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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Morris Twins Set on College, Unsettled on Prep School

Twins set on college, unsettled on prep school

By Jeff McLane, Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer

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."

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