Kansas men's basketball coach Bill Self announced the Morris twin forwards Marcus Morris and Markieff Morris they will forego their senior season at KU and enter the 2011 NBA Draft. The twins will sign with agent Tony Dutt of Rivals Sports Group, LLC, based in California.
"I am proud of Marcus and Markieff for the development and improvement they made, not only off the court, but on the court in their three years here," Self said. "They have been an absolute joy to coach and performed at a level to give them the opportunity to leave and enter the NBA draft after three years. We not only wish them the best moving forward but also 100 percent support this decision for them to enter."
A 2011 consensus second-team All-America who was named the Big 12 Player of the Year, Marcus Morris led Kansas with 17.2 points per game and the 6-9 Philadelphia native was KU's leading scorer in 20 of 38 games in 2010-11. Marcus was named All-Big 12 First Team and was the Big 12 Championship Most Outstanding Player. Marcus finished second in the Big 12 Conference in shooting percentage at 57.0 percent, which ranked 21st nationally. Marcus had 12 games with 20-plus points, 10 double-doubles and his 7.6 rebounds per game were second on the team. He has led KU in every statistical category at least once in 2010-11. Marcus was named Big 12 Player of the Week three times (Nov. 29, Jan. 17 and Feb. 14), a Wooden Award Finalist March 13, a Naismith Mid-Season candidate Feb. 11 and an Oscar Robertson Award finalist Feb. 28.
"This was one of the most difficult decisions we have ever made," Marcus said. "Our three years at KU have been great - the fans, Allen Fieldhouse, the games but most importantly the coaches and my teammates. We accomplished a lot together and learned even more with our coaching staff.
"The support the fans showed us can never be matched," Marcus added. "We appreciate everything they did for us while we were here. When we say F.O.E. we are saying Family Over Everything and that includes the Jayhawk Nation."
Markieff Morris led the Big 12 in field goal percentage (58.9) and rebounds at 8.3 boards per game. The 6-10 Philadelphia forward's field goal percentage ranked 12th nationally. Markieff joined his twin brother Marcus on the Big 12 Championship All-Tournament Team and scored 13.6 points per game overall this season. An All-Big 12 Second Team selection in 2010-11, Markieff also led the conference double-doubles with 13 and he had 15 games with double-figure rebounds. Named Big 12 Player of the Week on Dec. 27, Markieff led KU in rebounding in 18 of 38 games as a junior.
"This decision was tugging at both our hearts," Markieff said. "Coach Self thinks this is a good time and we feel this is the best for us and for our family. We will always be Jayhawks and be part of this family. I would like the fans for their support over the past years. Some of my best experiences have been at KU and I'm thankful for my teammates, coaches and all the people that support KU."
Kansas finished 2010-11 with a 35-3 record, in which the Jayhawks won the Big 12 regular-season (14-2) and postseason championships and advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament in 2010-11.
For their three-year career, the Morris twins were part of three Big 12 regular-season titles, two Big 12 Championships, and advanced to a Sweet 16 and Elite Eight. Kansas went 95-17 (84.8 percent) in the Morris twins' three seasons as Jayhawks.
"We've won a ton of games in the last three years and the twins were a big part of that. When the time is right, the time is right and certainly now the time is right for those guys to go onto the next level," Self said.