE MORON if he didn't come back and make it back into a first round projection again.

While Robinson has the highest projection, and it's obvious that he has family to aid, he doesn't seem as polished offensively as the twins do.

The twins are ready and I think the only reason they wouldn't go is if they're afraid of the league locking the players out.


REHawk 3 years ago

Hey, it's a game. NCAA basketball is a game. Fortunately, once again Kansas University was in the thick of the running for national glory at season's end. Coaches and institutions by the hundreds crave trips to the Elite 8. The Kansas Jayhawks were still standing this past weekend as one of the best and/or luckiest hoops teams in America. On a day when freethrows and 3 pt. shots refused to fall, we were outscored by an ambitious opponent which Lady Luck blessed with higher percentages in both categories. End of season. Period. Time to lick wounds for a few days, reunite at a very congratulatory awards banquet, then get back in the gym with steady focus and determination for rebirth of another great season.
Best of all good wishes to seniors or departing players...and a huge display of hope and dreams for those who return to usher in another thrilling season of Jayhawk Basketball. Once again, returning players, do us up proud! RCJH!


Kevin Huffman 3 years ago

Anybody else feel like Mizzou's DESTINED to hire Shaka as their next head basketball coach? Shaka's NOT FROM the East Coast....he's from Wisconsin (Midwest).

Now one thing I will say is that REALISTICALLY if the rumors are that the NBA's in a similar situation as the NBA then I have a hard time seeing anybody leave....the one's least justified in leaving would HAVE TO be Taylor & Selby. Morris's are projected well and ready, but again, if there's going to be a lockout what's the point unless you're like one of those top 3 - 5 picks a'la Derrick Williams, Irving, Barnes (for example).

If we bring everybody back I hope that means more time for Elijah, Selby, Releford & Withey next year along with mixing in a newcomer (DeAndre Daniels? McLemore? that JuCo C they're talking about).

Yeah, things would look bleak if everyone who's rumore to have interest left.....even then I think you could still see a team of Elijah, McLemore, Releford, that JuCO transfer or someone for PF & Withey.....even in the worst of circumstances we'll ALWAYS be no worse than like an 8 or 9-seed.

I don't think I EVER see us going the way of Indiana and suddenly become irrelevant.


cragarhawk 3 years ago

True it's only been 3 years, but my hoodie is getting tattered and faded. lol Personally I like the fact that expectations are high at KU, but without some disappointment, you can't appreciate victory.


Sally Presson 3 years ago

Can you imagine next year's team if the twins come back, T-Rob, Tyshawn and Josh matures and gets with the program and Alijah is here to stay. We'd kick some serious butt!!! What a great year we've had and you guys act like we've not won the big one for a long time. Wasn't it only 3 years ago? Come on--gotta look to next year. We've got the best coaches in the country and VCU is a won & done, bet they won't even be in the NCAA tournament next year.


tophersdad 3 years ago

There have been quite a few teams in the final four. There are the familiar names. Duke has been there. UNC and UCLA have cut their teeth. Kentucky has done whatever it took, through the years, to get there. Indiana is one we all know, along with Purdue, Indiana State, Notre Dame, and Butler from that state. Michigan and Michigan State are familiar with the experience. UConn seems to visit the FF often. West Virginia and Virginia have been there. Florida is a newcomer. Other visitors to the final four have been Villanova, Memphis, Ohio State, Georgetown, George Mason, LSU, and Illinois. Louisville has won it all. Georgia and Georgia Tech have been there, along with Okie State, Syracuse, Texas, Marquette, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Arizona. Wisconsin has been to the FF, as have Utah, Stanford, Minnesota, UMass, and Mississippi State. Arkansas has been there, along with Cincinnati, UNLV, Seton Hall, Houston, NC State, and Houston and, wait, Providence?. I know that St John’s was once a power, But, Iowa and Iowa State have both been? Other FF visitors have been DePaul, and Penn. Awww.. come on!!.. UNC Charlotte, and Rutgers went to the final four? Florida State has danced in the final four. So have Western Kentucky, Jacksonville, New Mexico State, and whaaat? Saint Bonaventure? Drake went? Dayton was there, too? And so was the school that is now referred to as UTEP! Loyola (IL) was in the final four, as was Oregon State, St Joseph’s (of PA), Cal and NYU!! Temple has been to the final four. Seattle made it, along with San Francisco U, LaSalle, SMU, Penn State, Bradley, and COLORADO?!! Washington went to the FF. So did USC, Santa Clara, Oregon State, Baylor, Holy Cross, Dartmouth, Wyoming, Washington State, Pittsburgh, Duquesne, and the City College of New York!! OHHHH!!! And all three Kansas schools have been there, KU, K State, and Wichita State!! And now let’s welcome VCU to the list!!

Wow… did anyone notice that I did not mention any institution from the State of Missouri?


Andy Tweedy 3 years ago

This recruiting season is now more important than ever if the twins do indeed leave. Someone earlier posted about our lack of post players and they're right on. Even if TRob stays, Withey hasn't proven physical enough to play in the Big XII night in/night out. But I have faith that Self will pull another rabbit out of his hat during the late signing period. Maybe Daniels will see this as an opportunity for immediate playing time, along with McLemore.


William Weissbeck 3 years ago

Another (probably lame) thought. Maybe Aldrich, Collins and Simeon should sit these guys down and explain the difference between being an NBA star and playing in the developmental league. I no longer watch much of the tournament until the Final Four rolls around. How the rest of you are still alive if you've watched all the way since 1985 is beyond me. '97 Arizona and '98 Rhode Island (Rams!) did me in. So I didn't watch the game, but listened to parts. When we got within 2, that's when we needed defensive toughness, but didn't exhibit it. The twins were on the bench part of that time. We got to within 5, but then Taylor launched a 3. It was a game we never had control of, which is how higher seeds usually get beaten. Guards control games, and ours didn't this day - but it wasn't for lack of effort. Reed and Morningstar bleed Crimson and Blue, and like Turgeon, but for the fact that are Kansans, they'd be playing in the Missouri Valley. But would we rather watch a team of one and dones or a bunch of guys who win or lose represent something besides themselves? When all is said and done, do you think Reed wants to be remembered for going 1 for 7? Is that how you want to remember?


William Weissbeck 3 years ago

Here is the trick that must drive the elite coaches absolutely crazy - recruit the top kids, who qualify, who can be coached into your style, if really talented are either an immediate impact - John Wall or Kyrie Irving, or develop by tournament time - Brandon Knight, Harrison Barnes, or fly just under the NBA radar until they truly dominate - Kemba Walker. Or do the truly impossible like Florida and KU a few years ago to keep the core a full 4 years. Here's to hoping that Selby stays, along with Taylor and Robinson, and one of the twins (surely there is enough money for one of them in the NBA to help the family). The NBA throws too much money at guys who will never have any real impacts - Aldrich and Harrongody from a year ago, that it really corrupts the decision making process. I hate criticizing coaches having myself never coached or played at any level beyond Pee-Wee, but a 1-6 record in the Elite 8 is not good. Roy's wasn't much better. Self has always been I think the lower seed in all those loses except against G Tech and this year. Maybe any successful team has to have an impact guard which we don't.


Layne Pierce 3 years ago

Drafting on potential means that really dumb people make dumb picks in order to get 10% success rate. The majority of the players are pathetic. They either get cut, or are relegated to bench mediocrity--DNP coaches decision. The Morriss Twins have the total game that teams look for, especially Marcus. They will not play together as pros. Selby has no high level mental game. He has physical and skill talents, but the rest of his game is still high school. I also would like to see him at the point, because that is where he will be in the pros. Next year, I think with a full season, that he is quite likely to be playing the point. Tyshawn will move over and be given the toughest guard to defend. Elijah will get the second toughest. We will press more. TRob is a perfect example of a kid who stays and becomes incredibly good, and a success as a pro, or takes the money and marches into oblivion. Pros, the very idea?!!!


rcjhparker 3 years ago

WOW!!! This is the same feeling I had last year!! In my opinion this is the second consecutive year where I truly felt we had THE best team in the country and we keep coming up short!! I love march madness but it's such a gut buster!! I hope that the Morris twins and Tyshawn come back because I believe we can and will get it done!! As far as Josh Shelby.....I can't even believe he is contemplating turning pro?? I thought it was a joke but I understand he will be drafted on potential and not what he has produced. If he doesn't mature then he might just be the biggest disappointment to ever where the crimson and blue!!!! All in all....great season guys!!! Thanks for the ride and come back and let's DO THIS!!!


Jonathan Allison 3 years ago

The twins should declare, not hire and agent, see what Kieff's stock looks like and then decide.

Tyshawn should declare, not hire an agent, and come back for his last go-round.

Robinson and Selby should stay.

I think that the twins are gone. I think everyone else is coming back. I am not an expert, and haven't looked at any draft projections.


Lance Hobson 3 years ago

A lot of talk of "we" from Reed, when "he" was the weakest link in that game.


hawk4evr 3 years ago

This is what happens when the inmates run the asylum. Self never had control of the team this year. Cheap shots on the court, trash talking, suspensions, criminal charges, etc. Is this really what Kansas basketball is now all about. Apparently we have traded ghetto flash for KU class. We can talk the talk but not walk the walk. The best thing that could happen for KUBB next year is for the Morri and TO Taylor to leave. It will be a down year in terms of victories but maybe HBCS can start reestablishing KU basketball as it has been for over 100 years. That is assuming he wants to.


HutchinsonJayhawk 3 years ago

We (KU fans) are really spoiled aren't we? Any other school would be tickled to death with a 35-3 record, a conference (7th in a row to be exact) and conference tourny championship and an elite 8 appearance, and here some of us are disappointed. It sucks, yeah, but we did in fact have a great season. Can't wait until next year! Rock Chalk!


tvnolan 3 years ago

I completely understand the lure of the NBA and no one can fault any of these guys for wanting to take their shot. But here's my sense on their readiness: - Marcus Morris: Nice outside shot and strong inside. Needs to work on moving feet and staying disciplined on offense. Drops the ball too much inside. Chances of going to NBA: 80% - Markieff Morris: Decent outside shooting but somewhat less aggressive inside. Chances of going to NBA: 50% -Thomas Robinson: Great rebounder. Reminds me of Rodman. Weak on offense with inconsistent jumper. 2 more years in school could make him a first-rounder. -Josh Selby: Really needs work on defense and shot selection. Inconssistent shooter--nothing like Xavier, Sherron, or Mario. Likely 1 more year with KU and then he jumps and probably still too soon at that. My worry about Selby is that he transfers elsewhere.


KEITHMILES05 3 years ago

How the hell do you not follow the scouting report? Why?

This goes to show these guys thought they were invinsible and knew more than the coaches. Their trash and smack talking doesn't mean a damn thing. I hope they are pleased with their know it all attitude.


Jack Wilson 3 years ago

If ... and I say if .. Robinson and the twins all turn pro, look at our post players for next season. Withey, and, well, Withey.

Two seasons of complete strikeouts on the recruiting trail at the 4 and 5 spots.

If TRob and the twins stay, it should not reduce the concern for what could have been as far as the alarming lack of recruited talent.


HawkBBall 3 years ago

I know the lure of the NBA and the money is great. But, think what this team can do next year if you stay in college. Not only can you earn a degree that will benefit you for a lifetime, but you should indeed have the best shot at the crown next year.

You did a fine job this year. Stay for another. Take a chance at being one with their jersey in the rafters of Allen Fieldhouse!


FarSideHawk 3 years ago

It was a great season, that brought a lot of joy to the Jayhawk nation. Unfortunately, it couldn't be capped with a national championship.

I for one believe, that having so many upsets in our region actually hurt us more. I think if we had to play against Louisville, and ND/Purdue, we would have been in better shape. These unknown schools with nothing to lose, and with our history with them being discussed in every type of media, messes with team's mind.

I'm still proud to be a Jayhawk, where we can always talk about getting a national championship every year. 99% of the schools would kill to be us.

Rock Chalk!!!!


kusayzone 3 years ago

Every team loses its final game in the NCAA tourney except the last winner....And KU joined the list a little early.


cobweb 3 years ago

The basketball gods screwed us. **** happens. No number 1 or 2 seeds in the Final Four.


Gregor Southard 3 years ago

Morris twins and Tyshawn... declare for the NBA! We need to get back to players like Mario Chalmers, Russell Robinson, and Darnell Jackson who get it! Thanks for the ride but we need guys who are committed to KU. I'll be rooting for you in the NBA!


Michael Auchard 3 years ago

So... the all-regional team was made up of four VCU players and Marcus Morris? I know they played well, but, wow. Sensationalism, anyone? Beak 'em, Butler.


FSUJHAWK 3 years ago

It is disappointing to know the scouting report was not followed. I think this may have something to do with preparing for Richmond's Princeton-style offense all week. As for the big to do regarding the so called trash talking, if true, it was unsportsmanlike for a jayhawk; however I highly doubt it had anything to do with the outcome of the game. We were simply out played by a realy hot team. At any rate, I wish all the boys the best of luck in their future adventures. Regardless of some of our emotional imbalance right now please know that we all love and support you. Represent your university well.



KansasGoon 3 years ago

Biggest bust in the history of Kansas basketball period! I know all you homer fans will destroy me for that statement and try and defend Selby, but at this point it’s ridiculous and inarguable. He was the highest rated recruit in the Bill Self era and if you consider every other All-American recruit played significant roles for their respective teams Selby is a total bust, and I don’t care about the injury excuse either he said himself he is 100% healed. If he declares for the draft that will make all homer posters on this blog look like complete morons for defending him every chance they got LMAO!!!


RCJHGOKANSAS 3 years ago

great year....these kids want to win just as bad as anybody....I think fans just need to be fully supportive of them and not complain about what we could have or should have done....I feel sorry for them but in the grand scheme of is just a game...


chaggs 3 years ago

As a fan, i certainly hope everyone stays. But it's not my future. Do what's best for you! All I as is that you don't hamstring the Jayhawks by waiting for several weeks. I am certain you will all make the right decision!


Ralster Jayhawk 3 years ago

Truly a revealing comment from one of the KU players: "we didnt play to the scouting report...didnt defend the 3ball...". Why they didnt is the golden question, especially after they showed capable of stopping the 3 the game prior vs. Richmond in the very same arena. Oh well, we get to sit at home and watch the Final4 along with the fans of 63 other schools...


Commenting has been disabled for this item.