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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Markieff Morris passes weight milestone, tops 250 pounds

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Markieff Morris passed a significant milestone this past summer.

photo

Kansas forward Markieff Morris gets off a shot around Thomas Robinson, left, during Bill Self's basketball camp Tuesday, June, 15, 2010 at the Horejsi Center.

“I topped 250,” Morris, Kansas University’s 6-foot-10 junior basketball power forward/center said proudly.

That’s 250 as 250 pounds ... an impressive load considering Morris had reached his collegiate low of 208 pounds as a worn out freshman in January of 2009.

“Coach Hudy put in a lot of work with me,” Morris said of strength coach Andrea Hudy. “It took dedication, me saying, ‘I’m going to do it,’ and it just happened.’’

Of course, weight tends to fluctuate on those who train as vigorously as KU’s basketball players. Morris confessed that as of a little more than a week ago he’d dipped to “247, 248 ... that’s before Boot Camp, though.”

The Jayhawks tend to shed significant weight at coach Bill Self’s two-week Boot Camp conditioning program, which started Monday.

“Right after the end of the season, I got right back in the gym. I took two or three days off and I was right back at it,” said Morris, who along with 6-9, 235-pound twin Marcus worked out at 7 a.m. several days a week all summer and into the fall semester.

“If I make it to the NBA, I think I can get to a solid 250 consistently,” added a modest Markieff, not yet assuming a pro paycheck is in his future.

Markieff Morris — he was listed at 6-9, 232 at the start of his sophomore year after reporting 6-9, 235 his freshman season — has credited his mom’s home cooking (shrimp alfredo and fried chicken) as well as lots of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for helping the pounds “stick.”

“We try to eat right here,” Markieff said of he and Marcus, who is listed 6-9, 235 after opening his sophomore season 6-8, 225.

Markieff was the forgotten twin this past summer — one in which Marcus received gads of publicity after attending the Amare Stoudemire camp in Chicago, LeBron James Skills Academy in Akron, Ohio, U.S. National Team training camp in Las Vegas and Adidas Nations Experience in Chicago.

Markieff received an invitation to just one of those camps, the Adidas event.

“I wish he could have been at those camps with me because I think he’d do real well. I think ’Kieff will be a big sleeper this year,” Marcus Morris said. “He’s getting up early in the morning and lifting weights two times a day. I think he’s going to explode this year.”

The twins had to adjust to being away from each other for the first time in their lives.

“I wouldn’t say we are independent. We still feel like we’re the Morris twins and not Marcus and Markieff,” Markieff said. “I could say, as of now, we can handle a week away from each other,” he added, smiling.

Teammate Tyshawn Taylor said Markieff was quite focused when Marcus was out of town much of the summer.

“I think when his brother was gone a lot traveling, ’Kieff was here and was like, ‘I might as well be in the gym,’’’ junior guard Taylor said. “He put in the work and it’s showing.

“I think he’s gotten so much better,” Taylor added of Markieff, who averaged 6.8 points and 5.3 rebounds a game last season after marks of 4.6 points and 4.4 boards in 2008-09. “He can beat a big guy off the dribble quick and can step out and shoot it. I think he’s got a lot of the stuff Marcus has got, people just don’t see it as much with him playing with his back to the rim.”

Markieff — he hit 56.6 percent of his shots last season including 10 of 19 threes (52.6) — plans on stretching the defense again this year.

“Of course,” he said with a smile, asked if coach Bill Self has given him the green light from beyond the arc. “He wants me to shoot it more this year. He thinks I passed up a lot of open threes. I’ve got to get more fluid with it, more consistent.”

Markieff could log more than last year’s 17.6 minutes per game following the early-entry NBA departure of center Cole Aldrich.

“It definitely is a chance for me to start,” said Markieff, who started two of 36 games a year ago.

“Playing against Cole every day in practice the past two years has gotten me ready for this point. Teaching me how to be a leader and how to control the paint is what Cole taught me the last two years.”

Self — he’s praises Markieff for his unselfishness and his passing ability — isn’t about to award starting berths in September.

Yet it’s pretty obvious one or both of the twins will be opening most games.

“They are more explosive,” Self said of the duo. “Their work ethic has improved, (yet) there’s still another gear they can take that to. Marcus needs to continue to advance his perimeter skills, which I think he showed late in the season he definitely possesses, and I think ’Kieff needs to continue to get better conditioning-wise. We’re going to lean on those guys hard. I think they’ll be two of the leaders going forward.”

They have been leading by example in working out so early in the a.m., in the weeks preceding Boot Camp.

“You stop and think about how far those two have come,” Self said. “They are two of the hardest workers we have. They are getting stronger, better.”

And of course, bigger.

Comments

REHawk 9 years, 8 months ago

WOW! Take a close look at the upper body development of Thomas Robinson. Let's hope the game slows down for that kid this season and that his game progresses in the manner of the twins in year two. Those 3-pt. stats of Markieff are certainly eyecatching. Would be a pleasant ingredient for this year's team success to see him loft another 15 of those threes, maintaining that same percentage. With the size of our developing Bigs, we are going to sweep out some lowpost space for our stable of speedy guards to slash the nets. When and if Withey gets healthy, Bill Self will certainly possess a complex array of lineup possibilities. There might be nights when Marcus and Mario Little literally explode from midrange, esp. if Kieff can step out to hit high percentage threes.

Spencer Goff 9 years, 8 months ago

Hilarious. I was looking at the photo thinking, "Wow, Markieff does look like a beast. Hey... Wait... That is freakng Robinson!"

Tried not to have a "man crush moment" but yeah, it happened.

Back to the main topic, I bet the twins rock it this year.

Spencer Goff 9 years, 8 months ago

It should be noted that Markieff did get the inside position on him for a layup. +1 Markieff.

kerbyd 9 years, 8 months ago

That's the first thing I noticed in that photo. The guns on Robinson.

NebraskaJayhawk 9 years, 8 months ago

No kidding. Wow, he's put some work in during the offseason. That dude looks like a monster.

KU_FanSince75 9 years, 8 months ago

An improved Markieff----can't wait to see him in action this season. HCBS has to be lickin' his chops because the possibilities of KU's bigs are limitless.

FairgroveJayhawk 9 years, 8 months ago

didn't realize that was robinson, i thought it was marcus. man, robinson is a hoss. wonder how his motor is running this year? 9,000 rpm's? but then again, markeiff does have that baggy shirt on.

can't wait to see markieff in action. it's going to be a fun year.

Ron Franklin 9 years, 8 months ago

I am so proud of you guys. Keep up the good work.

Martin Rosenblum 9 years, 8 months ago

Weight is a fickled thing. Note Sherron's struggles and all of the emphasis for him to get down to a perceived ideal weight. Then, there's been Withey and now Markieff who struggle to put it on and keep it on. The obvious difference is the origin of the extra lbs and the assets vs. liabilities at each position.

Weird concept if it were adapted to non-athletes. Oh yeah, it really is! Pounding down (too obvious a pun!) a bunch of PBJs and shrimp alfredo for most people would not enhance our job performance nor our potential healthiness. I guess we also don't burn through the calories like athletes either, unfortunately.

Metabolism be damned, I want some fried chicken now!

hawksince51 9 years, 8 months ago

I see Mk as our starter at the 5 and ready for a break-out year on both ends of the court. When we recruited the Morris twins I felt they had the potential to be among the best combos at the 4 and 5 in KU history. This could be the year. Like many of you I'm very impressed with T-Robs upper body. If his understanding of the College game has developed as much as his body, he will be great off the bench. With a healthy Withey, this could be our best ever 4 man front-line rotation. Rock Chalk!!

Tony Bandle 9 years, 8 months ago

If you compare this year's group with Pierce, LaFrentz, Thomas and Chenoworth from '97-'98, that's saying a lot!!!

gchawk 9 years, 8 months ago

Was Markieff listed as 6'10" last year?

Tony Bandle 9 years, 8 months ago

1] We all get smaller as we get older. 2] Changed to low ride sneakers. 3] Last year was measured in metric. 4] Height was measured in zero gravity last year. 5] Sloppy handwriting on the report. 6] " Hey, 6'-10", 6'-8"...what's the big deal? It's only a couple of inches." Quote from AD's Sports Info Office.

KUbsee69 9 years, 8 months ago

Markieff was listed as 6'9" (232lb) last year ... according to the basketball fan guide handed out at last year's Late Night.

gchawk 9 years, 8 months ago

Thanks, KU, that's what I was thinking. Wonder if he actually grew or if they just decided to add an inch?

JHawk74 9 years, 8 months ago

New shoes = New Height

What does everyone think about who will start this year? I think the only guarentee to start is Marcus Morris.

PG - Selby SG - Taylor F- Little F-Marcus Morris C-Kieff Morris 6th Man - Reed

OR

PG - Reed (if Selby can't play) SG - Talylor F- Little F- Marcus Morris C - Kieff Morris 6th Man - Morningstar

Last 5 minutes of a close game line up:

PG - Selby SG - Reed G - Taylor F- Little C-Marcus Morris 6th Man - Morningstar

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

justanotherfan 9 years, 8 months ago

Reed isn't a PG, so if Selby can't play, those minutes go to Taylor, Johnson or possibly Woolridge (if he can play PG). I think Releford will be 6th man over Morningstar (better scorer, gives us some punch off the bench).

With Withey getting hurt, I don't know where that puts him. I think Thomas Robinson can be a factor as well, but I don't know where either of them will go.

My guess is the twins start up front with Little, Taylor and Selby, or if Selby can't play, Johnson (to give us two ball handlers).

Joe Baker 9 years, 8 months ago

J- Don't rule out Releford. My understanding is that he has his stroke. I love Little but he never quite developed the year he played. I hope they're both hungry and ready! I hope Little has developed during that redshirt yr last yr. He was sure hurt after that last loss. I hope that provided some incentive.

I'm very curious to see how they step into the 3 spot.

Selby/EJ Taylor (I don't know about his mental progress)/Reed Little/Releford (go either way...I tend to think Little is the true 3) Releford could play some 2 if necessary. MCM MKM/JW

Theutus 9 years, 8 months ago

You do know that he played with a broken bone right? He sacrificed an entire year of his 2 years of eligibility to do whatever he could for the team, knowing he wasn't near 100%....

He sacrificed a lot to give us a spark that season. I think he's going to shock a lot of people this year with just how good he is now that he's healthy.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 8 months ago

Robinson looks extremely lean and muscular. Not a place for the weak if all three are in there.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 8 months ago

As to the above possible starting line-ups, I think Elijah Johnson is going to be the breakthrough player Marcus was last year. He might not start opening day but will be come Big 12 play.

Joe Baker 9 years, 8 months ago

I just read Paris' comments and appreciate them to a degree. Most people that have been around Mc and EJ do believe they are on the verge of a beakout yr, not just poster comments.

Also, there may be some sibling bias but Mc believes Mk will have a breakout yr! T-Rob may be the breakout player this year. I'd like him to get his confidence as a big man.

Either way KU benefits regardless of who has a "breakout" year. All expectations aside, most have spoken facts about the play of others. Even HCBS says the twins have another gear to shift up to, scary!!

I want to see TT's shooting!!

ParisHawk 9 years, 8 months ago

Many of you are overly optimistic in my opinion. - We lost two lottery picks and the winningest player in KU history and some of you think we will be better than last year. - Marcus improved as much his sophomore year as Cole, but he just might stagnate his junior year as Cole did. - Just because Cole and Marcus made huge strides their sophomore year doesn't mean it will happen a third year in a row. - The best teams usually have experienced point guards. We will have either a freshman or someone who is just filling in for the freshman.

I am saying all this for only one reason: let's not raise our expectations so high we can only be disappointed! Let's enjoy watching the season unfold. I prefer hope to expectation, gratitude to disappointment.

While I'm at it, someone wanted everyone's views on the Josh Selby situation. To me, there are two possible issues: academics and amateurism. If it were academics Selby would be completely ineligible, if it's amateurism he might just miss a few games like John Wall. Since he is cleared for class and practice, I suppose that academics are OK, so I am hopeful that he will at worst miss some non-conference games.

jchief40 9 years, 8 months ago

I see somebody knows how to use Google Translate ;)

jaybate 9 years, 8 months ago

How does Google Translate translate Google Translate?

dynamitehawk 9 years, 8 months ago

http://translate.google.com/#en|en|Keif's%20got%20some%20beef%20up%20in%20this%20mug.%20%20Tap%20another%20Big%2012%20trophy%20bitches.

John Hunt 9 years, 8 months ago

On the contrary, I think most of us (with the exception of the token over-zealous fans, but you gotta love their heart anyways) are regarding next season from a realistic standpoint. Your second point actually has the ring of pessimism to it; saying that Marcus "just might stagnate" his junior season is on par with the other commenters' predictions that Marcus just might make All-America strides his junior season. Both are obviously guesses, the only difference being that yours is negative, while theirs is actually more rooted in fact. With the exception of Aldrich (who, it must be recognized, was somewhat restrained by health-related and familial issues), Coach Manning has an excellent track record of furthering the development of KU big men each successive year of their college careers. Disregarding the anomaly that was Aldrich, one might reasonably expect Marcus to improve his junior year. That's realistic. And that also applies to your third comment, which I assume addresses our excitement about Robinson and Johnson. While Manning little say over the development of Johnson, there's little reason to believe that he won't oversee Robinson's growth as a sophomore just as he did for Darrell Arthur and others.

In reference to your point about point guards, I'll agree that the best teams to usually feature experienced players at the 1. I do have unbounded confidence in Selby, but should he be ineligible, I'd also have confidence in Taylor. He's proved to play best when he's at the forefront of the attack. Should he fill in as PG this year, we would have an athletic, EXPERIENCED player at the top of the key. And I'd be fine with that.

ParisHawk 9 years, 8 months ago

All reasonable points. My list wasn't necessarily my considered opinion: I was playing Devil's advocate to suggest that many things we read or write are "obviously guesses", as you say.

I do not expect Marcus to stagnate, but I will not be "disappointed" if his rate of improvement slows down from last year. I also hope for improvement from last year's freshmen, but I don't want to burden them with "great expectations".

It would be great to see obviously athletic dudes like Robinson and Johnson come to the fore, yes.

jaybate 9 years, 8 months ago

Being a fan of Albert Camus, I am comfortable with the absurdity of high expectations AND enjoying the season unfold regardless of how it goes.

Also...

There is an all powerful god that does nothing about human suffering, except give those that believe a season ticket to heaven.

Coach Consonants is a good and a bad coach.

Junk food kills, but its better than starving from food you cannot afford.

Lew Archer was the greatest American detective, even though Phillip Marlowe was more memorable.

William Gibson's Neuromancer had the best first sentence in the history of science fiction and Zero History is the conclusion of a modestly inspired trilogy.

Bill Russell was the best center ever, but Wilt Chamberlain was better.

"I really love how you whisper in my ear/ Telling me the things that I wanna hear.." even as I go deaf.

President Dubya does not torture, he water boards and gagging someone sometimes to death is not torture.

President Obama closes the torture prisons without closing them.

We are a constitutional republic that must ultimately do exactly what the private owners of the Fed make us do.

Keegs thinks Perk did a lot of good things, except when he thinks Perk is the Devil incarnate and quitting.

Chancellor Bernie wants to get to the bottom of everything, but also apparently wants everything to vaporize in the mists of a few months delay so we do not get to the bottom of everything.

Josh Selby is approved by the NCAA to practice, but not to play.

Violence in film is healthy. Sex in film is prurient.

The king is dead. Long live the king.

Viva absurdity!

jaybate 9 years, 8 months ago

Everyone is focusing on TRob and Kieff in the jpeg on top, but...

Look at Tyrel!!!!

Bench proof me, Jesus, through the weight room of life!!!

Tyrel, the kid from the sticks, is ripped out on top.

Imagine a brawny 46% trifectate, who can now defend without apologies!!

And don't dis his sis either.

NebraskaJayhawk 9 years, 8 months ago

Yeah, I can't wait to watch Reed this year. Call me crazy, but I think he's got a legit shot at making the NBA.

jaybate 9 years, 8 months ago

Yep, as usual, people are wildly underrating Tyrel and Brady.

Brady had his soph slump his junior year, because of the red shirting and late start. He is likely to be very, very tough this year.

Tyrel? He's a machine. He just keeps getting better in every way, while the athletic guys keep wondering why their athleticism ain't getting it done at this level.

Tyrel and Brady are not disappearing unless Tyshawn and Little and Travis can dunk the doughnut from downtown and trifectate at 38-40 percent. Probably not gonna happen, though if Tyshawn, Little and Travis can shoot 38-40% from the plantet Trinitron, and be physical monsters, then we are almost certainly talking a trip to Tiffany's for ring fittings. But, again, probably not gonna happen.

Look for Tyrel to show up everywhere on the perimeter. Everyone will say he will play no PG, but, of course, when Self doesn't want a TO late in the season and wants a trey gun at the PG, while he tries to muscle on the wings, Tyrel gets the call same as in the past.

Tyrel's trey doesn't talk, it swears!

LAJayhawk 9 years, 8 months ago

Tyrel was actually the second thing I noticed after T-Rob. Dude put some protein to work!!

Hopefully that muscle mass and his aggressive behavior will translate to knocking some heads on D and on the boards to add to knocking down some treys. You know that kid won't be pushed around. I fully expect to see good things from him this year.

Jayhawker413 9 years, 8 months ago

REED IS TOO SLOW TO DEFEND PG'S IN NCAA HOW THE HELL COULD U EVEN PRETEND TO SAY NBA??? Love everything about the Hawks and think that he will be a valuable asset to our team... but NBA?... GET SERIOUS MAN

jaybate 9 years, 8 months ago

The best news about TRob in the jpeg above is the legs. They are no long just ripped. They have enlarged diameter. He's got well muscled ballast below the waste to make him much tougher to shove. Way to go TRob!!!!!

Kieff, triple the number of treys you take, make the same percentage, and Marcus and Mario Little will run absolutely wild on both sides of the paint. Kieff, you earned your spurs this off season. You moved the iron not just for yourself and your NBA future, but for the entire team. Thanks!!! And you bet your sweet PBJs you are going to the L!!!

jaybate 9 years, 8 months ago

Now your stretching your vocabulary. You must really be making a thin living from words! :-)

ParisHawk 9 years, 8 months ago

Notice the date on the picture: June 15th. These guys weren't even halfway through their summer in the weight room.

KWufan 9 years, 8 months ago

Thomas Robinson, if your reading this, take note of the twins and copy what they do and how hard they work. If you do all these things, dude will become a beast. Mark my words, T-Rob in the later part of this season will make people say, WOW, alot.

Joel Hood 9 years, 8 months ago

Why is anyone on this board surprised that Tyrel is ripped. He friggin cleans over 300 lbs - as reported last summer. He's probably never had more than 15% body fat since he was 4 years old.

TexasHawk44 9 years, 8 months ago

do you ever get tired or your own voice? or your trailer for that matter?

yovoy 9 years, 8 months ago

Without Withey and having versatile bigs hints at the possibility that we will play pick-and-pop ad nauseum. When Withey and Robinson are in we'll be a bit more limited.

I don't really care who starts.

We were supposed to be "down" when we lost the guys from the NC team. I'll watch and I'm anxious to see how we do.

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