Sixers take a look at Markieff Morris

Markieff Morris worked out for the 76ers and said that he "can help the team" if drafted.
Markieff Morris worked out for the 76ers and said that he "can help the team" if drafted. (AKIRA SUWA / Staff Photographer)
Posted: June 16, 2011

Across Markieff Morris' right bicep is the phrase, "Twin Towers," a not-so-subtle nod to the stature and basketball talents of him and his twin brother, Marcus.

The brothers - North Philly natives and graduates of Prep Charter - starred together at the University of Kansas.

A few months ago, they both declared for the 2011 NBA draft.

On Wednesday, Markieff stood alone inside the 76ers' practice facility at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

The Morris twins, while similar on the court and off, are going through the predraft process separately. Marcus is expected to be a lottery pick, while many mock drafts have the Sixers selecting Markieff with the No. 16 pick.

A 6-foot-10 power forward, Markieff averaged 13.6 points and 8.3 rebounds a game last season for the Jayhawks, his junior season at KU. He's known for his bruising interior play and rebounding ability, attributes last season's Sixers team sorely lacked.

"The things we like about Markieff is that he's a big that plays big. That's the way I would put it," said Courtney Witte, the Sixers' director of player personnel. "He's not afraid to get inside and mix it up. He's proud. He has a little bit of an attitude, obviously courtesy of his Philadelphia upbringing. . . . I think his mental makeup is one of real quiet toughness, and I think that's a really good thing to have."

Morris said it would "mean a lot" to be selected by his hometown team, the Sixers.

"I can help the team," he said. "I'm a stretch four, and I'm tough. I have that Philly pride, so, they like that about me a lot. . . . It was a good workout. I definitely wanted to impress these guys as much as possible."

Morris was one of five prospects who worked out for the Sixers during Wednesday morning's session. The group consisted of only two potential first-round picks: Morris and UCLA forward Tyler Honeycutt, who is projected as a late first-round selection. Forward Antonio Pena (Villanova) and guards Xavier Silas (Northern Illinois) and Eniel Polynice (Seton Hall) rounded out the group.

Honeycutt, who is 6-8, is a good friend of Sixers point guard Jrue Holiday. The two work out together during the summer and both attended UCLA.

"You go to UCLA, you become a great team player and a better basketball player, and you try to win," Honeycutt said. "And the key emphasis is defense, so a lot of players coming out of there are good defenders."

The 2011 NBA draft will be held next Thursday at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

The Sixers hold the Nos. 16 and 50 picks.

Future workouts. The Sixers will hold another predraft workout on Thursday morning. Thursday's group also consists of five prospects, none of whom are expected to be drafted: Corey Fisher (Villanova), Corey Stokes (Villanova), Bengaly Fofana (France), Justin Hurtt (Tulsa), and Charles Okwandu (Connecticut).

The Sixers have said they will also hold workouts on Sunday and Tuesday in advance of next Thursday's draft.


Contact staff writer Kate Fagan at kfagan@phillynews.com or @DeepSixer3 on Twitter. Read her blog, "Deep Sixer," at http://go.philly.com/dsix

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