Iowa State men’s basketball preview: Looking at Monte Morris


Next up in the Iowa State men’s basketball player previews is last year’s true breakout star in Monte “Man-Man” Morris.

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Morris originally came to Iowa State from Flint, Michigan, where he was named Mr. Basketball for the state in 2013.  During his high school years, he was a Parade All-American, named the Class C Player of the Year three times, and won three state championships for Beecher High School.  He was a top-100 recruit for ISU and left offers from Indiana and USC, among others, on the table to join head coach Fred Hoiberg.

He began last season relatively slowly while coming off the bench.  However, after Morris’ insertion into the starting lineup around the campaign’s midpoint, he rapidly showed why he was such a highly-valued recruit on his way to breaking the NCAA single-season assist-to-turnover ratio with a stat line of plus-4.76.  Additionally he had a plus-6.9 ratio during conference play.

Playing alongside DeAndre Kane proved to be a boon for the Cyclones last year, as having two point guards allowed for creativity in advancing the ball as well as increased creativity once the team reached the half court offense.  This season will be much different though, as Morris will be trusted to run the offense as a sophomore pegged by many to have a breakout campaign.  He will be the primary floor-general and be responsible for dishing the ball to the numerous gunners and play-makers that occupy Iowa State’s roster.

I, like most others, am very high on Morris, but I am predicting a more moderate increase in production based solely on the existence of so many skilled players around him.  Bryce DeJean-Jones, Abdel Nader, and Georges Niang can all drive and slash with the ball, not to mention shooters Naz Long and Matt Thomas.  I think Morris will be do great as a facilitator, but look for his scoring to come from three-pointers thanks to kick-outs and midrange shots off the pick-and-roll rather than finishing at the hoop.

Continue to visit Clones Confidential for more player previews as well as all other news about Iowa State athletics.