Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self says freshman forward Marcus Morris received a technical foul not for what he said, but what he did, in inadvertently bumping into referee Scott Thornley early in the second half of Monday’s game against Missouri at Mizzou Arena.
Self explained the situation in detail in response to a fan’s question on Tuesday’s weekly Hawk Talk radio show.
“He (Thornley) told me that Marcus bumped him as he was running by him (after being whistled for a foul). My reply to him was, ‘Did he (Morris) do it on purpose?’ He said yes he did,” Self said.
“I said he should have thrown him out, then. In my opinion, there should be no hesitation, if he did it on purpose, do it (eject the player).”
Morris was not ejected, but Self elected to bench him the final 19 minutes as a penalty for the ‘T.’ After watching tape of the incident several times Tuesday, Self wishes he would have let Morris back in the game.
KU’s coach is convinced the bump was unintentional.
“Knowing what I know now, I would have played him after that. I didn’t play him because I was told he did it intentionally,” Self said.
“Going back and forth and seeing it, I think the official made the right call. I do not think it was worthy of sitting him the rest of the game because there was no malicious intent. I don’t think it was the intent at all.”
Self said Morris made a mistake in not apologizing to Thornley after bumping the ref.
“If after there was contact there was any remorse by Marcus ... I think Marcus could have turned around and said, ‘My bad,’’’ Self said.
“I don’t think there was intent. The fact Marcus kept walking gave the impression there was intent. If there is incidental contact, you (as player) need to make sure to say, ‘Hey, good gosh, I didn’t mean that.’ There wasn’t much (contact) at all, but enough to know there was contact.
“I’m not disputing the call. I do not disagree with the official. I do not agree, either. I think the entire incident could have been avoided.”
Self stressed, “officials had nothing to do with us losing the game. They didn’t turn it over 27 times.”
KU suffered 27 turnovers to MU’s 13.
Lead not big enough: KU led by 14 points at halftime Monday. The margin actually could have been greater.
“When a team shoots as poorly as they did (36.4 percent, 2-of-12 from three) and we dominated the glass like we did (30-15), you’ve got to be up more than 14. It should have been an 18-, 20-point game based on how the two teams played,” Self said.
“The second half, they definitely were a better team than us. Still we had a seven-point lead with 3:49 left. We didn’t get stops. We had about four defensive breakdowns on four consecutive possessions. Offensively, we were really stale. We missed free throws. We didn’t attack their 2-1-2 halfcourt zone. It was frustrating to leave there, not discouraging, but frustrating. It was there for us to take.”
Self applauded his team’s effort.
“It’s probably the best defense we’ve played all year we played the first half. We rebounded. But there’s one other element. You have to take care of the ball and make sure you get shot attempts. We didn’t do that,” Self said.
ADs talk: Some media members noticed KU athletic director Lew Perkins and Missouri’s Mike Alden having a discussion after 1,000 or so MU fans stormed the court. It was tough for other media members to witness the rush of students onto the court from their perches in one corner of the stands.
“I know that Lew talked to Mike about some security concerns. It is over, done, a dead issue,” KU associate athletic director Jim Marchiony said.
40 minutes of heck: MU coach Mike Anderson’s mentor, former Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson, attended Monday’s Border War contest.
“It was at least 20 minutes of hell,” Richardson told the Columbia Tribune. Remember, he presided over UA’s famed “40 Minutes of Hell” attack.