By LARRY VAUGHT
Junior Maci Morris went 6-for-7 from the field and had 16 points in Sunday’s 82-54 win over Tennessee Tech Sunday and continues to impress rival coaches.
“I actually watched Maci in high school, recruited her a little bit before she committed to Kentucky,” Tennessee Tech coach Kim Rosamond said. “Maci has always been able to shoot the basketball, but I think what she is doing now is just reading so well.
“Maci has become such a smart basketball player and understanding how to score at this level. If you take one thing away from her, now she can counter and so I think she is a complete player. You can’t take the 3 away from her because she is able to score off the dribble. I think she is doing a really good job on a young basketball team and obviously they look for her and rely on her a lot.”
Morris says she’s worked to become a smarter, more complete player. She is better at reading screens and cuts to make more intelligent passes.
“Just knowing when I can shoot, just playing smart and knowing where different things fit in,” Morris said. “It is important to build everybody’s confidence up. At Baylor we went 0-14 in the third quarter (in a loss Thursday) and that hurt us a lot in that game. Just to see everybody’s shot flying, it just builds our confidence and gets it back up to where it needs to be.”
Guard Taylor Murray says Morris’ shooting this season is no surprise because she wins the shooting competition in practice daily.
“That helps too because in games she’s going to have to make those shots, so it just builds up her confidence. As her point guard, I know what she wants to do if she likes flaring or curling up. I can try to get that good pass to her, get in the pocket for the shot to go in,” Murray said.
Offense is what Morris, who had six rebounds Sunday, has been known for going back to Bell County High School. Currently she’s more proud of her improved defense.
“It’s still not where it needs to be, but just from where it was when I first arrived to campus to where it is now, I’m proud of that. And how hard I’ve worked on that and how much my coach and teammates have pushed me,” she said.
She also understands she needs to be more patient on offense.
“Coach (Lin) Dunn preaches to me to slow down and wait on the screen. So I just have to be more patient and not rush some things,” Morris said.