CHICAGO — Welcome back, NBA Watch.
One year after Iowa State waded through the rumors and waited several months to see what direction coach Fred Hoiberg might go with his NBA interests, Cyclones fans will get a second taste in the weeks ahead.
Should he stay or should he go? Monte Morris remains uncertain.
“I’m just relaxing first and when the season is over with after the Final Four and stuff, we’re going to reevaluate my season and look where I’m standing and get some feedback,” Morris said Friday night after Iowa State’s season came to an end in the Sweet 16. “If it’s good feedback [I’ll] test the waters, but if it’s things I can improve on and raise my stock, I wouldn’t have a problem coming back.”
The junior point guard will be aided in his evaluation by new NCAA rules that permit underclassmen to test the NBA waters more easily. Under new rules passed in January, underclassmen now have 10 days after the NBA Combine to remove their name from draft consideration and can also work out once per NBA team.
With the NBA Combine scheduled for May 11-15 this calendar year, Morris will theoretically have until May 25 to make a final decision. Morris is likely to declare for the NBA Draft to take part in the combine in Chicago this spring.
“With the rule, everybody on our team should [go to the combine],” Morris said when asked if he’ll participate. “I think coach would want me to go test it. You can come back if you want to. Most likely I’ll go [to the combine].”
Morris averaged 13.8 points and 6.9 assists per game in 35 games during his junior campaign. While he has been mum on his future plans all season, there is some thought that Morris will return to Ames for his senior season unless he is deemed to be a first-round selection by NBA personnel.
Currently, DraftExpress ranks Morris as the No. 47 overall prospect and has pegged him as the No. 43 overall pick in the 2016 Draft this summer. Given that positioning, Morris wouldn’t receive any guaranteed money.
Morris could have a lot to gain in a fourth season at Iowa State. The 6-foot-2 guard is only 114 assists from tying Jeff Hornacek for the most assists in a career in Iowa State history. On a professional level, Morris could become more of a scorer with another season at the collegiate level, an aspect of his game that could ultimately earn him more money.
“Next year if I was to come back, I think I’ll be more going in transition, taking shots, more shots than I did [this year] for sure,” Morris said. “Playing combo kind of, because I’m going to be more of a scorer. We’re going to lose Georges. Somebody has to fill his shoes.”
Those shoes could be filled by Morris.
For now, though, the waiting game has only just begun.