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Archive for Thursday, February 11, 2010

High praise: Self’s compliment instills confidence in Marcus

Kansas forward Marcus Morris tangles with Texas center Dexter Pittman during the second half, Monday, Feb. 8, 2010 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin.

Kansas forward Marcus Morris tangles with Texas center Dexter Pittman during the second half, Monday, Feb. 8, 2010 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin.

February 11, 2010, 4:53 p.m. Updated February 12, 2010, 12:00 a.m.

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Marcus Morris will wear protective bandage

KU basketball sophomore Marcus Morris will play the rest of the season wearing a protective bandage on an injured finger. Enlarge video

Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self paid sophomore forward Marcus Morris a huge compliment after Monday’s 80-68 victory at Texas.

“Guys, he’s not one of the better players in the league, he’s one of the better players in the country,” Self told a handful of reporters representing some of the country’s biggest print publications and Web sites.

Morris — he scored 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds — on Thursday said he appreciated his boss’ ringing endorsement.

“I think I’m a good player. We have some great guys in our league,” said Morris, who ranks sixth in the conference in scoring (17.8 ppg) and seventh in rebounding (8.4 rpg) through nine games.

“You’ve got Sherron (Collins). You’ve got Cole (Aldrich). You’ve got Craig (Brackins, Iowa State). You’ve got Damion James (Texas). Just for coach to say that about me ... it makes me more confident. I wouldn’t say I’m one of the better players in the league. I wouldn’t say I’m one of the better players in the country. I’d just say I’m a player,” Morris added.

Morris, who averages 13.3 points and 6.3 rebounds overall for KU (23-1), credits the 6-foot-11 Aldrich for opening up the floor.

“Cole takes a lot of pressure off me,” Morris said. “He has a lot of pressure on his shoulders by being the biggest guy on our team. Not too many teams will play him 1-on-1. If you play him 1-on-1, you’d be a fool.”

Defensively, Morris has been assigned to guard accomplished frontcourt players such as Iowa State’s Brackins, who scored 13 points off 5-of-13 shooting in KU’s 84-61 victory over the Cyclones on Jan. 23 in Ames, Iowa. The rematch of that game is 7 p.m. on Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse.

“I think I’m more intent now. I’m trying to defend a lot better,” Morris said.

“I feel I can guard anybody on the court. I want to be a versatile defender. I don’t look to go out and score. I do look to go out and rebound and try to steal extra possessions and try to defend,” added Morris, who had 16 points in the first ISU game.

Morris stressed Thursday that he’s not thinking about riding his success into an early departure for the NBA.

“I never even thought about the NBA coming into the year,” Morris said. “I’d rather win. I’d rather come back. I’m coming back next year. There’s no talk about it (NBA), and maybe (I’ll come back) my senior year, so that’s really not an issue.”

A small issue right now is injury.

Morris will wear a padded bandage on the middle finger of his shooting hand the next eight weeks to help heal a torn tendon near the top of the finger. He suffered the injury after banging his hand on the bottom of the backboard Monday night.

“I can’t go into the game worried about it,” Morris said. “If it gets hit, it gets hit. The pain is only temporary. It’ll go away soon.”

He said his finger was not dislocated.

“We’re trying to keep it straight. In about eight weeks it should go back to being normal,” Morris said.

One of Morris’ teammates expects no decline in production.

“Right now Marcus is playing like one of the better players in the country for sure,” junior Brady Morningstar said. “You look at the numbers he’s putting up and the players he’s doing it against ... it’s pretty impressive.”

Comments

The_Original_Bob 4 years, 2 months ago

"His brother doesn't have the exposure yet to go, and I think he'll stay with his brother. " Jonas

Yes.

X is gone. He shouldn't, but he'll go. We will still be stacked next year when X, Collins, and Aldrich leave. Top 10ish type team. No UNC year. UNC's problem is leadership. We'll still have Morningstar and Reed and perhaps the Morris twins will grow on the leadership side.

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jonas_opines 4 years, 2 months ago

"Were we to win the Championship, some guys would surely leave for the league. But, would that really be a bad problem? We wouldn't fall off the deep-end like Carolina."

If Collins had been ready or willing to go last year, then last year we might have done just that. After this year, though, I think we'll be fine. We have a lot of depth, and a lot of young faces that haven't gotten enough exposure to be as high a pick as they will be after getting some serious minutes.

It's a good time to be a Jayhawk.

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justsaying 4 years, 2 months ago

I was one of those couch coaches last year, I'll admit. The twins proved me wrong and I am so happy for them. They listened to the coaches, started working harder and you can see that they believe in themselves. They deserve major kudos for realizing that they had hard work to do. They have reaped the rewards and will continue to do so. I will do my best to reserve judgment of freshmen going forward; lesson learned! Go Hawks!

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overthemoon 4 years, 2 months ago

"I wouldn’t say I’m one of the better players in the league. I wouldn’t say I’m one of the better players in the country. I’d just say I’m a player,"

Funny, people with this sort of attitude often end up one of the best players in the league or the country. Especially if they are talking like this halfway thru their sophomore year. One of the things about KU basketball that I've always really liked is that there is never a 'star' player who thinks they are the best player in the country.

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edjayhawk 4 years, 2 months ago

They say the most improvement from a player is between their Freshman and Sophomore years. Sure is the case with Marcus when you look what he was like last year. Also need to give Kudos to Markeiff as he has started to play better.

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Armen Kurdian 4 years, 2 months ago

Xavier definitely needs to stay. There will still be room for Mario Little to probably start next year w/Cole & Sherron gone. Maybe we'll get lucky & Taylor will go pro too.

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sundancewierdo 4 years, 2 months ago

Good for you Marcus! The fans appreciate all the hard work!! Rock Chalk...

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XEPCT 4 years, 2 months ago

Were we to win the Championship, some guys would surely leave for the league. But, would that really be a bad problem? We wouldn't fall off the deep-end like Carolina.

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georgiahawk 4 years, 2 months ago

The conversation about the twins sure has changed! The off-season and early season comments were all full of negativity from some know-it-all-know-nothing fans! I hope that in the future people aren't so fast to jump on a player and that maybe HCBS might know a little bit more than the average know-it-all fan.

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TopJayhawk 4 years, 2 months ago

Both twins and X will stay. Bank it.

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Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 4 years, 2 months ago

If Henry goes to the NBA this year he's a fool. He'll be like Julian Wright who became an NBA nobody because he didn't take the time to develop in college before going to the pros. He seems quite bright, so maybe he'll stick around.

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jonas_opines 4 years, 2 months ago

His brother doesn't have the exposure yet to go, and I think he'll stay with his brother.

Seriously, I've seen them multiple times on the hill, probably about 20-30 separate occasions, and there's never one without the other.

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Steve Jacob 4 years, 2 months ago

He says he will stay now, but we'll see. Hard to walking away from money, if he was a first round pick, which is iffy.

Last draft projections I saw was Henry and Aldrich 5th-10th pick.

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Jeff Kilgore 4 years, 2 months ago

diplo, I think he is the best, but it's nice to have as many talented players as we do.

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diplomacy205 4 years, 2 months ago

Smart Kid. And he is either the third or fourth best player on the team.

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