Just ignore Maci Morris if you catch her talking to herself on the court.
It’s something she’s done during Kentucky games since she arrived on campus two years ago.
“It’s like a little person I talk to,” Morris explained Wednesday after No. 22 Kentucky made quick work of Morehead State, 86-53, in Memorial Coliseum.
A person? She talks to?
Never miss a local story.
“I can help explain that,” chimed in UK teammate Makenzie Cann, who recorded her second straight double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds in the win.
“She says, ‘Oh, come on, MayMo. MayMo, do better,’” Cann laughed.
Morris will be talking to herself while at the free throw line “And we’re just like, ‘Let her be,’” Cann continued.
If you let Morris be, she’ll have a day like the one she had Wednesday when she scored a game-best 19 points to go with three assists and three steals.
Morris made five of the six three-pointers she attempted.
“She probably put up a million shots this summer,” Mitchell said of Morris (and MayMo).
Morris’ “little person” was something she picked up from working out in the gym with Skal Labissiere, a former men’s basketball player.
The junior guard would listen to him talking to himself and follow suit.
“I continued to do that because it would help me out,” laughed Morris, who had 19 points in her previous game as well.
It must be working.
Morehead State Coach Greg Todd, a longtime fixture in girls’ and women’s basketball in Kentucky, said he’s seen incredible growth from the guard from Bell County.
“I don’t think anybody would’ve guessed she’d be the level of the player she is, to her credit,” Todd said. “I always thought she was a good player, but she’s really blossomed into potentially an all-conference type of player down the road. She’s continued to get better and better.”
Mitchell sees it, too: “She really shot the lid off of it today. It was fun to watch her shoot the ball.”
Morris was a big part of the Cats’ devastating run to start the game when they raced ahead 15-5 and led by as many as 26 points, 44-18 on a Jaida Roper jumper. The Cats (5-0) started the second quarter with 10 unanswered points.
A little pregame chatter among Kentucky’s guards helped fuel that big run, Morris said.
“We met in a little circle and were like, ‘Let’s take it to them and not let off. Put our foot on their throats and let’s go,’” she said. “So we kind of wanted to set that atmosphere early on so we could get the win.”
At the break, Kentucky had an easy 46-27 lead behind 13 points from Morris and eight from Cann. The Eagles (2-3) started the second half making just one of their first 11 shot attempts while UK made four of its six tries.
In all, the Cats had four players in double figures and six that scored seven points or more in the rout. Jaida Roper (10 points and three assists) and Amanda Paschal (11 points) helped buoy a Cats bench that outscored the Eagles 33-13.
Morehead State (2-3) was paced by Eriel McKee, who had 13 points and six rebounds
Kentucky, which won its 13th straight over the Eagles in the series, made 56.4 percent of its shots and held Morehead State to 27.3 percent shooting to remain unbeaten.
After having to come from behind in its two wins out west last week, After the Thanksgiving break, the Cats will take on Marshall on Sunday at 2 p.m. before heading to Texas to meet No. 9 Baylor four days later.
Freshman forward Tatyana Wyatt, who has been working her way through the concussion protocol, could return as soon as Sunday’s game against the Herd, Mitchell said.
Marshall at Kentucky
2 p.m. Sunday (SEC Network Plus)