Archive for Friday, December 10, 2010

Kansas men’s basketball team struggling at charity stripe

The Jayhawks warm up prior to tipping off against Memphis during the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York.

The Jayhawks warm up prior to tipping off against Memphis during the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York.

December 10, 2010


Kansas University’s basketball team — which hit 89.3 percent of its free throws during the two-game exhibition season — has struggled to a 63.9 percent mark through eight regular-season games.

Ever-quotable Marcus Morris — he cashed 15 of 15 free throws against Washburn and Emporia State but has made 24 of 41 (.585) since — on Thursday offered a reason for the discrepancy.

“I think before the exhibitions, we weren’t working on shooting free throws. We started working on them and then we started missing them,” Morris said with a smile. “So I think if we stop working on them we’ll make some more, know what I mean? That’s probably not the reason, but I mean it could be.”

The Jayhawks, who hit 67 of 75 in the practice games, have iced 122 of 191 in eight regular-season victories. Take Tyrel Reed (16 of 16) and Brady Morningstar (3 of 3) out of the mix and KU is a 59.9 percent free throw shooting team entering Saturday’s game against Colorado State (5:30 p.m., Sprint Center, Kansas City, Mo.).

“I mean it could be mental. Every time you get to the line and the team is not shooting well, you want to make the next one and you just miss,” Marcus Morris said. “I think we will get better as the season goes along.”

KU coach Bill Self was asked if there’s a danger in talking about free throw shooting too much.

“There could be. (But) I’ll talk about it now. We’ve shot it awful,” Self said. “It is the same team shooting it that shot (well) in the exhibition games. We have better shooters than what we are shooting it.

“I also think this,” Self quickly added, “if you are an opposing coach and you are looking at us, you are probably saying, ‘Well jeez, if they start making free throws they (will be tough to beat),’ because free throws have not been an offensive weapon for us, which it should be as much as we drive and get fouled. I will tell everybody I’m not worried about it changing. I believe it will, but I’d just as soon it happen now rather than later.”

The Jayhawks entered the week No. 1 in the country in field goal percentage (56.9).

“I think we take really good shots and we’ve gotten a lot of easy baskets whether it be transition or angles where we basically score with no defense because they are out of place or we throw it over the top,” Self said.

Tyshawn Taylor, who is a 57.1 percent shooter and 63.3 percent free thrower, noted: “We’ve got so many different guys that can score or just make shots, it’s hard to stop us.

“We watch other college games and compare ourselves. I sit back and think, ‘We’re better than this team or that team,’ for different reasons. I think that’s one of the reasons. We’re one of the deeper teams.”

The Jayhawks are the No. 4-ranked team in the country with Josh Selby to join the mix against on Dec. 18.

“No,” Taylor said, asked if he’s identified a better team. “I think Duke is real good, though, but I don’t think anybody is better than us.”

One more year?: Junior Marcus Morris said he was thrilled to learn KU will play Kentucky in Madison Square Garden next year as part of the four-team Champions Classic.

“Me being here my senior year and being able to compete against those caliber players will definitely be exciting for everybody,” Morris said. “I’m just waiting for it to come. I definitely was excited to see it. It’s a good challenge for us to come.” projects Morris to be the No. 14 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.

NBA talk: Self was asked about the impact an NBA team in Kansas City might have on KU.

“Forty five games is a lot of home games. There’d be a lot of people that would want to spend their entertainment dollar on that and us and may be forced to make a decision on which they do,” he said. “I personally think it could affect, I’m not saying adversely, K-State, us and Missouri. To be honest, we’re selfish. I think we enjoy being the professional franchise, all three of us, because if an NBA team does come, that title would go away fast. There are so many advantages if we have an NBA franchise, but it doesn’t stink now is the way I see it.”

Draft: There’s talk the NBA players association wants a rule allowing players to enter the draft right out of high school.

“I am shocked,” Self said. “So now younger kids are going to take their jobs. It’s one thing to get beat out by somebody that can help. It’s another to get beat out by potential that can’t play yet. I’d think the NBA players would want it (age limit) to be pushed back.”

He said he was in favor of “letting them go immediately,” but added he thought no player should be allowed to leave unless NBA evaluators guarantee a player should be a top 15 pick. He said it was wrong that some players “don’t make their grades because they think they can just declare for the draft.”


Armen Kurdian 7 years, 5 months ago

That Champions Classic is a fantastic idea. MSU, Duke, UK, KU. Now that's gonna be some big-time hardwood.

CreatureComforts 7 years, 5 months ago

I'm sorry, but I just don't understand how people or teams can consistently miss free throws. It's the only constant in wind, the distance doesn't change, and the height of the basket is the same. Kickers miss in football because of distance and wind, hitters in baseball miss home runs because of wind, outfielders can miss catches due to sun in the eyes...but in basketball, with a free throw, EVERYTHING is a constant.

And yes, I have played team basketball.

kujayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

Anybody who has played basketball doesn't call it "team basketball." If you don't understand, you haven't played. Not saying it can't improve or that it shouldn't improve, but if you can't understand why free-throws are missed then you haven't played a competitive sport in your life.

mom_of_three 7 years, 5 months ago

Ah, yes, but don't forget, most players shooting free throws are out of breath, feeling tired (depending on when it is during the game), sweat dripping, and then they have to stand still and make a shot (at whatever distance it is).
And some players (shaq for instance) aren't good at it, because they have a shooter's v and not a langford L (something I heard from Coach manning at a camp many years ago).

Don Whiteley 7 years, 5 months ago

Probably spoken by the person who's never had to make a free throw in a real game. When you're ducking and dodging and passing and moving, shooting tends to be something that's automatic; you don't even think about it. Standing on that stripe with everyone in the entire arena staring and screaming at you, it makes you think, and thinking is the difference. If you have to think about it, you're going to miss. Thirty years ago, it was also different because fans had a respect for the players and the game and the crowd was respectfully silent, even when an opposing player was shooting. Fans today have no class, have no respect, and have no limits on how obnoxious they can be. That also makes shooting free throws more difficult.

hbjayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

I feel bad for Brady Morningstar. His final homegame is tomorrow. His poor play and lack of defensive skills is going to have him riding the bench as the animal, Josh Selby gets ready to join the team. Brady's leadership on the bench will be needed to help us make a deep run. Thanks, Brady for all your contributions. You were fun to watch when you were in a zone!

hammerhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

Come on Hawks. Relax. Eye it up and shoot it in! This is just as important a part of the game that Naismith invented as any - shoot, maybe more, because it's a chance for uncontested points!!

2002 7 years, 5 months ago

How ill-informed can you be. There seem to be a few Brady haters out there. I suppose that any college team will have ignorant fans that know nothing about basketball. Look at MU fans for instance. Yes, hbjayhawk, I am comparing you to ignorant MU fans.

amesn 7 years, 5 months ago

What the heck are you talking about hbjayhawk??? Final homegame? In KC at the Sprint Center? Not only that but Brady really is one of our best perimeter defenders, his hands are not as quick as Tyshawn's, but he is still efficient. Not to mention Brady is the best post passer we have out there...soooo...just because Josh Selby will be coming into the line up doesn't necessarily mean Brady gets the starting 5 boot! And if it comes down to being between Brady and Tyrel, Brady will start. Tyrel is of course our best behind the arc weapon but beyond that Brady's skills surpass Tyrel's 3 pt shooting ability. Not that I'm like in love with Brady, he's kinda dorky ha ha, but the kid also ALWAYS keeps his cool out there-I'm not sure what it would take to get hi riled up!

Kufan57 7 years, 5 months ago

hbjayhawk "I feel bad for Brady Morningstar. His final homegame is tomorrow."??????
1st, do you know where ku plays tomorrow?

2nd, I'm not 100% sure if you really know anything about the game of basketball... I"m going to give you some stats to help you understand the game of basketball and why he is one of the most important players we have on the floor.

15 STL (Team High), 23 A (2nd team high), and 2 BLK These stats are why he plays...... 25 min/g

I bet all you look at is the Pts after the game to determine who is good huh? Start watching the little things....

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