Morris Powers Kansas Past Nebraska
Feb. 6, 2010
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
Marcus Morris has proven to the KU faithful that he can be an effective offensive weapon for Kansas. Over the last eight games of the season, the 6-foot-8 forward from Philadelphia, Pa. has scored at least 13 points and pulled down at least seven rebounds.
In scoring 20 points and grabbing 11 rebounds Saturday night against Nebraska, Morris registered his fourth double-double of the season and the sixth of his career.
“I just tried to put myself in the best position to score. I feel like we came out really strong, then we started to let up. I was just trying to go hard. The other team isn’t looking for me,” Morris explained. “They’re looking for Cole (Aldrich) because he’s such an effective player. They’re falling asleep, (while) I’m trying to get around them and get the rebounds.”
The 22nd victory of the season didn’t come easy for No. 1 KU, as the Cornhuskers overcame their halftime deficit and pulled ahead 43-39 in the second half. It was the first time this season that KU has blown its halftime lead.
“Anytime you’re down four in the Big 12 is a wake-up call. When we were down four, it was like, ‘OK guys, let’s buckle down and play some defense to get back us back up.’ Defense was big. It was ‘Don’t let your guy touch the ball, don’t let your guy shoot the ball.’ That’s what we did,” Morris said.
Aldrich, one of two returning All-Americans at Kansas this season, described KU’s play as “dumb” vs. Nebraska and Morris agreed.
“We had a couple of turnovers when we got up a bit. They were out-rebounding us, but we had the size advantage,” Morris said. “They were making us turn the ball over more than we wanted to. They sped us up and were making us play their game. We needed to slow down.”
KU responded by going on a 28-5 run over a 10:35 span to take a 67-48 lead with 5:13 left in the game. The Jayhawks’ 75-64 victory was their 55th home win in a row, tied for the second-most in school history. The record is 62 wins from 1993-98.
Although the Jayhawks were pleased with another win, they now have only two days to prepare for nationally ranked Texas.
“After this win, we don’t celebrate at all. It’s right back to the drawing board. We have practice at 10 a.m. tomorrow, and we’re going to practice like we never even played this game. There is no celebration. We celebrate after Monday,” Morris said.
Morris expressed his anticipation to travel to Austin for the first time.
“I expect it to be a hostile place with a good crowd. They’re still a top 10 team. We’re going to go down there and it’s going to be a dog fight. There is no way we can let Texas get offensive rebounds, or we will not come out the victor. Everybody has to go to the glass and every rebound is going to be tough. The strongest man is going to get it. This is a big game, but we never look past any opponent.”
Texas lost its fourth game of the season and third in Big 12 play Saturday, falling at Oklahoma 80-71. The Longhorns have been a capable opponent in the past, and Morris expects nothing different come Monday night.
“They’re not necessarily desperate, but they will give us their best shot. Every team is going to give us their best shot because we’re No. 1,” Morris acknowledged. “We’re in Texas on Big Monday. The spotlight will be on and they will come out and play, and we will come out and play.”