Twins set on college, unsettled on prep school

Posted: August 21, 2007

With their college futures set - at least for now - the Morris twins, Marcus and Markieff, still haven't decided on a prep school for the fall semester.

In need of NCAA-qualifying SAT scores, the Memphis-committed Morrises are shopping around for a prep school closer than the IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla.

Last month, when they briefly de-committed from Memphis, the touted basketball recruits out of Prep Charter had said they were most likely headed to IMG, the training ground for many sports prodigies. That is no longer the case.

"We're not going there," Marcus said Saturday at the Future Stars Basketball Tournament at Villanova. "It's going to be either MCI or Brewster."

Maine Central Institute in Pittsfield has housed several future Division I players in need of higher test scores. Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H., has the same basketball/academic pedigree.

Each school, however, is very expensive for the student in need of boarding, especially if there are two. According to their Web sites, MCI costs $32,000 a year for room, board and tuition for a residential student; Brewster costs $38,385.

Marcus said he and Markieff visited Brewster last month and expect to travel to New England again this week.

"I heard it gets cold there in the winter," he said.

As long as they re-sign with Memphis in November, the Morrises won't have to worry about New England-like weather in the foreseeable future.

In November, the twins signed letters of intent to Memphis. However, because they will attend a prep school as non-qualifiers, the letters are nonbinding. With that in mind, the Morrises opened their recruitment in July - for less than a week.

"We just wanted to be 100 percent sure that Memphis was the right school for us," Marcus said. "So we considered looking at some other schools. Actually, we wanted to give them the opportunity to look at us."

Before it got that far, Tigers coach John Calipari and assistant Derek Kellogg flew to the Morrises' home in North Philadelphia.

"He asked what the problem was," Marcus said, "and we said we weren't feeling the love, or something like that. So he said it was his fault."

Fences were mended and the twins recommitted. Marcus said their pledge was now "100 percent." They just have to find a prep school for a year, one preferably far from home.

"There's too much violence in Philly," Marcus said. "We don't want to be around here anymore."

Transfer guide. As is the norm, the local high school basketball landscape will have familiar faces in different places next season. A number of transfers are either in place or in the works.

Larry Loughery, formerly of St. Joseph's Prep, confirmed on Saturday that he is Academy of the New Church-bound. The 6-foot-6 senior forward said he would reside on the Bryn Athyn campus with Clay Penecale, a 6-3 senior guard transfer from La Salle.

Loughery left the Prep after three varsity years with coach Speedy Morris' Hawks. However, the coaching icon and the player hit an impasse and could not reconcile their differences.

"It was tough leaving," Loughery said. "Three of my best friends are still there. I considered even staying and not playing basketball."

Dion Waiters, the incoming sophomore guard from Southwest Philadelphia, who committed to Syracuse this summer without having played a minute of varsity basketball, is enrolled at South Kent School in Connecticut.

"I'm there now, as we speak," said Waiters, who attended Bartram and Southern as a freshman.

Calvin Newell, a 6-1 junior guard, confirmed that he left Ridley for Strath Haven. Newell is also a running back in football, but won't play on the gridiron this fall for the Panthers.

College news. Before Velton Jones wanted to commit, he wanted to feel wanted.

A 5-10 point guard from North Catholic, Jones committed to Robert Morris in July, citing the attention he received from the coaching staff as a prime reason for choosing the Colonials.

"They were always in the front row at my games," said Jones, who listed Virginia Commonwealth, Old Dominion and Nebraska as runners-up. "They made me feel comfortable."

Jones has yet to visit the Pittsburgh campus, but has a September trip on the schedule.

Also, Lamar Trice, a 6-0 senior point guard from Imhotep Charter, has given Mount St. Mary's an oral commitment.

New coaches. Robert Mulville was named boys' basketball coach at William Tennent on Friday, replacing Glenn Bolton. Mulville, a social studies teacher at Tennent, had coached the freshman and junior varsity teams over the last 10 seasons under Bolton.

"I had always wanted my own program, but I wanted it at Tennent," Mulville said. "I didn't want to teach and coach at separate schools."

Also, Joe Rigous has been named the wrestling coach at Tennent, replacing John Stay.


Contact staff writer Jeff McLane

at 215-854-4745

or jmclane@phillynews.com.

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