Back to 2008 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament coverage

2008 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Twins firmly in KU’s corner

One-time Memphis recruits cheered for Jayhawks on Monday


Self is home at KU

Just like Kansas men's basketball head coach Bill Self predicted, Thursday's press conference was anti-climactic.

Kansas University basketball signees Marcus and Markieff Morris, who signed letters of intent with Memphis in November of 2006, then switched to Kansas this past recruiting season, had no mixed emotions while watching Monday's national title game in their North Philadelphia home.

"Kansas is where we're going to be, so we were rooting only for them," Markieff, a 6-foot-10, 230-pound forward/center, said. "It was only right to do it that way."

Markieff and his 6-8 twin Marcus were interviewed by Rise Magazine a day after KU's 75-68 victory over Memphis.

"It was exciting. We felt like we were there," Markieff told Rise. "It was great to see Kansas win it."

The two, who reported they are academically eligible to play at KU, said they heard lots of comments while playing pick-up basketball in Philly this week.

"People kept saying to us, 'Your team should have lost.' And they were coming up with all sorts of other madness, comments-wise," Markieff said. "I just kept saying back, 'Can't take the win away from them.' Though it didn't look good when they were down by nine (with 2:12 left), I was just saying for them not to give up. A loss wasn't guaranteed.

"I know everybody out at Kansas is happy. It's going to be so much fun to join them," Markieff added.

¢ Henry likes NCAA finalists: KU and Memphis are the top two schools for Xavier Henry, a 6-6 junior guard from Putnam City, Okla.

Henry, the son of former KU standout Carl Henry, also likes UCLA, Texas, North Carolina, Louisville and Ohio State. He plans on taking five official visits before choosing a school next fall.

"Kansas winning the national championship is awesome, but it won't really influence my decision," Henry told "They've always been a great team, and my feelings about the program have not changed."

He would likely have dropped KU from his list had KU coach Bill Self taken the Oklahoma State job.

"It's very good that coach Self decided to stay at Kansas," Henry said. "Had he left, I would have had to build an entirely new relationship with the new coaching staff. It would have taken time to get to know the new staff. I'm just glad coach Self decided to remain at Kansas."

Xavier's older brother, C.J., will play centerfield for the New York Yankees' Class A team in Tampa, Fla., this year. It's expected C.J. will play college basketball for KU if his baseball career doesn't pan out.

¢ Denmon honored: Marcus Denmon, a 6-1 senior guard from K.C. Hogan, on Friday night won the DiRenna Award. It goes to the top player in the Kansas City area as deemed by the Greater Kansas City Basketball Coaches Association. KU freshman Conner Teahan of Rockhurst won the award last year.

KU signee Travis Releford of SM Miege was a finalist with Denmon, Clinton Mann (Overland Park Aquinas), Dominique Morrison (Raytown) and Johnny Coy (Benton, St. Joseph, Mo.).

Releford, a 6-4, 175-pound guard, was this year's Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year. He averaged 24.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, 4.4 steals and 4.1 assists for the 20-3 Stags, who lost to Aquinas in the sub-state finals. As a junior, Releford averaged 19.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists.

Releford played for coach L.J. Goolsby's K.C. Pump N Run team, which is sending a batch of players to colleges.

Denmon and Steve Moore are headed to Missouri, Coy to Arizona State, Morrison to Oral Roberts, Denver Holmes to Evansville and Ty Modupe to Illinois State.

¢ Bowyer recognizes title: NASCAR's Clint Bowyer of Emporia, who leads the Nationwide standings, raced with a Jayhawk logo on his car in Friday's Bashas' Supermarket 200 in Phoenix. It was in honor of KU's national title.


jayhawkinATL 13 years, 6 months ago

I totally agree, Nutflush21. Honestly, I've never heard of Denmon. I think I even saw Releford's name on Sporting News' pre-season 2nd team all-American.

kataboom 13 years, 6 months ago

omg if we get xavier henry then everyone in the country will be jealous of kansas' recruiting class. the ku situation just gets better & brighter everyday. im not used to that!

Nutflush21 13 years, 6 months ago

How does Travis Releford not win that award? Marcus Denmon isnt good enough to hold Releford's jock.

KGphoto 13 years, 6 months ago

Nutflush21 and jayhawkinatl. Honestly, have you ever seen either one of these guys play in person. Please.You've never even heard of Denmon, but you're sure he's not as good as Releford. Would you listen to yourself.Kansas has the reputation for having knowledgeable fans, so why don't you catch a game with these kids over the summer before you form such certain opinions. Or you could get a job and quit posting all together.

Lance Hobson 13 years, 6 months ago

Didn't CJ getted drafted as a shortstop? And why is he only in A ball still? It's starting to look like we may be seeing him soon...

davidsmom 13 years, 6 months ago

Releford's school is Bishop Miege, not SM Miege.

Chris Weaver 13 years, 6 months ago

from everything that i've read, it sounds like the fact that CJ is thinking about coming to KU hurts our chances of Xavier coming. i'm reading between the lines here, but i don't think X wants to be in CJs shadow.

milehighhawk 13 years, 6 months ago

Afilmer - 100% wrong.They would want to go to school together.

truehawkfan 13 years, 6 months ago

I have watched Denmon and Releford play, and BOTH players are VERY good. They are both very quick, but in my opinion, Releford has a much better shot, and creates his own shot a little bit better. They will both be very good college players.We actually played against Johnny Coy. That kid is an unreal athlete at 6'8", he can shoot anywhere, and finish around the rim. He is lazy though. He has a tendency to hide, and won't play hard if he thinks they will lose. He is going to Arizona State for Baseball.

63Jayhawk 13 years, 6 months ago

afilmer,Xavier is a much better player than his brother, C.J. There is no way he is afraid of playing in his brother's shadow.

danimal33 13 years, 6 months ago

Word is ku is looking to get a 6 ft 10 big man named ater majok. He's an international player from Australia.

flipborder02 13 years, 6 months ago

Dan. Ater is good go check out his video on youtube. Some people were saying if he would have been in the US for a couple of years he would be top 10 in highschool ranking. So I hope we land him. He has some real talent nice shooting touch.

Robert Brock 13 years, 6 months ago

We don't need any more average players from '08; we need to stock up on terrific '09 players!

quigley 13 years, 6 months ago

63 jayhawk- I guess I remembered it wrong. I was thinking that C.J. was a bigger prospect, but that was a couple of years ago.

Dale Kroening 13 years, 6 months ago

As for 2008,Self is waiting on a certain recruits decision who already signed a LOI with a LSU,who fired their coach.A buddy of DA.Yes Mr. Morgan will asked out of his LOI and come to KU.You heard it here first.And yes Releford is for real.

creightonjayhawk 13 years, 6 months ago

Does anyone else think the next 2 recruiting classes have similarities to rus robs and rush's classes. It seems that next year's class isn't overly talented but will probably be around for 4 years and are solid contributors. While the class of 2009 seems like it might end up with several mcdonald's players and more nba talent. Just some thoughts. Maybe another title in 3 or 4 years.

Jim Jackson 13 years, 6 months ago

Xavier Henry is one of the top prospects for the class of 09. Cj is supposed to be nasty too

Brett Gaul 13 years, 6 months ago

J. Coy is playing basketball at ASU, not baseball

drum1984 13 years, 6 months ago

Like cap10d, I've also been hearing J'Mison Morgan has serious interest in the 'hawks following the coaching turnover in baton rouge. He's supposed to be meeting with the new staff soon and its rumored he could be asking out of his loi. He would be a huge get for Kansas.

flipborder02 13 years, 6 months ago

Anybody hear of a guy named Lance stephnson class 09. He said he is going to be taking a visit to kansas in the near future.

flipborder02 13 years, 6 months ago

He is ranked 4th and I think we have a better shot at him then we do Xavier.

Mr_Sandman 13 years, 6 months ago

creightonjayhawk, I have had the same thoughts about the next two classes for some time now. Although if we get Morgan this next class would be Top 5 in my opinion. The 2009 class has the potential to be out of this world--John Wall #1 PG, X. Henry #1 SG, Daniel Orton Top 5 center, and so on.....Hopefully the twins turn out to be solid b/c from what I have seen from Releford, he looks polished. Saw Little play at the JUCO NC... he is a top shelf athlete with a good mid-range game, a little lax on D though...I know Bill will fix that though.

Dan Harris 13 years, 6 months ago

cap10d- I hope your right, I live in the Dallas area and J'Mison is a beast in the middle. He avg. 3.5 blocks a game and is still growing

JJHAWK 13 years, 6 months ago

Next year's team. Order of occurrence denotes the player's share of playing time ;>()The point Guard/off guard mix for next year 6'1 Mario Chalmers already nicknamed "Super"5'11 Sharon Collins Heart & soul needs to stay injury free avoid unforced TO's6'3 Tyrone Appleton (12.5 pts, 5.3 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 1.7 steals juco #s) Russ Rob's position6'3 Tyrel Reed more playing time if he avoids repetition of ankle problems and improves D - great shooter6'3 Brady Morningstar should be able to help thru injuriesSmall forward mix 6'6 Mario Little (19.5 pts 5.2 rebs 4.2 assists can beat you on the bounce)6'5 Travis Releford (19.6 pts, 6.7 rebs, 3.0 steals and 3.0 assists) primary position guardPower Forward mix6'8 Marcus Morris (27 pts 12 rebs excellent shot, versatile, can even play pt)6'8 Quintrell Thomas (22 pts 12 rebs last summers AAU stats)Center Position6'11 Cole Aldrich biggest improvement usually occurs between frosh and soph yrs 6'10 Markieff Morris (23 pts 15 rebs - prototypical power forward, can play pivot)The to be recruited big man could push Markieff into the power forward mix and push Marcus to small forward. Would give us fire power and drive on the wings. We are going to miss Brandon, Shady, Darnell and Sasha while we mature. How much anyone plays obviously depends on how they play defense. We D' everyone up in the tournament. And I, for one, love having that as our signature tough damn D. And you know what? I don't expect KU get to the final four in the next tournament, but I'm already excited about next year. Our team will be competitive, challenge for league, and I think fun to watch. No I don't expect 6'5 Teahan to challenge for Starting minutes next year.

johnballa 13 years, 6 months ago

nutflush-i have seen releford play, and i have seen denmon play. Releford can not touch denmon, simply stated. Denmon shoots something like 50% from 3 and 80% free throws. the game i went to he had 56 points. and in another game i went to of his, he had 41 of his teams 53. don't get me wrong, releford is good. he's a freak athlete and all... but denmon is just unbelievable.

Dale Kroening 13 years, 6 months ago

Hey jjhawk,those are Relefords junior #s.His senior #s are:24.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, 4.4 steals and 4.1 assists

JJHAWK 13 years, 6 months ago

Cap10dThanks for the update - I didn't have his most recent numbers. Some of the other player's numbers are dated also. You have to love Releford's steals and assist line. Definitely a future starter, but probably not as a frosh - unless he can defend like Rush. A groomed replacement for Mario or Sharon perhaps?

Jeffery Barrett 13 years, 6 months ago

JJHAWK, you have great info on your posts, but it's distracting when you get players' names wrong. It's SHERRON, not Sharon!

Dale Kroening 13 years, 6 months ago

Rivals has the 2008 class as being #8 in the country with:M. Morris *M. Morris *T. Releford *Q. Thomas M. Little T. Appleton (J. Morgan *) -- BIG IFIf Morgan does get out of his LOI and comes to Kansas that would have to make this class 1 or 2 (IMO).HCBS and others recently have mentioned that this class(without Morgan) is gonna surprise a lot of people.I hope they're right.

CaramelMacchMan 13 years, 6 months ago

All i gatta say Clint Bowyer... that is very classy..I dont watch NASCAR but i know who to root for now.. i was always like... alright Go Home Depot... RIP #3

CaramelMacchMan 13 years, 6 months ago

jrossThat is a copy play man...Look where Sharron Collins ended up too.Wow this play is carbon copy.

CaramelMacchMan 13 years, 6 months ago

Check out this two clips.I mean Carbon Copy...Look where Sharron Collins ends look where B Rush is..And even Jermey Case is on the floor..Look where Sasha is sitting and look at the towel over Rus Rob's head..OHhhh my God.... This is unreal guys...

justanotherfan 13 years, 6 months ago

Denmon deserves the DiRenna. He's been one of the best players in the KC metro since he was a freshman. My cousin (a soph this year) plays in the KC area, so I got up there for a couple games and saw glimpses of Denmon. When he decides to be, he's simply unguardable at the high school level. Also, this was against Missouri HS competition, which anybody can tell you, is better than Kansas HS competition. That's not to take anything away from Releford, who I think could come in and maybe start right away. It's just to say that knocking Denmon because he chose MU is foolish when you look at what he did in high school.To JJHAWK, I like what you have done there with the potential rotation. My thoughts are these...1) Not sure Marcus can slide over and play the 3. He may not be enough of a ball handler to play there regularly. I haven't watched him enough to say for sure, but I think he is more suited to not have to handle the ball a whole lot.2) Tyrel and Brady are going to be fighting each other for minutes the rest of their careers. They are very similar players who are going to end up battling for the Jeremy Case/ Rodrick Stewart minutes next year. That said, its a nice luxury to have guys like that just in case someone gets banged up (pretty much inevitable over the course of a long season.3) As I said in another comment earlier this week, I'm not 100% Shady is gone. He's 70/30 gone, but I think his hot and cold performance all season may put him on the verge of slipping out of the lottery (a big difference when you consider the investment teams put into their lottery picks). I think the extra recruit is there just in case Shady leaves, but otherwise all of our scholarships are gone already. 4) I think the reason Coach Self pursued the juco guys this year was to avoid having such a young team next year after the loss of 5 seniors and the defection of at least one junior. Now we are bringing in two high level juniors, plus four talented freshmen (maybe 5). That breaks that class up a little.

JJHAWK 13 years, 6 months ago

sgtjb123Next you're going to tell me he is also not an Israeli general!OOPS!

fansincewilt 13 years, 6 months ago

Sherron will lead this group to a national title in two years. If Chalmers is back next year, who knows what will happen. I wish we could have basketball all year round. My wife is glad March madness is over for awhile though. I am missing it already. National championship or not, I thoroughly enjoy the Jayhawks. This has been an amazing year. Wow!

JJHAWK 13 years, 6 months ago

JustanotherfanI have not seen him play either. My opinion is based on Bill Self's published evaluation - as quoted in the LJW. Things Bill said about Marcus that caught my attention were:1) He is the most versatile player we have recruited for awhile2) He is 'somewhat' like Julian in that regard,3) And then Bill said Marcus is versatile enough to play point,4) and he is an excellent shot. (His points per game suggests that is true)I was and am a big Julian fan, but never could I imagine Julian as point. I'm taking Bill's comments to mean Marcus can handle the rock and shoot it. Julian was an amazing athlete on a court, but at its best his shooting was only average.Of course Bill never did mention Marcus's defense and if you remember, despite his athletic prowess, poor defense kept Julian on the bench quite a bit during his freshman year.Don't think that Brady will manage to compete with Tyrell. Tyrell has a chance to be a starter, I don't think Brady does. Look at the time difference between the two this year and Tyrell suffered some ankle injuries that cost him. Tyrell can flat shoot the rock.

kerbyd 13 years, 6 months ago

I dont think Appleton has signed an LOI. I think he has just given a verbal

Dale Kroening 13 years, 6 months ago

You are correct.According to rivals its a solid verbal and hes as good as signed.The more I hear about him is that hes a lot like RussRob but slightly bigger and a slightly better shot.

Rob Wempe 13 years, 6 months ago

truehawkfan,Johnny Coy IS NOT going to ASU to play baseball!He is a BIG part of ASU's plans in BASKETBALL.This comes from a huge Jayhawk fan that is transplanted in Phoenix. I have season tix. to Sun Devil basketball and followed the recruitment of Coy very close!

stujayhawk 13 years, 6 months ago

Any body know anything about A J Majok?

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