Archive for Saturday, November 1, 2008

Morris twins virtually indistinguishable

November 1, 2008


There are a couple of good ways to pinpoint the difference between Kansas University freshmen twins Marcus and Markieff Morris.

A handful of current Jayhawks have got it down.

"Markieff's got a little lower voice," sophomore guard Tyrel Reed said. "So I try to key in on that."

"Markieff has a little bit bigger face, a little bit chubbier cheeks," sophomore Conner Teahan said.

"Markieff usually has more of a beard," junior Brennan Bechard said.

"One of them has thicker sideburns than the other," junior Tyrone Appleton said. "Markieff likes his sideburns a lot."

Others have had their difficulties.

"They say one is shorter than the other," freshman Travis Releford said. "But I still can't tell."

"One's a little taller, I think," sophomore Cole Aldrich said. "But they're way too much alike. It's tough."

At Media Day, junior point guard Sherron Collins snagged the media guide from one reporter to use as a visual aid.

"One's taller than the other and, to me, Markieff's face is a little chubbier, see," said Collins, pointing to the side-by-side mug shots of the twins. "But they have the same tattoos, too, so they're just trying to make it harder."

It's easy for some and tough for others. But either way, each Jayhawk has developed his own method of distinguishing the difference. Of them all, senior big man Matt Kleinmann, who operates at eye level with the two standouts from Philadelphia, might have the best plan of attack.

"I look at the number on their shorts," Kleinmann said. "Honestly, I look at the number on their shorts. That's the easiest way. If I'm watching them play, I can tell the difference just by the way they play. But if they're just walking on campus and one of them says hey to me, I look for the shorts. If they're not wearing them, I guess it's a 50-50 shot."

Markieff and Marcus Morris have been talked about as a pair ever since the day they committed to KU on Halloween 2007.

The irony behind the rigors of trying to tell the two apart is that they're not even identical twins.

"I honestly don't think we look that much alike," Marcus said. "If it's your first time seeing us, I think we look identical, but we're actually fraternal twins."

Fraternal twins, which make up approximately two-thirds of the world's twin population, share up to 50 percent of their gene traits and are no more alike than any two siblings would be.

For the record, Markieff is an inch taller and 10 pounds heavier than Marcus, which fits his style of play much better. Of the two, Markieff is more of an inside player, who likes to bang down low. Marcus compares his brother's game to that of NBA all-star Rasheed Wallace. On the flip side, Markieff dubbed Marcus more of a Carmelo Anthony clone.

Either way, you won't find the duo caught dead carrying out the twin thing when it comes to fashion.

"Our mom did dress us alike when we were younger," Marcus said. "But we're starting to move away from that."

Alongside Aldrich, the Morris twins figure to provide most of the beef down low for the Jayhawks this season. But, unlike many of their predecessors at the position, both can move away from the basket, as well.

"Marcus can score. And he can make plays for others. And Markieff is a good shooter," KU coach Bill Self said. said. "And when you look at it, we haven't had very many pick-and-pop guys that can stretch the defense beyond 15 or 16 feet. These two guys can do that, probably better than any of the other guys we've had. They obviously don't do some of the other things as well as some of our past big guys, but they're both skilled guys. I don't know if they can produce down low what the other guys did, but certainly they bring a presence."


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