Friday, June 29, 2012

Jayhawk pride: Morris twins ready to welcome Thomas Robinson to NBA

Former Kansas University players Thomas Robinson (0), Markieff Morris (21) and Marcus Morris (22) watch the action during a game against California in this file photo from Dec. 22, 2009 in Allen Fieldhouse.

Former Kansas University players Thomas Robinson (0), Markieff Morris (21) and Marcus Morris (22) watch the action during a game against California in this file photo from Dec. 22, 2009 in Allen Fieldhouse.


— Their seats at the Prudential Center were in a different spot, but their emotions were the same.

Thursday night, a little more than one year after they were picked with back-to-back selections in the 2011 NBA draft, former Jayhawks Marcus and Markieff Morris watched with pride as KU teammate and F.O.E. (Family Over Everything) co-creator Thomas Robinson was selected fifth by Sacramento in the 2012 draft.

“It felt just like last year when me and my brother were called up there,” said Marcus, who was picked 14th by Houston in 2011. “He’s our brother, too.”

Robinson’s final draft positioning was a little different than he had expected throughout the weeks and days that led up to the big event.

Like many, Robinson believed he could go as high as No. 2 to Charlotte or even No. 3 to Washington. Didn’t happen. Instead, he slipped to No. 5, providing the Kings with what one NBA analyst described as “a dream scenario.”

“I hope he’s not upset that he went fifth,” Marcus said about an hour after the pick. “Fifth is a great spot to get drafted. He gets to play with (Kings center) DeMarcus Cousins and that’ll help him out a lot. I know this, though; he’s pissed off. The NBA is getting a pissed-off player. And that’s only going to mean good things for T-Rob.”

Last year, while being interviewed by ESPN radio after being picked 13th by Phoenix, Markieff heard his brother’s name called right behind him and the two were able to share the experience together. It was a similar scene on Thursday. Before being taken away to fulfill the endless stretch of media obligations that follow being drafted, Robinson walked to the section of the arena where the Morris twins were sitting and was swallowed up by hugs from his “family.”

“We mean it when we say that, man,” Markieff said. “Family is everything to us, and he’s family.”

Robinson, who was understandably emotional throughout the night, said it meant a lot to have the Morris twins — along with their mother Angel, who sat with him in the green room — there to support him.

“I looked up to ’em, man,” he said. “It was great.”

With the emotion and excitement of draft night behind them, the trio of former KU teammates can begin to think about their first match-ups against one another. All three occupy roster spots with Western Conference teams, which increases the opportunities for them to face off on the floor.

The Morris twins began thinking about it Thursday.

“Funny,” Marcus said. “That’s what I’d say it’ll be. Funny.”

Added Markieff: “It’ll be just like when we’re working in the gym. Unless one of us is hitting jumpers, and then who knows what’ll happen.”

It was not just Robinson who the twins paid close attention to on Thursday night. In addition to tracking the moves made by their own teams, both also kept an eye on former KU guard Tyshawn Taylor, who was picked 41st by Portland and then traded to the Brooklyn Nets.

The team didn’t matter, nor did the draft position. Marcus was ready to call Taylor one of the steals of the draft immediately.

“Ty is going to be an all-star,” Marcus said.

When asked why, Taylor’s former teammate was more than happy to explain.

“He’s super talented,” Marcus said. “Super talented. I’ve been around him for three years, and I’ve seen all that he can do. I don’t think most people have seen that yet.”

While the twins spent a lot of Thursday focusing on their former teammates, they also took some time to reflect on their own experiences in the same building. The prevailing thought shared by both was summed up best by Marcus.

“It’s just crazy being back here,” he said. “I mean, ridiculous. It went so fast. It’s just hard to believe. It went so quick.”


midwest_muser 1 year, 9 months ago

The less Robinson does to emulate the twins, the better off he will be.


CrimsonAndBlueForLife 1 year, 9 months ago

T-Rob was so blessed to have Angel Morris as his second mother while he was here and especially after his own mother died. I certainly hope Angel Morris will continue to be a "team mom" to all Jayhawk players for a long time to come.


Jeff Suther 1 year, 9 months ago

I hate to say it but trob wont be good at all in the NBA. He cant finish around the rim and sucks with his back to the basket. He better start saving his money


Mike Tackett 1 year, 9 months ago

Welcome to Hemp Heaven, from the Twins.


Matt Gauntt 1 year, 9 months ago

What a classy bunch of guys. Best story in the NCAA is the way that the twins and their mom "adopted" Thomas and his little sister.

Best of luck T-Rob!!


KJD 1 year, 9 months ago

Lottery Picks 2003 - 2012 shows Roy and Bill have been developing talent at a steady and high rate (Drew went #4 in 2002 too):

10 North Carolina: Marvin Williams (2), Raymond Felton (5), Harrison Barnes (7), Brandan Wright (8), Sean May (13), Ed Davis (13), Kendall Marshall (13) Rashad McCants (14), Tyler Hansbrough (14), John Henson (14)

9 Kansas: Thomas Robinson (5), Kirk Hinrich (7), Cole Aldrich (11), Nick Collison (12), Xavier Henry (12), Julian Wright (13), Brandon Rush (13), Markieff Morris (13), Marcus Morris (14)

9 UConn: Emeka Okafor (2), Hasheem Thabeet (2), Ben Gordon (3), Charlie Villanueva (7), Rudy Gay (8), Kemba Walker (9), Andrea Drummond (9), Hilton Armstrong (12), Jeremy Lamb (12)

6 Duke: Kyrie Irving (1), Sheldon Williams (5), Luol Deng (7), Austin Rivers (10), JJ Redick (11), Gerald Henderson (12)

6 Kentucky: John Wall (1), Anthony Davis (1), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (2) , DeMarcus Cousins (5), Brandon Knight (8), Patrick Patterson (14)

5 Texas: LaMarcus Aldridge (2), Kevin Durrant (2), Tristan Thompson (4), TJ Ford (8), DJ Augustine (9)

5 Arizona: Derrick Williams (2), Channing Frye (8), Jordan Hill (8), Andre Iguodala (9), Jerryd Bayless (11)

4 Florida: Al Horford (3), Bradley Beal (3), Corey Brewer (7), Joakim Noah (9)

4 Syracuse: Carmelo Anthony (3), Wesley Johnson (4), Dion Waiters (4), Jonny Flynn (6)

3 Georgetown, Georgia Tech, Ohio State, Washington

2 Arizona State, BYU, Illinois, Louisville, LSU, Memphis, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Wakeforest

1 Arkansas, Baylor, Bradley, Butler, Central Michigan, Colorado, Davidson, Florida State, Fresno, Georgia, Gonzaga, Indiana, Kansas State, Marquette, Minnesota, Rider, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, UNLV, Utah, Villanova, Washington State, Weber State, West Virginia, Wisconsin


Jeeveshawk 1 year, 9 months ago

Also congrats to Kyle O'Quinn, one of my favorite non-KU players, for getting drafted.


Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 9 months ago

My point is this: These bigs were our soldiers, and thru them, Self's win-loss % is the absolute best in Div1 the last 6yrs running. I will not bad-mouth our past warriors! Actually, my hat's off to them for: a) choosing KU b) buying in to Self's way c) conquering almost all foes.


Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 9 months ago

Yeah. That pix is prophetic, as the "return game" the next season at Cal was the big technical on Marcus after he got bludgeoned in the back. He learned what line to not cross in that game. You all recall that Gutierrez punk shoving his wrist into TRob's throat at the bottom of the dogpile?

That jack-wipe of a coach for Cal even defended Gutierrez after the game...(what???)

I will say this directly to all the "soft" pussies (cats) we have on this site who like to take offense at the "man's game" that happens or "war" in the paint at the Div1 level--> Why dont you ask Bill Self or Tom Izzo about this? Self cultivated the toughness in the Twins directly & personally. Recall that they arrived soft. "Soft" ku fans remind me quickly of how many of Roy's teams got shoved around and were not known as tough. Individual players were "tough", but not entire team mentalities. Enter Bill Self, and you see teams equally capable of high flying offense, or bruiser/grinder games (how ya want your beatin'?).


ukanjhox 1 year, 9 months ago

I'd like to know how Marcus feels about the Rockets' draft picks. It doesn't seem the organization has a lot of faith that Marcus will ever be the guy.


tbbucboy21 1 year, 9 months ago

how about that pic. The morris twins, t.rob, and whithey. Not too bad a group of bigs huh? cole was on that team as well. amazing group of bigs for one team.


Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 9 months ago

Great story. Ive liked the Twins ever since they displayed bigtime work ethic after that MichState defeat their frosh season. Their on-court swagger and confidence was built thru their own effort, and their "tough" side was directly cultivated by Self, who rode them mercilessly in practice, also called them "soft" in public. Self created 2 lotto picks out of the motivated Twins. Definitely one of Self's (&Danny's) biggest successes...and TRob is another. 5 lotto picks in 3yrs (Twins, TRob, Xavier, Cole).

Wishing success for all our KU-to-pro guys! RCJH!

F. O. E.


Jay Dogger 1 year, 9 months ago

Did the twins ever play against each other this year? I know neither got major minutes and at least Marcus (not sure about Markieff) spent time in the D-League. But I was wondering if they were both ever on the court at the same time for even a second. When they do play against each other I hope there's a little extra coverage.

I bet T-Rob gets more minutes than both of them combined next year, but I really hope the twins get more court time than last year. And Cole, too. I'd love to watch them play.


cajayfan 1 year, 9 months ago

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