Archive for Friday, October 12, 2007

KU to entertain Morris twins

Forwards Marcus, Markieff to attend Late Night

October 12, 2007

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Two brothers with a special bond will make an official recruiting trip to Kansas University this weekend.

They are twins Marcus and Markieff Morris, a pair of forwards from Philadelphia, who long ago decided to play basketball at the same college.

"I've been with him for 17 years. Why leave him now?" Marcus Morris told the Philadelphia Tribune. "We've got so much love for each other. We came into the world together."

Marcus, 6-foot-7, 215 pounds, and Markieff, 6-8, 225, who are considering KU, Villanova and St. John's, actually signed with Memphis last November as seniors at Philadelphia Prep Charter High School. They signed with the stipulation they would attend prep school (APEX Academies in Pennsylvania) a year.

They asked out of, and were released from, their Memphis letters of intent in early September, recently indicating they'd consider just three schools.

"They like Kansas. Kansas has shown a lot of love for them. That's what they want. They want to feel welcome and have the opportunity to play right away," Greg Wright, the twins' AAU coach, said.

The two figure to hear cheers of KU's fans when the enter the arena as recruits at tonight's Late Night in the Phog (6:45 p.m., Allen Fieldhouse).

The program's other recruit sitting behind the bench tonight will be Travis Releford, a 6-5 guard/forward from Roeland Park Miege, who has orally committed to KU.

"Marcus and Markieff want to see what the environment is like at Kansas," said Dan Brinkley, the twins' coach at Prep Charter. "They want to see the arena and want to talk to the coaching staff and players. Attending Midnight Madness and seeing the arena full of students and fans is another part of the visit Marcus and Markieff are excited about.

"These are two very keen young men. They just want to feel comfortable with the decision, and they need to be surrounded with a home-like atmosphere."

Marcus is Rivals.com's No. 37-ranked player. Markieff is No. 74.

"Markieff is more a face-up guy, a natural four (power forward)," Rivals.com analyst Shay Wildeboor said. "He's an athletic player who can shoot from 17 feet in. Obviously Marcus is the higher rated of the two. He has the ability to play a number of positions though is listed as a power forward. Both are impact players who have been highly thought of out east for a long time."

Underclassmen recruits who are expected to be at Late Night tonight include a pair of KC Pump N Run players - Jeff Reid, 6-5 junior, Topeka Hayden, and Michael Dixon, 6-0 junior, Lee's Summit (Mo.) High.

¢Tonight's the night: Doors open for Late Night at 6 p.m., with festivities to run from 6:45 to about 9:30. Look for former KU football great John Riggins to make an appearance as well as Mark Mangino, coach of the Jayhawks' 5-0 football team. KU's men's and women's hoops teams will hold short intrasquad scrimmages and perhaps perform a skit or dance number apiece.

"It's kind of a way to celebrate everything that's going on in the athletic department," KU coach Bill Self said. "Hopefully at the end people will be excited to see our guys run out there. I hope fans can come and check it out. It should be a lot of fun."

Senior guard Russell Robinson said he would enjoy every minute of Late Night 2007.

"I can't wait. I'm really looking forward to it. I've got to make the most of my last time out there," Robinson said.

Sasha Kaun said it'd be tough to top last year's Late Night. "It was great. We did an awesome skit, 'Dancing with the Stars,'" Kaun said. "I'm kind of disappointed we don't do freshmen hazing anymore. Freshmen used to have to do some stupid things. My freshman year we got embarrassed in a way. I'm going to push the idea to make the freshmen do some crazy thing."

¢Warren leaves Oak Hill: Willie Warren, a 6-3 senior guard, left Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., on Thursday, Rivals.com reports. Warren presumably will now re-enroll in his former high school, North Crowley High, in suburban Fort Worth, Texas.

Warren is slated to be at Oklahoma's season-opening basketball practice tonight and visit KU the following weekend.

He's also considering UConn, Cincinnati and possibly others. It's not known how his withdrawal from Oak Hill will affect his academic status for college.

Oak Hill coach Steve Smith told Rivals.com Warren's decision to leave was "mutual."

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