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Big 4 men’s basketball: Former Hawkeye plays role in Cyclones landing recruit

[ 0 ] November 13, 2012 |

Roy Marble has never forgotten something the late Barry Stevens told him many years ago.

“Barry always talked about giving back, and taking care of your own,” Marble said. “That still exists today.”

So when Marble, Iowa’s all-time scoring leader, was asked to offer some assistance in Iowa State’s recruitment of Monte Morris, he never hesitated.

“It’s not about the color of the uniform,” Marble said. “It’s not black, red, yellow. This is Flint. This is what we do for each other.”

Morris, one of five players expected to sign a letter of intent with the Cyclones during the fall period that starts today, attends Beecher High School in Flint, Mich. Marble went to the same high school, and was a classmate of Morris’ mother, Tanya.

Flint has been good to the Iowa State program. Stevens, who passed away in 2007, was the trailblazer. Coach Johnny Orr signed him out of Flint Northwestern in 1981. Stevens was the player who made Iowa State basketball relevant, scoring 2,190 points.

Jeff Grayer, another Flint Northwestern product, followed in 1984 and passed Stevens as Iowa State’s career scoring leader with 2,502 points. Both of their jerseys are retired. Justus Thigpen arrived in 1989 out of Flint Northern and is No. 9 on the career scoring list.

“I was aware of the Flint connection when I went for my visit,” said Morris, a 6-foot-1 point guard and a Top 100 national recruit. “They said I could add to that legacy. I took that into consideration.”

Marble said he told Iowa coach Fran McCaffery about Morris, but the Hawkeyes had signed point guards Mike Gesell and Anthony Clemmons in the previous class.

“There was a little bit of interest, but they weren’t really coming after a point guard,” Marble said.

Marble talked to Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg during the recruiting process.

“Everyone knows I love Iowa,” Marble said. “But this is about the kid. What am I supposed to say? If you’re not going to Iowa, I’m not going to help you? That won’t happen.”

Morris said Marble talked to him about the Flint legacy in the state of Iowa.

“He said a lot of people would be there looking after me,” Morris said. “And I’d be close to him (Marble lives in Cedar Rapids). He told me people would have high expectations for me.”

Morris also talked to Grayer during the recruiting process.

“I told him I was leaning toward (Iowa State), and he told me that would be a good decision,” Morris said. “He told me they would look after me.”

Marble said that Hoiberg will be a good coach for Morris.

“It’s a no brainer to me,” Marble said. “You’ve got a former NBA guard as your head coach. He’s a good kid, and he’s earned this. Now is his time, and I can’t find a better place. The state of Iowa has been good to Flint.”

Morris followed Marble’s footsteps at Flint Beecher. Now, Marble is following Stevens’ edict of taking care of your own, Flint style.

“This has been happening for a long time,” Marble said. “I’m only doing what Barry did.”

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EXPECTED BIG FOUR MEN’S BASKETBALL FALL SIGNEES

DRAKE

Joe Boyd, 6-7 forward, Scottsdale, Ariz. (Chaparral) – Originally committed to New Mexico State as a sophomore ,but changed his mind. Power forward missed entire junior season because of torn ligaments in his ankle. Picked the Bulldogs over Cal-Santa Barbara, Cal-Irvine and Loyola Marymount. Ranked No. 6 prospect in state of Arizona by ArizonaVarsity.com.

IOWA

Peter Jok, 6-6 guard, W.D.M. Valley – Coming back from patellar tendon surgery, he averaged 10.2 points and 3.4 rebounds as a junior for a Tigers team that finished 18-6 and made the state tournament. Shot 44.9 from the field, 37.3 percent from 3 and 86.5 percent from the free-throw line. Selected Hawkeyes after considering Drake, Wisconsin, Kansas State and Nebraska. Averaged 18.5 points and 7 rebounds as a sophomore at Roosevelt, then had knee surgery in June of 2011.

IOWA STATE

Richard Amardi, 6-9 forward, Scarborough, Ontario, Canada (Indian Hills C.C.) – Will have one season of eligibility with the Cyclones under the NCAA’s five years to play four rule. Started career at Weatherford C.C., Texas, redshirting in 2009-10. Averaged 13.4 points and 9.7 rebounds in 12 games of the 2010-11 season. Did not play in 2011-12. Had visa issues and returned to Canada.

Daniel Edozie, 6-8 forward, Compton, Calif. (Tyler J.C., Texas) – Committed to Minnesota in early October, then decommitted less than a week later . Averaged 5.1 points and 5.2 rebounds off the bench last season at Tyler, playing for Iowa native Mike Marquis.

Dustin Hogue, 6-6 forward, Yonkers, N.Y. (Indian Hills C.C.) – Averaged 10.6 points and 5.7 points last season for a Warriors team that finished seventh nationally. Indian Hills is ranked 5th nationally this season. Also considered Iowa, Texas Tech, Washington State and Detroit.

Monte Morris, 6-1 guard, Flint, Mich. (Beecher) – Ranked 77th nationally by MaxPreps, 78th by Scout.com, 80th by ESPN and 92nd by Rivals.com. Averaged 19.5 points, 4.3 assists and 4.7 rebounds as a junior and was named Class C player of the year in Michigan for a second straight season after leading team to 28-0 record and a state title. Also a two-time first-team all-state selection and named to Detroit News Dream Team in 2012. Leading candidate for Mr. Basketball honors this season. Averaged 18.1 points, 6.6 assists and 5.9 rebounds as a sophomore. Selected Iowa State over Illinois and Butler.

Matt Thomas, 6-4 guard, Onalaska, Wis. – Ranked 32nd best prospect in nation by ESPN, 56th by Rivals.com and Scout.com and 68th by MaxPreps after strong play on AAU circuit this summer. Averaged 21.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists as a junior, and shot 46.8 percent from 3-point distance. Earned first-team all-state honors by both the Associated Press and Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association. Team won the Division 2 state title and went 27-1. Picked Iowa State over Virginia, Wisconsin and Marquette.

NORTHERN IOWA

Klinton Carlson, 6-7 forward, Waverly-Shell Rock – Averaged 16.3 points and 5.5 rebounds as a junior for the Go-Hawks. Selected Panthers over Idaho State and Nebraska-Omaha.

Ted Friedman, 6-9 forward, Ankeny – Averaged 10.7 points and 6.3 rebounds for a team that finished third at state. Selected Panthers over offers from Creighton, Drake, St. Louis, Colorado State, Weber State, Tulane and Lehigh. Second-leading rebounder in 4-A state tournament last season, averaging 7.6 over the Hawks’ three games.

Bennett Koch, 6-8 forward, Ashwaubenon, Wis. – Third Koch brother to play for the Panthers, following the footsteps of Adam, the 2010 Missouri Valley Conference player of the year, and Jake, a senior starter on this season’s team. Averaged 11.8 points and 7.8 rebounds as a junior.

Robert Knar, 6-1 guard, Mundelin, Ill. – Expected to miss most of senior season after he tore the ACL in his left knee playing in the AAU Nationals in Orlando, Fla., in July 28. Averaged 22.3 points a game as a junior, giving him 1,897 for his career. Needs just 24 more to become the Mustangs’ career scoring leader. Also averaged 7.6 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 2.4 steals for a 26-8 team. Coached by his father, Richard. Picked the Panthers over Bucknell, Toledo, Albany, Santa Clara and Central Michigan. Has been a varsity starter since his freshman season.

Jeremy Morgan, 6-6 guard, Iowa City (West) – Averaged 14.8 points and 3.5 assists as a junior, helping the Trojans win the State Class 4-A title to complete an undefeated season. Made all-tournament team after averaging 15.3 points and 5.6 rebounds. First-team Sunday Register all-state selection. Selected the Panthers over other offers from Iowa State, Creighton, Rice, Drake and Weber State. His father, Michael, played basketball at Iowa and his mom, Chris, played at Drake.

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball

About Rick Brown: Rick Brown covers men's basketball for The Des Moines Register and Hawk Central. He's married and the father of two. He also covers golf for the Register. View author profile.

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