Agile big man Morris is RTC boys basketball player of year
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
With the game tied and the game on the line and your boys basketball team absolutely has to have a basket, which RTC area player would you count on to score that basket?
We would count on Argos junior forward J.J. Morris, and he is our pick for RTC area player of the year.
The 6-6 Morris is an agile big man and a matchup nightmare against just about every area opponent. He was too quick for big guys and too big for a guard. And with physical maturity, he became more comfortable with physical play this year as well.
He averaged 16 ppg, and he put up those numbers selflessly on a talented Dragon team that had several players who also deserved to have the ball and shots come their way.
And though Argos lost to Triton in the sectional final for the second straight year, he’s done nothing but win and contribute to a winning culture for three straight years.
In sum, Morris stood out – literally – among all area players.
J.J. Morris (Argos) – Morris was especially smooth in the midrange and consistently capable of knocking down a 15-footer when called upon. He was also good for 6 rebounds per game.
Tayde Kiser (Tippecanoe Valley) – Kiser came back to Valley after a year away and was a two-way force at point guard. When he scored 29 points against Knox in his third game, it was a sign that he had become a special player. He also saved his best for the best opponents, and he was the area’s top perimeter defender too.
Nolan Cumberland (Tippecanoe Valley) – Cumberland improved his 3-point shot, but his specialty remains with his handle and creativity off the dribble. He’s a unique scorer with his length and athleticism.
Joey Spin (Caston) – Caston had multiple scoring options, but their go-to guy was Spin. He improved his 3-point shooting, but he was quick and lanky, and if you ran out to him on the arc, he could easily drive by you. He also led Caston in assists.
Michael Richard (Argos) – Richard was a strong, athletic player who moved from shooting guard to point guard as his career progressed. He embraced the fourth quarter in close games against tough opponents.
Paul Leasure (Rochester) – We knew going into the season that Leasure could shoot the 3-pointer, but what impressed us was his footwork and creativity in the midrange. He could play the point guard or the shooting guard spots and also took on tough defensive assignments.
Sam Smith (Caston) – Smith averaged 10 points per game on a team loaded with scoring options. On many teams, he would have averaged at least 15. He refined his post moves as a senior and was difficult to stop in the post.
Mason Herbert (Culver) – Herbert, a junior wing, was the breakout star among area players. He’s a fearless 3-point shooter, and we think he will get even better in the post starting next year.
Bryce Rudicel (Caston) – Rudicel is a complete player. He’s a tough defender who could step into passing lanes and get steals. He was an energy guy who grabbed rebounds in traffic. And he moved well without the ball on the offensive end and averaged 9 points per game.
Russell Compton (Winamac) – Compton could score off the dribble and hit the 3-point shot. He was a strong, athletic playmaker.
Drew McKaig (Pioneer)
Braden Shepherd (Tippecanoe Valley)
Kade Zeider (Caston)
Riley Shepherd (Tippecanoe Valley)
Tarick McGlothin (Rochester)
Christian Scott (Pioneer)
Jake Stults (Argos)
Dylan Kindig (Argos)
Tanner Reinartz (Rochester)
Ethan Keller (Culver)
Teddy Redinger (Argos)
Beau Brandt (Winamac)
Oscar Solano (Pioneer)
Luke Hunting (Rochester)
Dawson Perkins (Tippecanoe Valley)
Watch the entire Talking Sports with Val winter all RTC teams show here:
RTC boys basketball player of the year J.J. Morris
Tayde Kiser Nolan Cumberland
Joey Spin Michael Richard