Mar 9, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Iowa State Cyclones guard Monte Morris (11) shoots as Oklahoma State Cowboys guard Davon Dillard (24) defends in the second half during the Big 12 Championship Tournament at Sprint Center. Iowa State won 92-83. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
KANSAS CITY — A good boss always has his guy’s back.
That’s exactly what Steve Prohm did with Monte Morris following Iowa State’s 92-83 victory over Oklahoma State in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament on Thursday at the Sprint Center.
Morris, who was one assist shy of a triple-double (21, 10 and 9, was recently left off of the Bob Cousy Award’s (which goes to the nation’s best point guard) final five.
When asked about it, Prohm had this to say:
“The one thing I will say is, you know, it’s not about the five that they picked. It’s about how Monte’s not on there. I mean, Monte had 21, 10 and nine today. He almost had a triple-double on Senior Day. He was one rebound short. He had a triple-double earlier in the year. His team is in the top-25. He plays in arguably the first or second best league in the country. He is the nation’s all-time assist-to-turnover ratio leader, ever. Ever. He is the No. 1 guy. He is the all-time leader at Iowa State. His character is off the charts. He represents our university the right way. I am disappointed because he would have been an unbelievable representative of the award just like Georges with the Karl Malone Award. It goes back to, my last year at Murray, Cameron Payne didn’t make the final 25. I couldn’t get over that and I told Monte, ‘If we win I am going to let everybody know.’ I don’t know how the voting goes. I don’t know how it works. But he is the best point guard in the country. There is no question about it. He will be in the NBA for a long time. He has great IQ. His assist-to-turnover makes everybody better. Think about what he lost last year and all of the questions that everybody had about this team. Who was the pressure on? Monte. He is our guy. He has this team playing as well as they have played all year right now. He got picked in the Bob Cousy Award his sophomore year and his stats are better in every category this year. Compare all of those stats to all of those guys. Yeah, maybe a couple of teams have a couple more wins but we played one of the top five schedules in the country. It’s kind of like what Dabo said about Deshaun Watson. He would have really been a great ambassador for the Heisman. He would have been a great ambassador for the award and for what it means and represents. I’m going to make my own for him. I am disappointed for him because for some reason, he didn’t get in there. There’s no explanation for it.”
The way I see it, this is less about one specific award and more about a culture of care that Prohm is creating in Ames.
This man is as genuine as they come.
From choking up when he referenced the personal growth of Deonte Burton on Senior Night to this passionate defense of Morris with the Cousy Award, Prohm loves his players. And they love him back.
Up next for the Cyclones is a date with either Kansas or TCU on Friday night at 6. Of course, check out Cyclone Fanatic later tonight for more coverage from Kansas City.