University of Kansas

KU's Self looks past Taylor for guard options

LAWRENCE — There have been times when Kansas basketball coach Bill Self has said that junior guard Tyshawn Taylor needed to be at his best for the Jayhawks to be at their best.

Monday, as Taylor entered his second week of serving an indefinite suspension for violating team rules, was not one of those times.

Self said that he had not made a decision about Taylor's status but indicated there didn't seem to be any need to rush to judgment, despite postseason play beginning next week at the Big 12 Tournament.

"We've played pretty well without Tyshawn, too," Self said. "We'll just have to wait and see."

Taylor had been the Jayhawks' starting point guard all season until eight days ago, when Self announced his suspension. But sophomore guard Elijah Johnson has averaged 10 points and turned the ball over just twice in the two games he has started in Taylor's place.

"In my mind, if we were gonna play a NCAA Tournament game tomorrow," Self said, "Elijah Johnson would be our starting point guard."

Self said that, overall, he is most comfortable with senior guard Brady Morningstar handling the ball because of his 56-to-10 assist-to-turnover ratio in Big 12 play. But Johnson or Taylor have more potential for creating opportunities for their teammates through their speed.

"I think Tyshawn, when he's playing, is potentially the best we have at that," Self said. "(Elijah) has played pretty well the last couple weeks. I thought he was pretty good at K-State."

Tough slate — The Jayhawks may have regained a first-place tie with Texas on Saturday, but they've got a long week ahead with Wednesday's game against Texas A&M and Saturday's Border War game at Missouri.

"It may be the toughest week we've had all year," Self said. "Playing the third-place team in our league and the fourth-place team in our league and actually going to Missouri where they're undefeated at home. Those are hard games."

Morris up for an Oscar — Kansas junior forward Marcus Morris' national profile is growing by the day. On Monday, Morris was named one of 10 finalists for the Oscar Robertson Trophy, which is given annually to the nation's best player by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.

Morris is averaging 19 points in Big 12 play, good for third in the league, and leads the conference in shooting percentage at 60.7 percent.