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Archive for Monday, March 28, 2011

A real tearjerker: Rams put end to Jayhawks’ run

Kansas forward Marcus Morris hangs his head in the waning moments of the Jayhawks' loss to Virginia Commonwealth on Sunday, March 27, 2011 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

Kansas forward Marcus Morris hangs his head in the waning moments of the Jayhawks' loss to Virginia Commonwealth on Sunday, March 27, 2011 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

March 28, 2011

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KU vs. VCU

A double-double effort didn't ease the pain of KU's Marcus Morris, who feels he let everybody down in the 71-61 loss to VCU.

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 71-61 loss to VCU on March 27, 2011.

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU senior guards Tyrel Reed and Brady Morningstar

KU senior guards Tyrel Reed and Brady Morningstar talk to reporters following VCU's 71-61 victory over Kansas on March 27, 2011.

— Marcus Morris, who tried but failed to hold back the tears, sat at his Alamodome locker with his head pointed straight down.

Kansas University’s junior forward spoke in a barely audible whisper after the top-seeded Jayhawks’ 71-61 loss to No. 11-seed VCU in Sunday’s Elite Eight shocker, which was witnessed by a tiny crowd of 14,299 spread out in the massive football stadium.

“I feel I let everybody down,” Morris said after scoring 20 points off 8-of-19 shooting in what could have been the last game in his three-year KU career.

The 6-foot-9, 235-pounder from Philadelphia missed three three-pointers without a make on a day the Jayhawks missed 19 of 21 from beyond the arc. Also, he was 4-of-8 from the free-throw line on a day the Jayhawks (35-3) made just 15 of 28 charities.

Meanwhile, VCU (28-11) hit 12 of 25 threes and 17 of 22 free throws, making it easy to see why the Rams of the Colonial Athletic Association reached the Final Four over the Jayhawks of the Big 12.

“They were the better team,” Marcus Morris said. “We couldn’t get any shots to fall. The lid never came off for us. We’d never played anybody like that all year that could shoot like that, with multiple players who stretched the defense.”

Morris was one of two Jayhawks who needed to be helped off the court by assistant coach Danny Manning after the final horn sounded. He wept on KU’s bench along with freshman Josh Selby, who scored two points off 1-of-5 shooting. Selby went 0-for-3 from three.

In the locker room 15 minutes after the game, senior Brady Morningstar, who scored two points off 1-of-7 shooting (0-for-3 from three), stood facing a wall, his hands placed behind his head.

Junior Tyshawn Taylor (14 points, 6-for-9 shooting, 2-for-5 from the line, 0-for-2 from three) sat with his head buried in his hands.

“It sucks,” Taylor said. “I feel I’ve been on the best two teams I’ve ever played on (last two years in which KU lost in second round and Elite Eight as No. 1 seeds).

“I know it’s going to be that much harder next year with us losing Tyrel (Reed), Brady and Mario (Little, two boards in five minutes).”

KU led 6-0 early, but saw things go downhill soon after. The Rams, who hit nine of 17 first-half threes to KU’s two of 11, went on a 30-11 run, turning a 10-9 deficit into a 39-21 advantage with four minutes left in the half.

“We didn’t get to shooters multiple times, didn’t play to scouting report several times. The basket got bigger for them and smaller for us,” KU coach Bill Self said.

“They were the aggressor. Our whole deal is, ‘They are a scrappy team. We’ve got to be scrappier. Attack. Attack.’ They were the ones on attack much more than us.”

KU, which trailed, 41-27 at halftime, did mount a huge comeback. Led by Taylor, who scored nine points, the Jayhawks went on a 17-5 run and trailed by just two, 46-44, with 13:05 left.

VCU made a quick statement, hitting KU with an 11-3 run to build another 10-point lead at 57-47 with 8:49 left.

KU lagged by just five points with 5:12 left, but actually could get no closer than that the rest of the way.

“It does,” Taylor said, asked if battling back from a huge 18-point deficit takes a lot out of a team, even one as talented as KU. “It’s fighting from behind. It’s like swimming upstream almost, going against the water. It’s tough, man, real tough.”

Of the comeback, Self said: “I don’t think that took much out of us. I don’t know. Maybe emotionally a little bit, but I don’t think physically.

“We cut it to two, and then we don’t hedge the ball screen, they get a dunk, and we throw the ball over in the corner and get trapped and turn it over. Next thing you know, two becomes seven. We just didn’t have it where we kept putting pressure on them. We kept saying the pressure would shift to them with the lead, if we can keep it within distance, and they did a great job keeping us at that four- to six-, seven-point range.”

Self complimented VCU for playing “great” — Jamie Skeen and Brandon Rozzell were the only two in double figures with 26 and 12 points respectively — but also lamented his own squad’s overall play.

Shooting 35.5 percent overall and 2-for-21 from three with 13 missed free throws isn’t a good formula for victory in the Elite Eight.

“They didn’t take our best shot today. That was not our best shot, but they had a lot to do with it not being our best shot,” Self said. “We shot it miserably. We turned it over so many times when our post guys had it. That’s not characteristic of us. We just didn’t have it today offensively.”

He was asked by a reporter if this one felt like a “kick to the gut.”

“Yes it’s a kick to the gut for our program and our players,” he said. “I think it’s kind of a microcosm of life. When you care a lot, invest a lot, it could be in relationships or whatever, when it doesn’t go well, it hurts. This is one situation where it definitely hurts. You could say kick in the gut, a lot of things, they would all be true.”

Yet ... “There will be a point in time we say 35-3 ain’t bad. Big 12 championship, tournament championship, Elite Eight, that ain’t bad,” Self said. “A lot of people would sell out for that. I will say without hesitation how hard these guys played, how hard they tried. This team has been through a lot. If you told us before the season we’d go 35-3, win a couple championships losing two lottery picks and best player, I’d say that’s a pretty good year, but when you put yourself in position to cash in, you have to take advantage of it. As much as I’d like to think it, these opportunities don’t happen every year. You’ve got to make most of them. We didn’t make most of ’em.”

Comments

TopJayhawk 3 years ago

When you play a "Cinderella" One of two things will probably happen.

1)You get a team that is in way over their head, and you crush them, like Richmond.

2)You get a team that is playing way over their heads, they shoot over fifty percent from three, and you lose, like with VCU.

I am proud of this team. To all KSU and MU howlers. Yes we lost another tournament game. You just wish you could be in the tournament late half as often as us.

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Kevin Randell 3 years ago

Ok, bottom line, we lost yesterday because VCU shot lights out at the 3 in the first half. Going into the tournament I knew the only team that could be KU would be KU. That happened yesterday. Am I upset?....heck yes because like many of us on here we are tired of the hype and build up then the huge let down. But when you are the best you expect the best. But never the less, the season is over, and we added more wins to the total of one of the best programs in the nation.

Now....my only big beef is with the Morris twins. Guys, I know many of you will support the whole trash talking aspect. Yes it does happen, but there is an old saying. If you are going to talk trash you better be ready to back it up. Yesterday which ever Morris twin spouted his mouth off wrote a check his play could not cash. If....and that's a big "IF" the twins stay, Coach Self needs to tell them to shut up and just play the game! This whole trash talking thing has made the Great Jayhawk Nation look like a bunch of street thugs. Time to put class back into our program!

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sportsfan3 3 years ago

These are 18-22 year old kids, everyone. They are student-athletes, which happen to play at one of the biggest schools for their sport. I used to be a student athlete, and honestly their just normal people playing the sport they love. Nothing more, nothing less. Their competitive. Talking trash is part of the the game, almost part of life. Is anyone not competitive anymore? don't tell me you want/show that you are/will be the best! It sucks they had to lose, but losing is apart of the game. And what sucks even more is that these young men have to be attacked by everyone. I'm sure there upset, emotional, exc. They didn't let anyone down, 4 out of 150+ teams are in the final 4, and 1 is the national champ. We would all love the odds to be in their favor, but loses happen, trash is talked, there cocky, which hey, there confident. Just remember these are college kids, I know they are probably looked up to as celebs by some people, but they do have an ordinary life just with extreme talents.

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Hammertime12 3 years ago

KState beat K U by 50 in football and by 18 in basketball. Take the back seat KU. There is always next year!!!

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LongMemory 3 years ago

Aw, did someone's momma die?

Or were the Jay Squawkers up all night stealing hub-caps?

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CHEEZIT 3 years ago

An average of 33 wins the last 5 years. I'm sure the teams going further were saying when they lost during the season, "Its okay as long as we go further in the tournament'". Yea right! Winning is so much better then losing. Would I prefer we go further? Absolutely! The law of averages will prevail. Sure we had the most to lose but that is because we have the most! Rock on Bill!!!

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tanaumaga 3 years ago

new tattoos for the morris twins.... tear drops.

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distant_voice 3 years ago

Let's get one thing straight, ditwad, if VCU shoots its season's average of 3-pointers, KU is a 4-7 point winner. If they shoot 10 percentage points below normal, VCU's a 20 point loser. At one point, VCU was making over 60% of their three pointers and ended over 50%. Show me what NCAA team ever walks away from a game with a 50% success rate from beyond the stripe. Take away that KU played its worst game of the season, a team that shoots 50% of their 3-point shots will take down the best NCAA team that's ever been put on the court.

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hammerhawk 3 years ago

Go mighty Kansas Jayhawks. I'll bet a case of beer to any gaystater or mizzousucks supporter that we beat you with whatever team we field the very next time we play!

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Hammertime12 3 years ago

K-State lost in the Elite 8 last year and Missouri the year before.... KU loses in the Elite 8 this year and you would think the world was coming to an end. Get over yourselves KU fans. You aren't that good.... Losing to VCU proves KU has been over-rated all year.

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manONmoon 3 years ago

Does Bill Self not understand that the only way you can lose to a team that is shorter and less athletic is by them making three pointers??? KU loses every year the same way. annoying

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Steve Jacob 3 years ago

Off subject, but wait until the Aqib Talib story breaks....Doing KU proud...

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weatherguy48 3 years ago

I knew we were going to lose when I was reading crap in the media about the road to the final four being really easy for us. You think our guys don't hear about all that? I ain't blaming the media by any means but these are young guys, kids essentially. It ain't too hard to get into their heads. They only got serious once they realized they were about to lose, and by then it was too late. The same damn thing happened last year.

I will take a step back and say that while I am disappointed that the season is over, I am not disappointed in any single player or coach on the team. Not at all. They had an outstanding season and I think if the twins and TRob stay, and if Selby actually has a chance to play some games without getting hurt, we'll do fine next year.

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sallyone 3 years ago

Maturing to do? If you mean mature like NBA players then he needs to take a step back, he's too mature for that group!

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irvan moore 3 years ago

Self is one of the top 5 coaches in the country, it wasn't the game plan, it wasn't our day. the ball wouldn't go in the basket, that happens and it happened on the wrong day, we will be back, most of the teams won't.

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justanotherface 3 years ago

Is anyone really surprised here?! Right after they dominated Richmond Friday night and then Ohio State goes down, the twins start talking about how they relish being the overall #1. Sounds way too similar to the cockiness we heard after taking the #1 spot the second time this season and then got an ass kicking from KState a day later. This game was a typical game for KU this season. It was an extremely disappointing loss, but to be expected if you watched this team all year. And Selby, you are NOT NBA material, so sit back down and grab some text books and plan on being around for another year or two because you've got a lot of maturing to do.

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Kontum1972 3 years ago

congrats to our guys....it was a super ride but for some reason when i saw them come out on the court i knew this was it, and as i sat back with my cold beverage it was fun at the beginning then ...it got ugly..and i knew we would go down...i could see the panic mode kick in....oh well.....into the valley of death rode the 600 next year...Huwah!

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casualobv 3 years ago

Don't really know how college basketball and presidential policy are related, but hey...whatever. The reality is that the Jayhawks have steamrolled and bullied much smaller teams throughout most of this season with some exceptions. And their bracket was a very very friendly one. BU (16), Illinois (9), Richmond (12)... none of those seem particularly challenging to me. And I think they were all set to coast to the final four and didn't expect a fight. The most appropriate term is shellshocked. They were unable to recover when the fight was brought to them. None of this diminishes the achievements of this team, they are a talented bunch with a great record. But everyone who says that VCU just got lucky is just plain wrong. KU got out-shot, out-rebounded, and out-basketballed.

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hurlehey_boy 3 years ago

Real easy to talk all the smack Marcus Morris does when you're playing teams that don't play back. Best thing about this this loss for KU is that most of these guys played themselves right out of the lottery and will be back next year. A little defensive cohesiveness would be a good thing.

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wildwildwest 3 years ago

I like what DeaconBlue just said. Even though I would put the Kansas Guys way above OMAMA;, I mean Obama. Are we politicizing the B-Ball game. Shame on me.

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DeaconBlue 3 years ago

Obama picks Kansas to win it all in his bracket as well as he picks healthcare, wars, and cash for clunkers.

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beatrice 3 years ago

It isn't called March Meditation. It is March Madness! Any strange and crazy thing can happen. 9 out of 10 times, KU wins against VCU. Unfortunately, this was that one that VCU wins. Bummer. However, KU still has a great program, won the championship just a few years ago and will likely win again before long. No no. 1 seeds in the Final Four? Who would have guessed that?

KU lost. Bummer. It wasn't for lack of trying. Thanks guys for giving your best. Hopefully next year they can go further.

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Armen Kurdian 3 years ago

I'll probably get slammed for this, just so you know.

No, I'm not out there practicing, traveling, working hard, doing wind sprints, heck, I can't even do an uncontested layup. And I'm most certainly not a fairweather fan. My throat gets hoarse, I pull muscles from jumping up & down pumping my fists into the air, and I'm firmly convinced I'll die of a heart attack someday watching a KU football or basketball game.

But dangit I've got daggers coming out of my eyes I'm so mad at this. I could chew nails & spit bullets. Last year I was depressed, but this year I'm just furious. Does that make me spoiled? Maybe. Logic goes out the window when I feel like this, but their performance on the court yesterday equates to Jay Bilas' judgement of VCU's entry into the tournament..."indefensible."

This school for some bizarre reason does not know how to get it's basketball team in the right state of mind for 6 games in March & April. How many more mid-majors do we have to lose to (UTEP, Rhode Island, Bucknell, Bradley, N.I., VCU) before we finally put 6 games together again like we did in 1988 & 2008?

VCU's win yesterday was great for the overall sport of college basketball. It makes it that much more exciting. If we had lost to Purdue in this game, I wouldn't feel so bad.

How hard is it to guard the freakin' permiter and just do that when you KNOW that is the ONLY way the other team could beat you? I'll be venting for days. Good on the rest of you for applauding the team, seriously. I'm just not there right now.

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wildwildwest 3 years ago

When it is all said and done, there are only a handfull of young men on the court, playing the game. We can all set back and see the problems with every game, and pick apart the players and who did this and who didn't do that. However, none of us are on the court with the guys playing the game. Point is that 19 year olds and even 22 year olds are still just playing a game, a game that they love, and a game that keeps all of us on the edge of our chairs. For a great performance, I take my hat off to Bill Self, and all of the players that have given all of us another season to cheer about. Great Run, Great Season, Great Stuff. We all cry with the loss, we all cry with the thought of possibly not seeing the return of our favorite players next year, however life does go on, and the future of Kansas Basketball is not dead. Just cut short for the season. Bill and the boys, did a commendable job, and the future is still bright. Hats off to VCU, for defeating the best team of the tourney.

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Jeff Kilgore 3 years ago

Unlike many KU fans, I actually feel okay about this season. You can't argue 35-3. You just can't. The ball simply didn't fall and that can happen to any team at any time. Basketball can be a very fickle sport. That, and as Coach Self said, VCU kids are equal to many KU players if you went shirts and skins. The fact is, there are a lot of talented kids who play college basketball around the country--just like KU.

When you reach the Elite Eight, you've proven that you're one of the Top Ten teams in America. I will take that every year--and a few more national championships if they should come our way. It's hard to be grateful after the loss, but gratefulness is better than bitter feelings.

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hbjayhawk 3 years ago

Congrats on a great year, Jayhawks. In order for Coach Self to turn his 1-6 skid in regional finals, he needs to take a page from the Shaka Smart and Brad Stevens playbook (even Wooden) . . . Have your guys loose before the big game! Pat Forde on ESPN Radio compared our program with Oklahoma Football, indicating that we always choke when we have the golden opportunity. His argument was that if you take away the 2008 title, Bill Self's postseason accolades at KU are not impressive at all. I don't care what Pat Forde says, Self is great and he needs to let our guys go into the postseason without the pressure.

It took Wooden 15 years to win his first title. Hopefully Self will find the right formula. It has only been 8 so far and we have one banner since his tenure began. Not too shabby!

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bendover61 3 years ago

All they had to do was guard the 3 point shot in the first half.

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JHawkProud 3 years ago

I'm still PROUD to be a KU fan! We, Jayhawk Nation, have gotten so used to having such awesome teams that it is very, very hard for us to lose because that means basketball is over until October.

2010-2011 TEAM you should be very proud of your accomplishments on and off the court and for over coming such adversity this season!

For those that seem to have such dislike for KU please remember you are a "dark side" KU Fan--you root for KU to lose more than for your team to win. May you find peace someday!

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fabian_zimbabwe 3 years ago

Wow, you gotta love a couple of trolls from Richmond embracing the immature spirit of schadenfreude (big word...you may have to look it up). I was actually about to post a shout-out to VCU for a game well played. I sure hope you two clowns don't represent the VCU fan base. Keep it classy, guys, real nice.

Rock Chalk, Jayhawk...thanks for a fun season, guys!

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Jayhawk_crusher 3 years ago

bet you know where Richmond is now! not knowing speaks volumes about the education of your player. every kid in grade school learns the states and capitals.

Maybe KU should look at recruiting some players that are "smart" enough to play

GO RAMS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Go home Jayhawks :(

pass me your numbers, i'll skype you in from Houston

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KUSMABT 3 years ago

ROCK "CHOKE" JAYHAWKS, BIG TIME!!!! LOOKS LIKE THE PLAYERS HAVE SOME LEFT OVER ROY WILLIAMS DISEASE, "CRYBABYITIS". HAHAHAHAHA...GO RAMS! COME PLAY US AT OUR HOUSE UNLESS YOUR AFRAID! MAYBE YOU SHOULD KEEP YOUR TRASH TALKIN TILL AFTER THE FINAL SCORE,,,,

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Vinny 3 years ago

its obvious you know nothing bout college sports. there are amazing reasons kansas plays the teams we play early in the season. it helps other schools financially! kansas will always be one of the top schools in the nation. enough talkin to not-so-bright people. congrats on the season; can't wait to do it all over again next year. go hawks!!!!

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Janet Olin 3 years ago

I feel for the players because they played hard , maybe too hard, to come back. They got tight when behind. Everybody without a Jayhawk connection is laughing and hooting because the giant fell. You should see the KC Star headline. Yes, this team didn't like to defend and had some cold spots this year, but this is our team. We love the players. 35-3 is an amazing won/loss record, and they were fun to watch. It's not so much that they lost, but the way they lost that is so painful for the team and the fans. Rock Chalk. Thanks for a great year, guys.

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newmedia 3 years ago

Great season Jayhawks! Nothing to be ashamed of. I would take my chances with 35-3 every year. You brought us another season of good memories. Anyone who has ever played sports knows how bad that last loss feels. Keep your heads high and be proud you are KANSAS! Never back down from anyone who tries to disparage you. Use it as a challenge in life.

Rock Chalk!

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biggunz 3 years ago

Enough with the trash talk comments. It happens by every team in every game in every sport. It just so happens Kansas has been caught talking and the media uses it every chance they get. It's completely overblown. Do you all think no other Kansas team trashtalked? Rex Walters was one of the biggest trash talkers around when he played here, and that was by his own admission. Get over it and move on.

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defensehawk 3 years ago

Say what you will, it was a great season!!! We lost this game,ok, it hurts for us fans but just think how the players feel. I, for one, feel really bad for the guys and you people get on here and complain about the coach, the players, trash talking and what do you think you're doing? You are trash talking these guys and that sucks!! Keep in mind these guys are young males that are playing a competitive sport, trash talking is just part of it these days. The media blows it way out of proportion, what would you rather they do? Go up to the other team and say, " gee I hope today we can win without hurting your feelings." get real people they are just trying to get their competitive juices flowing and if it spills over then it spills over. I don't like trash talking but I understand why it can happen. So thanks JayHawks for a great season and I hope you all come back next year but if you don't Good Luck in your futures.

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Robert Rauktis 3 years ago

Since these "3rd world" teams seem to be KU's bane, how about KU does its own bracket busting and play them outside the friendly confines of Allen Field House? That would seem a better "practice" for the real world than beating up some orphanage in December. Make 'em travel on a bus to and fro. "WAIT"! They're COLLEGE BASKETBALL PLAYERS! It might affect their trash talk.

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Robert Rauktis 3 years ago

Since these "3rd world" teams seem to be KU's bane, how about KU does its own bracket busting and play them outside the friendly confines of Allen Field House? That would seem a better "practice" for the real world than beating up some orphanage in December. Make 'em travel on a bus to and fro. "WAIT"! They're COLLEGE BASKETBALL PLAYERS! It might affect their trash talk.

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clorox 3 years ago

Are the Morris twins related to Jacob Pullen. It seems these overrated clowns cry like a baby quite a bit. When will KU and Kstate gets some players that dont steal, and comit crimes. What a disgrace to this state. Did Mario beat up his girlfeiend or cry on the court like a sissy.?

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