KANSAS CITY, MO. — For as little as Monte Morris has sat in recent weeks, the Iowa State point guard has been antsy of late while sidelined with a strained right shoulder sustained in the regular season finale Saturday.
Morris, who played 718 of 735 minutes for Iowa State in Big 12 games, shot at the Sprint Center on Wednesday for the first time since his injury as Iowa State prepares to open postseason play Thursday night against Oklahoma. While some soreness lingers, Morris will be full go when the Cyclones begin their latest Big 12 title run.
“It felt good to be able to get the ball into the rim actually. It’s my first day actually trying it prior to when it happened,” Morris said. “I was just happy I was even just seeing the ball up there. I should be good by game time hopefully.”
Morris was set to sit out of Iowa State’s full practice later Wednesday and will get a shot in his right shoulder before Thursday night’s game to numb the soreness.
Otherwise, there are no qualms about the junior’s status.
“I think he’s good,” Steve Prohm said. “We’re going to hold him out of practice again this afternoon, just really more precautionary and keep getting him rest. This is really the first time he’s done anything in three days. I think he’ll be fine.”
Morris is certainly a key to Iowa State’s success, entering the postseason averaging 14.2 points, 7.1 assists and four rebounds per game in 31 games this season with no true point guard on the bench to relieve him.
Iowa State needed Morris’ heroics last postseason in Kansas City when his fadeaway jumper beat the buzzer in the opener to knock off Texas en route to the Cyclones claiming back-to-back Big 12 postseason titles.
Now, the Cyclones hope he’ll be at full strength for their run at a third.
“My motion, it’s just sore, but I’m just trying to keep the same shot. I’m just keeping my range of motion good,” Morris said. “It feels better than yesterday. I still have another 24 [hours] to rest it and I’ll be good when game time comes.”
“When the lights come on I feel like my adrenaline will kick in and I’ll be good.”