U of L women in on top young prospect

University of Louisville women's basketball coach Jeff Walz has offers out to a few prospects for the coming years, including one of the state's elite youngsters. Bell County High School sophomore Maci Morris already has seven offers and is considered a top Class of 2015 prospect. Cardinal Authority caught up with Morris.

Maci Morris was the sixth-man on the Bell County High School girls' varsity basketball team as a seventh grader and currently is in her third season in the starting lineup for the Lady Cats.

The 5-foot-11 Morris is not only considered one of the state's top young prospects but she already has seven Division I offers and hot name among college coaches all over the country.

"She's a heck of a player," Bell County coach David Teague said. "She has played so much AAU ball (for Kentucky Premier) and is in her fourth year of varsity basketball that a lot of things come easy for her.

"She does to many good things for our basketball team."

Morris picked up an offer from University of Louisville coach Jeff Walz last spring and said she also has offers from Marquette, Xavier, Virginia Tech, Eastern Kentucky, Western Kentucky and Dayton. She's also heard from a lot of other schools, including Kentucky, Indiana, LSU and Stanford.

"I like the attention but I just keep working hard because I want to improve and I want to get better," Morris said. "I know there's still room for me to improve."

Morris was a key contributor as a seventh-grader and then averaged 16 points as a starter two years ago and last season as a freshman she averaged 19.9 points and 8.5 rebounds for the Lady Cats.

Morris is averaging 21.4 points and 8.4 rebounds a game this season for an 18-4 team that is considered one of the top teams in the 13th Region. Morris ranks among the state's top 20 scorers and is third in free-throw shooting at 86.1 percent.

"She still has room for improvement but her work ethic is really good," Teague said. "She works hard and she knows she has to keep working."

Morris comes from a basketball family.

Her father, Lewis, played at East Tennessee State and the Cumberland College and is now the boys' basketball coach at Bell County. Patti Morris is from Harlan County and played college basketball at Transylvania.

"My dad has always been a coach and my mom has always been a coach, so I've just grown up with basketball," Maci Morris said. "I've just grown up with it and it's always been a part of my life.

"I started playing middle school ball when I was in the second grade."

On the floor, Morris is a fundamentally sound player on both ends of the floor. She's crafty and gets to the rim on offense, while possessing a solid jump shot.

"I've improved my driving with contact," she said. "I'm making shots and trying to get my teammates involved, but I still have to get stronger."

As far as college goes, Morris said she isn't fretting just yet. She has two more years of high school and "will have plenty of time."

"I really like Louisville," she said. "They have great coaches up there. But right now, I don't think too much about it all."

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