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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Monster in the making: Markieff Morris no longer just ‘the other twin’

Kansas forward Markieff Morris celebrates after a dunk against the Illinois defense during the second-half, Sunday, March 20, 2011 at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla.

Kansas forward Markieff Morris celebrates after a dunk against the Illinois defense during the second-half, Sunday, March 20, 2011 at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla.

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KU team arrives at San Antonio

The KU team arrived at their hotel in San Antonio, site of their 2008 NCAA Championship win. To the media Coach Bill Self said about this year's visit, "Oh there'll be memories. They just better be good ones."

— A couple of weeks ago, Philadelphia’s Prep Charter High basketball coach, Dan Brinkley, saw one of his former big men do something he wasn’t sure was in the player’s best interest.

So, just as he did a handful of years ago back in Philly, Brinkley reached out to Kansas University standout junior Markieff Morris and called him on it.

“I saw him putting up signs on the bench the other day, and I kind of sarcastically said, ‘Don’t flash gang signs on the bench,’” Brinkley said. “I know he’s never been a part of any of that, but I also know how sensitive some folks can be to that kind of thing, and I wanted him to protect his image.”

One problem. In order for Markieff to protect his image, he first had to create one.

It’s not that the 6-foot-10, 245-pound big man was viewed as a trouble-maker. Just an unknown. In fact, the “gang signs” that Brinkley thought he saw offered a peek into Markieff’s mind and what was most important to him.

“It’s the F.O.E sign,” said Markieff, detailing each letter as he demonstrated the gesture he and his twin brother Marcus make to honor their credo of ‘Family Over Everything’ during starting lineups. “My coach thought I was throwing up gang signs, and I said, ‘When have you ever known me to be a part of a gang?’ It’s definitely F.O.E.”

For two years, the man teammates described as a big teddy bear who could get work as a comedian, was known by many outside of the KU program as “the other twin.” Because of an opportunity at forward, Marcus, the more natural leader of the two, stepped into college stardom first while Markieff sat back and waited for a chance to join him.

“It didn’t really matter to me,” Markieff said of having to wait his turn. “Anything to motivate me. That’s how it goes. I think it’s better to be that way, anyway. Take it step-by-step and take it as it comes. I knew it was just a matter of time. And I just think it’s our time right now.”

The numbers indicate that’s true. Together, the Morris twins tallied 31 points and 16 rebounds per game this season in leading KU to a 34-2 record and a spot in Friday’s Sweet 16 in San Antonio.

That Marcus, the Big 12 player of the year, followed up his breakout sophomore season with an even better showing in 2011 seemed expected. In fact, when the player-of-the-year voting took place, many voters seemed hell-bent on thinking it through before casting their vote, insisting that someone else in the conference was more deserving, more valuable.

They looked at the Texas roster and found a couple of candidates. Down the road, in Manhattan, there was another. But the one player who nearly matched Marcus’ numbers — 17.3 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 58 percent shooting — never got a look. Even though he averaged 13.4 points and 8.9 rebounds per game while shooting 62 percent and leading the Jayhawks in blocked shots (41), Markieff was tapped second-team all-league.

“Marcus and I laughed at the beginning of the year when people were saying that he could possibly be player of the year because both of us agreed that ’Kieff would have the better year,” Brinkley said. “What he’s done this year was not even close to a surprise for those who know him.”

Included in that group are Markieff’s KU teammates, players who, by now, are as much a part of his family as Marcus or his mother, Angel. They’re the ones who embraced the Morris twins’ F.O.E. mantra and made it the defining phrase of the 2010-11 season.

As he entered his junior year at KU, Markieff knew he would have to step up this year if his team was to be a contender. No problem. After all, it was Markieff who took the first steps to stardom back in Philly.

As high school sophomores, the Morris twins still were growing — growing into their bodies, growing into their games, growing into life and basketball. Markieff found his footing more quickly and became a starter on Brinkley’s varsity squad beginning in 10th grade. Marcus came off the bench that year.

“Kieff was a beast,” Brinkley said. “Kieff carried us in a lot of ways in high school.”

His mother remembers that well.

“People here don’t know how he was in high school,” Angel said. “He dominated. He was a phenomenal player. And, this year, he’s playing like he played in high school.”

Added Marcus: “Growing up, I always thought Kieff was better. He was bigger, he could always shoot better. With me being a little more mobile, people always said, ‘Oh, he’s better because he can do more things.’ But that’s not really the truth. Kieff can do all the same things I can do, he just leaves them to me.”

Markieff’s first chance to prove that came during his freshman season. He started seven games that year, but none after the Jayhawks opened Big 12 play. The next year, Markieff started the first two games before giving way to Marcus, who held down a spot in KU’s first five for the rest of the 2009-10 season.

“Kieff is the ultimate team guy, and I wasn’t surprised, when Marcus took that spot, that Kieff came off the bench happily,” Brinkley said. “I believe that it allowed him to become more comfortable, and it made him hungrier.”

Because of his size and position, Markieff spent his first two seasons at KU overshadowed by two-time Big 12 defensive player of the year Cole Aldrich. He was on the floor a little more than 15 minutes per game and spent the rest of the time working tirelessly with his brother in the weight room and the gym, making sure that he would be ready when his shot finally came.

“He never cried about it,” Marcus said. “People say he’s the most improved player in the country, but I thought he was there all along. They just didn’t get the chance to see it, but now they do.”

Though the Morris twins go everywhere and do everything together, some might wonder if there were moments when Markieff complained about his role. Angel doesn’t have to wonder.

“Nope. Never,” she said. “Both of them would’ve come to me if he was down.”

Markieff said he learned a variety of tricks from Aldrich, whom he still talks to on a regular basis. A lot about defense. A lot about basketball. A lot about composure and dominating with force while playing for fun. Because of it, he developed into the college player he is today at his own pace.

“Being behind Cole made me who I am,” Markieff said. “I learned a lot, and I always just tried to take it one step at a time. Even though I don’t ever want to have anything given to me, I feel like I waited my time and I deserved it.”

Added KU senior Tyrel Reed, who similarly followed the path of paid dues to adoration and appreciation: “I think he’s just kind of taken everything in stride. It came a little bit easier for Marcus, but I think that kind of lifted Markieff’s game.”

As his notoriety has risen and people across the nation have gotten used to having to differentiate between which Morris twin they’re referencing when talking KU hoops, Markieff has clung to the laid-back personality that has made him one of the most likable guys in the KU locker room. That’s off the court. On the court, at the urging of his coaches, Markieff finally has started to resemble the monster he was in high school.

“He’s so smart, in terms of basketball savvy, that he’ll just take the two points. He doesn’t care about the flash,” Brinkley said. “But coach (Bill) Self and coach (Danny) Manning and I just implored him to dunk the ball emphatically to show that that is part of his game, the nasty and the power and such. That’s the one change I’ve seen in him this year; you’re seeing that he’s attacking the rim much more, and he looks like a much bigger presence because of it.”

Thanks to the endless hours in the gym, and because Markieff had the patience to allow it to pay off, it’s no longer just those close to KU who see “the other twin” looks even more like his brother than they realized.

“I always thought Marcus definitely had a chance, and I thought Markieff had the tools, but I didn’t know,” said Boston University coach Patrick Chambers, who recruited the twins to Villanova. “Now, I can say they both have serious NBA potential. Kansas has done an unbelievable job with Markieff. He’s become a big-time player.”

Comments

ModerateOne 3 years, 8 months ago

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  (2)   soliciting the child to engage in any lewd fondling or touching of the person of another with the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires of the child, the offender or another.

  (b)   It shall be a defense to a prosecution of indecent liberties with a child as described in subsection (a)(1) that the child was married to the accused at the time of the offense.

  (c)   Indecent liberties with a child is a severity level 5, person felony.

David Leathers 3 years, 8 months ago

Why? Why the hell would someone choose that as their login name?

kcglowboy 3 years, 8 months ago

The same reason that person would continually make inflammatory and/or stupid posts ... to rile the rest of us up.

100 3 years, 8 months ago

It's time.....

For Markief....

& his brother......

To...

Own!!!!

The!!!!!

Statsheet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BernieLomax 3 years, 8 months ago

Kieff is a beast!!!

Now please everybody, when we win the title in April, make sure to do 'The Jayhawk Bernie' dance Down Mass Street!! This dance is taking the midwest by storm!

'Jayhawk bernie' Instructional video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FI7HpL...

100 3 years, 8 months ago

It's gonna be one helluva parade!!!!!

But first.....

Beat Richmond!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

who_said_it 3 years, 8 months ago

Rock Chalk. Can't wait till the party on mass. Having that said, your bernie is shocking. Don't disgrace the bernie like that. That was as bad if not worse than the white kid on the original version .

Mike Bratisax 3 years, 8 months ago

Kieff is a beast...But Jayhawk fans already knew this. I'm glad Matt did this story so all the non-Jayhawk fans will finally see just how good he is. Leaving Keif off the 1st Team All Big 12 was a joke. I would not be surprised to see Kieff winning the Final Four MVP, but I'm getting ahead of myself. Hopefully something the Hawks are NOT doing.

jhawks8379 3 years, 8 months ago

if it's taking the midwest by storm, why weren't there more than two people doing it in the video? Sad. I hope to not see this down Mass Street, how embarrassing.

Dan Harris 3 years, 8 months ago

WTF was THAT! I've been out of college too long!

lee3022 3 years, 8 months ago

It is all in the winning. Sometimes we take for granted the coach's statement "Kansas has done an unbelievable job with Markieff. He’s become a big-time player.” It is true for more than Markieff. Coaches are exceptional in bringing along a player as they are able and motivating them to play team basketball at all times.

Jeff Schartz 3 years, 8 months ago

"Bi - Winning." Charlie Sheen said it best, and it truely describes the Twins.

Michael Auchard 3 years, 8 months ago

Somebody said something close to this on these boards awhile back:

"If I was an NBA GM, I'd be going crazy trying to figure out how to draft these two players onto the same team."

I agree. :)

KGphoto 3 years, 8 months ago

The only team I could see drafting the Morrii as a unit would be my Denver Nuggets. They just raked in some extra picks in the Melo deal, and could stand to beef up. They could trade Harrington and Chris Anderson (I'd hate to see Birdman go) and upgrade at both spots. But the Nuggets have something really cool going, and as much as I want a Jayhawk or two playing for my pro squad, I don't know if they are gonna mess with the chemistry here.

Actually the Nuggets are like Carolina West. George Karl, Ty Lawson, Raymond Felton and baby blue uniforms. If they acquire any more Tarheels I'll have to move. Especially if his name is Tyler. (Ever wonder why schools seem to end up with similar names? North Carolina it's Ty and Tyler. Missouri it's Chase or Blaine. Kansas now has a Mario thing and a Robinson thing. Duke always has pretentious snobs. See what I'm gettin' at?)

Anyway, maybe if the twins stay at KU for senior night, Denver will have settled in, stockpiled the extra picks, and be ready for Morrii power in 2012.

I can dream can't I?

Kevin Studer 3 years, 8 months ago

Nobody is drafting both of them as a unit. They will play the same position with the same skill set. The NBA draft is about filling holes and upgrading a roster in 2 short rounds. Denver, or any other team, wouldn't be that stupid.

KGphoto 3 years, 8 months ago

Hmm. Well, right now Denver doesn't have too many holes. If you haven't noticed, they are playing as well as anybody in the NBA. However, Kenyon Martin is similar to the twins. He's 33. Al Harrington is similar to the twins. He's 31. That's two players who do almost the same thing, on one team. Which refutes your notion that teams only want one of each type of player. Of their other bigs, Nene is a great center. Birdman is an energy guy with limited skills. They have a few 7 foot bodies who can't get on the court, because they have no skills.

I can guarantee you George Karl and Stan Kroenke would delight in acquiring them both and dumping the combined 22 million/year salaries of Harrington and Martin. Martin's contract is up this year anyway. That would leave them room to make a blockbuster free agent signing in the next goround, and maintain the production through younger, less injury-prone talent.

BTW, the 76ers will owe 33 year old Elton Brand 18million next year. The last year of his contract. Other than that, they have Darius Songaila who sucks, and Thaddeus Young, too small, at the PF position. You think the 76ers would be stupid to get their hands on a couple hometown heroes, control their salary situation and improve their team?

So there! Mnyeh.

Kevin Studer 3 years, 8 months ago

Two players from the same background, with the same coaching, with the same skill set, playing the same position...yeah, I think that would be stupid. In the NBA, they wouldn't be on the court at the same time; they would both be 4s. And, say one doesn't develop into a solid NBA player...with everything else being the same, odds are neither would. No team is going to double their risk in the draft like that. Ever.

kcglowboy 3 years, 8 months ago

Call me crazy, but ... Wonder if it's crossed their collective mind for Marcus to declare this year, while Markeiff waits till next year? 1) If they both declare this year, they'll almost certainly end up in different places. 2) There's the possibility of an NBA lockout. If they both declare, they could both end up as spectators. With one going pro and one staying, they hedge their collective bets. 3) If you believe the media "experts," then Marcus is still considered the more "sure thing" in this year's draft. Markeiff, in tandem with T-Rob could bolster his stock with a senior year proving himself without his other half. 4) If Markeiff waits until next year, it slightly increases the chances they could end up on the same team.

MimiHawk 3 years, 8 months ago

I think they will go double or nothing.

Remember before 1983, when players in the NFL draft played for whatever team drafted them, and then Elway told the Baltimore Colts to trade him or he would go play minor league baseball for the Yankees?

I think the twins have no intention of playing on different teams, and will get a team to take both of them...

Only time will tell, and it will be interesting to watch.

But, for now, Rock Chalk Jayhawk! Time to smoosh some spiders !!

mojayhawk 3 years, 8 months ago

+1 +1 +1 +1 +1 D Manning is the brilliance behind our big men. Pay attention recruits! No better teacher for your game than Danny. You will not find that at any other school. He will teach you moves to take you to All American land and to the League. What are you waiting for?

doolindalton 3 years, 8 months ago

My thought exactly. The way Danny played game is seen on a regular basis when I watch the Morris twins, from their post moves to their willingness and ability to take outside shots. Danny is a great position coach, a perfect compliment to the Xs and Os of Bill Self.

Scott Smetana 3 years, 8 months ago

off the topic....

Anderson is gone from Mizzery... yea!! I wish him well. He was way too classy and good for those pathetic fans. I'm hoping Quinn and Ricky Clemens come back to Paige Arena... that was too fun.

phi4life940 3 years, 8 months ago

You're right!!!! I didn't even think about that til you mentioned it!

Come on Ben and DeAndre!!!!!

jaybate 3 years, 8 months ago

One challenge we have not seen either Twin have to deal with yet this season is a wide load that is just flat out taller, heavier and stronger than either of them is.

Cole ran into that a few times and it both exposed his physical limitations, and he warrior streak. Cole was willing to go down taking people with him. Will Kieff be ready to do the same?

I suspect yes, but you never know for sure about a big in this regard, until it happens.

Kieff has played taller guys. He has played stronger guys. But he has not played a guy who is taller, heavier and stronger--a guy who would mop him up without a double team.

I'm not sure there is someone like that in college ball this season.

But if there is, Kieff has to reach into the competitive greatness box and use what's inside it.

jayhawker_97 3 years, 8 months ago

how bout the guy fom UCLA? he's big, not sure if taller though.

KGphoto 3 years, 8 months ago

He's definitely shorter as long as he's sitting in his living room watching the tourney on TV.

Dirk Medema 3 years, 8 months ago

6-foot-9, 280-pound Josh Smith is remarkably agile and bouncy, despite his massive frame. Derrick Williams on the other hand is only 6-8, 240, and Sullinger is 6-8, 260.

Not sure anyone else is out there.

khekhen 3 years, 8 months ago

derrick williams from Arizona was moppin' the floor with both twins before he fouled out. we would have lost that game had he stayed in.

UCLA's josh smith was abusing all our frontcourt players, and he's a freshman.

last and not least... dont forget Almeada from nebraska. for one half during the first game, the twins made a slow, heavy, 340 pounder that has only been playing basketball for about 6 years look like an all-american and first rounder...

KGphoto 3 years, 8 months ago

Andre Almeida 6'11", 315lbs, had some success but no wind to sustain it. It just seems there aren't any old fashioned centers anymore. Which is a good reason for Withey to keep on eating Angel's soul food and thinking like a tank. If he could get up into that 250-260 range and maintain the athleticism, Jeff would be the guy you are talking about.

jaybate 3 years, 8 months ago

dagger et al,

Sullinger seems the acid test for Kieff this season, if OSU survives.

Derek Williams really did work Kieff over early this season, when Kieff was still on a steep learning curve. But part of that was the way Williams played. He was fouling like a street fighter on meth. Any one can maul anyone when they are fouling them. But Williams couldn't keep the fouling up and stay on the floor, even in this year's XTReme Muscle/Cheap Shotting/Tripping season. Now in the Madness, Williams may be allowed to foul at will, but so will Kieff and KU's other bigs, which means Williams will see a steady diet of flagrant fore arm smashes to the face, if he tries now what he tried earlier this season. Early this season, Self had not committed to XTReme Cheap Shotting Lite, as a counter move, as he did after that game.

Another thing, being beaten by an opponent who holds structural MUA over you is not the key issue. The issue is do you become dominated, or do you scrap even harder, and find other ways to contribute and keep double teaming.

Everyone gets beat one on one, when they don't hold structural MUA. Wilt held structural MUA over Bill Russell every time, but Big Russ became an even more ferocious competitor than normal against Wilt. He made Wilt fight for everything...and Big Russ was endlessly finding ways to contribute in other ways that became a real pain for Wilt to have to deal with. in short, Bill was never beaten mentally by Wilt, even as Wilt was owning the stat sheet. Russell's teammates saw the great Russsell's tenacity and competitiveness knew no bounds. Not even a greater player could crush his will to find a way to compete and win. That tenacity of Russell's drove his teammates to find ways to help him, to beat their own men, to prevail.

Kieff has to remember that as KU's big man, despite Marcus being the bulwark of the team, Kieff's mental toughness is crucial to the toughness of the team. The center is your biggest man. He is the man you rely on to establish order and enforce justice in the paint. Teammates do not need the center to always be able to win every match-up. But they have to believe the center will go down fighting and enforcing for them, will never be emotionally dominated and intimidated. As their big man, they look up to him.

John Boyle 3 years, 8 months ago

You left out the fact that "Big Russ" had a heck of a better supporting cast than Wilt. Probably had a lot to do with "Big Russ" winning all the time.

jaybate 3 years, 8 months ago

What Cole came to understand, what all good big men came to understand is: as a big man, you can be beaten, but you must never break.

Champions often have big men that get beaten in one game or another, because they don't hold MUA.

But champions always have a big man who, no matter how badly he is beaten, keeps coming, keeps fighting back, keeps finding other ways to help his team, who never submits to domination. A true championship big man can even use the bloodiness of his beating to inspire his teammates onward.

Cole did this many times. Russell did this many times. All but super men like Chamberlain sooner or later have to do this and what made Wilt so great, when he got older and less bouncey, was that his teammates, who knew how awesome he had been, saw him hunker down and fight on valiantly against the newer, younger guys, like Jabbar, who had the bounce. Wilt became even more inspiring to play with as he got older, because he did not hold all the aces at the end. Players began to see the ferocity of fight in the dog that his superior ability had masked for so many years. They began to see how much want-to and how much will was in the greatest center who ever lived. They realized that what was inside Wilt that truly made him great was something that they could aspire to also--competitive greatness.

Wooden put it at the top of his pyramid.

He labeled it plainly for all to see.

There never was a more ferocious competitor, a more indomitable competitor, a more never say die competitor, than John Wooden, even though he surely did not always hold match-up advantage.

And he always, always, always, always, required a center to have as much competitive greatness as anyone on his team.

6'5" Freddy Slaughter started at center for Wooden on his first ring team, because he had the heart of a lion. Only a very few persons have the mental toughness to go out every game without MUA and refuse to break, refuse to be worn down and dominated.

To me, Freddy Slaughter, from Topeka Central Hiigh, will always be the greatest center of college basketball, precisely because he was only 6'5" tall, he was never broken, and he did lead his team to ring, as its big man.

Freddy Slaughter winning a ring is the epitome of what Kieff, what all big men, must aspire to.

Competitive greatness, regardless of MU advantage, or match up disadvantage.

As my father said, you have to be willing to fight a buzz saw.

You have to have enough inner steel to get the shizz beaten out of you by your man and never break and still keep fighting for whatever little edge there is.

You've got to hold on even when you are hopelessly overwhelmed, until help arrives.

On a great team, help always arrives.

lifetimeJay 3 years, 8 months ago

I am electing Jaybate to give the locker room speech before the rest of the tournaments games.

beenahawk 3 years, 8 months ago

To me, Freddy Slaughter, from Topeka Central Hiigh,

There is no such school. Never has been, likely never will be. But don't let a lack of research stop a good post.

jaybate 3 years, 8 months ago

Funny, I played against Topeka Central once. :-)

What's your source?

FoCoCoHawk 3 years, 8 months ago

which bring us to the Big O...it was 17 years ago this weekend that the Purdue Big Dog stuffed over him and came up howling; all Ostertag could think to do was offer his hand to shake.

One of my favorite Jayhawk bittersweet moments.

ajhk 3 years, 8 months ago

What I love about the twins is that a taller, heavier, stronger guy would inevitably be slower than the two and unable to guard them away from the basket. These guys are just sooo versatile. Short drives, 3's, baseline moves, fade away jumpers. just too good. The twins' defense against those kind of guys is more of a concern in my mind.

HawkBBall 3 years, 8 months ago

Closest center with that description was Almeida from Nebraska. Kief scorred 17 points and 1 rebound in Lawrence, and 7 points and 7 rebounds in Lincoln.

John Brown 3 years, 8 months ago

You'll often see big guys miss shots because they are fouled in the process of shooting. However, the shot drops for the twins. That is a sign of how tough and strong these guys are under the rim. I hope they stick around one more year so that they can play another year together before the NBA separates them. It has been awesome watching them develop and play at KU.

FairgroveJayhawk 3 years, 8 months ago

I couldn't help but think about how much better Quintrell Thomas would be this year while watching him play against Illinois. It's a beastly machine new recruits are being thrown into with D Manning and Self's system. Cole teaches the twins, the twins teach Robinson, Robinson will teach the next piece to the system. I hope Quintrell is happy and focused, but I can't help but think he'd be a better player at KU.

SDSurferFan 3 years, 8 months ago

I remember asking their freshman and soph years...when are the twins going to start dunking?!? Two big gnarly dudes from Philly. I love the acknowledgement that it's part of the game, 'the nasty and the power and such.'

keith horinek 3 years, 8 months ago

I've felt this way about Keiff all year long. He was the forgotten twin. Mc. was getting all the attention but Keiff was performing just as well as Mc. If you look at the stats, Keiff was there all along. I hope they stay for one more year. With the twins, TT, EJ and Selby we would be unbeatable. The front runner to win it all. This team reminds me a lot of the 1998 team with LaFrentz, Vaughn, Pierce, Pollard and Haas.

Jayhawk444 3 years, 8 months ago

Analysts are no longer talking about "Marcus Morris" when they talk about KU. They are talking about the "Morris twins." Everybody is realizing that Markieff is the same level of player as Marcus.

justinryman 3 years, 8 months ago

Except for Marv Alberts, he talks about the "Marcus twins", both games he did it. What a bafoon.

REHawk 3 years, 8 months ago

The twins were born to play and stay together. If some NBA general manager is not yet prepared to venture a gamble on acquiring the two of them, I think there is a wee bit of chance that we might see them return to Lawrence. However, if we should hang another championship banner they might both ascend to lottery status and have to wave goodbye. Whatever the decision, they represent bold proof of the good things which befall players who stay at least 3 years under the tutelage of Bill Self and staff. Gotta include Andrea Hudy as an important ingredient in the mix.

justinryman 3 years, 8 months ago

I know everyone writes that the twins feed off of each other and raise their individual games to compete with one another, I have this thought.

Thomas Robinson was known last year and earlier this year for going into "Beast mode", could it be that some of the beast has rubbed off onto the twins? I know Thomas has learned from the twins as well, but I have noticed how much harder they hit the boards after TRob gets a huge rebound, they dunk when inside more instead of just laying it in. TRob always goes for a power slam, ok so he might miss one every now and then, but it still makes the crowd raise to their feet just to see how far the ball goes sailing.

I do think it is a family affair, and not just the Morris', but the whole team as a family. Perhaps Tyrel and Brady have given them some pointers on shooting 3's? Maybe it was Releford's windmill dunk that gave them inspiration to fly high, or Mario's quick feet that made them move theirs?? And maybe they got some haircare ideas from Conner?

F.O.E.

Lance Hobson 3 years, 8 months ago

Interesting storyline considering Markieff was the higher rated recruit among the two, although Marcus was voted "Most likely to succeed" by his high school classmates.

The more important thing about these two is that they bring a tough edge to KU bball. We've had finesse big guys in the past who got crushed by tougher, more athletic rebounders in past tourneys. One clear example is our loss to UVa at Kemper back in '94. Lafrentz and company just got out-muscled and looked like timid high school players. On the contrary, it was Jeff Graves who almost salvaged that 2003 national title with some blue collar work inside for us.

These guys are intimidating and not afraid of anyone, and that's what we've missed in the past, especially during the Roy Williams years.

Lance Hobson 3 years, 8 months ago

I guess that UVa game was in '95. But the same can be said but Purdue out-muscling Oestertag and those guys in '94.

Dyrk Dugan 3 years, 8 months ago

Kieff has really improved this year...and deserves these accolades and recognition.

he is our best big man...and it's really not close, even with his brother...on gaining and holding position and creating the lane to get an easy basket. he's a marvel at it. and he's a wonderful step through cutter..and a very good passer. he's starting to use his left hand more as well....if he could really develop it, then he'll have a long NBA career. Right now, he doesn't have a consistent enough of a shot to really star,,,but it's getting there. and of course, he can hit that trailer three pointer from the top.

on this team though, it's about the boards for Markieff...when he really boards, and we shoot at all...we're basically unbeatable. and i truly mean that. the twins are our leaders...and i think Kieff is the heart and soul leader. we really feed off of his energy. and i feel he's ready to lead us to great things this year. way to go Markieff! and Go Jayhawks!

jhkprd 3 years, 8 months ago

I just heard Rick Pitino on ESPN pick Richmond to upset Kansas. I hope the team gets the word and feels a bit disrespected.

91TEKU 3 years, 8 months ago

The same Rick Pitino who guaranteed Notre Dame wouldn't lose to Florida State after Charles Barkley humiliated his conference? Rick needs to stick to coaching and throwing hip in restaurant bathrooms, his prognostications aren't very credible.

omng392 3 years, 8 months ago

As they say in Talladega nights Barkely made him his B$tcH.. That was just awesome... Barkley straight up told him conference stunk and that they would look, and Pitno practically guaranteed a victory by the Irish.

Jason Roberts 3 years, 8 months ago

He probably did so because Dickie Vi picked his team to beat KU. That's fine....continue the line of irrational thought. Besides, it's just a pick.

Kye Clark 3 years, 8 months ago

Pitino probably is still bitter about the 150-95 beatdown we laid on him back in '89.

kcglowboy 3 years, 8 months ago

Superstition has played a role in KU basketball dating back to Larry Brown, and fully embraced by Roy Williams. While HCBS hasn't shown a superstitious side, he has acknowledged the obsession many of us have had with things like Curse of the Killer B's, the bad luck that Oklahoma has brought us in early round tourney games, etc.

With that said, for the love of all things Naismith, will you people please stop posting about parades and banners and celebrations? Whether you call it tempting fate, angering the basketball gods, or simply taking it one game at a time, let's keep our wits about us. (Unless by "you people," it turns out that those posting this fate-tempting nonsense are, in fact, Mizzou fans incognito, then I can only say, May the ghost of Quin Snyder place a pox on your coaching search.)

P.S. Thanks, Matt, for the enjoyable and informative article. Beat Richmond!

Jared Grillot 3 years, 8 months ago

My family's unfortunate contribution to such superstitions is the fact that, though my father dearly loves Kansas Basketball and will do almost anything to seem them play in the tournament, every tournament game he has ever been to, which is many, the 'Hawks have lost.

Folks, my dad was in the stands in Tulsa last Friday night. Let's roll, boys!

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

Kent Fisher 3 years, 8 months ago

Markieff has never played second fiddle to Marcus. His stats, including PPG, exceed Marcus' when considering minutes played.

bballgrama 3 years, 8 months ago

When you attend a game in person, the Morris twins' personalities really shine. They are the first to congratulate a teammate, the first off the bench (rarely, I know) for a time out. And being a Jayhawk fan with ties to Illinois, I loved seeing the bear-hugs each one put on Illini Mike Tisdale when the game was over.

ONE MORE YEAR, PLEASE!!!

Mike Bratisax 3 years, 8 months ago

Has anyone else gone to the CBS Sports Men's bb site? They have a poll where you pick your 'most likely' championship matchup and not once was Kansas an option. http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball

GeoHawk15 3 years, 8 months ago

I think b/c they're only considering the potential winners of tonight's games (East & West regions). I would imagine the poll will change tomorrow.

AsadZ 3 years, 8 months ago

Very nice article on Miss Angel. Thanks for sharing.

KU_FanSince75 3 years, 8 months ago

Damn-----316 beat me to the punch. Okay, I will say it again---"One more year!" Hopefully, Angel will say, "Boys, go get your degrees!"

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