Sophomore guard Monte Morris burst onto the scene last season for Fred Hoiberg and his Iowa State Cyclones. The highly regarded then-freshman from Michigan was a standout facilitator out of the point guard spot, leading the Big 12 in turnover/assist ratio.
He averaged about four dishes a game and managed to score just under 7 points a game. He didn’t get many shot attempts, as he was more than willing to allow the Big Three of DeAndre Kane, Melvin Ejim, and Georges Niang to take the majority of shots. However, Morris displayed a nice stroke from downtown, making 41 percent of shots from beyond the arc.
But now only one of those Big Three remains- Niang- and he’s coming off foot surgery. It stands to reason, then, that the now sophomore Morris has a much bigger role in store for him this season.
The point guard position is inherently one of leadership. Iowa State fans saw this evident in DeAndre Kane this past year. Point guards are the floor generals who see the entirety of the court and know where the ball needs to go. They are unselfish but know when it’s time to take over.
Morris already knows how to be unselfish. The question now is whether he can elevate his game to the level of leader. I think he can definitely make the jump.
Iowa State fans can expect even more of Morris than what he displayed in the NCAA Tournament, which was impressive to say the least. In Iowa State’s three tournament games, Morris put up 40 points, shot 13 of 24 from the field, including six of seven from deep, dished out ten assists, committed just five turnovers (and never more than two in a tournament game), stole six balls, and was a perfect eight of eight from the line.
Now imagine him taking at least twice as many shots. With his shooting ability, athleticism, and DeAndre Kane’s departure, Morris’s stats could explode this season. By the end of the campaign, Monte Morris could be Iowa State’s best player and lead the Big 12 in more than just the turnover/assist ratio.
The sky’s the limit for Monte Morris this season.