It was the fourth set of workouts run by the Sixers, in which more than 20 players have participated. Director of player personnel Courtney Witte is seeing the separation in the players who could land in the upper part of the draft and who might fall a bit.
"Sure there's a separation," Witte said about a draft in which there doesn't seem to be too much of a drop in talent from about five through 20. "Now it's just a process. We're very confident and feel very good as a staff about these players we've worked out and looked at."
Morris, who grew up in North Philadelphia and has played every game with his brother since the two started competing in eighth grade, is not only learning how hard the NBA life can be but is trying to cope with the loneliness.
"It's all been pretty cool. I can hold my own," he said. "I've been to two [of 10] workouts with [Marcus], but other than that I've been by myself."
Morris admitted that the thought of putting on a Sixers uniform is exciting, and even found himself pushing it a little more yesterday to further impress coach Doug Collins and the front-office people who were gathered.
"They just think I'm a good basketball player," he said. "I'm a stretch [power forward with outside shooting ability] and tough and have that Philly pride, so they like that a lot. Of course [I pushed it a little harder]. It was a good workout and I wanted to push these guys as much as possible."
That Philly toughness of which Morris boasted was something that left an impression on Witte.
"He's a big that plays big," Witte said. "He's not afraid to get inside and mix it up . . . He's got a little bit of an attitude, courtesy of a Philly upbringing. He's skilled. He's kind of a stretch four, he can go inside and outside. I think that's great that he has that now and he's a pretty good athlete. His mental makeup is one that is a real quiet toughness."
Also impressing was 6-8 UCLA swingman Tyler Honeycutt, who appears to be slotted to go in the early-to-mid-20s next Thursday.
"He's a great athlete," Witte said of Honeycutt, who averaged 12.8 points and 7.2 rebounds last season for the Bruins. "He's versatile and I think he's gotten better. He's very quick and has a great first step. He's working on his shot. When his feet are underneath of him, he's pretty consistent. When he starts to float, he's a little inconsistent.''
Also attending were Villanova's Antonio Pena, who worked out last week as well; Seton Hall guard Eniel Polynice (son of former NBAer Olden Polynice); and Northern Illinois' Xavier Silas (son of former NBA player James).
Five more players will work out today, including Villanova guards Corey Fisher and Corey Stokes. Also scheduled to attend are Bengaly Fofana, from France, Justin Hurtt, of Tulsa, and Charles Okwandu, of Connecticut.
It is expected that the Sixers will make qualifying offers to Thaddeus Young and Spencer Hawes in the next couple of days. Once that is done, the two will become restricted free agents, meaning other teams can make offers but the Sixers can match them. Of course, with the collective bargaining agreement due to expire at midnight June 30, who knows what will transpire? . . . The Sixers will play New Jersey in a preseason game at the Sun National Bank Center in Trenton on Oct. 13. *