Morris Leaves Prime Time Shootout with MVP Award and another Offer
When Jason Morris and his Hotchkiss team arrived in Philadelphia last week the talented sophomore already owned a handful of scholarship offers. When he left he had picked up one more as Villanova offered him immediately after his MVP performance.
Morris finished the game with 21 points, 4 rebounds, and a handful of assists and rebounds. But it was one play in particular that commanded everyone’s attention. In the second quarter he caught the ball at the top of the key, penetrated to the rim, and threw down a monster dunk in, or more accurately over, a crowded lane.
While his athleticism may be the thing that jumps out at you first (no pun intended), coaches are intrigued by many more areas of his game according to Hotchkiss Head Coach Fred Benjamin.
“He’s incredibly versatile for a 6’6” kid. He can play 1-4 (point guard through power forward) with his ability to block shots and pass the ball. He has even had some games with double digit assists this year,” Benjamin said of his young star. “I think the thing that is really special about him is that he has so much talent but he’s not a kid who goes out there and says I want to get 50. If he sees someone else is open, he makes the extra pass and gets other people involved.”
With a game like that it is not hard to see why Morris already has scholarship offers from schools including Georgetown, Georgia Tech, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, South Carolina, and Virginia, with Arizona, UConn, Boston College, Florida, Texas, Rutgers, and Syracuse among others.
But another thing that is so impressive about Morris is how he has handled this level of recruitment at such a young age.
“He’s really not even thinking about college yet,” said Benjamin. “He’s very level headed about the whole thing.”
At Hotchkiss, Morris is not only the team’s leader, but he is undoubtedly the Founders League’s most talented player. So when you’re only a sophomore and you’re already able to dominate every game and have your choice of high major scholarship offers, what is left to work on?
“He is learning how to play the game from a standpoint of imposing his will, not taking any plays off, and getting a level of consistency out there,” said Benjamin. “When you get a kid with this much talent, finding ways to challenge him is important…lots of times it is personal challenges, finding holes in your game that you want to work on, knowing where your sweet spots are on the floor, and taking it to another level.”
With so much raw ability at such a young age, perhaps the biggest thing he needs is simply experience.
“He has a tremendous basketball I.Q., and now it is just about getting him to understand that it is a process, as he gets older and gets more experience, he will continue to grow as a player.”
While another two years of growth is obviously a very scary thought for opposing players and coaches in the Founders League, it is something that has practically every high major coach east of the Mississippi lining up to see.