LAWRENCE, Kan. - Kansas forward Markieff Morris already has the scouting report on La Salle's leading scorer, Rodney Green.
"I know Rodney can't shoot," the KU sophomore said with a grin. "He can finish really well. He has really big hands. He's a great passer. But he just can't shoot."
Though it might sound like bulletin-board material, it's actually just one friend jabbing another.
Markieff and his twin brother, Marcus, were teammates with La Salle's Green and Parrish Grant at Prep Charter in Philadelphia.
In 2006, the four players helped Prep Charter win the PIAA Class AAAA state championship.
Markieff still talks to Green at least twice a week.
"Rodney don't talk trash," Markieff said, "but eventually, I'm going to say something to him, get him started."
"It is like playing against my brothers," Green said.
When top-ranked Kansas faces La Salle at 2 p.m. today in Kansas City, Mo., the Philly-born Morris twins will be quite familiar with the school they are going up against.
The two grew up just a 10-minute drive from the La Salle campus. Marcus said that it was his favorite school growing up and that he was close to committing to La Salle for college.
"When I go home, I play there all the time," Marcus said. "I know the ins and outs of the school. It's like Kansas to me. I've been going there since I was a freshman in high school playing with those guys and playing tournaments at La Salle."
The Morris twins admit that even though they are Kansas players now, they are still Philadelphians at heart.
Markieff's favorite baseball team is the Phillies, and his best memory growing up was attending a 76ers game in junior high.
"They're getting back on my good side now that A.I.'s back," Markieff said.
Marcus said the food isn't the same in Kansas.
"I don't eat cheesesteaks unless they're from Philly. That's one of my main rules," Marcus said. "You can ask my brother the same thing. If it isn't from Philly, I don't eat it."
Added Markieff: "I don't eat Philly cheesesteaks from anywhere but Philly. I feel like I'm disrespecting my city when I do that."
The Jayhawks are led in scoring by freshman Xavier Henry, who averages 16.4 points per game. Xavier's older brother, C.J., who spent some time in the minor leagues with the Phillies organization in 2006 and 2007, also is on the team as a non-scholarship player.
"We try to be fully prepared and motivated for each game we play regardless of the opponent," La Salle coach John Giannini said Thursday.
"They're big," Kansas coach Bill Self said yesterday. "It's a matter of whether or not we can get underneath them and pressure them a little bit."
Kansas, which has been ranked No. 1 all season, has beaten six of its eight opponents by 30 or more points, with an average victory margin of 33.6 points. La Salle is 6-2.
"There is no denying that the exposure of playing the No. 1 team in the country is beneficial for our program and playing well on the national stage is important for our perception," Giannini said. "Kansas is extremely talented and a legitimate No. 1 team, so our challenge is great, but so is the opportunity."
The Morris twins have improved their statistics after an off-season devoted to the weight room.
Marcus is up to 9.9 points from 7.4 a year ago, while Markieff posts 8.5 points after averaging just 4.6 last season. In addition, both players have increased their rebounding numbers.
If the improvement continues, both could have a shot at someday making an NBA roster.
Markieff admitted that he is still trying to make his hometown proud.
"I guess I'm just a Philly boy and East Coast boy," Markieff said. "I try to represent my city to the fullest."