In the preseason, two Kansas Jayhawks were publicized by the media, Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich. And then Xavier Henry joined the party by scoring 27 points opening night by way of hitting 5-of-8 from behind the arc.
Since opening night, the media has focused on Collins' offensive prowess, Aldrich's struggles and recent success and Henry's fame as the second best freshman in the country. But throughout it all, where is the love for Kansas' best frontcourt player… Marcus Morris.
Last season as a freshman Jayhawk, Marcus Morris was probably best known for having a twin brother, Markieff also on the squad. But this season, Marcus has made a name for himself, dominating at times and producing consistently throughout the course of the season. Currently, he is the team's second leading scorer behind Collins at 13 points per game and second leading rebounder averaging 6.3 boards.
Since losing to Tennessee on the road, which still stands as the Jayhawks lone loss on the season, Marcus Morris has stepped up his game to, perhaps, an All-American level. Through these nine games of Big 12 play, Morris is putting up 18 points and 8 rebounds a contest. But what makes Marcus even more dangerous than most college 4s, is his ability to shoot from outside. He is hitting 50% oh his shots from behind the arc in this nine game stretch. What most people don't know is that in Big 12 Conference play, Marcus Morris is leading the team in scoring and is averaging less than one rebound less per game than preseason All-American Cole Aldrich.
In an overtime game with Colorado, Morris collected six points, including two clutch free throws to put the game away in the 5-minute overtime period. In the much-anticipated matchup with #14 Texas, Morris pitched in 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting and 8 gathered rebounds, while also dishing out 4 assists in the win. His defense and rebounding kept the Longhorns potent frontcourt of Damion James, Gary Johnson and Dexter Pittman from getting easy looks and second-chance opportunities.
His numbers may not be as exceptional or as dominating as potential All-Americans, but Marcus Morris' play definitely speaks for itself. He deserves to be in the discussion as he has been, game-in and game-out, one of the number one ranked Kansas' best players all season long, but even more so in conference play and in the clutch.