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Friday, March 18, 2011

Boston University Terriers wary of KU’s Morris twins

Kansas forward Marcus Morris watches the Kentucky Princeton game as his brother Markieff Morris takes questions from media members in the locker room during a day of practices and press conferences for teams playing second and third round games in Tulsa on Thursday, March 17, 2011 at the BOK Center.

Kansas forward Marcus Morris watches the Kentucky Princeton game as his brother Markieff Morris takes questions from media members in the locker room during a day of practices and press conferences for teams playing second and third round games in Tulsa on Thursday, March 17, 2011 at the BOK Center.

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— It’s a simple task in terms of instruction and far more difficult in its execution.

This week in practice, Boston University forwards Chris Kurz and Jeff Pelage were asked to emulate Kansas University’s Morris twins, Marcus and Markieff, in preparation for tonight’s meeting with Kansas in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

The reports on how they looked varied, but both took the challenge of impersonating the potential first-round NBA Draft picks with equal doses of intensity and pleasure.

“It’s a great challenge to try to simulate the Morris twins in practice,” BU coach Patrick Chambers said. “They did the best they could, though. I give them a lot of credit. They had some fun with it, but they definitely competed.”

Though playing like KU’s All-Big 12 twins was tough, it came easier for Kurz, a 6-foot-8, 210-pound forward, because of where he grew up.

“I played against them all throughout high school and AAU,” said Kurz, one of four Philly natives on BU’s roster. “Actually, a bunch of us went out to this camp in Atlanta, Ga., and I got to know Marcus and Markieff a little bit there. We had a great time.”

Knowing them is one thing. Playing like them is another. So how did Kurz draw the assignment of spinning and soaring, shooting and scoring like Marcus Morris, his potential All-American counterpart?

“Well, because I’m big and I have a few guard skills, too,” he said. “Obviously, I’m not the player that he is, but I just tried to do as much as I could in the high post, with the high-lows, just tried to do all I could to help this team get ready.”

According to teammates, Kurz handled the chore admirably.

“He doesn’t give himself much credit, but I thought he did a great job of imitating the types of things we’ll be exposed to, what types of moves he might make, his tendencies,” said junior center Jeff Pelage, who played the role of Markieff. “He really studied him and looked at his game, and I think he did a great job.”

That’s the consensus opinion of BU’s Philly guys — which includes Chambers — when talking about the Morris twins.

When not matched up with them in the NCAA Tournament, Kurz said he found himself cheering for Kansas often, just the way he does with the dozen or so other college players he knows who call Philadelphia home.

“I think us Philly guys, we really try to root for each other,” he said.

Added forward Travis Robinson, a freshman from Friends Central High in Philly: “All the guys in Philly pretty much played together at one point or another. Everyone that plays basketball knows each other. It’s a big city, but, basketball-wise, it feels small.”

Like Kurz and the rest of the Terriers’ locker room, BU’s “T-Rob” had nothing but praise for his hometown brethren.

“I always knew the twins from rec leagues, other leagues, AAU tournaments, so I’m pretty familiar with them,” Robinson said. “I must say they’ve gotten a lot better. And they’ve definitely done a great job of representing Philly. Toughness, heart and loyalty to the city.”

Comments

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 2 months ago

My 2 Boston Terriers have NO idea about their stakes in today's game : )

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 2 months ago

Paul Pierce on today's game.

"I'm in a tough predicament," said Pierce, who gave it another second of thought and added, "Well, it's not that tough of a predicament. Everybody knows that I am a Kansas alumni and BU's season is going to be over next week. I'm sorry. I still love you guys. I'll guarantee we won't lose the first game."

fansincewilt 9 years, 2 months ago

Is Tyshawn ready for this tourney? I think he is ready and that takes us to a new level. He is going to drive, drive, drive and he will score, score, score. That is my prediction. Will the same Tyshawn that played against Texas show up in this tourney. I think he will. I am very optimistic. For that reason I think this team is ready. With the twins, the seniors, Thomas, Elijah and now Tyshawn, this team is ready to shine. Selby and Travis and hopefully Withey will get to taste the sweetness and want it for next year. I am ready to go. I am excited about this team.

REHawk 9 years, 2 months ago

Any potential big man recruit in the nation need only to look at the twins' bodies to witness the terrific work done by Andrea Hudy and crew. Then check out the footwork and patterned spacing created by the likes of Dan Manning. Pitch those ingredients into the salad bowl tossed by the grand mixer of Div. I hoops, Bill Self. If Markieff and Marcus must soon depart, some lucky high schooler (or two) will be offered the golden opportunity of a lifetime...the key to wealth and greatness, similar to that once offered to a couple of raw lanky brothers from Philadelphia a few short years ago, freshman players for whom the speed of the college game was such that there was just not enough oxygen or energy remaining to allow them to jump and dunk. What a transformation!

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago

Sayin' you're wary of the Twin Constitutions, is understatement on a par with saying, "oh, Philly's produced a few guys that could ball."

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 2 months ago

You know my feelings on the great city of Philly..BUT I don't know of any other city with so many college teams of such high pedigree.

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago

True, true. It is a fascinating concentration. Lacking empirics, I will just stick with my hunch that the people's game flourished in two states of crucial to the constitutional democracy of America. Philly, where the Constitution was writ, and bleeding Kansas, the free state where so much hung in the balance for the future of human freedom and the Union.

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