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04-19-06, 07:28 PM

By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS, Associated Press Writer
24 minutes ago

SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga All-America forward Adam Morrison declared for the NBA draft Wednesday, passing up his senior season for a chance to be a lottery pick.


The 6-foot-8 floppy-haired, mustachioed forward, who led Division I in scoring last season at 28.1 points per game, is a diabetic and said uncertainty over his future health prospects was a factor in his decision.

"It's been a great process so far. It's been fun, but I've decided to try to take my game to the next level and further my career as a basketball player," Morrison said at a campus news conference.

The West Coast Conference player of the year, Morrison edged Duke's J.J. Redick for this year's national scoring title. He finished second to Redick for the Naismith and John R. Wooden Awards for college basketball's player of the year.

Gonzaga coach Mark Few said his staff and team were "ecstatic" for Morrison.

"This truly is a great day. A great day for Adam, a great day for our basketball program and me personally," Few said. "It's the right decision because he and his family went about it the right way. ... It's what he wants to do and he is ready for it. He's going to be a great player at the next level."

Morrison surpassed the college accomplishments of Gonzaga great John Stockton. But it remains to be seen if he can have the same impact on the NBA, as critics have complained about his defense and downplayed his passing and rebounding abilities.

There is no doubt Morrison can shoot, making nearly 50 percent of his shots, including 43 percent of 3-pointers, even with defenders hanging all over him. Morrison drew comparisons to Larry Bird, for a similar high release on his jump shot, and Pete Maravich and other scoring greats of the past.

The 21-year-old Morrison scored at least 30 points 14 times this season and five times scored at least 40 points as he became the second Bulldogs player to win the national scoring title. Frank Burgess accomplished the feat by averaging 32.4 ppg in 1960-61.

Morrison's 926 points this year topped Burgess' single-season school record of 842 during 1960-61.

In three seasons at Gonzaga, Morrison scored 1,867 points to rank third on the Bulldog's all-time scoring list, behind Burgess (2,196) and Jim McPhee (2,015).

Gonzaga finished 29-4 this season, and in Morrison's three seasons went 83-12, including 40-2 in the WCC.

This season, Morrison garnered national attention by scoring 43 points against Michigan State at the Maui Invitational. His emotional play in an NCAA tournament game he got so carried away he slammed the basketball into his head several times and on-court swagger made him a TV favorite and a lightning rod for opposing fans.

Morrison also became a role model for diabetics. Cameras showed him constantly monitoring his blood sugar during games, and giving himself insulin injections while on the bench.

A thin mustache he cultivated this year became a source of jokes and jeers from opposing fans and even teammates.

Morrison reveled in the attention, scoring 43 points against Washington, 34 points against Memphis, 34 against Stanford, and a career high 44 against Loyola Marymount.

He scored 24 points in Gonzaga's 73-71 loss to UCLA in the Sweet Sixteen.

Morrison became only the second Gonzaga player to come out early for the NBA draft, joining center Paul Rogers, a second-round pick by the Lakers in 1997.

He is the second first-team All-America in school history, after Dan Dickau in 2002, and is likely to be the highest draft pick ever out of Gonzaga. Stockton was the 16th player chosen in 1984 and Dickau was the 28th player chosen in 2002.

I'm not sure how good he is going to be in the NBA. It's one thing to cry after losing a game. But to start crying during the last seconds of a close game won't cut it in the NBA.

Should be interesting to see how his career goes. I don't think he has the mental toughness of Larry Bird. The only other comparisons are that they are white, almost the same height and have a great outside shot.


04-19-06, 09:06 PM
Saying he's not NBA material because he cries is like saying you wouldn't have sex with Britney Spears because she doesn't wear a bra. There are good reasons to hold the opinions, but neither of the ones you gave make much sense to me.

04-19-06, 09:43 PM
I'm not certain, but I think that there just might be a comprehensive thread for this kind of thing.

04-19-06, 09:49 PM
Good for him, time for Morrison to cash in.

04-19-06, 11:18 PM
Saying he's not NBA material because he cries is like saying you wouldn't have sex with Britney Spears because she doesn't wear a bra. There are good reasons to hold the opinions, but neither of the ones you gave make much sense to me.

Are you stalking me? ;)


04-19-06, 11:23 PM
:lol: No, both posts made me do doubletakes. I do remember what I read. :p

Turd Ferguson
04-24-06, 02:27 PM
I wonder if Nike will make an "Air Dirtbag" shoe for him.

El Scorcho
04-24-06, 02:35 PM
I'm not sure why people make such a bigger deal out of him crying when the game wasn't over. The Zags had a miniscule chance of winning that game when Morrison started crying. It's not like they were down 1 and had the ball.

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