Archive for Saturday, March 26, 2011

Last one standing: Top-seeded KU scraps past Spiders

Kansas forward Marcus Morris hangs on the rim after a dunk against the Richmond defense during the first half on Friday, March 25, 2011 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

Kansas forward Marcus Morris hangs on the rim after a dunk against the Richmond defense during the first half on Friday, March 25, 2011 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

March 26, 2011

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KU vs. Richmond

Kansas forward Markieff Morris said the Jayhawks want to play every game like it's their last after KU's 77-57 win over Richmond on Friday, March 25, 2011 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 77-57 victory over Richmond on March 25, 2011.

— An animated Markieff Morris took control of Kansas University’s five-player huddle before the opening tip of Friday’s emotional NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 game between KU and Richmond.

“I saw Kieff screaming and yelling. He was fired up. It got us hyped, man,” KU junior Tyshawn Taylor said after the Jayhawks’ 77-57 runaway victory over the Spiders at the Alamodome.

Morris, who scored five points and grabbed six rebounds in 17 foul-plagued minutes on a night Brady Morningstar exploded for 18 points, said he wasn’t trying to rid the team of any pregame jitters with his vocal display.

He was simply mad as heck and wanted to convey that sentiment to his teammates, who raced to an insurmountable 31-9 lead.

“Them not trying to shake our hands at halfcourt was the main thing that fueled us to start out. We felt a little disrespected,” Markieff said.

He was referring to introductions in which one player from each team was to be introduced, with the two opposing players meeting at halfcourt for fist bumps.

“They probably didn’t mean it, but we still noticed it. It definitely fueled the fire. That definitely got me riled up. They made us mad. I really think we’ll play mad from here on out,” Morris added.

The handshake situation came moments after cameras caught the Jayhawks and Spiders barking at each other in a crowded Alamodome tunnel leading out to the court.

The No. 12-seeded Spiders (29-8) were jumping up and down in the hallway and blocking the No. 1-seeded Jayhawks’ path.

KU’s players waited awhile, then finally made their way through the Spiders’ web. KU’s Thomas Robinson, Mario Little, one of the Morris twins and Royce Woolridge were caught on tape yapping with some equally vocal Spiders.

The incident was shown during the national telecast of the game.

“I guess that’s what they do before games. They were dancing. Coach was trying to get us to hustle out,” Markieff Morris said. “We were trying to get out. They were trying to not let us out. A few words were exchanged, and then we ran out.”

Self said the hallway run-in was much ado about nothing.

“There were two teams coming out at the same time,” he said.

“It’s what happened yesterday when somebody reported some crap which is totally ridiculous and sends a wrong message. That got way too much play, a lot more than it should have.”

He was referring to Marcus Morris saying, “You boys better be ready,” to a cart of Richmond players driving by on the way to the interview room Thursday at the Alamodome.

Marcus Morris, who scored 13 points off 4-of-10 shooting with seven rebounds and three assists, agreed with his coach that Friday’s hallway run-in was overblown.

“Everybody was laughing about it. The other team was laughing there. We had an exchange of words. It’s all fun and games,” Marcus said.

The Jayhawks definitely let their actions speak volumes Friday in advancing to Sunday’s 1:20 p.m. Elite Eight contest against Virginia Commonwealth.

“We jumped on them early,” Marcus Morris said. “We did a great job early. Tyshawn did a great job on Anderson (Kevin, point guard, 13 points on 5-of-17 shooting). We tried to control the game, speed them up and make them play our game.”

Noted Markieff: “We tried to take their guard out of the game. Tyshawn did a great job. He changed the pace of the game.”

KU senior Morningstar had seven points, while freshman Josh Selby hit two threes in a 21-2 run that gave KU its 31-9 lead. KU extended the run to 25-4 to take a 24-point lead (35-11) with 4:39 left in the half.

Richmond sliced the gap to a workable 15 points (37-22) with 1:27 left in the half following an 11-2 run.

The Jayhawks led, 41-22, at halftime behind a stout defensive effort that held Richmond to 29 percent shooting (9-for-31 overall and 3-for-14 from three). KU hit 50 percent of its first-half shots and made five of 10 threes.

“I feel like a couple of us were open. Me and Tyrel (Reed, six points, 2-for-4 three-point shooting) hit some open shots, and when they started to fall, they did a good job penetrating and kicking it. My team gave me the ball, and I was knocking it down,” added Morningstar, who made four of seven threes.

Morningstar was called for a technical for woofing at Richmond’s Kevin Smith after hitting a second-half three.

The two moments earlier had words on KU’s defensive end.

“I got ahead of myself. I’m not good enough to run my mouth after I make a shot,” Morningstar said. “That’s basically what it is. A mistake on my part. I apologize for that.”

Self wasn’t amused.

“They got into it on the other end. The officials talked to them. A 25-year-old should know officials will be looking at the next deal,” Self said. “That was not smart at all. I probably used a different term (in talking to Morningstar). But Brady played great.”

Up by 19 at the break, the Jayhawks were never seriously threatened the second half.

“The first half today ... that was a pretty good basketball team playing,” Self said. “I didn’t like the way we finished the game. It wasn’t a giddy or happy locker room. I think we should enjoy it. We came here to win two games. We’re only halfway home. We know the next game will be the hardest we’ve played so far in the NCAA Tournament.”

Markieff Morris thinks the Jayhawks will be raring to go.

“I think we are hungry,” Markieff said. “I think we are scared to lose. A lot of people talk about the seeds we are playing and how we play to the level of our competition in the tournament, it’s lose or go home. We don’t want to go home.”

Comments

volunteer 4 years, 1 month ago

Good reporting. Feels good to know a little of the inside stuff.

Coach is such a good man.Thanks for coming to KU and sorry we get so irritated when upsets occur.

newmedia 4 years, 1 month ago

Congratulations Jayhawks. Keep plugging. Win another one for the coach tomorrow like you did last Sunday!

Mandie Eutsler 4 years, 1 month ago

Congrats! Way to go Hawks! I love seeing how well you guys play together. Really great teamwork last night. Stay hungry fellas and get us a trophy!!!

rgh 4 years, 1 month ago

So who is the idiot in charge of locker room set-up? Having the opposing team using the same tunnel is ridiculous. I'm guessing that will change tomorrow. KU didn't run through the middle of their little dance, they ran single file down the side but Richmond had the entire tunnel blocked.

It was great to see Selby get untracked and the guys played defense the entire game and never gave up that big run. They gave up one small run but then pulled back away. Stay focused.

Sharon Roullins 4 years, 1 month ago

I find it so interesting how the media can blow things up out of proportion. The incident in the hallway leading out of the locker room looked one sided to me. I'm glad Self told the real story. But in the back of people's minds, they will only see that incident and make their opinions from there. They will continue to say that the twins are "thugs" and too aggressive, etc. But mighty funny that this is the type of behavior they want to see on the court. SMH I'll just say this, take your aggressions, frustrations, out on the court, without all the talking. Let your talent speak for itself and keep WINNING. Last night's game against Richmond was awesome! Get an early lead and keep it. If you are hungry enough......go get it!! ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK!!!!

CardHawkFan 4 years, 1 month ago

I am wondering if I am the only one okay with Brady's technical, the actions before the game, and even Marcus' comment the other day. Although (as usual) the media blew things way out of proportion and I am a big believer in doing the talking with your play not with your mouths, the actions make me feel like this team is hungry. This time of year, any edge is a good edge and Brady letting his emotions affect his play apparently worked out (team-high in scoring). Coach will make sure it doesn't affect what's happening on and off the court. I say let's embrace the fire...just make sure it is a controlled burn! Rock Chalk! Let's go boys!

Mandie Eutsler 4 years, 1 month ago

I think this was just the thing to put a little chip on their shoulders. They always play better when they feel like they have something to prove. Right now every TV sports guy is saying that we haven't really earned our way here, that we haven't been tested, that we lucked out. Well, we'll take it. We're taking care of business while the "best" teams are going home. Good Luck Hawks! GET US A ROCK CHALK CHAMPIONSHIP!!!

yankeevet 4 years, 1 month ago

Pee on those spiders!!!!! Jayhawks atem up!!!

4 years, 1 month ago

Love the photo of Marcus dunkin with 4 Spiders discussing who had the defensive assignment. Lmao

salem58 4 years, 1 month ago

ROCK CHALK! LETS GET EM BOYS VCU IS NEXT!

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