The Iowa State Cyclones limped into the 2013 NCAA Tournament with a 22-11 overall record. The Cyclones, who were 11-7 in the Big-12 Conference, were one of the hottest shooting teams in the NCAA. Iowa State shot and made more three point shots than any other team. The team will lose the majority of its scoring after this season.
Iowa State averages 79.6 points per game, which ranked fourth in the NCAA. The Cyclones also led the nation in three point shots and three point baskets made. The team will be hoping to continue its impressive scoring when it faces No. 7 Notre Dame in the NCAA Tournament. After all, the team will lose four of their six leading scorers when the tournament is over.
The good news is the team returns Georges Niang, a freshman who averaged 12.0 points per game. Junior Melvin Ejim will also return. Ejim averaged 11.2 points per game and led the team with 9.3 rebounds per game. Even better for the Cyclones future is its incoming class, which boasts two Top 100 recruits.
Monte Morris, a 6’1” guard from Flint Beecher High School, chose Iowa State over offers from Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, USC and Arizona State. That decision will pay off for the Cyclones, as Morris beat out Derrick Walton, a Michigan recruit, and James Young, a Kentucky recruit, to win Mr. Basketball in the state of Michigan.
In one of the closest battles in the award’s history, Morris won with 2130 points. Walton and Young followed close behind with 2086 and 2030 respectively. Morris broke a streak of four consecutive Michigan State Spartan recruits that had won the award. In fact, Morris wasn’t recruited by either Michigan or Michigan State. The Western Michigan Broncos were the only team from the state to offer a scholarship to Morris.
Morris will have a chance to contribute immediately, with so much scoring gone from the Cyclones. In his junior season, Morris averaged 18.3 points, 6.4 assists, 5.4 rebounds and 3.5 steals. During his senior season, Morris averaged 21.5 points, 9.5 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 5.4 steals. The strong contribution of this point guard will help the Cyclones regain some of the offensive and defensive power they are losing.
With his Mr. Basketball trophy win, Morris is in strong company. Since the award was handed out in 1981, nine winners have been first round NBA draft picks. The list includes Chris Webber, Shane Battier, Glen Rice and Jason Richardson.