Top 15 ISU men’s basketball moments: Monte Morris emerges vs. Auburn


Next up on top 15 moments of the 2013-14 Iowa State men’s basketball season is the emergence of freshman Monte Morris and his near double-double against the Auburn Tigers, which checks in at 14.

Mar 28, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Iowa State Cyclones guard Monte Morris (11) shoots the ball against Connecticut Huskies forward DeAndre Daniels (2) and guard Shabazz Napier (13) during the first half in the semifinals of the east regional of the 2014 NCAA Mens Basketball Championship tournament at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Back when 12 people actually played in one game for the Cyclones, we learned how dominant Dustin Hogue could be inside. He throttled the Tigers with 22 points and 16 rebounds, his 8-of-10 from the field, two from 3-point range, was efficiency that we didn’t see until he dominated Connecticut Madison Square Garden months later.

But one player that ended up being a big surprise for Iowa State was Morris. Out of the seven bench players that saw action, he received the most time — 24 minutes — thanks to the Cyclones pulling away from the Tigers later in the first half.

Morris didn’t dazzle, but he had 12 points, nine assists, and zero turnovers. A +9 assist-turnover ratio? That was the first thing that jumped at my eyes when scanning the box score.

Little did we know at the time that kind of ratio was just the norm for Morris. He averaged a ratio of +4.79, nearly two full points more than the next guy, West Virginia’s Juwan Staten, and the only player that had significant time on the court and turned it over under 30 times all season long.

Iowa State men’s basketball top 15 moments of 2013-14

15. DeAndre Kane’s perimeter shooting en route to Diamond Head Classic title

14. Monte Morris emerges, nearly hits double-double against Auburn

13-1. ???