AMES — First the bad (but expected) news: ISU point guard Monté Morris remains sore after taking an elbow to his hip while he worked through an illegal screen in last night’s 84-63 win over Buffalo.
Now the good (and also expected) news: The NCAA’s two-time record-setter in assist-to-turnover ratio should be fine for Thursday’s 6:30 p.m. (ESPN2) Cy-Hawk rivalry game against Iowa at Hilton Coliseum.
And more good news: Morris scored six of his 12 points and rifled off six of his 10 assists after the injury occurred at the 12:43 mark against the Bulls. So suffice it to say he’ll be a bit achy, but otherwise primed to tangle with the Hawkeyes’ Mike Gesell.
“He’ll be out of practice today, but we won’t do much anyway today outside of stretching and film and maybe walk through a little bit,” said Cyclones coach Steve Prohm, whose fourth-ranked team has won six of the last eight meetings with Iowa. “Some (depth) guys, the 8-9-10-11 will do some stuff on the floor, but the top 7, they’ll get some rest today and just kind of watch film on Iowa a little bit.”
Morris has ratcheted up his record-setting dish and protect rate this season.
The junior from Flint, Mich., owns 51 assists to 10 turnovers while playing a team-high 34.4 minutes per game. He now ranks 10th all-time in career assists at ISU with 361 (or 11 more than former star/coach Fred Hoiberg).
“I feel like when you play unselfish, what comes around goes around,” Morris said late last week.
ERNST TO SIT
Prohm ended Tuesday’s news conference by noting that freshman big man Brady Ernst will not play the rest of the season. The 6-9, 215-pounder from Clinton has played a total of 14 minutes in six games this season. He scored two pounds, grabbed four rebounds and blocked one shot in that limited action.
“His progression isn’t going the way we were hoping for and thought it would, so our plans right now are to sit him and hopefully get a medical redshirt with him,” Prohm said. “So we’re in the process of getting all that put together.”
PROHM KNOWS (DEEP SOUTH) RIVALRIES
ISU’s coach was asked about rivalries he’s been involved with. One — even though it predates his coaching days — stands out.
“Went to college at Alabama,” Prohm said. “So obviously, what’s that one school? Auburn. That was a rivalry.”
Prohm feels prepared to coach in his first game of the Cy-Hawk rivalry, as well. He’ll do it by balancing his “Win the Day” maxim with a full acknowledgement of the sheer intensity the Iowa State-Iowa brings out from both fan bases.
The Cyclones are 7-0. The Hawkeyes are 7-2.
“One thing that makes up great rivalries is the programs have to be relevant,” And I think both program are very, very relevant. Fran (McCaffery) does a great job down there. Obviously the last (several) years, Fred’s done a great job here and Iowa State’s had a lot of success. But rivalries are fun. As a coach, I always say it’s the next game, but from a fan’s standpoint, obviously it’s a huge deal. it’s a big thing — and it is for us as coaches and players, because you want to win it because you know what it means to the people.”