Thursday, January 7, 2010

Morningstar locks down

Guard answers challenge

Kansas guard Brady Morningstar (left) celebrates a three pointer by teammate Tyrel Reed against Cornell during the second half, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Brady Morningstar (left) celebrates a three pointer by teammate Tyrel Reed against Cornell during the second half, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.


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2010 KU-Cornell

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Following KU's 71-66 win over Cornell, do you think that was Sherron Collins' best game as a Jayhawk?

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KU escapes Cornell

Sherron Collins led the Jayhawks past a close one against Cornell with a career-high 33 points.

Kansas University guard Tyshawn Taylor had seen enough.

After watching Cornell’s Ryan Wittman hit back-to-back jumpers over KU’s Brady Morningstar with nine minutes left in the second half, Taylor gained permission from KU coach Bill Self to switch defensive assignments with Morningstar.

There was one problem. Morningstar was having none of it.

“When he said, ‘Switch,’ I was like, ‘No, man. No. I’m not switching. I’m not switching. We’re good. We’re good right now,’” Morningstar said following KU’s 71-66 victory Wednesday. “That’s huge on his part to know that, ‘Hey, I’m not afraid to take him either.’ That’s good on his part, but I wasn’t going to let him do that.”

What followed was an interesting set of events that took place near midcourt.

Taylor tried to shove Morningstar to switch, but Morningstar stood his ground. Taylor tried again to tell Morningstar to switch, but again the guard wouldn’t budge.

“Brady shows that fight all the time,” Taylor said. “You’ve just got to push him a little bit.”

Finally, Taylor gave up, screaming out a few choice words in the stubborn Morningstar’s direction: “Lock him up!”

“He didn’t score again (from the field),” Morningstar said of Wittman. “I made sure of that.”

Morningstar responded to the challenge with his best defensive work on Wittman in the final nine minutes.

Wittman, who led Cornell in scoring with 24 points, finished the game by missing his final four three-pointers. That included a missed, double-clutch three-pointer that would have tied the game with 10 seconds left.

“He dribbled once, and I got a hand on the ball as he was going up,” Morningstar said. “He kind of juggled the ball, and I think it kind of threw off his shot a little bit.”

Self’s take on the Taylor/Morningstar incident was this: “Tyshawn said, ‘Let me have (Wittman),’ and I said, ‘You’ve got him.’ Which is good. Then he went to tell Brady that we were switching, and Brady said, ‘No we’re not.’ Which is even better.

“There’s some competitive juice going on on that deal. I think we made the right decision.”

Morningstar, who prides himself on being a defensive stopper, said Wittman presented a tough challenge with his strength and size.

“What type of competitor would you be if you didn’t want to guard the best player?” Morningstar said. “That’s the type of mind-set I have going into it. I want to guard him. Let me guard him.”


Dirk Medema 12 years, 11 months ago

Some might characterize the interaction as intersquad fighting, or insubordination. You gotta love Coach's (verbal) response, as well as the verbal and non-verbal responses of Brady & TT. It's all what makes Coach and the team so great.


Tribehawk 12 years, 11 months ago

It would most certainly be considered intersquad fighting or insubordination had we lost. Thankfully we didn't. Hopefully we won't. It's good to see that competitive edge in the guys, but it can definitely be a dangerous thing. All that pressure either pushes you faster or blows the wheels off. I trust HCBS to keep it going, but it just makes you wonder if we're headed for some kind of an intersquad blow-up down the road.

Jonathan Andrews 12 years, 11 months ago

Thank you, Brady. I don't want you to ever take orders from Tyshawn, especially when it comes to defense. Taylor just about blew the game for us with his incessant perimeter fouling and poor defensive rotation...

It's not about that though. It's about you. Nice job, Morningstar. Keep it up.

Chris Kraner 12 years, 11 months ago

Interesting game last night. Very much like the Memphis game, when the other team's bigs block out and slide under with the lower bodies on defense or rebounds- our bigs tend to miss those "bunnies" and don’t rebound as well as they should.

Watch the game again - and watch what the Cornell bigs did every time there was a rebound or a shot around the basket - out went the legs. The bigs need to be stronger at their base before going up or boxing out to get separation.

Was good to see that this team can close out a game even when shooting poorly. Loved the way Sherron was aggressive- just need to be careful that he does it when it comes to him and creates when he has a lane to the basket - sometimes he tries to do to much and against better athletes he sometimes gets himself in trouble.

Rock Chalk - Go Hawks - love to watch this team improve. Where is EJ? Is he in the defensive doghouse? A freakishly quick athlete is what could have been used on the perimeter in this game - wonder what is going on there?

Go Hawks!

bradynsdad 12 years, 11 months ago

oustanding defense brady. when a team lives off the three it is almost pointless to get good position underneath its always a long rebound. i think this was a good game for us and to let everyone know sherron will carry if he has too he showed alot of pride last night.

Steve Brown 12 years, 11 months ago

this a.m. I even more impressed with Cornell, well done worthy foe well done.

SC is Da Man, Master Sherron the Bull. Brady looked active and great in my view. Cornell collasped on our drives to the paint all night then backed off to take the outlet or inlet pass....their D looked even better than their nice O. Red #1 foote? outplayed CA and played all game....

smoke T.

Ron Franklin 12 years, 11 months ago

that game brought back awful memories from the UCLA game in 07

Bill Klein 12 years, 11 months ago

crooner is right, taylor's defense if you can even call it that, was pitiful. Even got away with an over the back foul at the end of the game.

RockCaCO3 12 years, 11 months ago

This article makes me like Brady even more. Way to "lock him up" Brady!

DCJayhawk0208 12 years, 11 months ago

drgnslayr and 614,

That's exactly what they (and Memphis) did. UCLA did the same thing to KU earlier this season. I was constantly yelling at the refs through my computer (God Bless ESPN360) to call some of those fouls. When you jump, you shouldn't have your legs taken out. It's a smart technique for a player who isn't as good, but it's dangerous and it should be called.

dukehester 12 years, 11 months ago

if Tyshawn had had his way.....he would have fouled out within three possessions of wittman!!! Crooner and n17987 et alia are right on.....Taylor needs to learn to 'feed' the ball before he starts telling more senior players what to do!!!!

bradynsdad 12 years, 11 months ago

i have a question can anyone answer how many years of elegability tyrell and brady have thank you

Chandler James 12 years, 11 months ago

i believe tyrel is a junior and brady is a redshirt junior

Tribehawk 12 years, 11 months ago

Honestly, I'm not trying to stir anything up, but I've been paying attention so some of HCBS's comments lately, especially surrounding the Temple game, and I was already starting to wonder if there was some internal pressure building. Self has really gone out of his way to talk about how there's only so many minutes in a game, and he can't play everyone. I believe I read somewhere him telling the players to look at it from the coaches' perspective and rhetorically asking, "who could I have pulled so you could come in and play?" (Forgive the terrible paraphrase, but it went something like that). Obviously we have a ridiculously deep team, and I haven't seen any evidence whatsoever of players being upset over playing time or anything, but I just felt like Self's comments were really pointed. Hopefully he was just trying to quell a problem before it starts. I'm probably just being the over-anxious fan looking for molehills to turn into mountains. The only team out there that can beat us at this point is Ourselves, and I'm just hoping that doesn't happen.

cg1029 12 years, 11 months ago

So Morningstar gets lit-up for the first 3/4 of the game but stops him the last quarter and I am supposed to believe he is a defensive stopper??? Seriously???

JhawkHoopsCrzy 12 years, 11 months ago

I'm with ralster on this (and Coach Self) ... I like seeing Ty and Brady both focused on locking the guy down -- it makes both players better. Now if we could just "lock down" the fans berating ANY player we'd be fine.

In the other article Coach Self is quoted as saying he thought we played well. A tough grinder game that the team now knows they can win -- knowing there are more of those, than 30 point victories, on the horizon.

If only the fans could see what the teacher does -- I'm sure Coach Self will handle any issues from last night's game just fine in practice. Without personally berating players like commenters above.

Scott MacWilliams 12 years, 11 months ago

Well, that was certainly a lot closer than I thought it would be. I pity the rest of the teams on Cornell's schedule this year.

As far as playing time, maybe some of you serious hoops scholars can enlighten me. I recall Roy sending 3 or 4 or even 5! players in at a time when subbing. I always thought that must be pretty demoralizing to the opponents, and keeps the KU bench happier, too.

Any reason that same technique wouldn't work with this way deep team??


Ian Brown 12 years, 11 months ago

cg1029 says, "So Morningstar gets lit-up for the first 3/4 of the game but stops him the last quarter..."

I agree that Morningstar stopped (Wittman) the last quarter of the game. However, Brady only played 25 minutes (not 40 minutes), making your little scenario impossible. He didn't even play 30 minutes, therefore he could not have been "lit-up" for any 3/4 of the game, let alone the first. Also, most of his minutes were played in the second half. This was when Wittman began to struggle from the field and it was not just a random coincidence. During this time, anyone who watched the game (or even read this article) would know that there was a direct correlation between Wittman's poor shooting and Brady's exceptional defense.

Wittman was lighting it up when other players were guarding him. I believe I saw Wittman "light-up" Brady on two jumpers (which were described in this article), and from that point on didn't let Wittman get a shot off without a hand no more than 2 inches from his face. When a player scores 24 points, and only 4-6 of them are on you, you are probably playing at least decent defense.

ginger2015 12 years, 11 months ago

crooner and n17987: Apparently coach Self doesn't agree with you.

Steve Brown 12 years, 11 months ago

ibrown: exactly well said. As it wasn't BM that got lit up it was our other buddies...seeing it 1st hand they ran their screens multiple times with great effect.

If we get a B12 banner and get to INDY it will be in no small part to last night's exposure, that was bound to surface sometime, better now so we can work on it...

Austin: Pittman better than Foote, James better than Whitman and no AFH crowd in Austin.Thank you Cornell.

Steve Brown 12 years, 11 months ago

the stats below are for the season and not stats for the game:

Kan 120 pts. per 100 possesions Cornell 114 pts. per 100

We've held oppts. to 81 per 100. So what, Corn is effective almost as effective as we are, sure different opponents I get that.

TREY: 3Pts. percentage: Kan 43.1% Cornell 42.6%

Free Throw percentage: Kan 68.9 Cornell 74.8

Yes, it isn't Duke yet Cornell did bring nice stats to this game and played with poise & composure.

promise I'm done praising Cornell until March when they become my cinderella.

Hank Cross 12 years, 11 months ago

Let's not forget that however good Whittman is, he plays for Cornell. Watch what happens later on in the season and in the tourney. BM is not quick enough to keep with better players and is not an offensive threat at all.

This team only goes as deep as the starting 5 plus whatever Morris is sitting. It is not as talented as the '07 team, or the Collison/Heinrich teams, or the Pierce/LaFrentz teams, or the 85-85 team. They can win the championship or they just as easily get knocked out in the 2nd round.

jaybate 12 years, 11 months ago

Thursday Thinking about Potential Depth, Effective Depth and The Hook (Not the Shot):

KU is a deep team. We hear it again and again. Yet each time we come up against a good opponent, few guys get big minutes. And some of the guys that get quick looks get pulled quickly after mistakes. What kind of depth are we really talking about here with this team?

How about Potential Depth and Effective Depth.

Potential depth is the total number of guys, including the starters, a team has with a lot of physical ability and the tools to play 20 or more minutes "some day." The key term is "some day."

Effective depth is the total number of guys, including the starters, a team has with a lot physical ability and the tools to play 20 or more minutes "today." The key term is "today."

KU has enormous potential depth, so much so that Self could throw red shirts on two quality players and still have too much potential depth remaining.

But KU increasingly evidences very little effective depth.

But how can they be getting worse? Everyone said the frosh would be veterans by March.

Veterans? Yes.

Effective veterans part of effective depth? No.

Self has just raised the bar significantly in every performance measure related to defense, TOs, shot selection and passing.

He mentioned some guys minutes were going down imminently. They have.

jaybate 12 years, 11 months ago

Think of it as Bill Self's New Year's resolutions. After January 1st...

I resolve to pull someone, after he makes 2-3 defensive errors, while trying to get warm and into the glow, instead of 4-5. (Note: in most cases, it is 1-2 defensive errors)

I resolve to pull someone, when he makes the first TO, instead of the second TO.

I resolve to pull someone, after the first lousy shot selection, instead of the second.

I resolve to pull someone, after the first two times the ball sticks, instead of after the first four times.

This increase in quality control doesn't care how big you are. It doesn't care how cut you are. It doesn't care whether you are an OAD, or a 4 year man. It doesn't care if you can shoot 60% from trey, or not.

Unless you are Cole and Sherron, you are getting the hook. Maybe even if you are Cole and Sherron you are getting the hook.

Coach Self has no love in his heart about these resolutions.

They are Old Testament stuff. God went through a hard phase. So do basketball coaches in January.

The guys who have been around a few years understand the cruelty of this process. This is why a guy like Tyshawn Taylor, even though he is a super star in summer time, can learn to sharply increase his assists and forget about shooting. He has felt the hook. The hook hurts.

Xavier, C.J., E.J. have not been hooked in their entire careers. Their coaches have been very positive with them during their slumps their entire careers, because they could jump over rainbows and shoot and run fast. Since they were 7, no one has ever given them the hook on a basketball floor.

But now they are getting it.

Now, guys with more experience and making fewer mistakes are getting the hook pretty quick and Xavier is having to give up significant minutes to guys 3 inches shorter than him, guys without NBA pecs, guys he never had to sit for in summer league games.

And if you are C.J. Henry, who lacks an NBA body, the hook leaves you feeling very much as you did when you could not learn to hit a hard slider in the minor leagues.

Self and his team desperately need more effective depth to go up against the likes of Texas and other Top 10 teams come March.

All C.J. and The Prophet have to do is stick to their men like glue, make the right second pass, take only good shots, and don't turn it over, while playing against guys who are often flat out better than you and willing to hurt you physically to get and keep an edge.

Now do you see why a lot of these guys are suddenly not playing?

And why some more may lose what time they are getting.

Self is looking for a few good men: the few, the proud, the Jayhawks.

From here on out, the ammunition is live.

Come February and March, one TO can mean the difference between being a champion and an also ran.

The future started January 1st.

Happy New Year.

Who can hack it?

lawrencehawks 12 years, 11 months ago

cant wait til the tennesee game i thought cornell was a crazy game and they are good i ll give them props for tht they werent presured or intimadated by us all game and will probely make it in to the tournement tennesee is gonna be just as crazy if not worse i no one thing i dont think were goin 40-0 thi yr i wish we could i just dont see it its like the old sayin wish in one had and poo in the other see which one feels up faster no tht KU is poo by anymeans just dont see 40 - 0 but still love our hawks no mater wht tell the day i die and im outty five rock chalk jayhawks 4 ever

Steve Brown 12 years, 11 months ago

Jaybate says: Potential Depth v. Effective Depth

you nailed it - perfecto!!

HCBS has fewer & fewer weeks remaining to convert Potential to Effectiveness, fun to watch the master create his stew....with these youngsters... he is doing fine so far.

JH nation, we are very very young....talented sure, experienced not really...yet.

Robert Lofthouse 12 years, 11 months ago

Love it Jaybate - the CRUCIBLE of the Big 12!!!

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