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Here's your Terence Morris news...

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Old School, Oct 4, 2001.

  1. Old School

    Old School Member

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    For those of you who asked, the Chronicle has answered:


    Rockets rookie Morris prefers to let his actions do his talking

    By JONATHAN FEIGEN
    Copyright 2001 Houston Chronicle


    In a training-camp development that surprised his teammates, Terence Morris had no problem describing his first impressions of NBA life.

    The surprise was not so much in what Morris had to say but rather that the Rockets' second-round draft pick said anything at all.

    "I haven't heard any of the rooks say one word, not one word," said Rockets guard Steve Francis, now a veteran beginning his third camp. "The rooks haven't said anything, and Terence and I went to college together. The only thing was when he called me and said, `What time do you want your bags there?' Nothing else."

    But when Morris was asked what he thought of his first two days of professional training camp, what little he said spoke volumes.

    "Practice is a lot different from college," Morris said. "It's a lot more fun."

    Morris did not elaborate, but it was clear he knew the difference between Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich's reputation as a relatively sane taskmaster and Maryland coach Gary Williams' reputation as a madman drill instructor. Compared to most of the first impressions he and fellow rookie Eddie Griffin have offered, Morris' two-sentence analysis qualified as something of a rookie's State of the Union address.

    While it is much too soon for Tomjanovich to predict where Morris will fit in with the team, Morris does seem to follow a positive trend.

    The Rockets have enjoyed a certain amount of success with second-round draft picks with four years of college experience at established programs from top conferences. Othella Harrington, Cuttino Mobley and Dan Langhi -- and to a degree late first-rounders Sam Cassell and Kenny Thomas -- have helped establish a pattern.

    The formula does not always work, as late first- or second-round picks from Bryce Drew to Serge Zwikker show. But so far, Morris has exhibited all the right signs.

    "He's an all-around player," Tomjanovich said. "He does a little bit of everything. To me, that's the strength of Terence Morris. He can rebound some. He can shoot some, defend some, pass some. He's got a chance to be a real good plug-in guy at different positions. He's pretty solid."

    At this point, a rookie can't showcase much more than his skills and demonstrate an ability to adjust to the demands of the NBA. Still, Morris said he was surprised at how well he was picking up the Rockets' system, which is something his predecessors said would be crucial.

    "In the NBA, they don't pamper you," Mobley said. "You have to know a lot. That's what keeps you on the floor. It's easier coming in with four years of college. Terence is real quiet. He listens well and doesn't talk. But he learns. He's a great team player from what I've seen."

    The Rockets are not necessarily looking for more experienced prospects with their later draft picks.

    "It's talent-driven," Rockets director of player personnel Dennis Lindsey said.

    But Lindsey said Morris, like Mobley who started at point guard as a rookie, had to make the same type of adjustments in college that young players typically go through in the NBA.

    "Cuttino went through a lot in his career at Rhode Island, an injury, to (being) a secondary guy, to a coaching change that led to him being the main option," Lindsey said. "Sometimes guys like that are more prepared, humble and coachable. And a lot of credit goes to Rudy because between the lines, he doesn't care if you're the second pick, Steve Francis or a second-round pick. And Rudy is willing to play second-rounders."

    But Morris said his last two seasons with the Terrapins provided him with the experience to make the transition to the NBA.

    "I think I learned a lot more over the last few years I was in school," the 6-9, 221-pound Morris said. "It's time to put it to the test right now. I feel a lot more comfortable in the things I can do now compared to previous years. I just feel I'm a better player now."

    Said Francis: "It's going to take him awhile to get accustomed to shooting from the NBA 3-point line, but he became a better all-around player. If he could dribble well enough, he could play all five positions. He does more things, especially defensively."

    Morris said he has settled on trying to learn how to play three positions and is comfortable with his start.

    "There's always things I have to work on," Morris said. "It's kind of surprising I'm picking up the offense and the rotations better than I thought I would. It's going well. I'm learning from the guys that have been here, (what) things to do on certain plays to get easy baskets or help out as much as I can while I'm out there."

    As far as being comfortable enough to say a word or two every now and then, Morris said what you hear is what you get.

    "I don't say much off the court," he said. "I'll do my talking on the court."
     
  2. SmeggySmeg

    SmeggySmeg Contributing Member

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  3. Roc Paint

    Roc Paint Contributing Member

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  4. Roc Paint

    Roc Paint Contributing Member

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    It could be parkinsons:p
     
  5. Old School

    Old School Member

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    My bad...I didn't catch the "T-Mo" reference.


    Old School
     
  6. Relativist

    Relativist Contributing Member

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    I find it interesting that TMo is focusing on learning how to play three positions Would that be all the frontcourt positions or the 3, 4, and 2? I really hope he becomes a regular part of the rotation long-term. At this point, I don't see him ranking high on the depth chart for playing time. Then again, I've heard nothing about Dan Langhi these past few days.
     
  7. Tmo

    Tmo Member

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    It would have to be the 2,3 &4, unless tmo gains 20 pounds or so. He can block shots like a center...
     
  8. Jaybird

    Jaybird Member

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    I'd agree that it's the 2, 3, and 4 positions. He played the 4 spot nearly his entire time at Maryland. It wouldn't shock me to see that Morris moved ahead of Langhi in the rotation at some point during the season.

    Dan is predominantly a scorer, and is very capable of exploding for big numbers as he's shown in the summer leagues. The way I see it now though, the Rockets aren't hurting for capable scoring players. From what I understand, they do need more defensive oriented players. Morris is a better defensive player and just as capable a scorer, but doesn't have the mentality to go out and demand the ball.

    I don't see him as able to play the 2 or the 4 for at least a year or so. He needs a while to develop his ball handling skills, he's got the rudimentary skills necessary but never truly worked on them because he wasn't called upon to use them in college. As for playing the 4 spot, he definately needs to gain a lot more size for him to have a chance to play there succesfully.

    If he can get more than garbage minutes this comming season, I think Terence will be able to show just how successful he can be in the NBA.
     
  9. FLAGRANT1

    FLAGRANT1 Member

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    It is so telling to me how these young guns all the way back to Mobley and Dickerson can come in and have no problem learning and thriving in Rudy's system but a certain 6'8" vet with 6 rings struggled and whined during his one 50 game season with us.
     
  10. Stevierebel

    Stevierebel Contributing Member

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    or a four year "pro" who sits and pouts. ;)
     
  11. Houstone

    Houstone Member

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    I heard that Francis did not practice today, because his head was hurting. Does anybody know about this....
     
    #11 Houstone, Oct 4, 2001
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2001
  12. ricerocket

    ricerocket Member

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    He left the morning practice with a headache as a precaution and was going to try to go in the afternoon - 610AM Houston
     
  13. BTM

    BTM Member

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    LOL

    Nothing like homer fans boning over a 2nd round pick.
     

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