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Archive for Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Draft analyst lauds Morris twins

August 10, 2010

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Draftexpress.com’s Jonathan Givony scouted the five Kansas University basketball players — Marcus Morris, Markieff Morris, Thomas Robinson, Josh Selby and Tyshawn Taylor — who worked at camp counselors at the just-completed Adidas Nations Experience in Chicago.

He didn’t hesitate when asked who impressed him the most in night-time pick-up games.

“I thought Marcus was unbelievable,” Givony said of KU’s 6-foot-8 junior forward. “I like how skilled he is. He made shots from outside, put the ball on the floor, posted up, scored in every way possible. Defensively he played really hard.”

Draftexpress.com lists Morris as the No. 22 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.

“He didn’t do anything to change my opinion,” Givony said. “We’ll see what kind of year he has. He has a big role to step into. He told me (KU coach) Bill Self wants him to be a leader of that squad.”

Givony sees 6-9 Markieff Morris as the more athletic of the duo.

“He’s not quite as polished, but very talented as well. He just hasn’t put it all together the same way Marcus has yet,” Givony said. “I could see it coming a year later or maybe this year. He did stuff in flashes. Marcus was great all the time. Markieff would take a charge here and there, put the ball on the floor. He did some good things out there, just not as overwhelming (as Marcus).”

KU freshman point guard Josh Selby, who just recently returned to the court after recovering from a broken left little finger, showed some rust in Chicago.

“I remember him being a scoring machine (in high school). He struggled a little bit in the halfcourt,” Givony said of the 6-2 Baltimore native, projected by Draftexpress.com as the No. 7 overall pick in the 2011 draft.

“This was a good thing for him to go through. The college guys went at him and beat him up a bit. Josh is so overwhelmingly talented (that) him struggling in a couple pick-up games will not change my opinion of him that much,” added Givony, who said Selby reminded him of Monta Ellis of the Golden State Warriors.

Of 6-9 power forward Robinson, Givony said: “He looks really good defensively, looks good in transition. He looked a little bit limited offensively in the halfcourt. He’s really athletic and plays really hard. He has a lot of tools. He needs to get to be more polished.”

The draft analyst, who has combo guard Taylor being tapped No. 23 overall in the 2011 draft, said: “He struggled the first day trying to do way too much. He turned it over a lot. The next day he settled down and was good in transition and made some shots. He’s a good player as long as he’s not forcing the issue.”

Givony said he was quite impressed with Colorado sophomore Alec Burks and UCLA soph Tyler Honeycutt. Some other college counselors at the event: Nolan Smith and Mason Plumlee, Duke; Iman Shumpert, Georgia Tech; Chris Singleton, Florida State; Scottie Hopson, Tennessee; Quincy Acy and Perry Jones, Baylor; Khris Middleton, Texas A&M; JaJuan Johnson, Purdue; Jared Sullinger, Ohio State; Renaldo Sidney, Mississippi.

“It was a good place to see all these players outside of a traditional setting,” Givony noted.

Austin chooses Baylor

Isaiah Austin, a 7-foot junior center from Grace Prep Academy in Burleson, Texas, on Monday orally committed to Baylor. Rivals.com’s No. 2-ranked player in the Class of 2012 chose BU over Texas, Kansas, Kentucky, Georgetown, Oklahoma State, Iowa and Arizona.

Nash likely to visit

LeBryan Nash, a 6-7 senior forward from Dallas’ Lincoln High, who is the No. 4-ranked player in the Class of 2011, plans on visiting KU this fall, his AAU coach tells Rivals.com. He’s also considering Baylor, Oklahoma State, Texas, Kentucky and others.

Bowling event postponed

Danny Manning’s charity bowling tournament, set for Sunday at Royal Crest Lanes, has been postponed, Manning announced Monday. He said plans will be in the works to “hold a fun event in the future that will benefit the Lawrence Community Shelter, Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Children's Miracle Network.”

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