Archive for Thursday, January 13, 2011

Double whammy: KU’s Marcus Morris erupts for 33 against Iowa State

Kansas forward Marcus Morris (22) clenches his fists as he and twin brother Markieff head back on defense after a Jayhawk bucket against Iowa State during the second half. Marcus had 33 points and Markieff 17 in the Jayhawks’ 84-79 victory Wednesday in Ames, Iowa.

Kansas forward Marcus Morris (22) clenches his fists as he and twin brother Markieff head back on defense after a Jayhawk bucket against Iowa State during the second half. Marcus had 33 points and Markieff 17 in the Jayhawks’ 84-79 victory Wednesday in Ames, Iowa.

January 13, 2011

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Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 84-79 victory over Iowa State on Jan. 13, 2011.

— Marcus Morris, who exploded for a career-high 33 points and grabbed a career-best 13 rebounds in Kansas University’s Big 12 opener on Wednesday night, grinned when asked if he’s planning on similar production each and every night during the conference season.

“I can try. I definitely can try,” Morris said after his 22-point second-half outburst helped the Jayhawks (16-0, 1-0) outlast gritty Iowa State (13-4, 0-2), 84-79, in Hilton Coliseum.

“I personally think there will be games Kieff can get 30 and Selby can get 30,” he added of Markieff Morris and Josh Selby, who scored 17 and 14 respectively Wednesday. “I had an on-night tonight. There’s other players on my team who can do it, too.”

On this night, it was Morris, Morris and more Morris.

“I just felt I had to take the game over,” said the 6-foot-9 junior forward, who hit 11 of 15 shots and 11 of 14 free throws, surpassing his old career high of 26 points, set against Lehigh last season and Ohio earlier this season. He had 11 rebounds against Valparaiso back on Nov. 15.

“The shots were falling. I made my free throws tonight. My teammates kept going to me, and I was able to deliver.”

Why the desire to take over on this night?

“Because the crowd was into it. I felt somebody had to step up,” said Morris.

His 33 points were the most by a Jayhawk since Sherron Collins’ 33 versus Cornell last season. It was the most points by a KU player in a conference game since Julian Wright hit for 33 at Missouri in February of 2007.

“I showed I’m a leader and put the load on my back,” Morris said.

His second-half production came on a night the Jayhawks saw a 13-point first-half lead dip to one point 4 1/2 minutes into the second half and another 12-point lead dip to three down the stretch.

“I feel this is my year to step up. I feel I can do that. I never get into personal duels,” he added, asked if he felt he had to outshine ISU’s Diante Garrett, who scored 27 points off 11-of-25 shooting.

“Garrett was terrific, though. I had to congratulate him after the game. I didn’t know he was that good of a player. He’s great, and Vanderbeken (Jamie, 19 points, 4-for-10 from three), too. Iowa State is going to beat a lot of teams.”

KU coach Bill Self marveled at Morris’ performance.

“Marcus was great. It probably was his best game since he’s been at KU,” said Self, whose teams have won seven in a row in Ames. “Kieff was good, too. If he makes free throws (five of 11), he has a heck of a game. Those two get 50 points and 24 rebounds in 54 minutes. That’s pretty good.

“But Marcus was spectacular tonight.”

Self said, “no, no” when asked if he’d ever seen Marcus take over a game like that.

“He did it every way,” Self said. “I don’t think he made a three, but he made perimeter jumpers. He drove it. That’s one thing we’ve been trying to get him to do is drive the bigs. He did a great job driving the bigs, making plays when the game was on the line.

“I don’t think Marcus has been in rhythm until about a week ago. He played really well at Michigan, too. In November he was terrific. December, I don’t think he ever got in rhythm. Since Christmas, he’s played very well.”

Self repeated a line from earlier this season when he said Marcus, “does more things than anybody else we’ve coached. When he plays with energy and passion, he’s hard to guard. And he can defend, too.

“We haven’t had anybody make threes, get it off the bounce, get it off the catch and go to the post like him. When he’s geeked up and active, he can do so many things.”

And he’s having a blast, saying he “loves” his teammates and loves the potential of this team.

Frank as always, he gave a midseason update on his NBA status as well.

“You never know. You never know,” he said, asked if he’ll return to KU for a senior season. “My focus is only on the season right now. I would really think about coming back. I’m looking forward to coming back, but you never know.”

Comments

Armen Kurdian 4 years, 3 months ago

I saw the last 10 minutes of the game. Too many jump shots inside the perimeter. We were ruling the paint. Whenever we have that size advantage, we have to play inside and draw the fouls. We probably could have gotten at least another several times to the line if we just keep attacking the basket. That's where we can make our money. I had no issues w/the open threes, we were just missing them. But when we overmatch by that much in the paint, we've got to press that advantage mercilessly.

Brian Conrad 4 years, 3 months ago

hmmm not enough for you .. 50 points and 24 rebounds , most inside the paint. what do you want Superman? Self doing great, teaching... they get better than this... watch out!!!

CHEEZIT 4 years, 3 months ago

Yea I think the last ten minutes Marcus was on the foul line every other possesion! Iowa State had no front court and we exposed it as we should!

rgh 4 years, 3 months ago

What is all this stuff with Marcus yapping about himself? "Had to step up because the crowd was into the game?" What kind of garbage is that? You should step it up every night!

"I showed I'm a leader." Last week it was about him being a "captain" when coach Self said they don't have captains. Don't get me wrong, the kid can play and helped us win a big game on the road but this talk about me, me, me from him is getting old.

pmitch 4 years, 3 months ago

“I personally think there will be games Kieff can get 30 and Selby can get 30,” he added of Markieff Morris and Josh Selby, who scored 17 and 14 respectively Wednesday. “I had an on-night tonight. There’s other players on my team who can do it, too.”

If you have a night like this, I'm pretty sure reporters are going to keep asking you questions about your performance. And, he should be proud. As for bringing it every night, it would be great to be "in the zone" all the time, but there are so very few that can do that. I think as we get into conference play and go into more hostile environments we're only going to get better. It's when we get on neutral courts in giant arenas when I get worried.

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