Suns News

Power Forward 101: Frye Shows Morris the Ropes

Frye is showing Morris the ropes at Suns training camp this week.
(Jeramie McPeek/
By Stefan Swiat,
Posted: Dec. 15, 2011

The tradition of veteran players taking younger players underneath their wings harkens back to the beginning of the NBA. With the Suns this season, it’s occurring at their power forward spot.

Channing Frye, who is heading into his seventh NBA season, has been showing the ropes to rookie Markieff Morris during training camp this past week. During drills and scrimmages, Frye can be seen demonstrating and teaching the young prodigy.

“We both play the same position and he’s been here a couple of years so he knows what to do,” Morris said. “So I’m just trying to pick up bits and pieces from him.”

Frye, who was the team’s second-leading rebounder and fourth-leading scorer last season, is a stretch-4 because of his deadly shooting from behind the three-point line. He shot 39 percent from downtown last season.

In this respect, Morris has lot in common with Frye. Morris shot 42 percent from behind the arc in college for Kansas last season, while also leading the Big 12 in rebounds, blocks and double-doubles.

“I think with him coming off the bench, we can get another spacer and then we can figure out who’s rolling and who’s popping,” Frye said. “I see that he’s a great rebounder, a great natural ball-finder and very physical. I don’t know if I want to say he has the same kind of skill set that I do since I may be a little bit taller, a little bit longer, but he may be a little bit better rebounder.”

Frye has been particularly impressed with Morris' ability to clean the glass.

“I think he’s a great rebounder,” Frye said. “I think in the future he’s going to be one of the better rebounders in the league. In this system, it’s going to be tough to box him out because he comes in there like a bullet.”

Although Frye claimed he never had a “true mentor” when he was a rookie for the Knicks in 2005, he did say that Antonio Davis and Malik Rose would provide pointers for him from time-to-time. So he states that he’s attempting to do the same by helping Morris feel more comfortable.

“He just tells me about being in the right spots,” Morris said. “He shows me the plays and just goes over everything. He shoots a lot more than I do, but other than that, we are basically the same player.”

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