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Monday, November 17, 2008

Uneasy opener

Jittery Markieff Morris keys victory

Kansas guard Travis Releford leads the charge up the court against UMKC during the second half Sunday, Nov. 16, 2008 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Travis Releford leads the charge up the court against UMKC during the second half Sunday, Nov. 16, 2008 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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KU beats UMKC in season opener

Last year's magical season is in the past. The Jayhawks kicked off the new season with a win over UMKC.

Reader poll

Which non-starting Jayhawk do you think most deserves a chance to start after his performance Sunday against UMKC?

  • Tyshawn Taylor 12% 166 votes
  • Markieff Morris 48% 621 votes
  • Marcus Morris 3% 50 votes
  • Travis Releford 33% 435 votes
  • Other 0% 9 votes

1281 total votes.

Audio clips

2008-09 KU-UMKC basketball

Markieff Morris had a severe case of opening-day jitters Sunday in Allen Fieldhouse.

"He had sweaty hands," Kansas University junior point guard/team leader Sherron Collins said after watching the freshman power forward muscle his way to 15 rebounds in a 71-56 victory over UMKC.

Collins knows this for a fact because he inspected the 6-foot-9, 232-pounder's mitts after afternoon shootaround, held several hours before the 7:30 p.m. tipoff.

"I even grabbed his hands to see how sweaty they were: pretty sweaty," Collins explained. "I just told him to calm down. I was the same way my first year. When you get in and get an easy basket or something happens good, then it will go away. I think once he got some rebounds and we started getting baskets, he was all right."

Morris, who had the third-best overall rebounding effort by a KU freshman since specialty records were first recorded in the 1988-89 season (Eric Chenowith had 20 against Texas A&M; in 1998 and Raef LaFrentz had 16 against Missouri in 1995), said he was so nervous he texted coach Bill Self about the matter after the shootaround.

"Coach said, 'Don't be nervous. Guys that came before you were nervous, too. It's natural,'" said Morris, who had seven boards the first half - one of the only bright spots of a half in which KU trailed by seven points before finally tying the contest at 32 on a Brady Morningstar layup to beat the halftime buzzer.

Morris - he missed badly on a first-half three-pointer (KU went 1-for-13 on the night) and finished with seven points - was so zoned out Sunday in making his KU debut, his story about texting Self must have lost something in the translation.

"He probably got me confused with somebody else, some young lady on campus. He probably texted her instead of me," Self said with a smile, always amazed at some things his players come up with in interviews.

"Markieff played pretty well," Self added. "The thing about our big guys, with the exception of Cole, we didn't finish in tight. Concentration, toughness, focus : you've got to finish some of those (inside shots)."

Morris was 0-for-3 from the field, his seven points coming off free throws in 10 tries. Quintrell Thomas also missed three inside shots while hitting three of seven free throws. Marcus Morris, who like Aldrich picked up two early fouls, hit his only shot.

Aldrich had all 13 of his points the second half off 5-of-7 shooting. He played just three minutes the first half.

Markieff Morris' key stat, of course, came on the glass.

His 15 boards were most in a KU debut game since at least 1988-89, again when specialty records started to be recorded. Wayne Simien had 11 rebounds in 2001 and David Padgett 10 in 2003.

"Coach (Danny) Manning said at halftime, 'You've got seven rebounds. Keep going after the ball,''' Markieff Morris said.

It turns out he has had way more than 15 rebounds in a game before.

"My senior year (at Philadelphia's Prep Charter High) I had 31 points, 27 rebounds, seven blocks," he said of a game in a tournament in Florida.

Might he pass Chenowith's 20-board outing sometime this season?

"I'll try," he said. "I should have had more than 20 tonight. I fell going after a couple."

He said the rebounds he did get came as a result of some hard work at recent practices.

"We had rebound challenges," Markieff said. "Hit your man and go get the ball. The first couple exhibition games, I was trying to go everywhere on the court. Today I started hitting guys before they hit me."

He hopes his offense will improve in coming games. The early ill-advised three earned him a reprimand from the head coach.

"Coach allows me to shoot them," Markieff Morris said. "It was a bad shot on my part. We had the size advantage. Coach wanted us to get the ball inside, and I took a bad three. I'm usually more efficient, but I had the jitters."

As evidenced by the sweaty palms.

Still they were sticky enough for him to finish with the 15 boards on a night KU outrebounded UMKC, 46-36.

"I saw tonight a motor. It's something he doesn't show every day, but he needs to," said Collins, who led the Jayhawks with 16 points in 37 minutes. "I think he's happy with himself. Hopefully he'll take positive steps to keep going. Tonight he just went after the ball like a man."

KU will meet Florida Gulf Coast at 8 p.m. Tuesday in Allen Fieldhouse.

Comments

bradh 14 years ago

15 rebounds is amazing and bodes well for the rest of the season. Just wish the game hadn't been on ESPNU so everyone could watch it.

KU 14 years ago

kushaw......Interesting analysis. Heck, I'll be happy if they can play with Washington and Florida in the CBE tournament, let alone beat them. I'm thinking Coppin State could be an early season challenge. And didn't we almost lose to Kent State at Kemper a couple of years ago?? Both of these teams were NCAA tourney teams last year.You didn't mention UMass or Temple in your stretch of crucial games. Do you think these are wins? I'm not so sure we can book these games.This team has a long, looooonnnnnng way to go. I can see how Florida missed the tourney last year after losing most of their roster.

Robert Brock 14 years ago

Morris could have easily had 20 boards if he had consistently blocked out and sealed off his man. He was jumping wildly for some and fell to the ground. It is obvious we are going to struggle with rebounding at times this year against good competition. The new guys have to learn positioning. Markeiff was impressive though, some nice passes and heads up plays.

jchief40 14 years ago

justanotherfan I pretty much agree man. To see all these noobs out there saying that Reed/Morningstar should be starters just shows they don't know what Bill Self is trying to do. It's basically to send a message. Most of us should be smart enough to know that the G's that will start soon enough are, besides Collins, Taylor and Releford. Period. Collins/Taylor/Releford & Morrs/Morris/Little/Aldrich and some Q. Others will get much less PT. That says a lot of the depth of talent we have. Reed/Morningstar/Teahan coming off the bench in late games is quite nice. Oh and there is the red hed and the two other guys that look the same - what are their names? Just kidding!! Again I say we play tall and fast:CollinsMc MorrisMk MorrisLittleAldrichwith Taylor/Releford getting in there often. That's how we can stack up against the Elite in the Big 12 in my opinion. Both the Morris' can knock down threes with Sherron. Markieff CAN nail threes (not all the time but you know what I mean). Get the rebounds, bang down low, get lots of foul shots and drive to the basket. That's what Mk (15 boards nuff said this guy can change games), Little, and Aldrich can do. Collins and Marcus can shoot anywhere, drive any time.

Chris Shaw 14 years ago

It definitely was a little uneasy in the first half, but I don't think I was ever worried. We had zero inside presence once Aldrich picked up his two quick fouls. I liked the way Aldrich (In the Second Half), Collins (Entire game), and Reed played throughout the game. Even though Reed missed some of his 3 point attempts; I liked his overall game against UMKC. He looks pretty smooth out there which I think is huge considering it is the first game. I don't think Reed is going anywhere. I was shocked that Kieff was aggressive as he was on the defensive end because that's not a lot of us had really envisioned. I think we all thought that it would be Marcus doing those things. I liked Releford, but he's a little scary for me on the offensive end. His handles are a little suspect and he has virtually no outside shot. Defensively, you got to love what you saw out of this kid last night. I liked Taylor last night with his quickness. Once Releford and Taylor "Slow Down" and still use their skills; they are going to be pretty dog gone good. I did not like the way Morningstar played last night, but it was probably first game jitters. That can happen to anyone, but he played good defense. Morningstar will be fine. He will always know his role no matter what it will be. It's going to be hard for us (Jayhawk Fans) to not compare to last year, but I think we need to erase everything from last year when comparing and analyzing team. Our offense last year was really beautiful to see when everything was clicking and last night there were only a few bright spots, but it was nice to see them trying to execute and run some of those lobs. Once game experience happens and everybody "Slows Down" they will be okay.

KU 14 years ago

Brock, you have a point. I don't think there is any plan to play Little at the 2. He's a 3/4 guy. And you are right, Marcus would be a HUGE defensive liability at the 3. But then, he's a huge defensive liability, PERIOD, right now. Hopefully he gets more consistent as we go. You really need to see Little and Releford at the 3 primarily. If they are on the floor at the same time, Releford would be a more natural 2.Regarding your concern about who can create their own shot, I think we have to hope Little fits the bill there. It's too bad he played all summer on that stress fracture.

KU 14 years ago

Correction: That was Toledo we almost lost to at Kemper, not Kent State.

KU 14 years ago

Wasn't able to fit the game into my schedule last night. Wonder what message Self is trying to send to Releford by making him sit until the end of the first half?? He's clearly one of the guards that will be in the rotation when everything shakes out.You better HOPE Taylor and Appleton can assimilate to the D-1 level before conference starts because Reed and Morningstar won't be able to play at a championship level.You better HOPE Little can get healthy by conference.You need Collins, Releford, Taylor, and Appleton in the guard rotation with Little playing some time at the 3 and some at the 4.As for the Bigs, you need Aldrich to stay out of foul trouble. Marcus can play some 3 and 4 with Little. Markief and Q can play some 4 spot. One of these 5 is probably going to be disappointed with their playing time.I said it before the season: If KU makes it to the conference season without 6 losses, I will be pleasantly surprised. But it will be a fun ride watching these guys develop.

drum1984 14 years ago

After watching the game on the U I thought it was pretty clear what the starting lineup should be going forward:G CollinsG ReedG RelefordF Mk MorrisC AldrichTaylor looks to be a high energy guy off the bench ala Collins the last couple of years.

jchief40 14 years ago

Who type of lineup should should you try against Oklahoma/Texas/Baylor?3 guard?--PG Collins 5'11" (tippy toes)G Taylor 6'3"G Releford 6'4"F Mk Morris 6'9"C Aldrich 6'10"Problem with 3 guard is that you start games with Marcus on the bench. Doesn't make sense for me. 2 guard:--PG Collins/TaylorG Releford/TaylorSF Mc Morris/LittlePF Mk MorrisC AldrichThis lineup looks a little better.1 guard! (my pref against top teams for some of the time):--PG Collins/Taylor 5'11"/6'3"SF Little/Releford 6'5"/4"SF Mc Morris 6'8"F Mk Morris 6'9"C Aldrich 6'10"The reason being the Morris twins having such versatility. It's not insane. Mario Little I think can be that good - the type of person you want in there starting. If not, Releford. I think the Twins play good together so I'd want them both in there from the get-go. No matter what Releford and Taylor will be regular subs. I like the added height in there because I am tired of seeing us not grabbing enough balls in the air. Also, I know Little is only 6'5" but he plays big - he's got good size.

justanotherfan 14 years ago

I like your idea jchief, but I like Marcus at the four more than the three, because he has a decided quickness advantage at the four, whereas at the three he doesn't have that quickness advantage, and he can't use his size to post up at the three because he would be on the floor with Cole and Markieff or Cole and Q, or Kieff and Q and those guys are better off inside. At the four, though, he can take a big guy away from the rim and use his quickness and versatility, which I think will allow him to be the most effective.For now though, it looks like Sherron is going to have to take a bunch of shots and get 16-25 points a night for us to win. That's a lot of pressure on a guy that was a 6th man last year. It's not that I don't think he can handle it, as much as I am worried about the pounding that his body is going to take, given his injury history. Fingers crossed.

jchief40 14 years ago

drum1984: that is your starting 5 going forward? Uh.. where is Marcus Morris? Sure he didn't have much of a game last night - that guy is gonna be great. And you are choosing Reed over Morningstar? Reed has a great shot - when he gets his feet set. Watching the game last night it seems like every time a ball got kicked out to him he was not ready with his feet set and missed easy shots. Morningstar, to me, plays better D and can hit shots all over the floor just the same. Don't get me wrong I really like Reed but he needs to come off the bench. I can't wait until Little gets better and our rotation will be quite nice. Little over Q and Q will see less PT this year and just needs to grow and get better. We'll see him come to form later like Jackson. I liked Releford last night. He looked like a smart player out there. Q had an off night all around - missed too many EASY buckets. Must have been nerves - terrible free throw percentage too. Mk Morris CAN nail the three point shot even though he missed badly hehe. It will be nice to see some moments where he is given some room outside like most big men and he just drills it. He can hit the shots that Arthur almost made ;) If we go three G then I can see TAYLOR in there over Reed/Morningstar (Morningstar is better than Reed although both are very good). Marcus has gotta start soon enough though! He is so versatile. Taylor is playing all over the place at the moment but I still think he's gonna end up being a starter soon once he settles down. He's trying to do too much.Forgetting the GGGFC stuff I think the best 5 players on the floor would be to play BIG:CollinsMc MorrisMk MorrisLittleAldrich In a three G:G CollinsG TaylorG/F Releford/Mc MorrisF Mk Morris/LittleC AldrichBad ass off the bench: Morningstar, Reed, Q, TeahenQ would obviously would have more PT until Little gets better.

jchief40 14 years ago

Also forget what that "other" commentator was saying about Aldrich needing to improve foot work and phrases like "once he does that" - SHUT UP! He is ALREADY awesome. Footwork, rebounding, passing, good hands, sets picks, all the small stuff. Ladies and gentleman (unless Aldrich simply wants to stay because he wants to) he is L-O-T-T-E-R-Y. Gone folks. He is already great (IF HE STAYS OUT OF FOUL TROUBLE - he doesn't always need to get the awesome block - just hit the boards). I am tired of these people saying "when he gets there" PEOPLE he is already "THERE" whatever that means.. !

KU 14 years ago

jchief......Until the Morris boys start playing better defense, I'm not sold on their "versatility". Your 1 guard lineup would get eaten alive by good competition, the way your lineup is playing right now.You'd be better off with a good, undersized defender at the 4 like Little than either of the Morris twins right now. Slide Releford in at the 3 spot for defense and transition offense. Taylor or Appleton need to rise up at the 2 spot.Now later in the year, if the Morris boys and Q develop, you can play bigger with more confidence.

Robert Brock 14 years ago

Can Little guard a two? Can Marcus guard a three? Can these guys handle the ball and feel comfortable and be effective on the perimeter? A size advantage is nice, but we will learn in the coming games how to gauge everyone's skills better. I want to know how we are going to score when defenses tighten up and we can't force turnovers like we've become accustomed to. When that freshman group of Rush, Chalmers and Wright were struggling, Rush could step up and hit a great pull up jumper or drive it. Who other than Collins can create their shot, drive to the basket and finish or get to the line? I'm guessing Taylor and/or Releford. Taylor looks hyper-athletic but wild beyond belief. Releford at times looked like a spark plug, with smooth drives to the basket and solid defense.

Chris Shaw 14 years ago

Was Marcus in foul trouble the entire game last night? He hardly got PT and I was a little surprised that MK was getting the PT rather than Marcus. MK played his tail off and was happy to see that, but I expected Marcus to be playing like MK did last night. Hopefully, both will be playing at that high-level at the same time.

justanotherfan 14 years ago

It was pretty obvious to me that we improved in the second half based on two things last night. First, Cole was in for the second half, which helped shore up the inside game. Second, Morningstar was out, which helped the perimeter defense. Cole got into foul trouble in the first half, in part because our perimeter guys got themselves out of position. Morningstar has not demonstrated the skillset necessary to grab major minutes against high D-I competition. Based on what I saw last night, we need several things to happen for this to be a good team. 1) Mario Little needs to be healthy. Right now we are missing a serious piece. Hopefully he is the man to provide that extra toughness and scoring.2) The Morris twins need to be scoring/rebounding machines. Right now, the entire inside offense is based on what Cole can do. We can't expect him to go the whole rest of the year without foul trouble. The Morrises offset that problem.3) Releford and Taylor must emerge on the perimeter. I think teaming those two with Sherron will give us our best chance to be successful. Releford seemed to always be in the right place last night, and seemed to be able to scrape out more than his share of loose balls. Taylor looked faster than I had initially been able to appreciate. Once those two get acclimated to the system, I think we get a whole lot better.4) Reed/Morningstar/Teahan have to make shots. Those three are most valuable to this team if they are hitting perimeter jumpshots. If they are missing, we are better off going to Releford, Taylor and Marcus Morris. They have to provide perimeter shooting or they will sit.

Ben Kane 14 years ago

Sounded like an ugly victory but it's too early to judge. I'm comforted by kids who get nervous for their first starts at the FieldHouse, it's a good sign. Not to mention talk of rebounding...good things happening here.

Dirk Medema 14 years ago

First Q. Now this. Throw in some more practices and a few reminders that rebounds will get you PT/starts, and this could be a real strong point this year. Granted the Roos are short, but many rebounds are not about height as much as desire to get after the ball.

Chris Shaw 14 years ago

Even though I was never really concerned about last nights game (I don't know why I had that feeling) this team will have a huge stretch from Dec. 23rd to Jan. 10th. We need to have as many wins as possible going into this five game stretch. ArizonaAlbanyTennesseeSiena Michigan StateArizona-We may get this one just because of all the Chaos that is going on with the Zona program, but it's still going to be a tough task in Tucson against the WildcatsAlbany-Definitely going to be the easiest out of the five, they have a few seniors, but nothing to be concerned withTennessee-Enough said-Going to be a tough game at home. They will contend for the SEC Title and they got Tyler Smith. Would be a big win for us.Siena-Don't sleep on Siena-They have everybody back from last year's round of 32 NCAA Tournament team. These guys are going to be like Richmond, Bradley, or Nevada. On the outside it could look like an extremely bad loss for us, but considering their team and experience it wouldn't be as bad an upset that everybody thinks. Don't sleep on Siena.Michigan State-Tough game that could result in a loss for us up in Lansing. We need to be on our game and as competitive as possible heading into this 5 game stretch. We're going to have some losses in Conference, but the key is going to be competitive and racking up wins before this stretch of games.

jchief40 14 years ago

KU: let me clarify - "versatility" meaning what they can do offensively and that these forwards can play like guards - they have good ball handling and have good range. 1 guard lineup defensively, the way they are playing right now, I agree with you. I am forecasting down the road after we get several more games under our belt. I was saying for the OK and TX games. These lineups where originally in response to those who were saying Reed and others should be the starters as if they were the best we have at that position. I was trying to say that the Morningstars and Reeds are not going to be starting for much longer - although they are good hard-nosed players with great shooting skills. Putting Little on a 4 is a good idea. Little has some great moves down low and can post up well too. He uses his body well. Releford at 3 - good call but I think the Morris twins, with less fouls the more games they play, play well together and will generate enough offense to make up for some defensive gaffs. I'd like to see them both in the starting lineup. Mix Taylor and Releford in at 2. Taylor would be best suited at the 1 though as I think we are grooming him to take over for Collins next year, right? Elijah Johnson has sick range and played point so who knows - he's as fast, if not, faster than Taylor.

Page Butler 14 years ago

Drum 1984, I agree with you on Tuesdays starting lineup. With that group of guys in the game during the second half the Jayhawks actually looked like the Jayhawks. Relaford really seems to be able to get to the rim and finish well. Has anyone noticed that Sherron seems to be showing a temper towards his team mates? Looks like he is really frustrated at times. Some of the attitudes of this group is fairly uncharacteristic of past teams. I even saw Danny trying to calm one of the players down that had come off the court cursing. Interesting team so far.

jchief40 14 years ago

Bottom line I think both Morris' should end up starting eventually and think Mk and Aldrich should start for the rebounding. That means Little off the bench for 3/4. But if Little can be as good as I think he can be - then we could start him as well - possibly at 2 down the road. Releford could play the 2 as Little gets up to speed with the other players coming back from injury.1 Collins2 Little3 Mc Morris4 Mk Morris5 Aldrich Assuming defense can come together with more PT (Little is behind quite a bit so Releford in the meantime) then I can see the above lineup giving us that extra size and offense that can help us compete against Texas and others down the road. Wishful thinking I know.

jchief40 14 years ago

I didn't mean Q is small. I meant too scrawny. Needs to go up strong and quit whiffing point blank. I'd be OK with that for now as long as he hit the free throws, which he didn't. He needs to beef up.

Chris Shaw 14 years ago

KU: The reason I noted that 5 game stretch is because it's right in front of our conference schedule and 4 out of the 5 are legitimate NCAA teams. The reason I didn't note the other games or teams is because if we have some early bad losses like Washington, Florida (Wouldn't be bad in my opinon), Coppin St., Temple, and Umass then that puts even more pressure on us during that 5 game stretch to do well. If we lose 3 ouf of 5 during that 5 game stretch and lose 3 or 4 prior to that; That is a lot pressure during the conference schedule to do well. I'm not saying we're going to lose all those games, but if KU starts off bad then it is crucial to do well during that 5 game stretch. If KU does well and doesn't do well during that 5 game stretch; What kind of momentum will they going into conference play? A lot of what If's, but I think that 5 game schedule will dictate our schedule and how we finish. I'm glad we got those games because I think it will ready our squad. Just my opinion though.

jaybate 14 years ago

First, remember that UMKC exists on the KU schedule to give the guys a look at the irritating Princeton on Hemmorhoids offense, which is quite distinct from the Princeton on Steroids offense played by Memphis. It gives them an early look at slow down and weave offense. This offense makes everyone look like crap. Recall that Self didn't even play Aldrich against it last year, when he was wet behind the ears.Second, everyone is getting goosey, because they suck. Of course they suck. They are going to suck til February, even if all goes well. But it is really not bad sucking with 15 point wins against the chumps when you shoot 1 of 13 from trinity and the chump plays Princeton on hemmorhoids. It means the raw talent is there. It also means we're going to get the snot beaten out of us a couple of times. A real old fashioned snot removal. You know, the kind where they slap you this way, then that way, then this way, then that way, then kick you in the groin, and then really start beating on you. Some KU fans are young enough they have NEVER experienced this. Its going to toughen the fans up as much as the team.

jchief40 14 years ago

Little is a guard. Why would we not consider him to play the 2? The guy can play the D. Releford can play good enough D at 2 as well. Power forward Markeiff should play with Aldrich often from what I saw last night so that takes care of 4 and 5. We can get some major boards with that duo. You guys don't agree that both Twins are THAT good and should both start eventually? It would be a disappointment if Marcus couldn't cut it at the 3 spot. Collins and Taylor at the 1. Releford Little (haven't seen much of Appleton) at the 2. Little and Marcus at 3. Markieff and Q at 4. Aldrich solid 5. I wish Aldrich never head to leave the game HAHA. Q needs to get bigger - right now he is too small to play 4 consistant. Marcus could play 4 but I think his bro is better there! Marcus at 3 darn it!

100 14 years ago

Love that Self has scheduled such tough competition. Will be good for these guys to gain some big game confidence.

KU 14 years ago

kushaw......I see your reasoning now. Put it this way, if a horrible UMKC with a "new" roster that lost at home to a team playing it's first-ever D-1 game Friday can play KU within 15, Coppin State and Kent State WILL be serious challenges early in the year.Now if we played them in late February, we would hope to see easy wins over those same teams because we are so young.

jaybate 14 years ago

Frankly, we weren't counting on Morningstar either. That Brady Morningstar has played this much is manna from heaven for a coach trying to integrate this many rubes into a team. If Morninstar could be even a ten minute man, Self would be in the clover, because it buys him 5 more fouls and you can never have two many fouls with so many frosh around.Its easy to see how this is shaping up.Self is going to have a 4 big rotation no matter what people dream about Marcus Morris and no matter what Marcus dreams about Marcus. Having anything less than 4 dedicated bigs that you need, when none of them is experienced and all young bigs are foul prone, would be as stupid as sailing on the Titanic short one life boat.Self is also going to have to play 6 guards, too, because except for Collins, not one of these perimeter guys adds up to a whole player yet. Each of these guys is like a half or three quarters of a player and Coach Self's job is to keep rotating them in and out of situations fast enough that the other coach can't rig his offense to run against the half player that we don't have in. But, hey, that's what Self is fabulous at doing and so we'll probably sneak through quite a few games with wins before the HORROR of our true ineptness is exposed and we are beaten to a bloody pulp.Self is probably NOT going to start the BEST players. What's the point? For gosh sakes, he started Kaun ahead of Darrell Arthur for most of two seasons and Arthur is kicking but in the NBA. Starting for Self is different than starting for other coaches. Starting for Self means, often as not, that you're buying a more talented, but less experienced player some minutes to size up how the oppenent is playing. Self's probably going to start the older ones even when they play poorly in order to give the rubes the chance to come in at the 4-8 minute mark for quite awhile. Its a lot easier to talk to rubes on the bench before they've screwed up than after.Frankly, if Self can milk 5 minutes out of Reed and Morningstar at the beginning of each half, without KU getting blown out, he is in very good position for the rest of each half.Teahan is already becoming invisible without Little. So is Appleton.When Little returns, Morningstar might become invisible within three games.This leaves a team that will look like this:1 Collins/Taylor2 Reed/Taylor/Releford (Teahan for zones)3 Morningstar/Little/Releford (Morningstar maybe just a few minutes)4 Thomas/Marcus (soon to be Marcus/Thomas)5 Aldrich/KieffCollins will play 35-38 minutes per game without foul troubles.Aldrich will play 20-30 depending on fouls.Most of the rest will be 10-20 minute men. Morningstar 5-10 minutes.Teahan (0-5 for zone breaking).Now, as soon as I've said this, watch Coach Self go big! :-)

Dale Kroening 14 years ago

2nd list are backups.Yes that leaves Appleton,Teahan,etc as 3rd stringers.

soapboxstew 14 years ago

I remember that Rush was the only freshman that started 3 years ago. We had 3 McD's AA's on the bench (Wright, Downs, Chalmers). Bill Self is the master at the idea of "earning it". Believe me, last night's starting 5 will not hold for the season (which we already knew). Eventually talent will rise to the top (or is it cream?). When that happens, and players separate themselves from the pack, we will be a very good team. Think 3 years ago when it all began to come together when the freshmen earned their way into the starting 5.My starting 5 for the end of this season:PG-CollinsSG-RelefordSF-Mc MorrisPF-Mk MorrisC-AldrichBench-Taylor, Appleton, Reed, & Morningstar (for the PG and SG spots, and occasionally the 3); Little (for the 3); Q & Kleinmen (up front).MkMorris & Cole up front is a mountain of manly rebounding. Both of those guys can get 20 in any given night. Think how nice it will be for Collins knowing that he can jack up shots and get the ball back when he misses. The scouting report on McMorris is that he can guard all positions except the 1. This was reported by the LJW. So I don't worry about him (defensively) @ the SF spot. The scouting report also says that he can knock down the 3 ball, which is something I (and Bill Self) like out of a SF.ONE OTHER THING 'BOUT STARTING McMORRIS @ THE SF SPOT: This may sound a bit strange, but I read an interview that the twins gave prior to coming to KU where they said that they have a sort of a "sixth sense" about each other on the court. The article went on to say how they can find each other on the court without actually "seeing" the other. I remember the article mentioning no-look passes, behind-the-back passes, around-the-head (you heard me right) passes from twin to twin. NOW, remember how hard it was for Rush (@ the 3) to get the ball to DA (@ the 4) down low? That often resulted in a TO. When it didn't end up as a TO it was an easy basket for DA (or DA would dish it back out for a Rush 3). I think that the connection can be even crisper between the twins. You HAVE to have them on the court at the same time. You guys saw their #'s @ prep school, those gaudy #'s happened with them on the same court at the same time. I say we have it happen again.

Dale Kroening 14 years ago

Reed will start at the 2 and Morningstar will be on the bench once Little is healthy and ready to play,which he will play the 3.Mark my words.Morningstar needs more work on defense like Teahan.This will be are regualar starting 5 unless someone else starts lighting it up.CollinsReedLittleMK MorrisAldrichTaylorMorningstarRelefordMC MorrisThomas

KU 14 years ago

jchief.....I think Little's skill set is more 3/4 than 2/3. Does that mean he absolutely can't play the 2? No. But with the weakness we have RIGHT NOW (and I emphasize right now) at the 3 and 4 due to the inconsistency of the Morris boys' play and Q, I think he's needed more in the 3/4 slots than the 2.Marcus Morris can NOT currently guard a legit D-1 player at the 3 spot. His defense is horrendous. Very poor positioning; very poor effort; feet can't keep up so he uses his hands. Now, next year he might be able to lock down a 3, but not right now.

Chris Shaw 14 years ago

soapbox: I also remember that article and that is why I am kind of confused for most of the day. I thought Marcus had the better overall game, but he only got 8 minutes last night????????? I give credit to Kief because he played his tail off, but I expected Marcus to get more playing time because of all the preseason hype. He logged 8 minutes and had 2 fouls. What gives? Was it marcus or Kief who got in trouble earlier in the season? If it was Marcus then maybe it was somewhat a discipline thing being done by Self. Anyone else getting a little confused with the twins?

jaybate 14 years ago

Tennessee and Michigan State will probably beat this team by 20-30 points. A ten point loss to those two teams at that time of year would be FAR AHEAD of schedule. A win would require MSU or Tennessee to have contracted mass food poisoning the night before.Arizona is too much of a mess to predict, but right now we don't have a soul that could hold Chase Budhinger under 40 points without an assault rifle, so we'll probably lose to them, too.Why does Self schedule Tennessee and Michigan State when we have freshman? Is it just to toughen them up? Of course not. Self knows the drill. You land a bunch of blue chips, then you schedule toughies. They get the piss beaten out of them and they have to stick around for another year. The NBA does not have a habit of drafting freshman getting blown out by 30 points in big games. Self is creating some "synthetic" team continuity in the age of early drafting. Once the guys are experienced, as he demonstrated last year, you want to save your best for the stretch run. Screw the RPI. Self knows EXACTLY what he's doing with schedule.Regarding Reed and Morningstar: they proved they can have off nights, that's all. If it happens next game, then they're turkeys and history. Life is hard in Division I when you're bubble players like them. You produce quickly, or you cheer.Something's wrong with Teahan. He probably concentrated on his D so much he lost his shooting edge. Oh, well, we weren't counting on him this season any way. I was just hopeful he would be a miracle shooter and he isn't. It costs nothing to dream. And I guarranty you this guy IS going to go unconscious one night before he leaves Mt. Oread, but if he can only get 4 minutes vs. UMKC with Little out, well, his playing time is as endangered as Madame Berthe's Mouse Lemur. Sounds like Self was dreaming the same dream a little, too, but hedging his bets, too.

soapboxstew 14 years ago

And guys, I'm just not seeing Reed starting all year. He should be starting now, but I hope that some of these freshmen force Self to put Reed back on the bench. I could see Reed as second off the bench as a 3 point guy. Think about it this way, Reed is starting over Releford. Releford's game is superior in most every aspect (except the 3-ball, even though Reed was 0 for 5 last night). Releford is taller, a better defender, a better athlete, etc. Releford started for the U-18 USA squad, and he's not good enough to start for this Jayhawk squad?... rrrriiiigggghhhtttt. I've got nothing against Reed, I think that he could be a huge asset for this team; but I think that he would be more valuable as a spark off the bench.

Aaron Carpenter 14 years ago

I think that people shouldn't attempt to name a lineup this early. Everyone had good and bad spots throughout the game. Morris was the most impressive to me with the boards, and it was nice to see Collin's speed at "top notch." Going to be a fun year and watch them grow. One excited Jayhawk fan here. Mizzou sucks....

jchief40 14 years ago

Alright KU I hear ya. Rock Chalk buddy. All eyes on Marcus.

KU 14 years ago

Having a sixth sense about your twin might be one thing in high school.....We're talking high major division 1 basketball here.Also, the rumor that Marcus can guard any position on the floor......SURE, in high school that's no problem. He can't guard a major D-1 three guard right now (or a 2 or a 1 for that matter). He's lucky if he can defend a 4. He and Markief have a long way to go defensively, but they have the raw talent to do it.These new guys are all very talented, but it's going to take them a long time to get into it. History says it's harder for bigs to assimilate, so I don't look for the Morris twins and Q to be consistently good until late in the year, if at all.I look for Releford and Taylor and Little to get it before the new bigs.

Chris Shaw 14 years ago

Anyone else notice how "In-Shape" Cole looked last night? I was impressed with the big-fella. He's going to have to work on his "Post Moves" and back to the basket move. Granted, he had all dunks last night, but he will need those moves later on in the season. He missed that bunny down-low, but overall I was more impressed with his fitness and the ability to get up and down the court than anything. That is a positive going forward.

vmwskywalk 14 years ago

I can assure you that Marcus will NOT start at the 3 spot at any time this year. To play him at the 3 would mean we don't have enough depth at the 4 & 5. There will be conference games where both the Morrises and Aldrich will be in foul trouble. It's not about that he can't play the 3. We just don't have the depth for it.

soapboxstew 14 years ago

w/o McMorris @ the 3 I'll go with this:PG-CollinsSG-TaylorSF-RelefordPF-MkMorrisC-ColeI'm fine with that at the end of the season.KU,That connection that I spoke of goes WAY beyond the court. Twins are just connected in an energetic way. I can't explain it, I don't understand it, but I've seen it as much as it can be seen (2 of my best friends are twins). I have 4 brothers, and our connection is nothing like my twin friends. I'll bet you've heard those stories about how one twin felt the pain of the other even though they were 1,000 miles apart; well, the connection, while impossible to understand, does exist.So it doesn't matter if it is elementary defenders or D-1 defenders, I'll bet either way the Morris's are still connected. They have been connected since before they were born, why would they stop now?I'll bet if they got out on the court at the same time, you would see the connection (as much as one can "see" a connection). Since you don't like McMorris at the 3, then I could see them on the court at the same time with Mk at the 5 and Mc at the 4 (when Cole is in foul trouble or needs a rest).Remember that McMorris was (by far) our highest rated recruit (according to Rivals). But it looks like Mk might be our 2nd best rebounder (next to Cole); so I like Mk next to Cole in the starting line-up. Which leaves our best freshman out of the starting 5 if he can't suit up @ the 3. Maybe that is just the way it has to be...Remember, we could be getting a MAJOR upgrade @ the 3 if X commits. I know X is listed as a SG (so was Rush), but X would play the 3 on this team (Rush played the 3 for us). How good would this team be with X @ the 3? Do you see why I want this kid so bad?...

ramsrevenge 14 years ago

Anyone that has Sunflower can watch the game on chanel 2 tomorrow night. Just FYI.

Dale Kroening 14 years ago

Reed does all the little things,remember Kirk Hinrich?Releford is really good and has more potential,but I think Reed has a slight edge right now.Besides I think Releford can play the 3 and reeds a 1 or 2.Just my opinions on what Ive seen though.

jaybate 14 years ago

kvskubball,Put well. Every point.

kvskubball 14 years ago

drum1984, Your lineup is solid. It'll be interesting to see how coach plays it...Someone above asked about Marcus only playing 8 minutes. Yes he did get two early fouls. I think Coach gave him an object lesson. You just can't play when you're in foul trouble. I think he just conveniently forgot about Marcus because MK was playing so well. I see these two being a tag team at the 4 and backing up the five, along with DJ, uh of course I mean Thomas.I agree with a lot of what jaybate said above, Coach is most likely to play the more experienced players as long as they contribute, even if they aren't better than the sub. If you remember he had Rush coming off the bench for awhile, even though he was clearly more talented (I'm not talking about when he was returning form injury, but in his first two years).Reed will play because he is the only one with a noted long gun. If his defense improves (He doesn't move his feet that well, but even worse he doesn't seem to anticipate) he'll continue to play as much as he can. If he works on improving his angles he'll get the most out of what he's got. Anyone who develops a 3 pt shot will earn increased PT.Morningstar will continue to play because he gives maximum effort, even though he isn't as quick as others. Intelligence (a.k.a. basketball IQ) will be his key to continued PT. At this point his understanding of what he is supposed to do is better than any alternative.I don't see Coach going big anytime soon. That would slow down our offense and create too many out-of-position situations on D, because only Sheron and Cole approach the level of D needed, though I do think that T-Rel will get there quickly.I would say the most intriguing thing that I saw last night was to second the Q above, "Why did Coach wait so long to put T-Rel in?" My guess it that the reason is that Coach sees T-Rel as coming off the bench for this team. So he might be prepping him for that. Only Coach knows for sure.The first half was ugly last night. Without Cole, we became a perimeter oriented offense. Our only inside game was off of dribble penetration. With Cole in there the 2nd half our offense became much more balanced..gee what a surprise~NOT. And as others noted our defense also improved with his quality presence!

kvskubball 14 years ago

To finish my thoughts...Coach has an interesting job this year. Last year he knew who would be playing and had to figure out how they would work best. This year he's got a whole new box of chocolates. It will be interesting to see if he quickly (In two or three more games) settles on a starting line-up or whether he'll be tinkering for most of the non-con schedule. I could see him doing either. Also I could see he him trying situational or match-up based lineups. He's either going to have a lot of fun or he's going to have a BIG head-ache! We have the most coveted of sports roles... The second guessers!!!!RCJH ~ Let's have fun with it everyone and support this team even when it's ugly...because it will be at times, like the first half Sunday night!

Chris Shaw 14 years ago

good analysis above from Jaybate and kvskubball. The only thing I wanted to point out is that a lot of you think Reed played "Bad" last night. I thought Reed was solid the entire game. He was in good defensive position all-night (Got beat a couple of times) and showed an intensity that is needed on the court. Even though Reed was 0-5 from 3 pt range he shot the ball well inside the arc. Besides Collins (Who looks in total control out there), I thought Reed looked the most intense, relaxed, and just had a sense of "Smoothness" to his game last night. Somehow, Reed is being put in the category as Morningstar and Teahan, but I think that is not justified. I think Reed will be there getting big minutes all year. He may lose his starting spot towards conference time, but at this time Reed looked like the second best player on the court last night (Guard wise).

jchief40 14 years ago

This is just silly reading you all saying Reed is gonna be a permanent starter. Sorry to burst your bubble but you're smoking grass here. And that's OK. But Marcus Morris will NOT end up on the bench by years end. I think twins will be playing on the court together with Marcus at 3, Markieff at 4 and Aldrich at 5. Collins at 1 of course. As for the 2 that's up in the air. The Morris' will be starters. They were our top talent recruits this season and they are gonna come through.

jchief40 14 years ago

Then one of Little, Releford, and Taylor will see regular time off the bench. Reed possibly but you will see much less of him simply due to other players being more talented and athletic. I am just being realistic. You all are seeing Reed's somewhat decent game defensively (never had his feet set all night) and think he'll do the same against the top teams. No way Jose - Reed is very good don't get me wrong but there are better players on this team that haven't quite shown it yet. These freshmen/juco players are gonna get good really fast. Little doesn't need as much work I don't think. Not sure what the deal with Appleton is though..

jchief40 14 years ago

Young players just need to get confidence and you'll see that these Reed forecasts were absolutely retarded. I expect Reed or Morningstar would start tonights game but long term - ain't gonna happen.

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