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June 17, 2009
Marcus Morris continues to improve
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The current KU players scrimmaged the alumni today at Bill Self's basketball camp at the Horejsi Center. The most improved player on the floor was forward Marcus Morris, who led all Kansas scorers with 20 points. Morris looked comfortable at his new spot on the perimeter. Morris has tried to make it to the gym twice a day this summer to work on his game.
"I have been working hard on my one dribble pull-up and my stand-still three pointer because sometimes like today when Sherron penetrated the defense was giving me the three pointer so I am taking it," Morris said.
If there was one person in the gym who wasn't surprised by Marcus' improvement, it was Sherron Collins. He has been waiting for Marcus to break out for a while.
"This is the glimpse he showed us last year, he is just consistent with it now," Collins said. "We are seeing it every day in pickup and individual drills. He is going to be a big key to our team this year in how far we go."
The first team to score 65 points was the winner in today's scrimmage. With the alumni leading 64-62, Sherron Collins had the ball and was fouled on the shot by Keith Langford. Of course, Langford had a different opinion on the play.
"That is the most phantom call ever," Langford joked after the game. " I was ready to shut down the game with that call."
Collins though had a simple reason as to why the call was made.
"They are the old guys now and this is our gym so they don't get the calls anymore."
Those old guys though had the last laugh as Aaron Miles hit a jump shot to win the game 67-63 for the alumni.
Jackson back in the house
Darnell Jackson was in peak form scoring 19 points for the alumni. Jackson though was impressed with the Kansas squad, and even had a prediction for where they will end up next season.
"I think they will go back to the Final Four," Jackson said. " I truly believe that."
Jackson had his own season end several weeks ago as his Cleveland Cavaliers lost to the Orlando Magic in six games in the Eastern Conference Finals.
"It hurt a little bit," Jackson said. " LeBron [James] and Ben [Wallace] told me we always got next year."
LeBron served as a mentor for Jackson this year, and helped him through his rookie season.
"I used to tell him that all the time like, 'Hey man, I used to play with you on the Playstation.'" Jackson said. "Now I get to be a teammate with him and joke around on and off the court. It is a great feeling."
Jackson averaged 8 minutes a game this season, and has plans to play on the Cavs summer league team next month.
"They have been on me hard," Jackson said of the Cleveland coaches. "They want me to play a bigger role next year. "