Morris talks SMU, developing his game

Patrick caught up with three-star Lancaster center Nate Morris at the adidas Gauntlet to talk about his SMU interest!

2016 center Nate Morris has been a top priority for the SMU coaching staff, and SMU assistant KT Turner watched Morris’ Dallas Mustangs at last weekend’s adidas Uprising Gauntlet Series in Dallas.

The Lancaster (Texas) High School product took in SMU’s games vs. Lamar and Memphis this past season, and likes the atmosphere and culture around campus.

“It’s just a great atmosphere, just a nice school overall,” Morris said.

Morris said he’s been dealing with phone troubles lately, so he hasn’t heard too much from any of the teams interested in him. But before that, he said he has a lot of teams showing solid interest in him, with no one sticking out in particular. He also said he doesn’t have a favorite.

“It’s pretty much been the same from everybody, nothing too major,” Morris said. “Tulsa likes to talk to me a lot. I hear from SMU a lot.”

A decision from Morris isn’t on the horizon, but the three-star prospect is pinning down a time to decide.

“It’s pretty far ahead, but I’m still trying to decide if I’m going to wait until after basketball season next year, or before,” Morris said.

Morris reports offers from SMU, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Oregon State, Florida State, Kansas State, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, UTEP, Creighton, Tulsa, Colorado State and South Florida. He said he wants to take some visits this summer, but is focused on playing right now.

“Right now I’m trying to play, waiting on [visit chances] when they come. When I get an open opportunity to go, I’ll go,” Morris said.

The AAU circuit gives players plenty of exposure to college coaches and fans, and Morris is still hungry for success, even after his Lancaster team just won a state title.

“Just trying to work and show everybody what I have,” Morris said. “I feel like I haven’t made a statement that showed everybody how I am. So I’ve got something to prove. Winning state this year just made me want to come out and show everybody how I can really play and what I’ve learned from everything.”

The 6-foot-10, 230-pound Morris showed off his dominant defensive post presence at the gauntlet. Opposing big men had difficulty maneuvering around him and getting off good-looking shots against him. In his first game, he got in foul trouble on a couple tough calls, but also leaned into the offensive player a bit too much while contesting shots. He made a nice adjustment in the second half of that game and throughout the weekend, going straight up to contest a shot.

While he averaged five rebounds per game and 1.3 blocks per game, he need some refining on the offensive end. His touch on hook shots was inconsistent, and he doesn’t put the ball on the floor and post up defenders enough to be a high-volume low-post scorer.

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