Monte Morris passing on NBA Draft is good for Iowa State, bad for Big 12

Monté Morris was one of the best point guards in America this past season — and Iowa State will get him back for his senior year.

The school announced on Friday that Morris will not put his name into the 2016 NBA draft pool, instead opting to head back to Ames and finish out his college career. Big news for ISU, which will try to make its sixth straight NCAA Tournament in 2017.

It’s also good news for college basketball, which will have an absolutely loaded freshman class next year, but Morris will be one of a handful of tremendous seniors. Iowa State is losing its own All-American in Georges Niang to graduation this spring.

“After carefully considering all of my options and speaking with coach (Steve) Prohm and my family, I have decided to return to Iowa State for my senior season,” Morris said. “Ultimately, it came down to wanting to accomplish a number of things, with earning my degree and continuing my development as a basketball player my top priorities. I want to get stronger and become the best basketball player I can before becoming a professional, and I feel another year at Iowa State can help me do that.”

Morris averaged 13.9 points, 6.9 assists and 4.0 rebounds in 2015-16. His assist average was a single-season record at Iowa State. Not only that, he had a 4.7 assist-to-turnover ratio, which is amazingly good for a major-conference player.

Prohm put it bluntly when he said in a statement, “From our program’s perspective we are ecstatic.”

Absolutely. This will keep Iowa State relevant in the Big 12 and certainly in contention yet again for an NCAA Tournament berth. Morris will likely become one of the most valuable players in the country. Barring injury, he’s a lock to become ISU’s all-time leader in assists and steals.

Iowa State is not ranked in our Ridiculously Early Top 25 (and one), but should hover around being a top-30 team next season thanks to Morris being in the fold.

Monté Morris will be one of the best point guards in America next season. (USATSI)

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