Closer Look: Morris & Palacios

DURHAM, N.C. –Randolph Morris and Tello Palacios were two of the headliners at the recent Bull City Classic. Here's a closer look inside the games of each player.

Tello Palacios, a 6-8 forward out of Our Savior is one of the top unsigned forwards in the country. Randolph Morris, a 6-10 center out of Landmark Christian is, if you don't count Dwight Howard, the best uncommitted big man in the nation.

Palacios, a native of Colombia, tips the scales in the neighborhood of 250 pounds. Morris revealed that he's pushing 270 at this point. Both are big kids, but despite the relative similarities in size, each is distinctly different.

The 6-8 Palacios has refined his game. When he came over to the United States two years ago, he was a terrific post player and had the makings of a big time power forward. Less than a year into his arrival, his body started to get more firm, he lost some weight and his game is transitioning as well.

For starters, he handles the basketball more in the open court than he did two years ago. He's much more apt to bring the ball up the court and create on the wing now than he was back then. While he was more of a post presence in his early days, he seems to look more comfortable on the wings at this point, though he did drop a soft hook shot last weekend.

Palacios' stroke from behind the arc has noticeably improved. He's a good athlete for his size, but not an explosive, quick first step, blow by you kind of athlete. His athleticism is defined more by what he can do at his size rather than some sort of uncanny explosion or leaping ability. The bottom line on his game: he can really score.

Morris is the traditional post presence. In his two games in the Bull City Classic, he took just two shots outside the paint, both in the same game. The vast majority of his points come at the rim or from the free throw line.

The big fella's comfort zone is inside of five feet from the rim. Here he's able to use his power and strength, two of his biggest assets at the high school level. Morris is at his very best when he's exploding – and he's got a little of that – at the rim and trying to rip it down. He's most definitely a power dunker.

Guys change games in different ways. A big dunk from Morris that leaves the rim rattling can have a profound effect on the game and often times is a serious momentum changer.

As a shot blocker he likes to challenge on the perimeter which has both positive and negative effects. Challenging perimeter shots can take him out of position for rebounds, one reason why his board totals were 10 and not 15 a game last weekend. On the interior, opponents look for him and his presence disrupts shots.

Pick your poison: Morris or Palacios? Both are extremely talented but in different ways and while they put up similar type numbers, they go about their business in different fashions.

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