Friday, January 1, 2010

KU twins eager for return to Philly

KU sophomore forward Marcus Morris warms up before taking on Tennessee Tech Friday, Nov. 27, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

KU sophomore forward Marcus Morris warms up before taking on Tennessee Tech Friday, Nov. 27, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Marcus Morris has seen the world-famous Liberty Bell. Twin brother, Markieff, has not.

“I went there on a field trip in grade school,” Marcus Morris said. “Kieff didn’t get to go. We were in the same classes in high school, not grade school.”

Take it from Marcus: The Liberty Bell is an attraction Kansas University basketball fans — in Philadelphia for Saturday’s KU-Temple game (4:30 p.m., Liacouras Center) — should consider a must-see.

“The bell is very high up in the sky. It’s scary to go see it,” said Marcus Morris, KU’s sophomore forward, born and raised with Kieff in the City of Brotherly Love.

“It’s like a wishing bell, too. You make a wish when you get up there. It’s very big. It has a big crack in it, too.”

Actually, the bell has been stationed low to the ground since 2003, when it was moved to Liberty Bell Center, located on Market Street between 5th and 6th. The Bicentennial Bell does hang in the Independence National Historical Park Visitor’s Center’s 130-foot bell tower, though.

Those are minor details.

The twins, playing the role of virtual tour guide, most importantly want to recommend their favorite cuisine — the Philly cheesesteak.

“It’s the best steak in the world. Don’t you know that?” Marcus said. “That’s what Philly is known for ... first Wilt Chamberlain, then cheesesteak. I tell the guys I’m going to try to get somebody to bring some to the hotel.”

The best places to grab a cheesesteak?

Geno’s in south Philly, they say, or Max’s in their own northwest neighborhood. Of course, cheesesteaks can also be had at Leo’s, Tony Luke’s, Jim’s, Rick’s, Pat’s or John’s.

Philly restaurateurs obviously are big on first names.

“That’s one of the things you have to do when you go to Philly. You haven’t had a cheesesteak unless you’ve had a Philly cheesesteak,” Markieff said.

“I don’t eat Philly cheesesteaks from anywhere but Philly. I feel like I’m disrespecting my city when I do that.”

The Morris brothers have plenty of relatives willing to bring them a cheesesteak or two tonight.

Many of those same relatives will be at Saturday’s game.

“I’ve got 30 tickets. If you can get me more, I can use more,” Markieff said. “That’s what I told coach (Bill Self) ... how many he can give me is how many I can use.”

Tickets are at a premium in the cozy, yet hostile, 10,224-seat campus arena.

“I lost city (championship) in there my 10th-grade year and won my 12th-grade year,” Markieff said.

He and Marcus led Prep Charter High School to state titles in 2006 and ’07 in games played in Hershey, Pa.

“It’s a nice place. It’s an old building Their fans will be fired up playing the No. 1 team, like we will be,” Markieff added.

The Morris twins, who are 2-0 versus teams from Philly, beating Temple, 71-59, last season in Allen Fieldhouse and LaSalle, 90-65, in Sprint Center this year, are familiar with several Temple Owls.

Lavoy Allen, a 6-9 junior from Morrisville, Pa., is a close friend.

“I’m not saying we’re going to win. But I’ve never lost to him in four or five games, mostly AAU games,” Marcus Morris said. “I plan on trying to stay perfect against him even in the NBA.”

There another piece of incentive for the twins Saturday, in addition to improving to 13-0.

Temple fans chanted “We Want Kansas,” after the Owls’ 75-65 victory over No. 3-ranked Villanova Dec. 13 at Liacouras Center.

“Michigan fans chanted the same thing,” Markieff Morris said of Wolverine fans who were disappointed after a 75-64 loss to KU on Dec. 19 in Allen Fieldhouse. “Temple (11-2) is a good team. We are playing at their home. It’s my home, too.”

Sophomore guard Tyshawn Taylor, who replied “of course,” when asked if it was critical to help the twins claim bragging rights in their hometown, grinned when asked about the chants.

“They are calling for us, so they better be ready, ’cause we’re coming,” Taylor said.

Self said he hopes the Jayhawks — most notably the twins — remain as level-headed as possible against a stingy Atlantic 10 team that allows 54.2 points a game.

“(I’m) probably concerned that they could go in there and not be at that magic level, so to speak, that give them the best chance to perform,” Self said. “That would include energy, enthusiasm, focus, concentration. You have to have all those things. They could be wound pretty tight. They need to go through this. They (Jayhawks) all do. They’ll be wound tight in other situations. It’s part of it.”

A special part of college for the twins, they maintain, is being able to travel home for a game.

The twins said this one has been circled on their calendars a long time.

“It’s a business trip. We’re trying to go to Temple and win a game,” Marcus said, before offering one more tip for those Jayhawks in town for pleasure.

“I’d send them downtown to go see Rocky the Statue,” Marcus Morrris said of a bronze statue of Rocky Balboa located at the Museum of Art.

“There’s a lot of stuff to do in Philly. It’s similar to Kansas City, very huge, a lot of places to go. It’s a great place to be from.”

Treadmill talk

KU’s fabled treadmill has been situated just off the northwest corner of the Allen Fieldhouse court for two-a-day practices this week.

It’s used as a penalty for various transgressions, like soft play or sloppy play.

“The treadmill is out. The treadmill has been out,” junior Cole Aldrich said, asked if he has been on it. “It’s not fun. It’s at the highest incline, the fastest it can go.”

“I don’t even like to see it,” Taylor said. “They put it on fast on an incline. It’s tough. If you are not running fast, it’ll throw you off. Nobody’s got thrown off yet, but somebody will.”


suttonku 12 years, 7 months ago

I have a feeling KU about to knock Temple out! Temple is about to get what they asked for on Saturday.

jayhawker97 12 years, 7 months ago

for some reason, i was worried more when KU was about to play against Cal than this hooting crap.. i dont' care whether theyr'e ranked or not.. r o c k c h a l k !!!

Dirk Medema 12 years, 7 months ago

Interesting that the treadmill came out after the Belmont game. Hopefully, it was enough insentive for both Morris' to stay in the game and grab more than a few rebounds each. Win the boards guys, and the W will follow.

James Miller 12 years, 7 months ago

Watch out Bill....somewhere out there is sensitive parent waiting for thier kid to get thrown off of that treadmill.

KUFan90 12 years, 7 months ago

I thought I heard they took down the Rocky statue? Anyone know for sure if it is still there?

lance1jhawk 12 years, 7 months ago

KUFan90- The last time I was in Philly (late 90's) the Rocky statue had moved from the Art Museum over to the sports complex. The art museum was never really happy with it being there since it was not really art, but a movie prop. I'm not sure if it is still at the football stadium or not. They have made alot of renovations to the stadium, and it may have had to go.

melrank 12 years, 7 months ago

We will find out a lot about our team on Saturday.

Are they physically strong and tough enough to compete for a NC? I've not watched Temple play, but traditionally, they are tough and phsical playing a grind-it-out type of game where physical toughness is critical. They are # 2 in nation in points allowed and only turn the ball over 10 times a game. Opponents shoot the ball at a 36% rate - impressive. Bill knows this type of play very well and we will have to win some of these games on the road to our ultimate goal of a NC.

Are they mentally tough enough to compete for a NC? There are lots of potential distractions. Tough road crowd in an intimidating building. The return home of the twins and overdoses of Cheesesteak and Cheesecake. Revenge for the "We Want Kansas Chant". There's a good chance we will get punched in the face early on and how will we respond? I can see us getting off track with our focus rather easily.

Honestly, would anyone be surprised if we won by 20? Would anyone be surprised if we only won by 4?

Can't wait.

Scott Smetana 12 years, 7 months ago

Where's soobawls saying that we're going to lose?

Wish I was in Philly, only 10K seats... awesome.

UncleMiltyN 12 years, 7 months ago

I think Self will have them ready. We've got the edge in just about every area, but we need to play much better than we have been. I would like to see this team really put their foot on the throat of Temple.

Play the tape of the "We want Kansas" chant a few times in the locker room. Sherron will eat that up with a big spoon.

Nobody can hang with us inside when we execute well. We need a big dose of Aldrich and Morris.

I think a good indicator as the game is unfolding would be foul trouble. We can handle some foul trouble. They can't. Feed Cole the freakin ball.

Robert Brock 12 years, 7 months ago

To win the Hawks will have to play smart. Upper classmen will have to step up. Don't expect to see much of EJ or TR.

Matt Bowers 12 years, 7 months ago

I almost forgot about the treadmill. That simple piece of machinery has solved more problems for past teams then sports psychologists. Glad to have it back. I wonder if Bill and Danny were chewing the fat and one of them said something along the line of, "...its treadmill time."

Looking forward to the Temple game. It has been difficult to gauge our team because we have mainly played cupcakes. I am hoping to win this game the HCBS way and that is with defense. His defense when applied properly might be the toughest in the land. This team has yet to show that grind it out mentality and really don't have any floor burns to prove their toughness. Since the treadmill is out and it sounds like it is similar to the lurking butler, KU is probably ready for Temple.

Rock Chalk

O2BFRKU 12 years, 7 months ago

I was in Philly two years ago and the Rocky statue had been moved the bottom right side of the steps of the art museum. That said, there are about nine million things in Philly you ought to see and do first. We didn't, but you ought to.

KUPROUD 12 years, 7 months ago

If the second half defense shows up earlier, we'll win in a walk. If not, the game will be in doubt to the end. It's time to find that higher gear in the first half, because the Big 12 is here.

KU 12 years, 7 months ago

Brock, I agree with you about not seeing much of Thomas because each possession will be valuable in a low possession game. I'm not sure EJ would hurt us, but I'm sure Self is more comfortable playing Tyrel than EJ on the road in a hostile environment this early in EJ's career.

We need to keep our turnovers to a minimum in a low possession game--no more than 9 or 10. They are not really the kind of team that's going to go for a lot of steals, so we need to avoid unforced turnovers. X is going to really have to take care of the ball. Tyshawn needs to keep his composure the way he has over the last 5 games or so.

Temple has 3 or 4 guards who are pretty long--around 6'4". Because of their perimeter length and sound defensive positioning, they defend the 3 point line VERY well. I don't look for Sherron or X to be able to really go off beyond the line. We need to be patient on the offensive end and feed the post a lot. Temple doesn't have a ton of quality post depth, so if we can get Lavoy Allen in foul trouble it will make things easier.

I'm not as worried about us on the defensive end except for defensive rebounding. We are a relatively weak defensive rebounding team. Part of valuing every possession in a low possession game is wiping the defensive boards, so we need to make this a huge emphasis.

The other defensive key is knowing where Guzman is on the perimeter at all times. He's a very good 3 point shooter. In a game that's "first one to 60 wins", 3 or 4 treys would go a long way towards Guzman having a huge influence on the outcome.

This is one of those games where KU could play very efficiently offensively and still only get to 70 points.

KU-68 Temple-63

KU 12 years, 7 months ago

Oops.....I meant we need to know where Fernandez is on the perimeter.....not Guzman.

ParisHawk 12 years, 7 months ago

KU, if Coach Self agrees with you I think we will see a lot of Brady: he can shadow their best gunner and feed the post, never shoots unless he's open and has 12 assists vs. 2 turnovers since he's been back. That last statistic shows how incredibly fast he's been able to fit himself back into the team. Suspending him was a very low-cost move.

Tony Bandle 12 years, 7 months ago

HAPPY NEW YEAR, are my list of New Year's Resolutions:

1] I resolve to find the silver lining in every one of Soobawls posts.

2] I resolve to read every post by Jaybate even if their length exceeds the Encyclopedia Britannica

3] I resolve to obtain a date with Ralster's Avatar

4] I resolve that, after seeing Withey play, it will be a miracle if he starts along side of Condor this year...sorry 100.

5] I resolve to follow my own advice, that when Kansas loses inevetibly, I won't jump off the nearest cliff in despair and sorrow.

6] I resolve not to eat a cheesesteak sandwich from Penn Station unless said restaurant is located in Philly

7] I resolve to stick only one pin per night into my John Calipari Voodoo doll

8] I resolve to scream bloody murder every time the Hawks allow an uncontested three, don't feed the post or try to play with less than five guys!!

9] I reolve to unravel the greatest mystery of the last century...the true lyrics to Louie, Louie.

10] And finally, I resolve to be a better person and a better Jayhawk.

kujayhawk34 12 years, 7 months ago

I'll be in attendance for the game. First two KU games i was at were the loss to St Joes at the garder (Rush, Chalmers, Wright were all frosh) and when we lost to Nova at Novas place during Simiens senior year. Hopefully this game will turn out differently then the first two!

KU 12 years, 7 months ago

Paris, my silence on Brady was a tacit assumption that he will play a major role. No doubt he will play a bigger role than Tyrel. If Tyshawn or X is shaky with the ball, you could see Brady play 30+ minutes. One of the twins--probably Marcus--will have a double-double tomorrow if Temple tries to double-team Aldrich.

Steve Brown 12 years, 7 months ago

Go over the Ben Franklin bridge and return over the Betsy Ross so you can say you were in NJ. Yes, get Philly C Steak, but order it with......


crisp passing per 100 our sage....

KU 12 years, 7 months ago

Well, so much for the Tennessee game being a true test of our strength. Several of their players were arrested on felony drug charges today.

jhawks2012 12 years, 7 months ago

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ginger2015 12 years, 7 months ago

jhawks2012, was that really neccessary?

FairgroveJayhawk 12 years, 7 months ago

Looks like Tennessee has hit a speed bump... or make it a traffic violation leading to misdemeanor drug and felony firearm charges for four players on the mens basketball team.

Ben Kane 12 years, 7 months ago

yep, just saw that Fairgrove. guess this makes temple are only true road challenge of the year. I'd really like to blow temple out of the water.

FairgroveJayhawk 12 years, 7 months ago

chuckberry32 - I'm with you on that one. This makes our conflicts look less impressive:) It will be interesting to see what happens but a felony charge is huge. They played this morning if I'm not mistaken. Heck of a way to celebrate.

rockchalkjayhawk4ku11 12 years, 7 months ago

when somebody knows the website for the the live game tomorrow could they post it please. I will be away from my tv tomorrow, and really do not want to miss this game! Thanks!

Scott Smetana 12 years, 7 months ago

Dang... let the Tennessee boys play. Innocent until proven guilty. After we play them, I'd advise them call Calipari's attorney, I've heard he's great.

PS - Nice job last night Methsewery! PPS - I think Leach got it worse than Mangino. Anyone else? I'd take Leach as a coach in a minute.

Mike Kendall 12 years, 7 months ago

Unbelievable with those guys at Tennessee! It will be a tough game in Knoxville, but as I have said before, if Coach Self can keep them humble and the Jayhawks play their "A" game, they should come out victorious. Temple first. It will be snowing where I am at on Saturday--I am going to relax, stay inside, and see my beloved Jayhawks kick some BUTT!!!! Go Jayhawks! Win Jayhawks!

Dale Kroening 12 years, 7 months ago

Rockchalkjayhawk4ku11 here you go, the pw is phog. Every KU BB game is going to be there from what Ive been told. Save it in your favorites. Happy New Year to all Jayhawk Nation and lets bring a big win home tomorrow !

Martin Rosenblum 12 years, 7 months ago

My theory:

Those Tennessee players just realized that their game with KU was to be in 10 days. They figured that rather than get spanked at home they would pile into a car on New Year's Eve, change the serial number on a gun they would bring with them, buy a bag of weed and start smoking while celebrating their win over Memphis in the afternoon with a few drinks.

And some of us were concerned about playing them in Knoxville!

Kinda makes Brady look like a wimp now by comparison.

jhawks2012 12 years, 7 months ago

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Martin Rosenblum 12 years, 7 months ago

From the Univ. of Tn. Discussion board:

January 1, 2010 3:38 p.m. Suggest removal Reply to this post movol53 writes: OMG!!!!! What on earth is going on in K-town? Maybe Pearl will need to go to the YMCA just to have a team to play Kansas in ten days. GOOD GRIEF!!!! . Ha!

LAHawk11 12 years, 7 months ago

i am so ready for Temple.....they are going to get what they asked for....and that will be a Jayhawk beating that they will never forget.....Go JayHawks......

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