Morris’ Record Defies Logic

monte_assists_3

Yesterday afternoon in Nashville, Monté Morris took a couple dribbles left, looked to his right and as is customary with the point guard, delivered a perfect pass directly into the shooter’s pocket as Matt Thomas ripped the nets for his fourth three of the game. That assist broke a record that had stood for 31 years as he passed Jeff Hornacek for first on Iowa State’s all-time assist chart. Morris, who has 666 assists, has not only dished out more assists than anyone in Cyclone history, he’s done so while taking what can almost be described as ridiculous care of the basketball.

What we’ve all had the pleasure of witnessing the last four seasons just isn’t something you see very often. A true playmaker with an uncanny ability and pride in protecting the ball, Morris is a pass first point guard. I once asked him about his low turnovers. He explained that he always played up a level against older kids and that if he turned the ball over he’d find himself on the bench. So Monté just didn’t turn it over. Simple, right? Not really.

Since the 1993-94 season, 74 NCAA Division I players have recorded more than 660 career assists. Not one player from a top-six conference has done so while turning the ball over fewer times than Morris (146 turnovers).

The closest player from one of the top-six leagues to have 660 assists was Notre Dame’s Tory Jackson, who finished his playing career in 2010 with 694 assists and 257 turnovers.

His 4.56 career assist-to-turnover ratio is going to absolutely shatter the NCAA Division I career record of 3.45 that was held by Pittsburgh’s James Robinson (2013-16) heading into this season.

Career Assist-To-Turnover Ratio (Since 2000)
Monté Morris, Iowa State, 4.56
James Robinson, Pittsburgh, 3.45
Cardwell Johnson, UAB, 3.15
Fred VanVleet, Wichita State, 3.08
Jordan Taylor, Wisconsin, 3.01

Of this group, only Jordan Taylor (1,533) scored more points than Morris (1,460) has currently. Morris will almost surely top that mark. He also has more assists than anyone on that list.

Morris Assist Notes

  • Morris has 13 career games with 10 or more assists…the rest of the active Big 12 have a combined EIGHT 10-assist games.
  • In games with 10 assists, Morris owns an 8.7 (139 assists/16 turnovers) assist-to-turnover ratio.
  • Morris is the second player in school history to record four 100-assist seasons (Gary Thompkins, 1985-88).
  • Since 2007-08, no player in Division I has posted four seasons with at least 130 assists and less than 60 turnovers…Morris has a chance to accomplish that.
  • Morris is just the second player in school history (Hornacek) and third in Big 12 history (Aaron Miles and Kirk Hinrich, Kansas) with 1,000 points, 600 assists and 200 steals…only four Division I players since 2010 have posted 1,500 points, 700 assists and 200 steals.
  • Via points (1,460) and assists (1,632), Morris has accounted for 3,092 points in his career.

Morris Career Games (# of Turnovers)
Turnovers          Games
0                        44
1                         36
2                        30
3                        9
4+                     5

Thanks to the help of our statistician, Chris Andringa, here is a breakdown of Morris’ career assists:

morris-monte_unc-wilmington_2013-14_3

Morris in his first career game against UNC Wilmington. He had four assists and an uncanny three turnovers. Morris had just 25 turnovers in the next 35 games.

First Assist: Nazareth Mitrou-Long, 11/10/13 vs. UNC Wilmington
100th Assist: Dustin Hogue, 2/26/14 vs. West Virginia
200th Assist: Dustin Hogue, 1/6/15 vs. Oklahoma State
300th Assist: Bryce Dejean-Jones, 3/13/15 vs. Oklahoma
400th Assist: Hallice Cooke, 12/30/15 vs. Coppin State
500th Assist: Deonte Burton, 2/20/16 vs. TCU
600th Assist: Deonte Burton, 12/5/16 vs. Omaha
666th Assist: Matt Thomas, 1/28/17 vs. Vanderbilt

morris-assists-graphic

Most Field Goals
135 to Georges Niang
98 to Naz Mitrou-Long
73 to Matt Thomas

Most 3-Point Field Goals
63 to Naz Mitrou-Long
58 to Matt Thomas
52 to Georges Niang

Most Two-Point Field Goals
83 to Georges Niang
52 to Jameel McKay

Most Total Points
322 – Georges Niang
259- Naz Mitrou-Long
204- Matt Thomas

Most Consecutive Assists To One Player
6 to Georges Niang (2/2/15-2/7/15-Two Games)

Most Assists To One Player in One Game
7 to Naz Mitrou-Long vs. Chattanooga (11/23/15)

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About Matt Shoultz

I'm in my 11th year at Iowa State and third as communications director for men's basketball. I have worked with football, women's basketball, softball, volleyball, tennis and swimming since arriving at Iowa State. I am a 2005 graduate of the University of South Carolina and a Litchfield, Minn. native. I look forward to sharing the tales of Iowa State athletics with you all. If you have any questions or comments feel free to email me at mshoultz@iastate.edu. I'm on twitter @mjshoultz. Go Cyclones!
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