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Sunday, March 27, 2011

KU Notebook: Morris twins say they’re undecided

KU forwards haven’t thought about NBA

Kansas forward Marcus Morris drives against Richmond forward Justin Harper during the first half on Friday, March 25, 2011 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

Kansas forward Marcus Morris drives against Richmond forward Justin Harper during the first half on Friday, March 25, 2011 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

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Pregame: KU vs. VCU

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Kansas will take on Virginia Commonwealth in an Elite Eight matchup Sunday, March 27, 2011.

— The Morris twins were asked about their futures Saturday at the Alamodome.

Have the two reached a decision whether to enter the NBA Draft or return to Kansas University for a final season?

“Not at all,” Markieff Morris said. “We are focusing on trying to win a national championship. That’s the main thing. This is the perfect time for us to try to do it. We’ve not thought about that at all.”

Markieff was asked how the twins would handle it if they were to be separated next season.

“I’m not really sure,” Markieff said. “We’ve never been separated too much, for too long. We’re definitely not ready for that day to happen. That plays a big role in us coming back to school and playing our senior year.”

Marcus, who also said he hasn’t been thinking at all about next year — “We have a big game tomorrow, that’s all I’m thinking about right now” — is not convinced he and Markieff will be on different NBA teams.

“A lot of people don’t know what positions we could play on the next level if we make it at the next level,” Marcus said. “We could be on the same team. Somebody out there might think we play real well together and see the success we’ve had on teams with each other in high school and college and might take us both. If they don’t, they don’t. It’ll definitely be hard. We are definitely going to make an effort to see each other. We talk to each other every day. Even when I was at camp last summer, I talked to him every day, Skyped him and things.”

Marcus on Sullinger

Marcus Morris on Ohio State freshman sensation Jared Sullinger saying he’ll return for his soph season: “He is very young. Maybe he wants to learn the game a little more. Maybe he’s not ready to get to the real world. When I was with him (at summer camps), he was hilarious. Maybe he wants to live his life and be a student a little longer and not force it. It’s not always about getting to the NBA. It’s about learning the game. I’m fortunate to be learning the game and being here.”

Rumors

NBAdraft.net cited unnamed sources as saying KU sophomore Thomas Robinson would enter his name in this June’s draft. NBAdraft.net said to “look for the announcement after the team’s season ends. Robinson tragically lost his mother during the season and has siblings to look out for.”

Robinson recently told the Journal-World he’d most definitely be back for his junior season.

Selby on NBA

KU freshman Josh Selby addressed the NBA question Saturday: “Right now, I’m just worrying about winning these last three games, getting the ultimate goal, a national championship,” Selby said. “After the national championship, if we get there and we celebrate after we win, hopefully we do, then I’ll think about it.”

He was asked if it is an option that he could return to KU.

“Of course,” he said.

Just Joshin’

Selby on a botched, acrobatic missed driving layup try late in Friday’s Sweet 16 win over Richmond:

“Coach came in and teased me. The players teased me. It was all in fun. The ball got stuck behind my back. I was trying to whip it around, but it wouldn’t go,” Selby said.

Selby on KU’s postseason run. “It’s so much fun. This is exactly why I came to Kansas.”

Scout team helps

Red-shirt Conner Teahan on the scout team’s role in helping KU’s rotation players prepare for teams such as Richmond and VCU.

“We go out there and work as hard as we can every day because we know it is important for us to give the guys as much of a feel as possible to what they are going to see,” Teahan said. “I think it helps the guys out.”

The scout team members this time of year include: Teahan, Jeff Withey, Royce Woolridge, Niko Roberts, Travis Releford, Jordan Juenemann, Justin Wesley and Christian Garrett. Wesley hasn’t practiced with the team on road trips during the NCAAs. It’s against NCAA rules for transfers to travel with the team.

Nearing a record

KU senior Tyrel Reed today can tie Duke’s Shane Battier as the NCAA’s all-time winningest player in a four-year span. Reed has won 132 games. Battier won 133 games from 1998-2001. Reed, who has lost just 16 games in four years, has tied four Kentucky players (Scott Padgett and Wayne Turner, 1995-98; Jeff Sheppard and Allen Edwards, 1996-99) for second on the all-time win list.

Morningstar hungry

Brady Morningstar on being so close to the Final Four: “It’s right there in front of you. It’s like putting a piece of steak on a plate in front of a dog who is chained up. He’s right there, but he’s chained up. Hopefully the next day you can let him loose. That’s basically how we look at it. We’re so excited to be in this position and be able to play tomorrow.”

Morningstar on what it would take to erase memories of last year’s second-round loss to Northern Iowa: “We have to learn to move on because it wasn’t the end of the world. Northern Iowa had a heck of a game in beating us but we have to move on because that’s just how it is. I would love to go out by winning a championship. I feel that is the best thing that could happen for a senior. That would make me forget about a lot of things.”

Traveling man

KU beat Richmond on Friday and will be trying to beat VCU, another team located in Richmond, Va., today. Marcus Morris was asked if he’d be safe ever visiting Richmond if KU won both games.

“I don’t even know where Richmond is,” Morris said with a big smile. “I’ll probably never go there anyways. I guess, in case I do, I’ll have a little entourage with me to make sure everything is cool going there. Those guys are competitors. I don’t think those guys would do anything, but the fans might. I saw a couple YouTube clips, and their fans are a little crazy. We might have to watch our backs.”

Talking trash talk

Marcus Morris on VCU players saying they will not let Kansas trash-talk and bully them: “That’s fine. I don’t trash-talk. I don’t know why people say I trash-talk. I just say words. You’ve gotta YouTube guys like Kevin Garnett. That’s trash-talking. What he does and what Kobe (Bryant) does and what Carmelo (Anthony) and those guys do is trash-talking. We just say some things that’s all just in the emotion of the game. It’s definitely not trash-talking.”

Markieff Morris on the same topic: “For them to say that means they already have us on their minds about doing it. That doesn’t mean anything to us. We don’t want to bully anybody, but it’s good that they think that’s what we are going to do.”

Smart praise

Bill Self on VCU’s 33-year-old coach, Shaka Smart: “Part of coaching is getting your guys to play with confidence. And he’s from the appearance to me has the entire team playing with an abundance of confidence and certainly none more than the guy we’re talking about because he’s on a roll right now.”

Comments

100 8 years, 4 months ago

Morris brothers:

The only thing to worry about today is....

Owning!!!!!

The!!!!!!!!

Paint!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

..........

Beat VCU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

betred 8 years, 4 months ago

Looks like they got out coached and painted

WichitaRaider 8 years, 4 months ago

Confidence is contagious! I have no doubt we'll be able to back up everything we say on the court! RCJH!

BernieLomax 8 years, 4 months ago

The twins have done their fair share here at KU! If they decide it is better to leave, that is up to them!!

Now please everybody, when we win the title in April (that the twins help lead us to), make sure to do 'The Jayhawk Bernie' dance Down Mass Street!! This dance is taking the midwest by storm!

'Jayhawk bernie' Instructional video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FI7HpL...

iluvdbskxjayhawks 8 years, 4 months ago

LOL. R U serious? Maybe the guys can do it but not the girls.

ahpersecoachingexperience 8 years, 4 months ago

Who says today's youth have no respect for those that came before them?!?

LAJayhawk 8 years, 4 months ago

Played out. Arizona's players did it on the bench when they beat Duke.

http://seattle.sbnation.com/2011/3/25/2071165/kyryl-natyazhko-does-the-bernie-duke-arizona-ncaa-tournament

It's like the 3 point goggles. Those who do it now seem kind of cliched.....

Keith Kienzle 8 years, 4 months ago

Being a resident on Richmond VA, KU going up against these two schools has been really fun! I have a KU shirt on right now and I intend to wear another one out tomorrow. Don't worry Marcus, VCU fans are a little crazy, but it's all for fun. Most people around here know nothing about KU bball, so this is a good educational experience for them.

Rock chalk!

KansasBob 8 years, 4 months ago

I doubt Marcus will leave his brother behind, so if one goes, they both go. If we win the National Championship, I'd bet the house that they're both gone. And why not, as I don't see their stock getting much better. Perhaps this is why Ben Mclemore is waiting until April to make his decision. With the twins gone, he's looking at some pretty decent playing time his freshman year, but with the twins sticking around, he'd probably get more time his first year at another school.

I don't see Selby leaving quite yet. With Brady and Tyrel gone, he's looking at 35 MPG next year, which should be more than enough to sufficiently showcase his skills to ensure a lottery pick. He'll get there, but he is not quite ready, IMHO.

Thomas Robinson is the X factor. I won't be surprised if he stays or if he goes. Naturally, as a selfish KU fan, I'd love to see him stick around for one more year, but he has his sister to think of, and assuming the twins are gone, no Angel Morris to help him get through another year.

But back to reality and the task at hand. Whatever decisions are made, they will have to wait until after we win the National Championship.

Can't wait for today's game. Lets roll, Hawks.

KUbsee69 8 years, 4 months ago

McLemore is announcing on 4/3. That's before the NC game, so that's probably not what he's been waiting for.

Jeff Coffman 8 years, 4 months ago

I don't think anyone will leave...the NBA collective bargaining agreement is supposed to be in worse shap than the NFL and we all know how that is going. Ultimately, I think if a player wants to play basketball next year, it will be in college...Otherwise they might get a contract, but it won't take place for a year anyways.

Personally I think all 3 return.

Mclemore, I always thought would be perfect replacement for Little, but I could be way off on that thought.

jaybate 8 years, 4 months ago

"Some Possible Explanations for All the Upsets"

~Muammar.

~Mossad.

~Gaming industry decided on some "upsets" to spike revenues in anticipation of rising gas prices.

~Jerry Lewis' The Nutty Professor has taken over Butler's Brad Stevens' body and is giving refs salvia divinorum at commercial breaks, while coming out after halves dressed as Buddy Love singing "We don't need another hero/we just need find the way home/...from Thunderdome."

~H.A.A.R.P. antennae array at Gakona, AK exciting the ionosphere and directing energy beams at all top coaches but Self and Calhoun.

~Rahm Emanuel is back in Chi and he has a control panel with a dial labeled "upsets."

~China is ticked about losing oil contracts with Muammar, because of Shock'n'Awe 2.0, so the Chinese submarine fleet has surfaced off Galveston and is firing millions of smart bottle rockets at top teams.

~A lot of high ranked teams were undeserving of their hype.

(Note: All fiction. No malice.)

Woody Cragg 8 years, 4 months ago

~A lot of high ranked teams were undeserving of their hype.

This is it no doubt.

Martin Rosenblum 8 years, 4 months ago

But, what if Brad morphs into Buddy Love and kicks it into another gear?

RockCaCO3 8 years, 4 months ago

Why do journalists always ask these kids, in the middle of the tourney, if they're going to go to the NBA next year? Do they really expect any of them to say "yes, the NBA is my focus right now." Give it a break.

RCJH beat VCU!

Woody Cragg 8 years, 4 months ago

Reason # 1- Too stupid to ask anything relevant.

2- Think they're the guy to get the scoop; AKA Clark Kent.

3- Are missing Bobby Knight so much they're trying to do anything to set off a fire alarm without lighting a pi$$ing match.

Woody Cragg 8 years, 4 months ago

UConn, Butler, & VCU are the hottest teams left so put on the helmets, seat belts, & drop the hammer. During that 5-6 game stretch when Selby was first injured & we kicked the crap clean outta everybody I said "this team could win it all". At least we get to find out now. VCU will throw out several diff defenses but penetration, kicks, & dishes will beat all of them. If our bigs stay out of foul problems & TO's are manageable, we win no sweat. Refs are letting these guys play like the big boys-it's up to our guys to keep it under control. Good luck & strip em like Jaybirds!

RockChalkJayhawKU 8 years, 4 months ago

I kind of expect the Morris Twins and Selby to go, so if they stay it would be awesome and everything. But if we lose TRob to the NBA, man how that would hurt for next year. Let's hope you stick around Thomas (and also the Twins and Josh).

repaste 8 years, 4 months ago

That plays a big role in us coming back to school and playing our senior year.” Lets hope.

KansasBob 8 years, 4 months ago

I think Selby stays. And if the Morii leave, then Mclemore should be a lock. TRob is my concern. With him, we contend again next year. Without him, we'll probably be top 25, but nowhere near top ten.

Jeremy Wilhelm 8 years, 4 months ago

True, unless Withey improves dramatically...

Matt1958 8 years, 4 months ago

The young man from Burlington may very well set the record before this is over. Great kid. Great work ethic. Great student. Great athlete. Great ambassador of Kansas, period. If he were my kid, my head wouldn't fit through the doorway.

KansasComet 8 years, 4 months ago

Don't know what anyone should do as far as staying or going. Does not really matter to me. I will be cheering for Kansas next year, just like I do every year. I just hope that these young men, should they decide to turn pro, understand that this is job and not just basketball on the next level.

They will be competing against grown men, with families to feed. I know that rookies have families to feed as well, but veterans are used to that income and do not want to see it taken away. It is very competitive and not always fun. It is a business, and as long as they understand that grown up actions have grown up consequences, then they will be okay.

I wish this team nothing but the best, and thanks for a lot of good memories on the court this season. Good luck to those contemplating the NBA and I hope they make they right decision....oh hell, who am I trying to kid? Guys please come back next year!!!! Go Jayhawks!!!!

REHawk 8 years, 4 months ago

I have felt and said all along that the NBA would be remiss not to take the twins together as a unit, contract them for a guaranteed 3 years together. They bounce off each other so well; at this stage, their potential impact is so much greater when on the court together. Gotta hope that the TRob "news" is merely smarmy sports journalism. Thomas' boyhood has already taken such a big hit that it would be totally sad if he felt that he had to toss aside at least one more year of what remains of it to leap early into the working world. His potential is skyhigh to go down as a major impact Div. I player from the getgo next season. Among those players now forecast as lottery picks for 2011, it would appear that Thomas would most probably ascend to such a level after one more year of work with our coaching/training staff. Then he would attain the 3 years of guaranteed big money and a continued modicum of security for himself and family. Little doubt that he represents a huge chunk of the near future success for Jayhawk hoops. His energetic style is as exciting as that of most any player engaged in this season's NCAA Tournament.

leonard 8 years, 4 months ago

"I have felt and said all along that the NBA would be remiss not to take the twins together as a unit, contract them for a guaranteed 3 years together."

Worthy goal...but how do you propose an NBA team could pull that off?

Jeffery Barrett 8 years, 4 months ago

Easy. Denver is stacking up draft picks. NBA 'insider' says that they are hoping twins stay 1 more year so they can get enough to get 2 lottery picks to do just that. That would be AWESOME since I live in western KS!

jhox 8 years, 4 months ago

I agree with the comments above. When have you ever known a player to say he's planning on leaving before the season is over? It is pointless for reporters to ask.

I fully expect the twins to declare, and Robinson as well. We are going to be very thin inside next season, I'm resigned to that. Hopefully we can land a couple of big man recruits late, otherwise it could be the first down year at KU in a very long time. I think Whithey will be fine with some playing time, but we're not going to compete for another Big 12 title without a couple of highly ranked Big guys coming in. I have a feeling once guys start declaring, and minutes open up for potential recruits, Self will land a couple of highly ranked bigs.

I'm not going to worry about next year, though. We just need to enjoy the ride this year.

Selby's stock has dropped a lot. He would be crazy to leave after the season he's had. Unfortunately, these kids have people whispering in their ears, and the advice is often bad. Josh needs to come back next year and have a great season that is consistent with his talent, then he can go pro, ensure a long career and make a lot more money.

MrPilot 8 years, 4 months ago

Robinson has already said he's returning next year. I take him at his word. Whatever "unnamed" sources that website has, they're unreliable.

Ken Sedgwick 8 years, 4 months ago

Thomas Robinson is physically ready for the NBA. Mentally I'm not so sure. My fear is of all the NBA professional pick pockets.

As for Josh Selby, he needs to spend an hour or so sitting on Charles Barkley`s lap and listen to his words of wisdom. Like Charles or not, if you listen to his comments.....he makes sense. Charles says one and doners are not ready for the NBA.

kcglowboy 8 years, 4 months ago

So some idiotic reporter yesterday just couldn't resist. Couldn't help him/herself ... and asked The Question. WHY? As an ex-journalist, I understand that in a one-on-one interview, sometimes a reporter goes blank and keeps the momentum of an interview going with a stupid question. But in a group setting like the one yesterday, why does a reporter even bother asking a question that: 1) everybody already knows the answer to ("We haven't even thought about it," or "We won't think about it until after the season is over"); 2) Only serves to distract players, teams, fans; 3) Makes said reporter look lazy and/or stupid.

Seriously, in all of recorded history, when reporters have asked players anytime before the end of the season if they're leaving early for the NBA, or when reporters ask "hot" coaches during the tourney is they're headed for another job after the season ... can you name ONE time the answer was anything other than some variation on "let's wait till the season is over to talk about it ..." ?

Martin Rosenblum 8 years, 4 months ago

Just like asking Ol' Roy about North Carolina during the tournament. Of course, his answer was classic. I hope we end up playing him for the championship. I'll wear my Joe-College t-shirt with Roy's response on it before, during and after the game!

loyal2thaphog 8 years, 4 months ago

I have to agree with many of the comments, if, in the words of sir Chuck, "the Law Firm's" stock isn't going to get much higher with another season, (if there's an NBA season) then there's plenty of reason for them to declare for the draft. Selby no doubt would benefit from an extra year before transitioning to the pro's. There's no reason to think he couldn't have a Kemba Walker(esque) impact on our team next season. Then there's T-rob. All things aside, if he pulls the trigger to go pro, I totally understand it. There are a lot of variables he is going to have to weigh at the end of the season, and the allure of a million dollar contract might be too much. With that said, I think he would greatly improve his draft status with an extra year to showcase his skills as "the inside man." I feel like, if he got the kind of minutes the Morri get, he could easily average somewhere around 20 points and 20 rebounds a game with, and in my opinion, have the potential to up his scoring average by another 5-10 points due to his ability to clean up the glass and get "put-backs" as easily and often as he does. I feel like he has the potential to go out each and every night and have the kind of performances Nick Collision had against Texas @ Allen that got him a standing "O" from our favorite commentator Dick V. I mean no disrespect to Collision saying that T-rob's season average could mirror one of his best performances, but (I think many of the Jayhawk faithful would agree) he just seems like that special of a player. As a Kansas fan, (if he a) stays and b) gets those kinds of minutes) I salivate over the potential for him to "go off" on a team and have one of those games that go down as one of the all-time greats (in recent history) by pulling down 30+ boards and throwing down 30+ points. I just wonder what those kind of minutes/numbers + another year with Manning would do for his "draft stock." I hope all players in question stay for (atleast) another year, but at the end of the day they "got to do what they go to do" and I totally respect that. I appreciate the contributions they have made and would support their decisions completely.

Now back to the moment...RCJH! Down with VCU!

Jack Wilson 8 years, 4 months ago

As a note, I like being in "post-season mode" ... a break from all of the critiques, and "who should play", and "how can we get better" stuff.

We are here.

  1. We won't lose to VCU. VCU could go "Villanova" to our "Georgetown" and we don't lose. (Recognizing that there was no 3 point stripe in 1985) VCU could go 14 of 20 from the arc and we still win. We are going to pound their tails inside. We'll turn them over. We'll impede their path to the rim. We can play fast. We can score 85 if needed. And we're the best defensive team they have faced .. yes, better than FSU.
  2. The type of team that would concern me is a slower team, that limits possessions, that shoots the three ball well, and who could play good interior D .. legit big guys ... VCU ain't it.
  3. One might think Butler would be the type of team that would concern me .. but they don't shoot the 3 ball as good as KSU, MU, Texas, or Colorado (or us, of course) Butler is basically Baylor with an excellent coach. But if we play average, and Butler is at the top of their game, we can lose. Butler is a solid step up from VCU in all regards.
  4. VCU's little run stops today. Nice story.
  5. Butler, on the other hand, has Final Four experience, has leadership, has a proven coach. However, what Butler does not have this year as compared to last season is a star. That star is in the NBA. The talent is not as good. We were better than Butler last season, and we're better than Butler this season.
  6. Of the potential matches in the championship game, of course, any of the three could beat us. But against all three, we win if we play our top game.
  7. I think UConn is the best of the bunch. They have a true star that can score any place, any time, against any defensive pressure. But we can disrupt him. I worry that our hard hedges might lead to cheap Aldrich-esque fouls, though. NC is very close to UConn, and has some size. Of the three, I think Kentucky is the weakest due to inexperience, having the worst game day coach of the three, having the only coach that hasn't won the big one, and because we would have a great opportunity to get their only reliable big guy in foul trouble. We should be rooting for Kentucky. But really, all top 10 type teams.

Make your plans for Monday night, April 4. Immortality calls.

betred 8 years, 4 months ago

KU just didn't look good today, looks like they were out coached because they had the better athletes

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