Obviously basketball fans in Flint are putting their support behind Beecher’s Monte Morris for Mr. Basketball, the annual award given to the state’s best senior, but will the rest of the state catch on? Let’s build a case for our next Mr. Basketball winner.
The problem, as I see it, for Man Man is simple: stats. Don’t get me wrong, he’s going to have exceptional all-around statistics this season. The difference between Morris and other current candidates (and some past winners) is how he scores his points. Morris scores in the flow of the game and in the midst of competitive games, which Beecher won’t play too many of — at least not in the second half.
For instance, last night Morris scored 18 points in three quarters against the second-best team in Beecher’s conference. If the game versus Goodrich is any indication (or basically all of last season), Beecher is going to blow out just about everyone on its schedule; and Morris will probably watch many minutes in the third and fourth quarters from the bench.
Detractors will also question the fact that Beecher plays class C ball. The obvious retort is, so what? Dwaun Anderson won the award at a class C school (Sutton Bay) two years ago, and Morris is a better all-around player on a much better team. Beecher’s coach, Mike Williams, also makes every effort to put larger schools on his schedule (they also play in a class B conference).
The question, then, is how much emphasis will voters place upon stats? Morris is not going to average 30 points per game, nor should he, with a host of excellent players on the roster — Markell Lucas, Emanuel Phifer, Frank Greene, Eric Cooper, etc. — and a limited amount of time on the court. Through three games he’s averaging 20 points and eight assists per game. In high school those numbers, especially the assists, are excellent. But are they enough?
If I had a vote, I’d vote for the player who stayed loyal to his school all the way through, lives at the Breslin Center in March, and plays the right way. Take it from someone who loves stats: They don’t tell the whole story.