Kansas University’s basketball big men have gotten bigger since the start of last season.
Frontcourt players Markieff Morris, Jeff Withey, Marcus Morris and Thomas Robinson have put on 13, 10, 10 and seven pounds respectively as reported on the 2010-11 roster, which was posted on KU’s website on Thursday.
“Marcus and Markieff, Jeff and Thomas ... they are all trying to outdo each other,” KU strength coach Andrea Hudy said. “They are competitive. They all jaw at each other. They like to show off for each other,” she added, smiling.
Markieff Morris, 6-foot-9, 232 pounds at the start of his sophomore season, opens his junior campaign 6-10, 245.
“I remember weighing him in the locker room in January of ’09, and he was 208,” Hudy said. “Now he’s 245. The commitment he and Marcus have put in ... the two of them trying to be great players and making a great team at Kansas, I think, speaks for itself.”
Marcus Morris checks in at 6-9, 235 after reporting at 6-8, 225 his sophomore season.
Sophomore center Withey stands 7-foot and weighs 235 after starting 7-0, 225 a year ago.
“He was very thin when he got here, lacked muscle,” Hudy said of Withey, who transferred from the University of Arizona in January of 2009. “He looks a little thicker. For a 7-footer to put on almost 30 pounds (since first stepping on campus) is pretty good.”
Withey may yet add additional beef.
“We will have to look at how he performs at this weight. He’s never weighed 235 in his life. We have to see how he adapts to that,” Hudy said.
Robinson opens his sophomore season at 6-9, 237 after starting his career 6-9, 230.
“Thomas since he’s been here (in June of 2009) has put on about 20 pounds of lean muscle mass,” Hudy said. “He’s a hustle guy. He’s done a great job this summer.”
Three guards have had significant weight gains. Sophomore Elijah Johnson, who was listed at 6-2, 183, last season is now 6-4, 195. Senior Tyrel Reed, who started last season 6-3, 185, now is 6-4, 193. Senior Mario Little checks in at 6-6, 218 after opening last year 6-5, 210.
“I think it’s consistency in the weight room. These guys are in here four to five times a week during the summer,” Hudy said, lauding the entire team.
“The guys started coming in right at the end of last season. We’ve been training in April, half of May, all of June and July, half of August. We’ve been at it two weeks now (since start of school). A lot of guys didn’t take time off when they went home (first two weeks of August). When they went home, they took their workouts home.”
Reed continues to impress. He hang-cleaned 302.5 pounds during the Jayhawks’ most recent testing session, top mark on the team.
“That explosive lower-body power is what I’m interested in,” Hudy said. “You look at 302 divided by his body weight, which is 193, he is probably the strongest per pound we have. Tyrel Reed is an exercise-science major. He has an interest in performance training. He not only studies it academically, he asks questions on what we are doing in here. He is cerebral about it.”
She noted that Reed and Brady Morningstar, “both had their best performance scores in the weight room in their careers here, which speaks a lot for their work.”
The team will continue in the weight room four to five times a week through the first week of October. The team normally has Boot Camp the last week of September and first week of October, then starts for real with Late Night in the Phog on Oct. 15.
KU 2010-11 roster:
0 — Thomas Robinson, 6-9, 237, Soph., F, Washington, D.C.
2 — Conner Teahan, 6-5, 212, Sr., G, Leawood.
4 — Justin Wesley, 6-8, 200, Soph., F, Fort Worth, Texas.
5 — Jeff Withey, 7-0, 235, Soph., C, San Diego.
10 — Tyshawn Taylor, 6-3, 185, Jr., G, Hoboken, N.J.
11 — Royce Woolridge, 6-3, 182, Fr., G, Phoenix.
12 — Brady Morningstar, 6-4, 185, Sr., G, Lawrence.
14 — Tyrel Reed, 6-4, 193, Sr., G, Burlington.
15 — Elijah Johnson, 6-4, 195, Soph., G. Las Vegas.
20 — Niko Roberts, 5-11, 175, Fr., G, Huntington, N.Y.
21 — Markieff Morris, 6-10, 245, Jr., C, Philadelphia.
22 — Marcus Morris, 6-9, 235, Jr., F, Philadelphia.
23 — Mario Little, 6-6, 218, Sr., G, Chicago.
24 — Travis Releford, 6-5, 207, Soph., G, Kansas City, Mo.
40 — Jordan Juenemann, 6-3, 195, Jr., G, Hays.
x-Freshman guard Josh Selby to be added to roster if and when cleared by NCAA.
Head coach: Bill Self. Assistants: Joe Dooley, Kurtis Townsend, Danny Manning.