Friday, September 2, 2011

Morris twins take lockout in stride

Houston Rockets rookie Marcus Morris, left, wearing his brother Markieff’s Phoenix Suns hat, signs autographs on Thursday at Briggs Auto, 2121 West 29th Terrace, in Lawrence. Markieff is pictured at right.

Houston Rockets rookie Marcus Morris, left, wearing his brother Markieff’s Phoenix Suns hat, signs autographs on Thursday at Briggs Auto, 2121 West 29th Terrace, in Lawrence. Markieff is pictured at right.


Former Kansas University basketball forwards Marcus and Markieff Morris prefer to look at the bright side regarding the NBA lockout.

“This is the best thing about what’s going on right now — us being together,” Markieff said Thursday while seated next to his twin brother during an autograph signing at Briggs Chrysler Dodge Jeep at 29th and Iowa streets.

Markieff, who was selected No. 13 overall by the Phoenix Suns, and Marcus, tapped 14th overall by Houston in the June NBA Draft, will be going their separate ways if and when a new collective bargaining agreement is reached and NBA players return to work.

Until then, the twins have been playing pick-up basketball with college and pro players at UCLA as well as with KU’s current players in Lawrence.

“I’m still in shape. I’m working out with the (KU) team doing everything they are doing,” said Marcus, who showed for the autograph signing wearing his brother’s Phoenix Suns cap. “I might do Boot Camp if I’m still here. Don’t quote me on that, though,” he added with a laugh.

KU coach Bill Self’s grueling two-week Boot Camp will start the last week of the month.

“We’re here right now working out with the team,” Markieff said, willing to provide some impressions of the 2011-12 Jayhawks. “I really like Naadir (Tharpe), the new point guard. Merv (Lindsay) is a great shooter. I kind of like the chemistry they (Jayhawks) have going on. They really like each other.”

Marcus said he was impressed with “everybody. We all know what T-Rob (Thomas Robinson) can do. Justin Wesley is definitely looking a lot better. There’s other people like Elijah (Johnson) who have had a great offseason. It’s definitely going to be fun to see these guys get out there and go.”

The twins have been huddling with their agent about possibilities for the coming season.

“I’m considering it,” Marcus said of playing in Europe.

Which country? “Whatever one is going to treat me the best.”

Marcus is also considering enrolling in classes at KU.

“I’m going to get my degree,” he said.

Markieff acknowledged his agent has spoken to a team in Greece.

“It’s a possibility,” he said of playing overseas, noting he also plans on graduating to fulfill a promise made to his mother.

If the two remain in the U.S., they will play in the Legends of the Phog KU alumni game set for Sept. 24 in Allen Fieldhouse.

“It’s going to be fun, man. Not even the game, just to be around all those guys (current Jayhawks in NBA and some past KU greats) and have a chance to interact and talk to all of them,” Marcus said.

“I’m excited to be back here playing in front of the great Kansas fans playing with some great guys,” Markieff noted.

In a perfect world, they’d have played NBA summer league basketball and would right now be on the verge of reporting to NBA training camp.

“I wouldn’t say disappointed. I’d say things happen,” Marcus said. “It just so happens to happen when we went to the NBA, but it’s not going to be a lockout forever. Things happen.”

Recruiting: Julius Randle, a 6-6 junior gaurd from Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano, Texas, reported on Twitter that he will likely attend the Legends game on an unofficial recruiting visit. ... Travis Jorgenson, a 5-11 junior guard from Rock Bridge High in Columbia, Mo., on Thursday committed to Missouri. He was a summer KC Pump N Run AAU teammate of future KU guard Conner Frankamp of Wichita North.

Rally: KU coach Bill Self joined football coach Turner Gill, women’s basketball coach Bonnie Henrickson and AD Sheahon Zenger at a Hawk Talk football pep rally Thursday night in the parking lot next to Salty Iguana on Sixth Street.

“I want what’s best for our league,” Self said the day after Texas A&M; announced it definitely was leaving the Big 12. “I think the coaches I talk to are all excited about nine (members). I would think the football coaches are as well. It gives you a chance to schedule another nonconference game. I am fine with nine.”

Some writers insist Texas and/or Oklahoma will soon announce plans to leave the league.

“I don’t think everybody is saying that. I haven’t heard anybody in the know say that,” Self said. “I’ve heard some speculation and A&M; created the situation. I don’t wish any ill will on A&M;, but our league will be just as strong without A&M; ... as long as we stay together. Our presence in Texas will not go down at all as long as we have Baylor and Texas Tech and Texas in the state.”


Don Everett 6 years, 9 months ago

I live 1000 miles away, so anyone who attends any game against a&m needs to go and boo the hell out of them. If I could be there, I would!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Being a bunch of big babies because they can't compete against texass is a poor excuse. In the SEC, they will get hammered even more.

ku_tailg8 6 years, 9 months ago

Thank you. Amen! Don't complain and moan about NU and CU leaving the conference. They did what is best for them. A&M will get drilled in the SEC. They will go from being the 4th or 5th best team to a total loser. Maybe bball will do the SEC good but this looks like a football deal. Aim your hate at A&M for their lame excuse. I respect CU and NU but have no respect for the Aggies.

This conference is basically done. If OU leaves, then they will probably take OSU as a packaged agreement. We don't have the tv households here in Kansas. Kstate has no leverage and neither do we. We may end up on the Mountain West or Conference USA. We can still win the NCAA tournament in March in either conference but we will lose are lock on the Big Monday games on ESPN. College athletics is so screwed up right now.

Mike Bratisax 6 years, 9 months ago

I'm just wondering which teams will be left holding empty bags when OU, OSU, TT and Tex leave for the Pac 16... We can always rejoin the Missouri Valley, bringing in ISU, KSU and Missouri. I wonder if we keep the Big 12 name we can still be a Major?

MIZNIT 6 years, 9 months ago

Bummer Jorgenson committed to Mizzou. He's already amazingly talented, and has to grow some more.

nuleafjhawk 6 years, 9 months ago

I'll catch some flack for this, but the whole twin " togetherness " thing is starting to wear on me. I loved them when they were here, and I get the whole twin thing being very marketable to the media - especially since they are both very good players.

I'm not a twin, so maybe there is really something about it, although I have twin nephews, one is in the Navy, stationed in Japan and the other lives in Lawrence. They actually seemed to do better once they went their seperate ways. I hope the Morris' do the same. I get the feeling they're going to be lost on their own. I hope I'm wrong.

Martin Rosenblum 6 years, 9 months ago

Your fears will prove to be in vain, nuleaf. I believe after reporting to their respective teams, when the NBA foolishness is resolved, they will never speak to each other again! They'll each make a statement like.."I can't believe I ever even liked my brother!" Then, they will each get plastic surgery to change their appearances so they'll never be reminded of the other one when they look in a mirror. Each of them will become starters for their teams and will make the All Star game the first year where they will not even recognize each other! Both will be ejected, however, when they simultaneously knock each other out while throwing elbows under the basket. Then, the amnesia will finally erase any memories that they ever even had a brother. might be right too. .

nuleafjhawk 6 years, 9 months ago

LOL! That's awesome memhawk - wish I were that witty at 7:00 am. Or any other time.....

nuleafjhawk 6 years, 9 months ago

By the way - I really appreciate an answer like that - it's much easier to take than " You are a #^&^%(&#^%%*& for saying anything about the twins that isn't 100% positive ".

Martin Rosenblum 6 years, 9 months ago

Too much love for you than to take the low road.

Redlandsjhawk 6 years, 9 months ago

Or maybe by chance they get the exact same plastic surgery and still look alike! Sounds like a twilight zone episode in the making.

Clarence Haynes 6 years, 9 months ago

To use an old cliche....diffrent strokes for different folks.

Tony Bandle 6 years, 9 months ago

Obviously, different diffrents as well!! :)

Tony Bandle 6 years, 9 months ago are only a #^&^%(&#*^...those last two %% were way over the top and really quite unfair!! :)

nuleafjhawk 6 years, 9 months ago

Sometimes I just don't know when to quit..... thanks for keeping me in line Oakville - I will never abuse the %% privilege again.

Tony Bandle 6 years, 9 months ago

The hot rumor in St.Louis right now is that Missouri is in secret contact with the Southeast Conference for a possible move as well.

As ridiculous as this rumor sounds, I no longer trust anything anyone in charge of any school in the Big 12 says except HCBS and maybe HCTG.

lee3022 6 years, 9 months ago

To paraphrase coach Self last year "I don't care where they go" referring to Missouri and their action to split the conference apart.

Martin Rosenblum 6 years, 9 months ago

Love 'em and leave 'em, huh? What else can be said about the FB game? Either we win or lose at this point. Hope we win!

Ben Simonett 6 years, 9 months ago

yeah, the national championships and allen field house have nothing on the twins, clearly KU could not recruit at a high level with out them

Mike Bratisax 6 years, 9 months ago

Not feeling the love! I will say that the twins really are ambassadors for Kansas.. Their transformations from freshmen to jrs while at KU and their overall likeability does influence recruits. Of course there are other recruiting tools that probably have more influence but certainly no need to jump on slayr because he bragged on 2 KU legends.

JayDocMD 6 years, 9 months ago

This Legends game is taking shape as a second Late Night recruiting-wise. With Archie Goodwin, Julius Randle and possibly Shabazz coming - 2 of those 3 are top of their class on most recruiting lists. Hopefully the momentum continues to build and the place will be full and loud.

Selfishly I hope the twins don't go to Europe so they will be there. The more current players the better the game/atmosphere. Anyone hear if this thing is going to be broadcast/online?

Tony Bandle 6 years, 9 months ago

Maybe the recruits are coming to ask the NBA'ers who are the best agents??!!

JayDocMD 6 years, 9 months ago

side note: anyone else think Deandre Daniels is rethinking his UConn choice after Andre Drummond decided last second to join the Hussies? That is one crowded front court with Alex Oriakhi, Drummond, Roscoe Smith and Daniels.

nuleafjhawk 6 years, 9 months ago

Maybe they can land a Le-Andre, an Andreas, and a J'Andre.

lee3022 6 years, 9 months ago

He can always redshirt like Bradley did last year so that he can give up HIS scholarship next year when needed for another recruit. DeAndre you are living the dream of watching a powerhouse team develop from your view on the bench.

JayDocMD 6 years, 9 months ago

Quite possible Oakville.

Along those lines, they should make it more convenient for all involved by setting up a mixer with a full bar for the High Schoolers and agents the night before the game. The morning before the game, they could test drive vehicles and let local realtors show off-campus housing available to players and/or family members. Also, a job fair could be set up simultaneously, so that prospects' mothers and fathers would know what's available when they 'helicopter' on in to Lawrence with their kid.

Stripper polls should be installed in the suites at AFH for entertaining during the game. At Halftime, all recruits join in a contest where a halfcourt shot is attempted. $100,000 to those who make it and $50,000 given as a consolation/participation prize. After the game, all current KU NBA players will join the recruits on a charter flight to Las Vegas for an all-inclusive one week vacation in Sin City. They can drop Shabazz off at his house before they fly back.

gardenjay 6 years, 9 months ago

Great - but don't they have 4 years of eligibility for football? Wide receivers!

phi4life940 6 years, 9 months ago

I love that they are here in Lawrence working out with our team. We are only getting better! I wonder what the status is of our three freshman who are awaiting NCAA word. Hopefully they can get in on that Morris Twin training!

Rock Chalk!

jaybate 6 years, 9 months ago

"Some Things the Twins Can Do to Pass the Time Until the Lockout Ends"

~Take turns predicting when the other will get lucky with a lady.

~Vicariously experience anger when the other is across town and being cut in front of by a minivan with a father who does not check his blind spot.

~Awaken from a dream about Beyonce, when the other is nightmaring about trying to keep Lebron away from the rim.

~Discuss the pros and cons of Vulcan mind melding Twin style.

~Allow themselves to be paper machied with shreds of the LJW sports pages by a young KU artist and then placed on display at the campus art museum as a multi-valenced performance art installation commenting on the NBA lock out.

~Float on their backs in Potters Lake one last time at mid night on a full moon so they will remember Lawrence as it was meant to be.

(Note: All fiction. No malice.)

AZHawk72 6 years, 9 months ago

Well, another football season is upon us. I wish things were as they were during my freshman and sophomore years. Nebraska came down, highly touted, and lost 10-0, ending many years of frustration for the 'Hawks. I think we only lost a close 27-23 game to Oklahoma, but the better team didn't win that day. The next year we won at Nebraska and my vehicle with its J/O Kansas plate had several waiting for us. My lifelong Nebraska fan cousins from Omaha were never the same--until then, they thought pettiness was for loser programs not losers of a game.

Now, we have a program that is just a shadow of Zook, Douglas, Shanklin et al; we have a league that is falling apart due to an egotistical Texas program that needs to be voted out of the league; we have let Sean Miller replace John Wooden as a recruiter, meaning anything west of Wichita is not going to land in Lawrence anytime soon; and who would want to come to a school with a giant question mark surrounding its future anyway?

Well, I hope the view from the hill is still unobstructed, the smell of the freshly-mown lawns still dominates, the Bacardi still mixes well with the Coke cones, and "hey, I'm really glad you decided to come--you didn't bring any limes, did you?"

It's time to use football to forget about all that swirls about us.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.