By John Davis, Oxford Citizen
Since 1996, Tony Johnson has been coaching some of the nation’s top basketball players through his AAU team, the Dallas Mustangs. Nate Morris is one of his latest standouts, and the most recent to find a new place to play at the college level.
The 6-foot-10, 235-pound Morris picked Ole Miss Tuesday evening over a bevy of offers. Johnson, who coached former Ole Miss standout Marshall Henderson, said Morris was a “hard worker” who gave great effort.
“He plays hard every possession. He’s a good rebounder. He’s going to bring them a lot of energy, a lot of defense,” Johnson said. “He’s not a real good back-to-the-basket player guy right now.”
Johnson then added that Morris was just like Willie Cauley-Stein when he first arrived to play for John Calipari at Kentucky. For those that may not remember, Cauley-Stein started out as a strong defender, a player who garnered rebounds and then worked his way into a better offensive player, and eventual first-round NBA pick.
Morris was courted by a number of schools closer to his Dallas home, including SMU, Texas Tech and Texas A&M. Johnson said he also had offers from Tulsa and Oklahoma State.
“Everybody liked his energy. He’s got a high motor. He blocks shots, runs the floor and then he dunks it on the other end,” Johnson said of what college coaches liked about Morris. “He’s got a little 8-foot jump shot, a turn-around shot from the short corner. And the free-throw line. He can hit those shots. He just played with a lot of energy.”
According to Rivals.com and Scout.com, Morris is considered a three-star prospect. Rivals.com had him ranked as the No. 25 player in the state of Texas for the 2016 signing class.
Stay tuned for more on Morris in the print edition of the Oxford Citizen.