Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Stock up, stock down: Morris twins soaring in NBA draft projections; Selby plummeting

Brother Marcus Morris, left, and Markieff Morris congratulate each other after grabbing a foul against Iowa State during the first half on Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Brother Marcus Morris, left, and Markieff Morris congratulate each other after grabbing a foul against Iowa State during the first half on Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.


No need to look beyond the local college basketball team to reach the conclusion that trying to figure out how the Egyptians built the pyramids presents no tougher a challenge than attempting to determine why NBA general managers make the draft choices they make.

Oh well, at least the talent evaluators finally appear to be getting in on the secret that the Morris twins, Marcus and Markieff, both shape up as safe picks worthy of the lottery. While they remain all over the place on mock drafts, they’re both moving up. Yet, the mock drafts might not reflect just how highly their stock is soaring, according to one man who earns his living influencing draft choices.

“I won’t be shocked if both of them end up being top 10 picks,” the man said. “Everybody loves them.”

Lot to love. Neither twin ever bobbles a ball. They’re both great passers. They’re Philly-tough, don’t have any whine-and-stew to their games and bring magna cum laude-worthy basketball IQs to the court.

As the twins’ stock appears to soar, former teammate Josh Selby’s looks to be headed in the opposite direction. The grapevine that had Selby has a possible lottery pick knocking teams dead with individual workouts appears to have soured on the guard whose lone season at Kansas was marred by NCAA suspension, injury and a prolonged shooting slump. Some mock drafts have him tumbling into the middle of the second round.

What’s up? Maybe scouts are a lot like Kansas fans. The more they saw of Selby, the less they liked him. Or could it be, as one NBA insider wonders, that one team desperately wants Selby to drop to them and has spread rumors that they think he’s a bust waiting to happen?

That sort of thing happens. I once had breakfast with a few baseball scouts and the youngest of them asked the oldest what he thought of a player. The veteran proceeded to list red flag after red flag: He puts way too much strain on his shoulder with that delivery. He grips the ball tighter in big spots and once a choker, always a choker. Etc. Once the other scouts left, the veteran shared that he loved the player and routinely throws competitors off the scent when he really likes a player.

Projecting a college cager to the NBA can be tough, but not as tough as NBA general managers have made it look in recent years when drafting Jayhawks.

Darrell Arthur runs faster, is quicker, more explosive and three inches taller than Xavier Henry and Arthur lasts until the 27th pick of the 2008 draft and two years later Henry gets chosen with the 12th pick? Arthur runs the floor far better than Cole Aldrich, has way more offensive skills and is light years quicker, yet Aldrich, chosen two years after Arthur, went 11th in the draft?

And then there’s the curious case of Mario Chalmers. The most ridiculous, often-uttered opinion regarding Chalmers holds that he made himself “a lot of money with that one three-pointer against Memphis.” Huh? A long-armed guard deft at finishing at the rim, shooting three-pointers and prowling the passing lanes, Chalmers lit up Texas with 30 points in the Big 12 conference tournament title game and he lasted all the way into the second round, the 34th pick?

Why Arthur and Chalmers lasted so long and Aldrich and Henry were swept up so early — sure, it was a weaker draft, but still — remains a mystery.

So does Brandon Rush. Nothing strange about where Rush was selected, 13th in the 2008 draft. That seemed about right. He’s an enigma in that he hasn’t established himself as a player capable of earning a permanent spot in the starting lineup. He moves his feet so well and has such long arms, he projected as a stellar NBA defender, but until he learns to use his hands to play more physical defense in the manner Brady Morningstar did at Kansas, he won’t reach his defensive potential. His jumper looks like those in instruction manuals and his touch is so pure. He shot .417 on threes this past season, but that translated to just 9.1 points in 26.2 minutes a game.

Mysteries abound in the pool of draft prospects, which makes it logical that the Morris twins keep soaring and Selby appears to be plummeting. The twins have proven so much, Selby so little.


Clarence Haynes 2 years, 10 months ago

All too often the national press pick up what local press write, including the unfair comment in this article that scouts are a lot like Kansas fans........:

There are many of us who like Selby and wish him well!


lee3022 2 years, 10 months ago

This year's NBA draft is, by most reasonable accounts, a crap shoot from 3-25 or 35. I believe Markieff will go before Marcus, based upon the feedback. Selby will get drafted and has an opportunity to play next year in the rotation if drafted in the 2nd round or become a seldom used bench player if drafted at the end of the first round. Selby is very raw and needs a couple of years to learn the game.,

This will make this year's draft more interesting and suspenseful.


gardenjay 2 years, 10 months ago

That story about the baseball scouts may be as old as the hills, but it's always good to hear it. People can be such a sad mixture of stepping on others to get ahead or to feel better about their own egos.


William Blake 2 years, 10 months ago

Twins separation:

We discussed before how it may help the twins to separate. That their maturity may come on quick once they have to "go it alone."

I'm thinking Kieff could see the largest uptick from the separation. He's always been in the shadows of Marcus, and happily so. The brotherly twin love was so strong that he always played just a bit timid so he wouldn't steal the limelight from his brother.

Soon that will be gone, and Kieff won't be guarding Marcus' light any longer.

It is time for Kieff to shine in his own light!


Jack Wilson 2 years, 10 months ago

Lots of opinions on Selby, but we won't be able to judge his decision to enter the draft this season for a number of years. Here's what Bilas said, ranking him #24 in this draft:

  1. Josh Selby, Kansas Selby is athletic and very dynamic as a scorer. He has a great first step, a good midrange game, works hard and wants to be good, but he was suspended early by the NCAA and was injured not long after that. We did not see the real Josh Selby this season, and he is one of the more undervalued players in this draft.

jaybate 2 years, 10 months ago


Why don't they just stop calling bigs power forwards, or centers and start calling them Rocky Balboas, or better yet, Mountain Riveras from Requiem for a Heavyweight"?

Where are Ralph Nelson, Rod Serling, Jack Palance, and Keenan Wynn, when we need them?

Hey, Lawrence film makers: how about making a movie called "Requiem for a Big Man?"

Its the story of a washed up former college star and NBA journeyman center punchy from "accepting" contact and playing out his string in a fictional country in the Balkans.

Didn't anyone notice the USA Today story yesterday that pictured Carl Eller and inventoried the awful conditions of all these former professional football players?

God I hope I do not live to see the day when basketball is so rough it produces the future equivalents of LaFrentz, Pollard, Collison, Gooden, and Aldrich too punchy and pain-killer addicted to function.

Watch out, all you big men today.

Don't ask for whom the bell tolls....


jaybate 2 years, 10 months ago

"A Sign of the XTreme Times"

USA Today evaluates Enes Kanter as the top center in the draft in part because "he initiates contact and accepts contact around the basket."

Let me repeat that:

Kanter "...initiates contact and accepts contact around the basket."

Translation: Kanter not only can deliver forearm blows to the head, but he can keep playing while getting his head walloped.

What has the game come to, when "accepting" forearm blows to the head is a virtue?!!!!

Help me, help me, help me, I think i'm going insane!


kirkhinrichflow 2 years, 10 months ago

Selby's stock plummeting.................. why am i not surprised?


jaybate 2 years, 10 months ago

I suspect Josh's draft stock has not risen, because a deal may already be wired for him to go to the Knicks and Melo. Just a hunch. :-)


glam 2 years, 10 months ago

Selby is in the mold of former NC point guard Larry Drew Jr. His attitude affected his game at KU. We did better statistically without him in the game. As in any organization, team work is very important, sometimes even more inportant than talent.


William Blake 2 years, 10 months ago

Basketball is sport... but basketball is entertainment, too. The twins stock is climbing because they are so entertaining! It is hard to look at a TV screen where they are anywhere on a court and not glue your eyes specifically on the twins. They are also gifted players who will contribute to an NBA team.

Selby didn't have enough exposure to develop a commercially-viable personality. He didn't have enough playing time in college to be known.

And then considers agents. The twins have been all over the place since deciding to go pro. They attend any (and all) events where there are TV cameras and a dribbling basketball. They have run through the drills of just about every NBA team... Where have they not been? Who is left on this planet that doesn't know who the twins are? These guys have the right agent!

With the twins recent negative comments about other players, etc., and since their reputation in college often included the word "thugs" it does make me wonder if their NBA entertainment image will be built around being the bad guys. Dennis Rodman move over!


WilburNether 2 years, 10 months ago

I wonder if Selby will be as big an NBA bust as fanboi idol Sherron Collins?


kansas525 2 years, 10 months ago

Nice rebuttal KU_Alum_2001, valid points that I did not consider when making my mind up about Selby. I think it is unfair to judge him too harshly. I believe the kid is only 18-19. He has a lot of growing up to do, and while I would rather him do it under HCBS tool-edge at Kansas, he'll get there some day. Maybe his drop to the second round in the draft will motivate him to be more of a team player and accept some coaching so he can hone is talent.


KU_alum_2001 2 years, 10 months ago

You people need to lay off Selby.

  1. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Remember that future recruits will hear a lot of input from friends, teammates, and of course, other coaches, and when KU takes All-American high school players and they don't translate into NBA-ready players, it makes KU look bad. It doesn't matter what the underlying truth is, either. Regardless of your thoughts on Selby, for KU's sake, you should want him to succeed. Stories like Julian Wright don't help us.

  2. Everyone knew Selby was a one-and-done. And we all knew long ago he'd miss the beginning of the season. Then he gets injuried (so did Wayne Simien and Jacque Vaughn). Then he decides to pursue his original plan of being a one-and-done. Is there really so much shock and awe in all this that we should immediately turn on the man?

  3. Guy wins us the game against USC and everyone loves him and praises him as the next great thing. Then everything else happens and you all turn on him... and sharply I might add. Even Coach Self wasn't slamming him, even after he left KU.

Let's remember that if/when Selby's name gets called, the name Kansas will appear next to it so let's not go throwing him under the bus too much, less we find ourselves struggling to explain to future recruits why are fans aren't as loyal as we claim to be.


jayhawktalk 2 years, 10 months ago

Great to see the twins stock rising!

...No ill will on my part towards Josh. Still wishing him the best and much success, although it sounds like he has a tough road ahead of him.


Tony Bandle 2 years, 10 months ago

Just saw an article on cbssports or rivals that with the addition of Jamari Traylor and the transfer of Kevin Young, the Kansas recruiting class has vaulted into the top 25.

I know it's not what we're used to but as of a month ago KU wasn't even on the radar, so maybe our Crimson and Blue tinted optimism is meritted.

PS. My I can't find the darn article. I do know for a fact before KY transfered we were #28 on

Nice posting title, Bob_Keeshan. I guess I'm showing my age in knowing who he was...the best kid's program host of all time next to Pee Wee Herman...Captain Kangaroo!!! I liked Mr. Green Jeans also.


Bob_Keeshan 2 years, 10 months ago

That story about baseball scouts is as old as the game itself. What a shame to see Mr. Keegan attempt to pass it off as his own.

It isn't plagarism per se, just ridiculous.


kennethst 2 years, 10 months ago

NBA? NBA Draft?...........Yawn.


Clarence Haynes 2 years, 10 months ago

I am a Kansas Fan and I like Josh Selby!


Dyrk Dugan 2 years, 10 months ago

i have long predicted that Selby would not be a 1st round pick...and now that seems an almost certainty, after the report came out the Knicks have really soured on him. Plus he got hurt again (some quad injury).

These kids need that devil's advocate times two in their corner.....sitting on their shoulder with a video projector, showing him all the good players that didn't make it, and what a help a good college career would have on your draft stock. there's no way in the world, with a good soph. season, he wouldn't have raised his draft stock.

the Twins will be just fine....i wouldn't be shocked at all if they're both lottery picks.


El Jay 2 years, 10 months ago

Keegan you are a terrible writer and an even worse basketball analyst. Im not sure what youre good at, but you should stick to that. Let me clear up some 'mysteries' for you. First of all, nobody at Kansas "liked Selby less the more we saw of him". Thats idiotic. We wanted to see MORE of him, THAT is what people are frustrated with. Secondly, Chalmers was not even discussed in draft talk until he made that three against Memphis so its fairly accurate to say that shot made him a boat load of money. He was a great college player but NBA scouts know that doesnt always translate, but there is always room for clutch. Thirdly, you completely ignore so many things when discussing where players went in different drafts, most notably, team needs. Aldrich is a true center and Arthur is an athletic four who could use more size. Aldrich was also a far better on the defensive side of the ball than Arthur and was more NBA ready. Arthur may have had a higher ceiling, but that doesnt always translate. And all that has less to do with why Aldrich went as high as he did than the simple fact that Aldrich was a center coming out in a draft with very little talent at center into an NBA that is extremely weak with regards to true centers. Seriously Keegan, stick to writing articles about topics that were huge last week that way you can just regurgitate what a bunch of other talented people have already said.


IrishDaddy 2 years, 10 months ago

Exactly WHAT is it that the twins have proved ?

Biggest chest thumpers in NCAA ball ?


KU_Alumn_2000 2 years, 10 months ago

I agree on Elijah as well. He and Relaford will make for one athletic duo within the guard unit !

Even with Kevin Young coming in...I question how well we'll play in the post. Hopefully Coach Self figures out a way to play D and score points from the post !


Timmay97 2 years, 10 months ago

Selby who? Elijah is about to explode into the college basketball world. He won't score like Kemba Walker did for UConn this past year, but he will be talked about as much as Kemba. He's going to be the biggest difference maker on this team this year.

The question is.....can Withey pull a Cole Aldrich and do the same......more offensively gifted, but lacks the defensive skills Aldrich has.


Jeffery Barrett 2 years, 10 months ago

Excuse me, it was "Do you think Josh Selby will be taken in the first round....?".


Jeffery Barrett 2 years, 10 months ago

If it works out that Selby drops into the second round - and I believe he will. I will refer everyone to the poll a few weeks ago that asked in which round do you think Josh Selby gets drafted? There were a few that commented on that poll that said anyone who thinks he won't get drafted in the first round is STUPID!

A very strong comment considering we're talking about - one, the NBA draft and -two, Josh Selby.


Kevin Studer 2 years, 10 months ago

I expect to see a lot of Keegan-bashing today in defense of Selby. However, he brought this on himself. He simply was not ready. It isn't bashing Selby to say he made a mistake in leaving so early, nor is it sour grapes; I don't feel like we are weak at the guard spots for him to have made THAT great a difference anyway, even with a better year (which I'm sure he would have had). He left too early. He wasn't ready. It will cost him a lot of money in draft spots. It's not sour grapes, it's the truth.


Hawkbridge 2 years, 10 months ago

""Maybe scouts are a lot like Kansas fans. The more they saw of Selby, the less they liked him." What a crock Tom. Nobody started disliking Selby until he decided to leave. Most felt for him and hoped his health would improve to make a late run in March. Stop making things up because it fills a sentence in your uninspired commentaries.


waywardJay 2 years, 10 months ago

The key to Brandon is, was and always will be... He played alot with Kareem and Jaron when he was younger. those kids were incredibly talented but lacked the mental game to be elite level forces in College and in the pros. What he learned was how to guard them, and how to be effective when someone else needs the handles, and Shots.

Brandon may never be a consistant starter, but not because of his output.... It's because the NBA doesn't value Two way players as much as College does. They want you to look like you play good defense, and they like to make up statistical categories to make you look like a good defensive player. ( Kobe Bryant anyone?) What Brandon is, is what Jere Lehtinen was to the late 90's early 00's Dallas Stars, A brilliant two way player. Someone capable of shutting down a better scorer, and someone capable of providing sufficent offense when needed. Which is great for INdiana, because if there ever was a Mike Modano ( High Volume shooting, one way player ) in the NBA it's Danny Granger, Brandon's Alpha Dog.

We may never see evidence of Brandon's Worth directly shown on the Court, but like so many Jayhawks before him ( Kirk Hinrich, Nick Collison, Drew Gooden, Jacque Vaughn....etc... ) He too will make a lasting NBA career out of what amounts to being selfishly unselfish, and using every drop of his ability to his best ability. Even if it confounds our Beat Writer's to no end because he does not fit into a bread Box.

As for Mario Chalmers, If there was ever Proof that Danny Ainge is not a Brilliant General MAnager, I submit drafting JR. Giddens in the First round when Mario filled both of his "guard needs." ( good shooter to Back up Ray Allen, good enough Ball handler to also Break Rondo. ) As a Celtic's fan this Draft ( Bill Walker in the Second Round ) Remains the biggest WTF moment in recent memory.


djhawk75 2 years, 10 months ago

If projections hold it looks like Selby would become the poster child for the epic one-and-done fail after all. From then on analysts would say, "This kid may turn into the next Selby." The next time an event that is so hyped becomes a big letdown people may say, "Oh that was such a Selby." Now I really wish the kid would have stayed for just one more year. Just one.


Nicholas Cederlind 2 years, 10 months ago

wow, Tom. No mention of the blood condition that Shady had, which dropped his stock so low? Maybe we'll get facts in your next article...


KULA 2 years, 10 months ago

Wow! You're saying Brandon Rush could learn from Brady Morningstar? I'm laughing so hard, I may not be able to sleep tonight.


ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years, 10 months ago

Hate the NBA's draft. You watch the thing and there are 827 trades during and then you go to bed only to wake up and find out there were 679 more trades.


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