Twin Powers Lead KU Past Colorado

KANSAS CITY, MO. — With Kansas up 71-55 over Colorado with 10:44 left in the Big 12 tournament semifinal game at Sprint Center on Friday, a young Jayhawk fan proudly held up a sign that seemed to tell it all.

The boy was referring to KU super twin forwards Markieff and Marcus Morris, who propelled the Jayhawks to a 90-83 victory and a berth in the tournament title game today at 5 p.m. (CT) against Texas.

The twins led KU with 20 points each, while Marcus had a game-high 13 rebounds and Markieff added 10 boards. They combined to shoot 17-of-20 from the free-throw line, including 12-of-13 in the second half.

Marcus and Markieff scored in the paint, they crashed the glass, and Markieff showcased a nifty jump hook and a key three-pointer.

They just may be the best and most unique frontcourt tandem in the country.

"I would hate to see a team with two good big guys that can play similar, that can guard and stretch the defense and score inside," Markieff said.

The Morris twins were certainly double trouble for CU on Friday.

After Colorado gave KU its best punch early with a 11-2 lead and then a 22-10 advantage at the 13:05 mark of the first half, the Morris brothers went to work and scored 17 straight points on a 17-4 KU run. Marcus first scored seven points, followed by 10 straight from Markieff, his last points during the stretch a three ball that finally put KU up 27-26 with 7:34 remaining before halftime.

"We just started to get the ball down low," Marcus said. "We weren't doing that much early in the game. That's the strongest part of our offense and we starting utilizing (it)."

Markieff said the key for him during that period was "stealing extra possessions."

"I think I got like three offensive rebounds during that span," he said. "I felt like I was hot and I hit that three. I felt like I was on a little roll."

While the twins scored in bunches, Markieff dismissed the notion that he and his brother want to lead by example offensively.

"We were getting stops at the time," Markieff said. "We were fighting back. More so on the defensive end, we want to lead by example."

With Kansas leading 43-37 at halftime, the twins stepped up again to start the second half. They scored 12 of KU's first 16 points, including the last six by Markieff, to stretch KU's lead to 59-42 with 15:24 remaining.

And when Colorado made a furious comeback late to cut KU's 17-point lead (74-57) lead at the 10:11 mark to just eight points (82-74) with 1:32 left, the twins scored six of KU's final eight points (all on 6-of-6 from the charity stripe) to seal the victory.

Marcus, who has led or tied KU in scoring in the last six games, was proud of the toughness Kansas showed in bouncing back from an early deficit.

"(We) just have the heart to continue to play because a lot of teams across the NCAA, once they're down, they're down," Marcus said. "We don't want to go out knowing we never gave a chance of winning. We just fixed our mistakes early and got back into it."

Thanks in large part to the twin powers, KU advanced and will meet Texas today for the Big 12 tournament title.

Senior guard Tyrel Reed, who scored 15 points, believes the Morris twins are the best frontcourt duo in the nation.

"In my mind, they are," Reed said. "They just do so many different things. They can score off the block, on the block, and they're great passers, unselfish guys and rebound well. They just do it all really.

"I'm glad they are on my side."

Phog.net Top Stories