Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Boston U. coach, Morris twins share Philadelphia roots

Brother Markieff (21) and Marcus Morris wait to check in during the second half on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011 at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.

Brother Markieff (21) and Marcus Morris wait to check in during the second half on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011 at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.


As a Philadelphia native and basketball fan, Boston University men’s basketball coach Patrick Chambers always has been fond of Marcus and Markieff Morris, Kansas University’s twin brothers from the City of Brotherly Love.

But the reasons for Chambers’ admiration for the Morris twins goes beyond all three having the same hometown and understanding what it means to be from Philly. Chambers, a former Villanova assistant who worked under VU head coach Jay Wright, actually tried to recruit the Morris brothers to ’Nova a few years ago.

“I really enjoyed meeting them,” Chambers said Tuesday, recalling his efforts to entice the twins to stay home. “I really enjoyed following their careers. We had them on campus. Their mom, Angel, is terrific. Their coaches were great. They were a lot of fun and it’s gonna be a lot of fun seeing them. They’re great kids, they’re hard workers, they love to play.”

That signature style has served the Morris twins well throughout their careers at KU, as they’ve grown from talented, undisciplined freshmen into team leaders and all-conference performers. Three years ago, they arrived at Kansas foreigners in a foreign land. Today, they’re as much the face of Kansas basketball as anybody on the team. As Chambers was quick to point out, they’re also pretty darn good.

“They play with a chip on their shoulder, like they’re out to prove something every single day,” Chambers said. “And, when you have kids like that, it’s tough to wear them down, it’s tough to beat them down. They just keep coming, they don’t give up. That’s really a Philly type of attitude.”

Chambers would know. In addition to being born and raised in the largest city in Pennsylvania, Chambers played his college ball at Philadelphia University, a Div. II program coached by Herb Magee. After joining the team as a walk-on, Chambers became the starting point guard and left the as the all-time assists leader.

Seeing how his love of his hometown runs deep, it comes as no surprise that four players on BU’s roster list Philadelphia as their hometown. Though three of the four are freshmen, Chambers has high hopes for their development because of their upbringing.

“I’d like to think our young kids have (the same tenacity as KU’s twins), but it’s not up to the Morrises’ level yet,” Chambers said. “The Morrises are a lot older and a lot more talented, too.”

Although the Morris twins will bring combined averages of 30.9 points, 15.4 rebounds, 59 percent shooting from the field and 38 percent shooting from three-point range into Friday’s matchup, Chambers said he was looking forward to catching up with the twins, no matter what the outcome.

“I saw Marcus in Vegas (in 2010) because Jay Wright coached that (USA Basketball select team that Morris played for),” Chambers said. “It’ll be fun to see these guys again.”

Both the twins and KU coach Bill Self are familiar with Chambers, as well.

Said Marcus Morris of his relationship with Chambers: “He’s a great guy.”

Added Self: “He was there trying to get the twins, too, when he was working with Jay (Wright). He was there some of the times we were there. Marcus and ’Kieff are so familiar with them and their staff. He’s done well to win so many games. He’s off to a great start for sure.”

During his two seasons at BU, Chambers has faced a handful of powerhouse programs. Few, however, have had the kind of resume the Morris twins and the Jayhawks bring into Friday’s clash at 5:50 p.m. at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla. Chambers is doing his best to prepare for it.

“It’s tough to do in practice, but we’ve got to do the best we can to simulate that,” he said. “The Morris twins are very physical and tough. I know them well. Nobody really talks about (KU guards) Tyrel Reed and Brady Morningstar (and) what those guys bring to the table, IQ and their shooting ability. They’ve got some depth, too.”


100 9 years, 11 months ago

"Just do your best.... That is success."

--- John Wooden

"Drop the gloves... It's time to win 6."

---- 100

Steve Gantz 9 years, 11 months ago

Do you live on this site and wait til an article appears so you can be first to post? :)

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 11 months ago


I'm sick of reading that stupid post on every single isn't even that great of a quote.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Each great season, there is something now and always, something real and simultanteously mythical going on.

In '08, it was about winning a ring, and in the process righting a wrong with Roy Williams.

In '88, it was about winning a ring, and restoring the greatness of the Father of All Basketball Programs.

In '52, it was about winning a ring, and finally winning the tournament for the man, Phog Allen, who's brainchild the tournament was.

This season, '11, is about winning a ring for sure.

But also lurking in the back ground is the righting of the most heinous wrong in the history of KU basketball and the NCAA tournament itself--Kansas' and Philadelphian Wilt Chamberlain's double-over time loss to UNC in the 1957 National Championship.

At the mythical level of existence, things work out in nonlinear, metaphorical, symbolic, often dream-like ways. We are often unaware for quite some time during such seasons of their mythical aspects working out before our eyes. We just see the brilliance of the play and the players and the games and the coaching. It is often not until late in such seasons that it comes to us in a lightening bolt of insight what is really going on underneath all we see.

Sometimes the insight comes to us, as if from the basketball gods playing pick-up in some field house on Mt. Olympus.

But come it does.

This season, twins from Philadelphia, that most democratically mythical of all American cities, the city from which the American revolution and the republic sprang, have come to be the bulwarks of a season full of real and mythic tragedies and trials.

They have come to win a ring no doubt.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 11 months ago

"Philadelphia, that most democratically mythical of all American cities" C'mon Jaybate, I know it fits in your well told post but Philli is a craphole.. Don't believe me, just ask anyone still living there. It's a half step up from Detroit.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 11 months ago

As one who has been to both Philly and Detroit, you're right, Philly is a craphole, but it a full step ahead of Detroit .. the only thing Detroit had going for it was old Tiger stadium .. "had".

Woody Cragg 9 years, 11 months ago

Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't Clyde Lovellette the last man to lead the nation in scoring and win a NC in the same year?

Alohahawk 9 years, 11 months ago

Jaybate, are you inferring a relationship between Mt. Olympus and Mt. Oread.

Can see a definite correlation between the twins and Wilt, the father of the underhanded dunk.

Never been to Philly, so can't add my two cents on the environment, nor can I compare it to Detroit, which I've only flown over, once.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

But it is no longer possible to overlook the deepest significance of what they and this remarkable team are also about.

They have come forth improbably form a single cell, in a single woman, named Angel, from the hard streets of of the well spring of human liberty, from the relentless competition of the people's game, to lead a team belonging to the father of all basketball programs, to set right the god's crushing of the greatest basketball player who ever played the game--Wilt Chamberlain, of Philadelphia, PA.

This KU team is a fine, fine basketball team.

Its players are as good as any in this tournament.

Its coach is as good as any coach in this tournament.

It is on a mission to win six games to become a champion.

But there is no doubt in my mind now that there is something mythological going on here, too.

This team, whether it knows it, or not, and coaches and teams, in the struggle to achieve greatness, often do not recognize the full dimension of what they are trying to accomplish until long afterwards, this team is on a mythical mission to right the wrong of 1957, reconnect the Father of All Basketball Programs with the Mother of All American Liberty and modern human freedom--Philadelphia. This team is on a hero's quest to recover for Kansas, and Wilt Chamberlain, and Philadelphia, what was wrongly taken from it, one night, long ago, in a Memorial Auditorium arena in Kansas City forgotten, and arena and an episode forgotten now by all but the oldest among us,

Two boys from Philadelphia have arisen 54 years after Philadelphian Wilt Chamberlain and Kansas were robbed of the 1957 ring.

The basketball gods act in mysterious ways.

And a woman named Angel watches over us all.


Rock Chalk!

KUFool 9 years, 11 months ago

+1 for bringing the early morning crazy

HawkInAL 9 years, 11 months ago

+1, tru dat.

Jaybate reminds me of a Beat poet from back in the day. As a bike messenger in San Francisco, the crazy Sicilian woman who owned the company and dispatched would get on the radio (while smoked up) and recite a bunch of Beat poetry to me and the other guys. Usually while singing.

I can only imagine Jaybate at a poetry slam. That would be golden.

KUFool 9 years, 11 months ago

Awesome story, HawkInAL. Love it. Let's all chip in and get Jaybate a new hookah in time for the tip on Friday...

kcglowboy 9 years, 11 months ago

If I'm contributing money for a hookah, it ain't gonna be for Jaybate ... :-)

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

No hookah for jaybate, then through the great interconnectedness of everything no nook-ah-nookah for kcgloboy from his wahini.

Weep, weep, weep 4 kcglowboy.

kcglowboy 9 years, 11 months ago

A bike messenger in San Francisco? That's brutal. WALKING in that city is hard enough!

Funhawk 9 years, 11 months ago

And, play old Chuck Berry rock 'n roll for Jaybate. Jaybate loves old Chuck Berry records. "I'm so glad I'm livin' in the U.S.A. Everything you want Jaybate's got it in the U.S.A."

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

"My ding aling, your ding a ling, They caught us playin' with our ding a lings!" --Chuck Berry

KGphoto 9 years, 11 months ago

Jaybate, you've got to get to St. Louis. Look it up.

Michael Lindsey 9 years, 11 months ago

Jaybate was wrong, the '57 game had 3 overtimes, not 2

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Thanks for the assist. Mind palimsesting faster than I can repaint. :-)

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 11 months ago

palimsesting..another word that required a dictionary. I hesitate to ask your SAT

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 11 months ago

Not sure but I believe you misspelled, leaving out a 'p' after the 'm'. I have no life.

Andy Tweedy 9 years, 11 months ago

I've been with KU since I walked on the Hill in 1986. Please enlighten me to the tournament being Phog Allen's brainchild. I've never heard that before...

ohjayhawk 9 years, 11 months ago

Here's the first link I found that talks about it (look at the year 1939). I'm sure there are better ones out there, but I don't have a lot of time to dig right now. Sorry.

HawkBBall 9 years, 11 months ago

Phog Allen and Dutch Lonborg were the prime movers in the National Association of Basketball Coaches who organized the first national tournament. Dutch was a player at KU, then coached Washburn University, McPherson College and Northwestern University, then became the long-time Athletic Director at KU. I think we can rightfully state that this national basketball tournament was a Jayhawk idea.

kcglowboy 9 years, 11 months ago

The NIT was the primary post-season tourney pre 1939, but it was run by a private organization which invited whichever teams it felt like, and the institutions had no control over it. Coach Allen was a leader in the movement for the institutions themselves to control the post-season championship -- which led to direct competition between the two tourneys. It actually took the NCAA at least a decade to overcome the NIT as THE prestige post-season tourney.

Phog Allen was also instrumental in getting basketball added to the Olympics.

bad_dog 9 years, 11 months ago

Is there an echo in here, here, here?

KGphoto 9 years, 11 months ago

Now batting, batting, batting...

Number ten, ten, ten....

russkie ahole, hole, hole...

Woody Cragg 9 years, 11 months ago

For the life of me I don't know how you can come up with these analogies, but I'd bet the twins, Angel & Wilt would all dig this one. I damn well do also. I can vaguely remember both years. Dad passed in 59' & memories from then on are quite vivid. He was a KU phanatic & the nut didn't fall far from the tree either.

Robert Murphy 9 years, 11 months ago

I was on the front row for that game in 1957 and the loss still hurts. A victory this year would make up for a lot. I feel the connection.

thomc6 9 years, 11 months ago

Wow. I take it that "the force" is with them.

keith horinek 9 years, 11 months ago

I don't know Jaybate, I think it's a group of talented kids that just love the game of BB and want to win a national championship, with the best coach in college BB guiding them to it. I see kids wanting to play for a BB program that has endured lasting success over the years and when finished with their careers at KU, see themselves changed from wide eyed young boys in the beginning, to men that are ready to take on the world, whether that world be professional BB or life in general. That's what I see.

Woody Cragg 9 years, 11 months ago

Can't get enough hoops this time of year...the rites of Spring! Tell me, who didn't recruit the twins?

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Hey, Mike and Mike,

Get a better time slot so the greatest coach in the country doesn't have to get up and share his genius sleepy eyed. Cut the man some slack, M&Ms, would you ask flippin' Beethoven to get up and yak at that hour?

KPOP 9 years, 11 months ago

its amazing how most of the top 200 national recruits and coaches have ties to each other. These coaches have been set up to fail. Too much conatct and too much influence on these young stars.

KansasComet 9 years, 11 months ago

This team has a chance to go down in history as one of the best KU Teams ever! I will remember this team for who they are, where they came from, all they have endured,and what they represent.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

"For HawkinAL, Or Messengering Through the Field"

I have seen the best Jayhawks of a generation,starving, hysterical and 32 and 2...

And it is true...en abstracto correcto...

I am the crazy Sicilian woman who owned the company and dispatched you into the spent needle dawn of the grey suits on Montgomery Street looking for white rails between trades.

I devised your routes up Sacramento to nearly run into opening car doors that drove you into abstract electric buses herky-jerking up hills steeper than concertina wire strung by a Saturn 5 to sky heaven.

I routed you back down again California past Tadich's and a near miss with an Asian woman in a black M320.

I sent you to Polk Gulch during the Hookers Ball.

I routed you to the Pyramid without enough time to stop at Clown Alley for the best burger in protein eternity and I forced you to peddle past Jackson street sweating in the almost cold without Dim Sum or half time scores.

I convinced you to strip your de Railleur and ride without free wheel, as only real messengers do.

I made you match your peddles to the rhythm of your hear afflicted with the heart break of the discovery that the woman you fell for at Enricos fell for another woman and left you for Bolinas without hope.

I am The Old Spaghetti Factory in North Beach and I am the old Beat in the loft above it with the tattered picture books full of over developed photos of Lawrence, Allen and Gary on the Left Bank in Paris before anyone had ever conceived of City Lights as a faux Bohemian discourse limiter on the left, before the Agency had began dropping window panes like a lids for kids drive up in Haight in the quasi Summer of Love.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 11 months ago

"I made you match your peddles to the rhythm of your hear afflicted with the heart break of the discovery that the woman you fell for at Enricos fell for another woman and left you for Bolinas without hope."


jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

I am The Cafe Trieste where the Dharma Bums mainlined espresso and Chinese ideograms after getting into town an a gross of No Doz from Denver for the next leg of the time busting journey into field space, San Miguel Allende pre retirees, hoping to connect the great triangle of the continent in Rambler.

I am Neil, the wordless poet of Jack's dreams crucified in Chuckie's field.

I am Kaddish on a salt pretzel mustard-slathered and with queer shoulder to the Great Mandala of the road grader that made the great cut through the Sierra Nevadas for Neil to drive hot wired cars through.

I am Corso in tantric Flannels.

I am the palmier of the virgin mind and the incense of the last free breathing V-8.

I am Ed Dorn, slinger of guns, shooting up Lawrence long before The Naked Lunch returned to dine on it in the shadow of Haskell.

I am The Widow Man.

i am Moon Maiden and Kampus Jim.

I am Hawk immaculate roosting high in the bells of the Campanile as Tan Man, my beloved Tan Man, the only one of any of us who really got on "the primary level of skin" what was going on here, there and every where, who truly followed the sun, and bagged rays on the bench in echoes of a hundred autumns fraught with weak football, saved from oblivion sunsets only by the peoples

San Francisco and Lawrence, now and always.


(Note: this is of course entirely fiction and free verse masquerading as bent sentences. No Malice.)

kcglowboy 9 years, 11 months ago

I feel awful for even asking this, but is Tan Man still around?

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

I am the fuse that through the crimson and blue force drives the engine.

I am kcglowboy.

Ed Brown 9 years, 11 months ago

Don't feel too bad, I ask friends in Lawrence often. :| I will never forget when his bike was stolen and some students chipped in and replaced it. What a legend.


Michael Bratisax 9 years, 11 months ago

One unforgettable person. A mild mannered gentle man.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 11 months ago

Purdue player suspended rest of season. Opens the door a little more slightly for Notre Dame in the bottom half of the Southwest region.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 11 months ago

Also, I don't know about the rest of you, but this is the best time of the year for college basketball stories so I apologize for all the links, but some of you might enjoy them.

I don't know how many watched "The Fab Five" documentary Sunday night, but I thorougly enjoyed it. Our former KC friend, Jason Whitlock, didn't agree so much. Interesting take, but here's his story.

SaulGood 9 years, 11 months ago

I, like most, am looking forward headily to seeing the Twins cut a rampant path of destruction through the tournament. I think their heads are already in the zone 100 keeps talking's time to rain flaming sulphur on the opposition. These guys are going to do everything they can to prove that they are exactly where they belong. I can't wait to see their player's spirit and character on the floor stand out.

Go get 'em, Twins. It's your time.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

"A Tale of Two Tournaments, Once Upon a Time in Gotham, See?"

Leave us talk in unvarnished fiction and metaphorical like hypotheses, as reputed by some, what might, or might nots know, shall we?

Once upon a time in Gotham, dere was uh tournament reputed by some decents of the time long ago to be as crookedly run as, how shall I put dis politely, a weighted dice game over seen by Nathan Detroit's more powerful and influential type half brother--Marvin New York.

In dis supposed udder tournament, da selection processes was reputed biased-like. Da seedings was reputed as crooked as bookies taking bets from da deaf, blind mutes in da snow outside da Garden. Da refs was reputed as on da take as a beat cop in da Bowery with a gambling debt da size of an enforcer from da Bronx. It wuz like dis supposed tournament was reputedly set up as a clip joint for rubes from places like Indiana and Kansas to be given da business and sent home wid lightened wallets and no rings, see?

Soze, uh, let me removes my Borsalino here out of respect, soze, da fadder of all basketball programs, Mr. Phog type Allen, well, he wanted to do right by Jimmy's game, see? And soze he like proselytized for some time for a real tournament dat would put da people's game back in da hands of da kids play, and not in da hands of Marvin New York, if youz catch my meaning here, see?

And well, deep down inside of everyone's hearts what wuzn't den wholely on da take from reputed skim at the Garden, well, everyone like recognized da intended virtue of keepin' da outcomes of da people's game in da hands of the kids what played it, see?

I mean, even Marvin New York, god rest his soul, deep down, even he didn't really like skimmin' da people's game, cuz deep down, he too wuz people. Marvin weren't born with no silver spoon and coupon clipper in his yak hole neither, see?

Soze by and by, the decents, and the Marvins, well, dey reached a kind of an unwritten, if a wee bit unholy gentlemen's type agreement, see?

The decents, as reputed by some what might or might not know, got to have their legit tournament, where da kids mostly decided da outcomes, except when a fewz wise guyz errants got off Marvin's leash, went behind his chalk-striped and Neapolitan-tailored back, and spread some Salerno bakshish wid ah few of da kids off Broadway soze tah speak. But dat wuzn't so bad, cuz Marvin would quickly have dem wise guyz errants fitted with ferrous cement Chucks, and dropped post haste in the East River, see?

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

And in respectful exchange for dis exceptional like benevolence about givin' da people's game back to da kids to decide, at least as reputed by some, well, Marvin New York was reputedly granted da exclusive type rights to anudder fictional tournament, which fictional name shall go unspoke here, outta respect for da quid pro quo dat reputed by some set free da people's game again, see?

Soze dere wuz, as reputed by some fictional types, one tournament for decents and one tournament for suckers, and all needs wuz meant and all wuz made whole and right on and off Broadway by a civilized like sharin' of da people's game as we heard tell in talk long ago dat it was, as reputed by some, to have been.

But of course, it should go here wid out sayin' dat back castin' da past is as fraught with structural type uncertainties as forecastin' da future is. And soze, who can say for absolute sure how tings all went down back in doze long gone days.

Or so I heard tell once upon a time in Gotham.


(Note: All Damon Runyon style fiction. No malice, see?)

UncleMiltyN 9 years, 11 months ago


I've rather enjoyed your posts the last few days. This one made me think of an old favorite quote from an author.

"Occasionally, there arises a writing situation where you see an alternative to what you are doing, a mad, wild gamble of a way for handling something, which may leave you looking stupid, ridiculous or brilliant — you just don't know which. You can play it safe there, too, and proceed along the route you'd mapped out for yourself. Or you can trust your personal demon who delivered that crazy idea in the first place. Trust your demon." - Roger Zelazny

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

A wonderful quote. Thanks for sharing.

Ron Franklin 9 years, 11 months ago

Anybody know why the broadcaster on 810 whb said Self is looking for houses in San Antonio? I turned the radio on and that's the only part of the conversation I heard.

Kit Duncan 9 years, 11 months ago

Didn't hear the broadcast, but guessing he was looking for a place to rent during the regional in the event KU moves on. I suspect it would be for family and friends to stay as he would likely be with the team in the hotel.

HawksWin 9 years, 11 months ago

Nick, Nice photo of the twins. You know, they both have a great smile. Perhaps their next photo - from Tulsa/Houston? Tx.

Ron Franklin 9 years, 11 months ago

ahhh first time in front of my computer in a while!!! been having to use this dang phone to keep up with you guys.

Jaybate. Your beat is a really fun one to march too. The above postings are among my favorite. I cannot get enough of Cassady, Keroauc, Ginsberg. I'm so fortunate that my older friends turned me onto that style of life and living. Wish I could fulfill it more.

I am pumped about this tourney. I really like KU's chances to get to the final four. I only see Louisville as potential problem. Hopefully they'll have one of their off shooting nights before we see them.

My final four picks are UK, UT, KSU, & KU. I never predict right, so I thought I may as well dream. I only picked UK to get that far because I don't think Texas would beat Ohio St to get to the final game/rematch with Kansas.

I hope the Big East teams drop like flies i the 2 & 3 rd.

What do we have to do to get a new selection committee? Shall we all go on strike:)

Would like to head to Tulsa & catch a game, but as GlobalJay pointed out the ticket price is ridiculous, so I'll be sticking to the easy chair and soft beverages.

I can't believe it's been a full revolution since this time last year. My, time is flying.

Let's Dance!

Tony Bandle 9 years, 11 months ago

Sometimes, I'm floored by the depth of these posts:

Jaybate brings the Encyclopedia Britannica. Kushaw brings Webster's Dictionary. Ralster brings the Doctorate Thesis on Basketball 100 brings the Magna Carta.

All I can muster up are the Marvel Comicbooks. I wish I could be as profound...I wish I could be as global.....I wish I could be better.

All I can say is since I became a Jayhawk in 1966, I have never been prouder of Kansas team than this one. The ultimate goal is the National Championship, but in my mind they have achieved another goal already.....greatness.

Despite our differences, it is an honor to me to be part of this family, to be comrades in arms with all of you.

Jayhawk Nation is more than is a family and for all of you "Family Over Everything"

God Bless and RCJH

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Ditto. Now get down and give me 20 to show that you've been working those stomach muscles back into shape. I am still counting on you to design the Posting Hall of Fame building.

There...not one single look up. :-)

Alohahawk 9 years, 11 months ago

I had a dream, or was it a nightmare, that Jaybate suddenly began writing "rap". It seems like with every post he attempts to out do his previous posts. Sometimes, it takes two readings (Sometimes that takes two hours) to pull every little nuance, every innuendo from his prose.

Here's my simple, Japanese "Haiku" prediction for the tourney:

Kansas Jayhawks win, the NCAA, in two thousand eleven.

asefchick 9 years, 11 months ago

On the tourny...

"The big thing is to enjoy it, but not at the expense of not working.” Coach Bill Self

It's Zen like, good advice for life

gthejayhawk 9 years, 11 months ago

May be the only time I've ever disagreed with HCBS!!!

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 11 months ago

I am so DISAPPOINTED for not doing my brackets on time. Most places skipped the "First Four".

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