Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

76ers to work out Markieff Morris

The 76ers will continue their pre-draft workouts on Wednesday morning at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Five prospects will participate in a workout that is scheduled to run from 10-11 a.m. It will be the Sixers' fifth pre-draft workout in advance of the 2011 NBA Draft, which is scheduled for June 23. The Sixers hold the No. 16 and No. 50 overall picks in the draft.

76ers to work out Markieff Morris

Philly native Markieff Morris left Kansas after a junior season in which he led the Big 12 in field goal percentage. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Philly native Markieff Morris left Kansas after a junior season in which he led the Big 12 in field goal percentage. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

The 76ers will continue their pre-draft workouts on Wednesday morning at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Five prospects will participate in a workout that is scheduled to run from 10-11 a.m. It will be the Sixers' fifth pre-draft workout in advance of the 2011 NBA Draft, which is scheduled for June 23. The Sixers hold the No. 16 and No. 50 overall picks in the draft. 

Wednesday's workout will include Tyler Honeycutt (UCLA), Markieff Morris (Kansas), Antonio Pena (Villanova), Eniel Polynice (Seton Hall), and Xavier Silas (Northern Illinois). Here is some quick-hit information on each player.

1. Honeycutt is a 6-foot-8 small forward. He left UCLA after his sophomore year, during which he averaged 12.8 points and 7.2 rebounds a game. Also of note, he spends the summers working out with Sixers point guard Jrue Holiday. He's considered a first-round bubble pick. 

2. Morris is a 6-9 power forward. Most recent mock draft have him landing in the No. 15-20 area, which is right in the Sixers' sweet spot. He left Kansas after his junior season, during which he averaged 13.6 points and 8.3 rebounds a game.

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3. Pena is a 6-9 forward. He played all four seasons for Villanova and averaged 9.8 points and 7.1 rebounds a game last season.

4. Polynice is a 6-6 shooting guard/small forward who transferred to Seton Hall from Ole Miss. He's expected to go undrafted. 

5. Silas is a 6-5 shooting guard. He's projected to be a second-round pick/undrafted. He averaged 22.3 points and 4.3 rebounds a game last season in college.

Here's the lowdown on how these pre-draft workouts go down (@dentist409 asked this question on Twitter). The first portion of the time is spent getting physical measurements of each prospect. The Sixers already have the measurements from various combines and workouts, but it's always helpful to see the results up close and personal. When we walked into the gym during one of the workouts last week, there was a height and vertical measurement system still plastered to the corner wall of the court. The last 45 minutes are spent going through drills. If all of the guys are basically the same position, the coaches will take them through a drill. For example, one of the assistants might ask them to make a cut to the elbow, front pivot, and shoot a mid-range jumper. All of the prospects would go through that specific drill a few times and then they'd change the move. Make a cut across the lane to the mid-block, catch on a jump stop and drop step to the rim. And so on and so forth. 

The workouts seem to be about two things: seeing each player's fundamentals and skills from point-blank range and seeing how easily they grasp and follow instructions. The Sixers also have their own sports psychologist who has been collecting data (personality assessments, traits, etc) for years. The team believes it has a good feel for how certain interviews/answers translate to on-the-court play. Some of the time is spent on this off-the-court portion, too. 

None of this is make or break, it's just another building block (along with years of scouting games, the combine, gut feel, etc.).

--Kate


Each week, Kate will check in from the road and answer fan questions about the Sixers. Click here to ask Kate a question or e-mail her at kfagan@phillynews.com.

About this blog

Keith Pompey has been an Inquirer reporter since September 2004 and took over the Sixers beat in the summer of 2013 after covering Temple basketball and football for the previous three years.

Marc Narducci has served in a variety of roles with the Inquirer since beginning in 1983. He has covered the 76ers as a backup and a beat writer. In addition, Narducci has covered everything from the Super Bowl to the World Series and a lot in between.

Keith Pompey Inquirer Staff Writer
Marc Narducci Inquirer Columnist
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