Back On Track

Dec. 30, 2009

LAWRENCE, Kan. – At some point in a player’s career, a shooting slump is almost inevitable. After scoring a career-best 26 points against Michigan at home, Nov. 22, Kansas senior guard Sade Morris experienced one of those shooting slumps as she saw her offensive production fall.

“I went through a little shooting slump,” said Morris. “Thank God for this break. I had time to go in and get some shots up and just get my confidence up.”

For eight-straight games Morris was unable to reach double digits in scoring, but she came out of that funk as soon as the Jayhawks hit the hardwood of Allen Fieldhouse against Pepperdine. Morris was just four points shy of her career-best, posting 22 points in 22 minutes of play. The senior guard had been averaging 8.3 points per game on the season.

In addition to head coach Bonnie Henrickson and KU assistant coaches encouraging her to keep putting shots up, Morris’ teammates also urged her to continue shooting in practice.

“She had been through such a rough stretch where she couldn’t make a shot,” said Henrickson. “Then she started to not take shots.”

Henrickson even stopped practice on Tuesday to get on Morris for not shooting.

“I got yelled at for not taking a shot because they need me to take shots,” said Morris. “I started recognizing that just because I had not been making them, didn’t mean that I needed to stop shooting them. I started taking more shots in practice and gained confidence back and that enabled me to play like I did today.”

By halftime, Morris had 12 points and ended the eight-game streak of not reaching double digits. It was Morris’ day as she continued her strong play on the defensive end of the court and stepped up offensively. She drove to the lane well, she made the easy layups and she converted her shots off the dribble and in transition.

“It was good to see her get back on track and make some tough shots,” Henrickson said. “It was great to see Sade be that strong and aggressive and successful.”

Morris’ aggressive play on both ends of the court helped set the tone for the Jayhawks. Her 22 points led the Kansas team on the afternoon, which won its seventh-straight contest and moved to 10-2 on the season. With the 82-63 win over Pepperdine, the Jayhawks finished undefeated at home throughout the 2009 part of their schedule.

Morris and the Jayhawks have one more game on the road before the start of Big 12 Conference play and today’s showing offensively for Morris was the step she said she needed to take to prepare for conference play.”The team needs me to play well and have my `A’ game,” Morris said. “I just have to keep my confidence up and stay in the gym.”

In addition to shooting 10-of-17 from the floor, Morris also contributed four rebounds, four assists and two steals to lead the Jayhawks to victory.

“There isn’t anyone more prepared to help us win than Sade,” concluded Henrickson.