Archive for Thursday, November 15, 2007

It’s official: They’re Jayhawks

Twins, juco standout sign; two more letters on way today

November 15, 2007


Morris twins, Little join team

The Kansas men's basketball team picked up three expected letters of intent on the first day of the national signing period. Enlarge video

Twins Marcus and Markieff Morris will arrive at Kansas University as's No. 37- and 72-rated players nationally.

They're even better than that, Jayhawk coach Bill Self said Wednesday after receiving signed letters of intent from the Philadelphia duo.

"We feel Marcus and Markieff are two of the most underrated players in the country," Self said on a day he also received a signed letter from No. 1 rated junior college player Mario Little of Chipola (Fla.) Community College.

Letters from future KU players Quintrell Thomas and Travis Releford were expected to arrive today after those players hold their signing ceremonies.

On Wednesday, Self was able to comment publicly only on those players whose letters had arrived.

Marcus Morris, Self indicated, is a multi-dimensional 6-8, 220-pound forward, who averaged 27 points and 12 rebounds his senior year at Prep Charter High. He and brother Markieff, a 6-10, 230-pounder who averaged 23 points and 15 boards, are spending this season at APEX Academies in New Jersey. They chose KU over Villanova and St. John's.

"Marcus is a do-everything guy," Self said. "He can post. He can play point. He's a very good shooter, one of the most versatile guys we've recruited since we've been here. He's kind of like Julian (Wright) in some ways.

"Markieff is a prototypical 6-10 power forward who can also play the pivot. He's a good shooter and passer. We look forward to utilizing him in both spots. He can play with a small guy next to him or bigger guy next to him, which makes him unique."

Little, 6-5, 210 from Chicago's Washington High, is averaging 19.5 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists for 4-0 Chipola. He chose KU over Illinois and Kansas State.

"Mario played inside most of his high school career and his first year at junior college," Self said. "He is a legitimate 2-3 (shooting guard/small forward). He's a good shooter, excellent scorer. He can beat you off the bounce. He brings an element of toughness I think the team will need. The twins do as well. Getting three guys out of Chicago and Philadelphia will definitely bring an element of toughness to our ballclub."

Little is the first juco player signed by Self at KU. He coached a juco player in Jeff Graves, who was signed by Roy Williams.

"That was one of our biggest selling points," Self said of playing time for a player who will enter as a junior.

"He has an opportunity to come in and impact us immediately in large part due to the number of people we will be losing this year. All three guys ... look for them to have an immediate impact.

"We have always liked to recruit interchangeable parts," Self noted. "These three signees all can play multiple positions on the floor. All can post. All have good ball handling skills and all have great length."

Releford, 6-5 from Roeland Park Miege, chose KU over Missouri, Kansas State, Texas, Oklahoma and others. Ranked No. 70 by, he averaged 19.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.0 steals and 3.0 assists his junior year at Miege.

Thomas, 6-8 from St. Patrick High in Elizabeth, N.J., chose Kansas over Rutgers, Maryland and UNLV. Ranked No. 147 by Rivals, he averaged 22 points and 12 rebounds last summer for New Jersey Elite AAU after averaging 9.0 points and 7.5 boards for St. Patrick.

KU will continue recruiting into the spring. The Jayhawks are after Willie Warren, a 6-3 guard from North Crowley High in suburban Fort Worth, Texas.

KU also may continue looking for another big man. The Jayhawks, who will graduate five seniors, are expected to lose Brandon Rush and Darrell Arthur to the NBA with Mario Chalmers and Sherron Collins also early-entry possibilities.


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