Plus, he knew the Tigers were without injured center Glen Davis, last year's Southeastern Conference Player of the Year. Morris took advantage of his absence to score 20 points and pull down 10 rebounds - his ninth double-double of the year.
More importantly, he was UK's offense when he had 11 of the Wildcats' first 15 points. If he had not been scoring, LSU would have raced to an even bigger lead than the 28-12 advantage it had 13 minutes into the game.
"He was carrying the load for us," Kentucky coach Tubby Smith said. "We needed someone to step up and he did. When you are not scoring, someone has to make something happen."
"If not for him, I don't know what kind of shape we might have been in," UK guard Ramel Bradley said. "I am very grateful he played well."
Chance to salvage second place
If Morris had not played well, Kentucky would be in desperation mode today and looking at possibly missing the NCAA Tournament. Now the Cats (19-8, 8-5 SEC) still have a chance to salvage a second-place finish in the SEC Eastern Division if they win at Vanderbilt on Sunday.
Morris might have been pressing early because he twice missed inside shots, including one when he nearly lost his footing under the basket. Rather than get discouraged, he kept his poise and had 14 points by halftime on 5-for-8 shooting from the field. His teammates were a combined 4-for-19 from the field in the first half.
"If you don't make the right move or you miss a shot, you still have to be aggressive," Morris said.
Morris wishes he had not said what he did after the loss to Alabama. He hopes his play against LSU will make Kentucky fans forget the comment.
"I didn't mean that I wasn't ready to play. I just made too many turnovers. I was down on myself for that. Obviously, I should have worded what I said differently. It's something I've got to learn from," Morris said.
His teammates might learn to keep getting him the ball, too, when he is playing well. He got only one shot the second half despite playing all 20 minutes. Freshman Jodie Meeks provided a needed spark with 13 second-half points and Ramel Bradley had 10. However, Bradley also put up seven shots - and 13 for the game - while Morris' size advantage inside went unused.
"I don't care about anything other than we won," Morris said. "It was a big game that we needed to win. We came into tonight with four games left, and we want to win them all.
"We don't focus on the negative. If you do, bad things happen. Fans had not been happy with how we were playing. They want us to win so badly that sometimes it comes off like negative criticism. That's a little tough, but we all want to win."
1,000 point milestone
LSU had lost eight of nine previous games and without Davis didn't figure to be able to stay with UK. Yet with about five minutes to play, the score was tied 58-58 before UK went on a 10-0 run to seal the win. Morris had two free throws in the run, but he also blocked two shots.
"Randolph played extremely well," Meeks said. "He got key rebounds, blocked shots and scored points we needed early in the game. No one can fault him for how he played this game."
Morris even became only the 53rd UK player to reach 1,000 points, a milestone he didn't know he was even near until his accomplishment was announced during the game.
"Obviously, it's a great honor to do that. I'm happy, but I'm happier that we won," Morris said.
He also understands not to be satisfied with his performance.
"I played a good, aggressive game. But they did not have their best player," Morris said. "I had a good game with an asterisk because the game would have had different dynamics if Glen Davis had played."
True, but a game also has a different dynamic when Morris really does have his head and heart in the game as he did Tuesday.