December 18, 2012 in High School
Iowa State-bound Beecher senior Monte Morris is far from a shoe-in to win the Michigan Mr. Basketball Award this season, but he’s definitely established himself as a player who should be at the top of everyone’s lists of candidates. And early in his senior season, his case is picking up steam. Jared Field of Great Lakes Hoops:
The question, then, is how much emphasis will voters place upon stats? Morris is not going to average 30 points per game, nor should he, with a host of excellent players on the roster — Markell Lucas, Emanuel Phifer, Frank Greene, Eric Cooper, etc. — and a limited amount of time on the court. Through three games he’s averaging 20 points and eight assists per game. In high school those numbers, especially the assists, are excellent. But are they enough?
If I had a vote, I’d vote for the player who stayed loyal to his school all the way through, lives at the Breslin Center in March, and plays the right way. Take it from someone who loves stats: They don’t tell the whole story.
Ross Maghielse of the Flint Journal also discussed the attributes of Morris this week:
But is Morris the best player in the state?
“Without question,” (Beecher coach Mike) Williams said. “He’s won at the middle school level, the high school level and at the state and national level. Without question to me he’s the best in the state. There’s not a kid that that’s smarter, a kid that’s accomplished as much as he has.”
I agree with both that Morris is not only the best high school player in the state, he’s the most accomplished. It will be a major upset if Beecher doesn’t get to the Breslin Center. That will be four straight years that Morris has been the best player on a team that made at least the state semifinals. He’s won the Class C Player of the Year award twice. He’s already had an all-time great high school career when you consider how much he’s won and his production. He’s also highly efficient. Morris doesn’t often get 30-40 points in a game, but he has many games where the 20-25 points he did get were on fewer shots than it takes some players to get their 30 or 40. He’s a great passer, he’s unselfish and, like anyone who steps on the floor for Beecher, an absolute terror defensively.
I don’t know if Morris has enough hype behind him to win the award, but he certainly has credentials that are on par with anyone.