The NCAA has included assist turnover ratio in its men’s basketball statistics for 7 years.
- A player has never averaged more than 4 assists per turnover for an entire season (the NCAA record is 3.96:1 by Tyler Newbold of Utah State in 2008-09);
- A freshman has never led the NCAA in assist turnover ratio (James Robinson, Pitt in 2012-13 and Jason Brickman, LIU Brooklyn in 2010-11 each placed 9th nationally as frosh).
Enter Iowa State freshman Monte Morris.
After Morris’ 6-assist, 0-turnover performance at West Virginia, he raised his ratio to a staggering 5.21-to-1. (Note: players have to average at least 3 assists per game to qualify for the NCAA rankings.)
In his first 19 games – all coming off the bench – Morris had a splendid 4.91-to-1 ratio while scoring 6.2 points per game. Coach Fred Hoiberg moved him into the starting lineup four games ago and Morris raised his assist turnover ratio to 6.33 while boosting his scoring average to 9.8.
There is a by-product of great point guard play, and that’s winning.
The top 5 players nationally in assist turnover ratio include Morris, Pitt’s Robinson, Syracuse freshman Tyler Ennis, New Mexico’s Hugh Greenwood and Wichita State’s Fred VanVleet. The combined record of the 5 schools those players represent is 104-13. That, of course, includes the nation’s only two undefeated teams.
A year ago, Tyrus McGee became the first Cyclone men’s basketball player to lead the NCAA in a statistical category (three-point shooting percentage).
Will Morris become the next?