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Monté Morris Proves Everyone Wrong - Again

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Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Unless you just became an Iowa State Cyclones fan within the last year (welcome to the bandwagon!), you've heard the story of Monté Morris and his basketball journey growing up.

If not, take a few minutes out of your day and watch the video below that profiles Morris' rise to stardom at Flint Beecher High School (credit to Ryan Slocum).

Some of the quotes in that video might have been a little hard to believe back then...

"One of the things that I remember when playing him 1-on-1 in the fourth grade was that I couldn't take the ball from him, unless I knocked him down" - Monté's high school head coach Mike Williams

A grown adult struggling to take the ball from a fourth grader? That may have seemed outrageous at the time for anyone living outside Flint, but after leading the nation in assist to turnover ratio as a freshman, and nearly matching that number in a sophomore campaign that has seen an increase in minutes for Morris, Iowa State fans have no doubt in their minds that coach Williams wasn't exaggerating at all.

The terms "prodigy" and "best player to ever come out of Flint" were also said by coach Williams in that interview.

Anyone care to dispute those claims now? I didn't think so.

Related - How Mateen Cleaves helped Monte Morris remain focused

(Credit to Iowa State Athletics Marketing)

Despite leading the nation in assist to turnover ratio and guiding the Cyclones through the gauntlet of the Big 12 conference, Morris was inexplicably left off the list of finalists for the Bob Cousy Award, given to the best point guard in the nation.

Among those on the list were Delon Wright of Utah, T.J. McConnell of Arizona, Kevin Pangos of Gonzaga, Tyus Jones of Duke and Fred Van Vleet of Wichita State. Certainly those players are deserving, but to leave off the best point guard in the best conference in college basketball?

Following the announcement of the finalists, Morris had one thing to say:

Agreed, Monté.

But the good news for Cyclone fans is that Morris didn't sulk, and he used the Cousy snub as fuel. That fuel ignited at the right time for Iowa State, as the star point guard scored a career-high 24 points and nailed a last second buzzer-beater to take down Texas in last night's Big 12 Tournament quarterfinal matchup. Without Morris, the ISU faithful who traveled to Kansas City to recreate the intimidating "Hilton South" atmosphere would be checking out of their hotel rooms and headed back north on I-35 today.

Instead, Iowa State lives to fight another day. They take on the Oklahoma Sooners tonight in what will be the rubber match of an exciting series that saw both matchups produce some of the most thrilling basketball you'll ever watch. If you're interested in seeing what basketball is supposed to look like, be sure to tune into ESPN2 tonight at 8 p.m.

Following his brilliant game last night, Morris might be expected to follow up the game with some kind of encore. But he knows what he really needs to do - lead the Cyclones to victory, any way he can. Cousy award or not, he'll continue to do what he's always done. Whether it's scoring the ball, getting it to his teammates so they can make plays, or just flat out being a leader, Morris will do it.

Because that's what champions do.