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Top 30 Seasons Under Bill Self: #6 Marcus Morris 2011

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NCAA Basketball: Iowa State at Kansas Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Player USG Ortg eFG TRB% Win Shares
Wayne Simien 27.6 118.5 55.8 18.2 5.7
Marcus Morris 26.9 121.9 60.1 15.5 7.2
Thomas Robinson 30 106.4 51.2 22.2 7.2

The 2011 Big 12 player of the year posted one of the best offensive seasons in KU history, averaging 17 points and just over 7.5 rebounds per game while leading the Big 12 in win shares and ranking 2nd in offensive rating. He’s 5th at KU under Self in PRPG, and 9th in Box plus minus.

Morris also ranks 7th at KU under Self in usage, despite all of the offensive talent on the 2011 Kansas team, showing exactly how highly Bill Self thought of McMorris, and among all players with a 25% usage rate under Self, Morris ranks 2nd under Self in offensive rating (the guy who ranks 1st is still to come).

Morris was also an underrated defensive player. He ranked 17th in the Big 12 in defensive box plus minus in 2011 and 4th in defensive win shares. He showed the potential to guard smaller players on the wings while also providing resistance down low, showing a preview of what he would turn into as an NBA defender.

But it was his monstrous offensive numbers that carried the day (or year) for Morris. He scored more than 17 points per game while ranking third in the league in effective field goal percentage and second in true shooting percentage. As what will probably be a theme here, he piled up the points and did so incredibly efficiently, posting one of the best offensive seasons in Kansas history.

I suspect fans downplay his 2011 season a bit due to the eventual Elite 8 loss to VCU, and while that loss was disappointing, it’s worth noting Morris had 20 points and 16 rebounds in that game and only turned it over once, so blaming him for anything to do with that game would obviously be a mistake. He was great all year in big spots: 17 points on just 7 shots in the Big 12 title game. 21 and 10 in the regular season finale at Missouri. 14, 8 and 5 in a neutral court win over Memphis. The aforementioned Elite 8 game. For the 2011 postseason, he averaged 17 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. He was freaking good.

To finish it out, I will turn it over to the world’s #1 Marcus Morris fan, The Athletic’s CJ Moore. You should subscribe to read his articles, but a small sample:

Best player of the Self era is overstating it a bit, but 6th best season of the Self era isn’t too shabby.

7. Wayne Simien 2005

8. Devon Dotson 2020

9. Mario Chalmers 2008

10. Sherron Collins 2009

11. Perry Ellis 2016

12. Dedric Lawson 2019

13. Jeff Withey 2012

14. Tyshawn Taylor 2012

15. Brandon Rush 2008

16. Joel Embiid 2014

17. Sherron Collins 2010

18. Darrell Arthur 2008

19. Cole Aldrich 2010

20. Ben McLemore 2013

21. Markieff Morris 2011

22. Andrew Wiggins 2014

23. Jeff Withey 2013

24. Josh Jackson 2017

25. Marcus Garrett 2020

26. Travis Releford 2013

27. Perry Ellis 2015

28. Udoka Azubuike 2018

29. Wayne Simien 2004

30. Devonte Graham 2017

31. Malik Newman 2018

32. Wayne Selden 2016

33. Keith Langford 2004