Tuesday, July 23, 2013

KU basketball notebook: Morris twins runners-up in Vegas

Golden State Warriors guard Kent Bazemore (20) deflects a pass by Phoenix Suns Marcus Morris in the fourth quarter of the NBA Summer League championship game, Monday, July 22, 2013, in Las Vegas. The Warriors won 91-77.

Golden State Warriors guard Kent Bazemore (20) deflects a pass by Phoenix Suns Marcus Morris in the fourth quarter of the NBA Summer League championship game, Monday, July 22, 2013, in Las Vegas. The Warriors won 91-77.


Former Kansas University basketball players Marcus and Markieff Morris combined for 27 points and 13 rebounds in the Phoenix Suns’ 91-77 loss to Golden State in Monday’s finals of the Las Vegas Summer League.

Small forward Marcus Morris had 17 points and six boards; power forward Markieff Morris 10 points and seven boards. The Suns finished with a 6-1 record to Golden State’s 7-0 mark.

Wiggins lauded: ESPN’s Myron Medcalf on Monday listed KU freshman Andrew Wiggins as the country’s most “indispensable” college player, that is, the most important to the success of his team.

Wiggins was ranked No. 1, followed by Doug McDermott, Creighton; Jahii Carson, Arizona State; Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State; LaQuinton Ross, Ohio State; Cleanthony Early, Wichita State; Alex Kirk, New Mexico; Russ Smith, Louisville; Davante Gardner, Marquette and Mitch McGary, Michigan.

“No high school recruit has ever arrived with this much hype. He might not live up to it. If he does, however, it’ll be easy to see why he’s so indispensable,” Medcalf wrote.

Athleticism galore: KU coach Bill Self continues to be impressed with his collection of players this summer. Teams are allowed to practice two hours a week while summer school is in session.

“This is without question the most athletic team we’ve had,” Self told the Sporting News. “I think we’ve got to defensively do things to pressure more because for the first time in years we can actually pressure the ball. We’ve got wings that can run through passes. I think we’ll have to do more stuff fullcourt. And then also, we haven’t played any zone, but I think we can have an unbelievable zone team. I’m not saying we’ll do that a lot. I definitely want to investigate it.”

Of the point guard race between Naadir Tharpe, Frank Mason and Conner Frankamp, Self said: “They’re all guys definitely better than what I’ve thought, but still a long way to go to run a team, to being the primary guy. There’s definitely competition there. Mason’s going to put pressure on everybody to be better. He wants it so bad.”

Self recently told the Journal-World: “I think all of our freshmen (Wiggins plus Joel Embiid, Brannen Greene, Frankamp, Mason and Wayne Selden) have had days they have been as impressive as anybody in the gym.”

Mudiay blogs: Emmanuel Mudiay, a 6-5 senior from Prime Prep Academy in Dallas who is ranked No. 3 in the country by, says he will visit KU and Kentucky in his latest blog for USA Today.

“When I cut my list down I do know that Kansas will make the cut. They’ve got great coaching over there and that’s what I’m basing my decision on. Some people pick schools for the name, but not me. I want to learn as much as possible,” said Mudiay, who also lists SMU, Arizona, Baylor, Louisville, N.C. State and others.


jcourt 9 months ago

Oh my Goodness Mason, are you the best point guard in the Nation? Is the Bad A car gonna be yours?


CaptnMo 9 months ago

Hey Guys, new to commenting but I have been getting my KU basketball updates from here for a long time. Not sure my two cents will always be worth it but... why not. Nothing on the level of Jaybate!

I am wondering if anyone else has reservations with investing too much time in Mudiay, he is talented but unless he goes to a different school for his senior year I see problems. ESPN recently posted an article about two Primo Prep football players who were ruled ineligible by the NCAA. Sounds like there might be a lot a problems dealing with the credentials of the school. Talented kid from everything I have seen but it looks like Primo Prep has really messed up future chances for their talented athletes.


jaybate 9 months ago

Self is feeding a reporter quotes, but he always copies something from a ring winner the next season.

Self sees that slick Rick got it done with XTReme pressure.

Self also has a huge problem with having to play so many babies. There is zero chance these babies can play true Half court Self defense in one season of development. So he has to figure out where youthful athleticism has the best chance of stopping them since it will be at best average in half court grinds. He also has to mask a bunch of short PGs.

The answer is pressing before the ball gets to half court; then falling into 3-2 zone with long wings smothering the trey stripe and using the zone to avoid green bigs having to hedge defend and avoid green perimeter players having to help and fight over screens in man as much as possible.

Pressing requires frequent subbing. And the more active the zone the more subbing will be required, too. This gets everyone involved. It also keeps Tarik near the basket to rebound in half court

Finally it creates more transition opportunities where Wiggins, Selden and Perry should fare best.

But once the TOs come fast and furious, Self will have to fight the temptation to shorten it to seven and go with his best half court defenders yet again.

Bottom line is this: Self can't beat Okie State in a half court grind with this group and he knows it. So: he has to borrow from Slick Rick. How much zone all depends on how fast, if ever, the bigs learn to hedge defend. But even if they doesn't, half court smash mouth in m2m for more than Tarick's 25 minutes seems out of the question. Hence, the zone.


PhearThePhog 9 months ago

Mudiay has Baylor on his list based on coaching?!?!?! Not sure where he's seeing that. They have had great talent the past several years and have totally underperformed because of coaching.


Kevin Huffman 9 months ago

I think what I'm MOST disappointed in among the recruiting rumor mill is that it seemed like we were in EARLY on Josh Perkins BEFORE PRACTICALLY EVERYONE else.

And yet, UK's made NO SECRET that he was 3rd or 4th in their pecking order and not a priority and yet now he and his Dad seem to be going out of their way for him to try to end up there.

Not but a few months back UK wasn't even on his radar.

I think a lot of it is getting a big-head due to rising in the rankings.

I remember almost a year ago, wanting him so bad because I figured that we had NO SHOT at Jones or Mudiay.

It would be funny if after all was said and done if we actually ended up being the school for Jones & Okafor.

More likely we're looking at probably EITHER Cliff Alexander OR Myles Turner AND maybe we don't go PG for the 2014 class, but get like a Kelly Oubre too. Would love a 2015 with McClure or Newman & S. Zimmerman. Zimmerman just SCREAMS KU post-man!!!!


Evan Bilyeu 9 months ago

Man! Self is usually the guy that doesn't like to sugar coat things, and for him to say that without a doubt the most athletic team he has ever coached! What do you think the starters will be for this year? Mine are: Andrew Wiggins Wayne Selden Tarik Black Naddir Tharpe Perry Ellis


Robert Robinson 9 months ago

Emmanuel Mudiay, if you're basing your pick on a great coaching staff you can remove Baylor from your list now. the choice is obvious. I'll give you one hint, the name of the school starts with a Kansas.


Kevin Huffman 9 months ago

Wouldn't surprise me if UK nets the following for next year's class now:

Jo. Perkins, Mudiay, R. Vaughn (undersized wing), & Lyles to go along with already signed Towns Jr.

Good news for Jayhawks is the progress made toward Cl. Alexander.

Jayhawks seem "in" on Jordan McLaughlin (same high school as UCLAer Jrue Holliday) still at PG as well.

I was really hoping for a high-caliber PG in this next season's recruiting class. :( Gave up on Jones & Mudiay early, but kept holding out hope for Perkins. Now suddenly seems like we're not in the game for him. The only reason that I could see why we might be taking a pass on him is that I could see us preferring someone who might play behind Tharpe next season to then start in '15/'16. Perkins I think is thinking of himself now as an OAD or 2AD. McLaughlin's still considered about a Top 30 - 35 or so recruit and outside of his PAC schools, we're the one he mentions the most outside of his region. Could see it help us in getting him if we landed Stanley Johnson or Malik Pope from out that way.


Michael Luby 9 months ago

" We’ve got wings that can run through passes." Wigs, Selden, Greene. All three are +6'5

Our guys haven't been this athletic and talented since ever. The 08 team comes closest.

Ditto what a few previously said about jaw dropping on the Zone and Pressure defense!

Yeah, weren't we already known for lock down Defense? Blows my mind what they can/will do if Coach can get all those young freeky athletic guys popping on all cylinders. Switching on screens, running through passing lanes, leading to fast break dunks with his head above the rim (Wigs).

just over 3 more months fellas.


KansasComet 9 months ago

This will be an entertaining and exciting year for Kansas Basketball. When this team comes together it will be really special. However, it takes skill and luck to win it all. We know we have the skill, hopefully a few breaks will go our way.


jgkojak 9 months ago

For Self to say this is his "most athletic team" ever... wow.


Kevin Huffman 9 months ago

I've always felt like Mudiay would be SOOOOOOO awesome of a fit for Self's system. Having said that I've also ALWAYS felt like we had ZERO chance at him and in the off-chance that he DOESN'T go to UK, I would think that he would choose Baylor.


Sam Constance 9 months ago

“No high school recruit has ever arrived with this much hype. He might not live up to it. If he does, however, it’ll be easy to see why he’s so indispensable,” Medcalf wrote."

I'm not sure that word (indispensable) means what you think it means. Mostly because how dispensable or indispensable a player his has at least something to do with the team that player is a part of. If we're going by the standard of "absolutely necessary or essential", then I'd say Doug McDermott is without question the most indispensable player in college basketball.

KU without Wiggins is still a tournament team, and one that probably competes for the Big 12 title. Creighton without McDermott isn't even in the national conversation.


William Blake 9 months ago

I caught that summer league championship game... the twins have definitely improved their footwork. Both twins have made nice gains since leaving KU. Impressive.

“I think we’ve got to defensively do things to pressure more because for the first time in years we can actually pressure the ball."

I thought we were known for defense... NOW we are actually going to pressure the ball?!

"I think we’ll have to do more stuff full court."

I hope so. Would be great to see a team with legs and depth actually use them in the full court.

"I think we can have an unbelievable zone team."

My jaw dropped when CS said he'd investigate using some zone.

The pressure is on... and it is most on CS. He knows this is our year and he needs to deliver the goods in March this time. UK has plenty of talent, but the view from Lawrence will be strictly on our Hawks and CS knows he needs to produce. I think he'll work harder this year than in years when we weren't projected to be much because the pressure wasn't on in those years as much as this year with all the expectations.


Jonathan Allison 9 months ago

Three reasons why playing full-court defense may be the perfect remedy of having a long bench and a ton of freshman:

1) Freshman typically struggle in complex half-court sets on both ends of the court. Speeding the game up with full-court defense and fast-break offense takes some of the pressure off.

2) Coach typically plays an 8 or 9 man rotation, but this team has 12 guys fighting for PT. Playing full court lends itself to using more substutions; having a deep bench means always having fresh legs available to send in off the bench.

3) Foul trouble.


Hawk8086 9 months ago

I don't think I've heard Self talk about being able to apply pressure prior to a season starting. Or maybe he talked about the possibility but then dropped the idea. Posters have been asking for this for years..........should be fun!


Robert Brock 9 months ago

Watching Emmanuel Mudiay play makes you appreciate Tyus Jones.


FearlessJayhawk 9 months ago

I hope coach Self can develop a system that will allow all these players to play as much as possible. With this many quality athletes, they should be able to pressure teams for forty minutes without anyone getting tired. The defense is going to be the key. They will have no problem putting the ball in the basket. But just like in the past, great defense is what creates great offense and championship teams,


chriz 9 months ago

"Some people pick schools for the name, but not me."

Uh, this isn't Kansas STATE, dude. This is Kansas. We have a name AND a coach.


jhox 9 months ago

“No high school recruit has ever arrived with this much hype. He might not live up to it. If he does, however, it’ll be easy to see why he’s so indispensable,” Medcalf wrote.

Not even Wilt? Or Kareem (Lewis Alcindor)? The writer must be young.


texashawk10 9 months ago

If Mudiay is looking for a good coaching staff, I guess we can rule out Baylor.


Ian Emerson 9 months ago

Hmmm turn the pressure on by switching to a zone if we need too. This team is insanely athletic, Selden and Wiggins are going to look like Lebron and Wade the way they're gonna be tossing oops to eachother.


joeloveshawks 9 months ago

Bill saying this is the most athletic team he has ever head speaks volumes. Bill has incredibly athletic squads year in year out so this must just be a special group. I predict a great deal of oops this year. It can't be November soon enough.


Neom 9 months ago

Can't wait for the season to start!


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