AMES — Monte Morris didn’t feel pressure as the NBA Draft approached.
The former Iowa State point guard had 140 college games under his belt and knew his combine and team-workout performances represented his skillset adequately.
He waited nearly 4 1/2 hours after the first pick was made, but finally learned his professional basketball fate.
The Denver Nuggets drafted Morris No. 51 overall in the second round of Thursday’s NBA Draft. The 6-foot-3 point guard is the 38th draft pick in ISU history and the fifth since 2010.
“I’m going to go in and compete my tail off,” Morris said days before the draft. “I know I’m going to be behind a vet. I’m just going to have them pushing me and going up against me hard in practices and them trying to show me the ways so I can be ready if one of the vets get hurt.
“I can step up in a position like (San Anontio’s) Dejounte Murray did this year. I just want to be ready whenever my opportunity presents itself.”
Morris, a USA Today All-America third team and consensus All-Big 12 first team pick, led Iowa State in scoring (16.4 ppg) and assists (6.2 apg) as a senior. He also led the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio three of his four seasons and is the school’s all-time wins, assists and steals leader.
“He’s been around winning his whole life in high school and college,” Iowa State Coach Steve Prohm recently told The Gazette. “He understands how to play pick and roll, he understands the defensive coverages, offensive schemes; he just brings so much to the table.
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“I think he is going to be a guy that is going to be in that league for eight, 10, 12 years.”
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