Thoughts on Marcus and Markieff Morris, Jeff Van Gundy and Josh Selby



The draft has ended with Sacramento Kings' pick of Isaiah Thomas, a point guard out of University of Washington. In review, Markieff Morris went to the Phoenix Suns with the 13th pick, Marcus Morris to the Houston Rockets with the 14th pick and Josh Selby 49th to the Memphis Grizzlies. The star of the night: Jeff Van Gundy, who offers solid insights expected from a veteran former NBA coach and bats 1.000 with his humor.

As it turned out, Stuart Scott's math initially was off. Markieff Morris, born seven minutes before Marcus, also was drafted seven minutes before his brother.


Finally, Josh Selby is picked, going to Memphis with the 49th pick, joining fellow former Jayhawks Darrell Arthur and Xavier Henry.


With the 45th pick the New Orleans Hornets select Josh ... Harrellson from Kentucky. Not Josh Selby, Josh Harrellson. Selby sure could have used another year at Kansas, which plays in front of slightly larger, more energetic crowds than D-League teams do.

9:55 Indiana Pacers, picking 42nd, are coming up soon and just might take Josh Selby, even amid concerns by some in the league that his foot has not healed properly.


Another Van Gundy gem: "Why do players get in shape AFTER their season?"

I love the Chandler Parsons pick at No. 38 by the Houston Rockets.


Based on the trick-shot feature ESPN just did on him, Kyle Singler should play for the Harlem Globetrotters, not in the NBA. Best prediction on Selby's destination: I'll stick with No. 42 to the Indiana Pacers.


Jay Bilas, as smart an analyst of basketball as anybody on TV, has Josh Selby rated as the eighth-best remaining player heading into the 19th pick. Yet, with concerns about his foot lingering, it's looking as if Selby will spill into the second round, unless the New Jersey Nets take him at No. 27.


Best work by ESPN so far tonight:

  1. Jeff Van Gundy: "Why in the draft room do they clap after their pick? They knew who they were picking. Why do they clap?" Van Gundy constantly makes great points such as that. He's the anti-TV guy. He's not about image. He's about common sense.

  2. Fran Fraschilla, ESPN's expert on international prospects, weighed in on what sort of prospect Jan Vesely is after evaluating Vesely's girlfriend, at his side for the draft: "First of all, he's got great taste in women."

  3. Stuart Scott on the Morris twins being taken back-to-back, pointed out They were born seven minutes apart and drafted five minutes apart. Markieff came first both times.


Marcus Morris follows his brother as the very next pick. As the Taco Bell dog is fond of saying, "How cool is 'dat?"


Leave it to Marcus to utter the quote of the night, the one that gets the biggest laughs, even if he did not intend it to be funny. Asked by Heather Cox about being separated from his twin for the first time, Marcus answered, "I'll send him some flowers or some fruit. He'll be all right." Note his concern for his brother missing him, not the other way around. Marcus always has been very protective of his less-outgoing brother, Markieff. My guess is he wanted Markieff to get drafted before him because he's always looked out for him.


Markieff Morris goes to Phoneix Suns with 13th pick. Marcus Morris still on the board.


So much for that prediction. Washington State shooting guard Klay Thompson goes to Warriors. Utah Jazz up next.


Neither Morris twin taken in the top 10. Prediction: The twins will combine for career NBA minutes than Kemba Walker and Jimmer Fredette. Here's guessing the Golden State Warriors will take one of the twins with the next pick.


Bismack Biyombo of the Congo to Charlotte, which means the past five picks all were born outside the United States. Charlotte should have taken Marcus Morris here. Biyombo speaks five more languages than Morris, but Marcus has at least 10 more ways to score than Biyombo.

7:10 p.m. No. 7 next. If one of the Morris twins gets picked here by Charlotte (via Sacramento), the twin fantasy of playing on the same team remains alive.

7:04 p.m.

Texas post player Tristan Thompson going higher-than-expected, to Cleveland with the No. 4 pick, increases the chances that the Detroit Pistons could use their No. 8 pick on Markieff Morris.

Original post

Matt Tait and I will be blogging throughout the night. Tait’s covering the draft live in Newark, N.J. I’m watching it on TV and working the phones in the office in Lawrence.

The first fruit from the draft grapevine has to do with why Josh Selby’s draft stock seemingly has plummeted. One insider said that there are concerns Selby’s foot injury hasn’t healed properly and that he might have “weak knees,” whatever that means.

I’d have weak knees if I were the GM who used a mid-first-round pick on him. He’s no longer projected that high. The New Jersey Nets, one league employee said, are intrigued by him and could take him with the 27th pick or the Indiana Pacers could take him with the 42nd pick.

Meanwhile, the chances of both Morris twins getting drafted in the top 13 picks look strong. At the very worst, Markieff Morris should be taken 16th by the hometown Philadelphia 76ers.

A three-team trade just reported by ESPN results in Charlotte having the seventh and ninth picks. Might the twins get to stay together after all? They might.


Steve Jacob 10 years, 10 months ago

My Pistons could not pass up Knight. Greg Monroe and Knight will be a great combo.

Steve Jacob 10 years, 10 months ago

Marcus reported "6'7" wingspan is killing him. One website said "T-Rex" arms.

Tom Keegan 10 years, 10 months ago

He had it measured at 6-10 shortly after that, wondered why it once was measured at 6-7, but did credit the writer who dubbed him "T-Rex" for coming up with a funny line. I think they over-analyzed Marcus. Is he a 3? Is he a 4? Are his arms too short. He's a player, a very clever player who figures out how to get it done and competes very hard play in and play out.

Scott Smetana 10 years, 10 months ago

The NBA should be more embarrassed than Selby that having such a low minimum age and greedy agents have just made a serious dent in this kid's future. Free classes, great coaches who care, great times, championships, fans, rules in college to keep him in line, etc... all gone.. POOF!

Dan Pawlowski 10 years, 10 months ago

Not sure any rules changes would make a difference. If the NBA increased the age I believe Selby would have gone to Europe from the get go. I think he wanted to play pro ball as soon as possible to make some money. From what we have heard about his childhood I don't think we can fault him for that. I hope he makes a great pro and gets the money he wants to take care of his Mom.

Scott Smetana 10 years, 10 months ago

I have no problem with kids going to Europe to make money. Just don't hurt the college game with this stupid one and done scheme. This may sound brash, but I think KU would have been better off without X and Selby. Scholarships to more committed players and PT to more experienced players.

mjlindsm 10 years, 10 months ago

Couldn't agree more regarding Van Gundy. I don't like him all that much as an in-game analyst, but he worked great with Mark Jackson's insight.

Altogether, ESPN really knocked it out of the park in my opinion. This was the best second-round coverage I've ever seen. TNT used to mostly have commercials and then say "by the way, so-and-so and so-and-so were drafted during the breaks" with no analysis. ESPN actually made it a point to analyze every single pick, which an NBA Draft lover such as myself really appreciates.

By the way, I love Memphis now. I can't wait to see Xavier, Selby, and the Black Hole on the court at the same time.

Lost_in_the_Phog 10 years, 10 months ago

Please tell me you are joking about Van Gundy...

Dan Pawlowski 10 years, 10 months ago

+1 . I think using " Van Gundy" (either of them for that matter) and" insight" and "humor" in the same sentence negates the words "insight" and "humor"

jayhawk_zeus 10 years, 10 months ago

Van Gundy is awesome. He's like a mini Barkley.....way better than another "captain obvious" john madden broadcaster.

Dan Pawlowski 10 years, 10 months ago

Oh, is Madden doing basketball? Even better is he still working?

Alec White 10 years, 10 months ago

"Charlotte should have taken Marcus Morris here. Biyombo speaks five more languages than Morris, but Marcus has at least 10 more ways to score than Biyombo."

True dat. I don't mean to disrespect the crucial art of defense, but it seems as if drafting a player who has a chance to "change the game on the defensive end" is suddenly the new trend in the NBA. Teams are taking huge gambles hoping for a rim protector like Dwight Howard or Tyson Chandler, yet are getting a player like Hasheem Thabeet in return. Who knows, maybe Biyombo will turn into Ben Wallace... but my money is on Marcus.

I'm also not sure the Cavs made the best choice at No.4. I like Tristan Thompson as a player, but I don't really see him developing into any sort of offensive threat (although the same could be said about the Morri their freshmen year). Don't the Cavs already have an energy post who defends and rebounds (Anderson Verajao)?

How ironic is it that Josh and Xavier are now on the same team? I think a lot of fans have some similar, sour feelings for them---stemming from idea they simply used KU as a stepping stone to the League and never developed a true relationship with the university. I, for one, will be rooting for the Grizzlies now...they have Josh, X, and Shady.

TopJayhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

So the Cavs are not going to bring Sasha in? Shame that. Maybe he can play for the Grizz too.

Paul Livingston 10 years, 10 months ago

Marcus and Markieff will both likely be good NBA players, but to say that they for sure will play for longer than Jimmer and Kemba combined is quite short-sighted. There is always room in the NBA for a kid whose range includes the locker room. I'll make a guarantee, Marcus and Markieff will combine for more technicals and suspensions than Jimmer and Kemba combined. Say what you will about the Jimmer, but he's a class act which cannot always be said for the Morris Twins.

Dan Pawlowski 10 years, 10 months ago

Jimmer? are you kidding me. Hard to believe but you still have to be able to play defense in the NBA. His best hope is coming off the bench for clutch points when offense and not defense is required. Sacramento got him just to put butts in the seats...

Keith Kienzle 10 years, 10 months ago

Agreed. People who don't play don't get technicals.

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