Boys hoops: Brandon forward a 'valuable' presence

Senior power forward Marcus Morrison does whatever needs to be done for Brandon.

By Keith Niebuhr, Times Staff Writer
Published February 23, 2008

BRANDON - College coaches have come and gone at Brandon this season, and before they depart, almost all have asked Eagles coach Mark Hermann the same question: Who is this Marcus Morrison guy?

"He plays so hard," Hermann said. "They love him."

Morrison, who has committed to the University of Tampa, has size, skill and, perhaps most important, desire. Entering tonight's Class 5A region final against Winter Park Lake Howell, the 6-foot-6, 200-pound senior power forward is averaging 16.3 points and 10.3 rebounds, both second on the squad. He has a team-high 37 blocks, six last week against Ridgewood.

"He," Hermann said, "has been incredibly valuable."

Morrison's success has as much to do with his hustle as with his skill. Quite frankly, he's a ball of energy on the court. "He runs the floor like a gazelle and never gets tired," Hermann said. "He's a competitor. He likes to win."

Morrison, in only his third year of organized basketball, does the little things to make the latter happen. He dives for balls. Takes charges. Grabs offensive boards.

Whatever needs to be done.

"I like doing the dirty work," Morrison said.

As solid as Morrison has been, he is the first to admit he probably won't earn any style points. He's a bit gangly, and his shot isn't exactly a thing of beauty, Hermann joked. "I'd say I'm a little unorthodox," Morrison said. "People say I make a lot of weird shots that you're not supposed to make."

That might be true, but to Hermann, it's not luck.

"I call him a basketball magnet," Hermann said. "At the end of the game, you look at the box score and he always has 16, 18, 20 points. He finds a way to score. He's a winner."

Up next

Region finals

All games at 7 tonight

5A: Lake Howell (24-5) at Brandon (23-4)

A: Seffner Christian (17-12) at Bradenton Christian (25-4)