LEMOND: Morris put a tiny school on the map

At Landmark Christian, Morris is a hero. He helped put the tiny private school on the "basketball map". They played a nationally televised game in Atlanta against Dwight Howard's team on ESPN.

Nestled on the southwest side of Atlanta is tiny Landmark Christian School. It's the home of the Eagles. It's also the home of UK starting center Randolph Morris.

Bryan Bartley coached Morris at Landmark Christian.

"It was a fun year for us to have an opportunity to have one of the top players in the country," he said. "And it also gave other kids on the team exposure."

At Landmark Christian, Morris is a hero. He helped put the tiny private school on the "basketball map". They played a nationally televised game in Atlanta against Dwight Howard's team on ESPN, and his #21 jersey is retired.

"The phone calls were crazy," Bartley said. "Playing the game on ESPN was crazy. It was just a crazy year with all the phone calls and all the letters from all the people who were recruiting him."

To UK basketball fans, Morris appears like a quiet and reserved person, but those who know him say he's a very funny, personable and likable guy. Bartley says his former star player calls him often from Lexington and reminds him of Tim Duncan.

"I'm very proud of him," Bartley said. "He's playing well and doing a good job in the classroom, getting his education and working on his degree. He's getting mature on the court. He's getting used to the fanfare. He's having a great time. He's where he needs to be, and it's a great role for him to go through in this setting."

The SEC tournament was a homecoming of sorts for Morris who got to play in his hometown for the first time as a member of the Kentucky Wildcats. Bartley was at the Georgia Dome for all of UK's games, but he couldn't take the rest of the team.

"All the UK fans bought up all the tickets!" he joked. "It would have been nice if the UK fans would have left some tickets for our kids."

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