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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Danny Manning encouraged by Morris twins’ pro destinations

Twin brothers Markieff , left, and Marcus Morris, who played together at Kansas, stand near the stage after they were picked No. 13 and No. 14, respectively, during the NBA basketball draft Thursday, June 23, 2011, in Newark, N.J. Markieff was picked by the Phoenix Suns while Marcus was picked by the Houston Rockets.

Twin brothers Markieff , left, and Marcus Morris, who played together at Kansas, stand near the stage after they were picked No. 13 and No. 14, respectively, during the NBA basketball draft Thursday, June 23, 2011, in Newark, N.J. Markieff was picked by the Phoenix Suns while Marcus was picked by the Houston Rockets.

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Markieff Morris was taken 13th overall by the Phoenix Suns in the 2011 NBA Draft. His brother Marcus was drafted by the Houston Rockets with the very next pick, at 14 overall.

— There are a lot of reasons for former Kansas University forwards Markieff and Marcus Morris to be encouraged about the fit associated with them being taken 13th by Phoenix and 14th by Houston, respectively, in Thursday night’s NBA Draft in Newark, N.J.

Style of play, number of quality big men on each team’s roster and chemistry with the club all are among the positives.

But KU assistant coach Danny Manning, the No. 1 overall pick in the 1988 draft who was in Newark on Thursday night, pinpointed a couple of lesser-known reasons for the twins to be thrilled with their new teams. Trainers.

Manning, a former all-star who played 15 seasons in the NBA, has strong relationships with both the Suns’ and the Rockets’ head trainers. When talking about them at Thursday’s draft, Manning could not hide his smile, which may have crossed his face because of fond memories, the thought of what the Morris twins are in for or both.

“These guys are in great hands,” Manning said. “I know both of those trainers very well and they’ll take good care of these two. They’re going to two great cities and I’m very happy and proud and excited for both of them.”

During his career, which began with the Los Angeles Clippers, Manning played five seasons in Phoenix, averaging 13 points or more per game in four of them. Though he didn’t want to make Thursday’s excitement about him, Manning couldn’t help but be a little extra pumped for Markieff, who now will follow in Manning’s footsteps with the Suns.

“I’ve got some ideas for him as far as areas to live in and restaurants to eat at,” Manning said. “But more than that, I’m just happy for him because it’s a nice step in his journey to play at the next level, which starts now.”

That’s no joke, even if it might have been unimaginable a few years ago.

“What amazes me about these guys is that they wouldn’t have been on anybody’s radar three years ago,” KU coach Bill Self said.

After an intense couple of days in the Big Apple, both Morris twins left New York for their new homes on Friday. Before boarding their planes, they shared their thoughts about the franchises for which they’ll soon suit up.

In Phoenix, Markieff will team with former NBA MVP Steve Nash, a point guard known for turning big men into all-stars.

“He’s a great player and he makes his bigs good,” Markieff said of Nash. “I think me playing with him is going to make me a lot better. I’m just ready.”

In Houston, Marcus joins a young roster full of up-and-coming talent, including Kevin Martin, Courtney Lee and fellow-Philly native Kyle Lowry. Like his brother, Marcus also is looking forward to learning all he can from the Rockets.

“I feel good about playing with those guys,” Marcus said. “I’m just going to feed off of them and add to their offense and just do other things, too.”

One of the tougher elements of both Morris twins joining teams in the Western Conference are the multiple guaranteed matchups against each other next season. The 2011-12 NBA schedules aren’t out yet, but the Rockets and Suns faced each other three times last season. After spending their entire lives on the same team, are the twins ready to be rivals?

“No,” Marcus said. “But, I mean, we’ve got to. I’m going to see him a lot. I hope I don’t have to guard him or he don’t have to guard me. But basketball is basketball and we are both competitive guys so we’re just going to get after it.”

Comments

ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

100 9 years, 1 month ago

Ahperhashadabunchofbeerstonight appears to still be miffed that MU & the grapes got stomped by Gill last year in recruiting....

ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

100 9 years, 1 month ago

Turner Gill's high profile recruiting that keeps you up at night aside (by the way did you see Gill just beat out some SEC schools for a recruit the other day)... Any 6'10" basketball playing kid in high school needs to take note of the twins progress under Danny Manning.

Both went from extremely awkward & at times awful to....

NBA Lottery!

KULA 9 years, 1 month ago

lol, ahprscdhapdsxdffwws, whatever.... +1

HawksWin 9 years, 1 month ago

ahper, Good morning to u... Took awhile to get here thanks to my iPhone :-)

notigers4me 9 years, 1 month ago

There is an old saying "If you want to go somewhere follow someone that's been there". That's certainly true with Manning and the twins. It will be wierd not having them around next year to watch, but "Alls well that ends well". Good luck guys in your new homes and the adventure continues.

Funhawk 9 years, 1 month ago

Everybody needs a Danny Manning in their life.

bhol 9 years, 1 month ago

Or...A Good Manning is Hard to Find

I may have stolen that from Keegan haha

Viggo3003 9 years, 1 month ago

Hey I need a little HELP please. Does anyone know how, when, where you can purchase tickets for the Kansas - Kentucky Bball game on Nov 15th at Madison Square Garden this year. I checked the Madison Square site and all the other ticket sites I use and I see nothing. I thought I had seen some posters on here that stated they had purchased tickets to this. Any insites would be mucho appreciated.

Ben Kane 9 years, 1 month ago

i've planned my trip but don't have tickets yet.

Viggo3003 9 years, 1 month ago

Well we're going to do the same. You wouldn't have heard where the team is staying have you?

Al Salazar 9 years, 1 month ago

Join the Williams Fund, start from there. Seriously helped me out especially when buying tickets for away non-conference games. Also in obtaining season tickets.

ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years, 1 month ago

Call Leavenworth, ask for prisoner number JK5789A2. You never know, might still be some connections even after the conviction.

jaydeamin 9 years, 1 month ago

Yeah, that dude is like wallyworld. He can get anything!

REHawk 9 years, 1 month ago

Kudos to Self, Manning and the entire coaching/training staff for bringing the twins along so quickly. Future recruits who seriously wish to improve by giant leaps, are you listening?

REHawk 9 years, 1 month ago

Kudos to Self, Manning and the entire coaching/training staff for bringing the twins along so quickly. Future recruits who seriously wish to improve by giant leaps, are you listening?

Andrew Dunlap 9 years, 1 month ago

the Morris Twins story is one of the best in KU basketball history. They came here rough, uncut and unknown. It could have turned out bad for them. They had adjustment problems and behavioral problems. But the staff and the school took them from boys to men! I hope they will honor their KU roots by doing well in the pros and giving back to the KU family!

dylans 9 years, 1 month ago

They were both top 40 High School recruits. So I do not believe that qualifies as total unknowns.

Dan Cook 9 years, 1 month ago

Actually, neither were Top 40 recruits. I would say from a consensus perspective, they were more like Top 65-75 recruits.

KGphoto 9 years, 1 month ago

I'm glad Danny is happy with where they are headed, but word to the Nuggets. Make a trade for the twins and I'll buy season tickets.

See ya in Denver boys. Guarantee you'll be hearing Rock Chalk chants when you come out here. Don't forget to go to Chopper's. Best KU bar in the state!

jaydeamin 9 years, 1 month ago

Where is Choppers? I live in the springs and have been looking for a KU bar to watch some games at.

KGphoto 9 years, 1 month ago

Not that Denver didn't do well in the draft. Picked up a guy named Jordan Hamilton, and another named Faried. Andre Miller is back too. Better bring your "A" game to Denver next year!

jaybate 9 years, 1 month ago

"Some Possible New Handles to Kick with for a Poster That Seems Down Bound:"

ahperseperchancenocoachingexperience

ahperseaversetocoachingexperience

ahpersehurlingexperience

ahpersefizzoucoachingexperience

ahperseI'mFrankMartin'sAlterEgoExperience

ahpersedeterredfromcoachingexperience

ahpersedrynursingexperience

ahpersedisappearanceexperience

ahpersecutpurseexperience

ahpersenocoachingexperienceever

ahperseperversepostingexperience

(Note: Just a little word play on a slow news day.)

ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years, 1 month ago

Look at us! The day after the day after the draft and it is apparent there is nothing to talk about other than each other. We are stumbling like Clark Griswald across the desert after jumping the family truckster at least 150 ft trying to find "only the biggest da#n hole in the world. Or in our case, trying to make it to late night.

I was simply mentioning (in a rather funny why, if I might say so myself) that "extreme scrolling" took a toll on the ole pointer finger yesterday.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 1 month ago

Back to the subject..if I was a forward or center with a lot of talent but wanted to get 'NBA Ready', there is no other school I would rather go to then KU and D Manning.

Michael Auchard 9 years, 1 month ago

And now, officially, begins the time of year where I ponder rooting for new NBA teams solely because of their drafting of a Jayhawk.

truefan 9 years, 1 month ago

That's exactly what I do. I am Kansas born and bred and a home team guy, but unfortunately, the great state of Kansas doesn't have a pro basketball team (I begrudgingly accept KCMO teams as "home teams") to root for.

Because of this, whatever team drafts a Jayhawk becomes one of my NBA teams. So far we've got the Celtics, Grizzlies, Rockets, Suns, Heat, Thunder, Hawks, Pacers...did I miss any? Plenty of championship hopes on all of those teams.

There are some teams I don't like, such as the Lakers, but I guarantee I'd jump on their bandwagon too if the were to draft a Jayhawk and I'm not ashamed at all to admit that.

Kenny Terry 9 years, 1 month ago

Two more bigs to the NBA as lottery picks. A good sign to future bigs who.want to be coached under Danny Manning

Christopher Giordano 9 years, 1 month ago

I'm happy for every Jayhawk that is able to fulfill a dream to play in the League. I am equally proud of the job that Coach Self, and his staff, has done to develop 4 lottery picks in the past 2 years. That is the best recruiting tool there can be.

Rock Chalk, Jayhawk!

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