Iowa State-Oklahoma State the Rematch: Assessing Monte Morris, Jawun Evans, Matt Thomas, and More

March 1, 2017

By Alan Lu

Recently, Iowa State and Oklahoma State squared off again in a Big 12 basketball matchup, as this presented another chance to see two potential first round draft prospects in Monte Morris and Jawun Evans.  In the previous meeting, Iowa State earned a double-digit win on the road.  This time around, Iowa State ended up winning at home, though the margin of victory was much closer.  Here are my thoughts on how various prospects fared on this day, and how they may project as prospects for the NBA.

Iowa State’s senior point guard, Monte Morris had a terrific game to lead his team to another win over Oklahoma State.  He nearly had a triple-double, as he was one rebound away from collecting that feat, and his strong all-around play was one of the key reasons in getting his team the victory.  Morris showed a solid ability to knock down jumpers to space the floor for his team.  He made threes both off the catch and dribble, and he also excelled at knocking down pull-up, mid-range jumpers.

He also showed an adequate ability to garner scores off the dribble.  Morris has very good speed and quickness, and he showed a good ability to draw fouls upon opposing defenders, but sometimes, he would rush his shots, which would lead to misses on occasion.  Plus, he also displayed rock solid playmaking skills.  He did a great job of making an assortment of passes to set up a wealth of scores for his teammates.  Morris threw solid outlet passes to set up scores on the break, he would often find open shooters, and he also would hit cutters. But he did commit one turnover, where he cut to the hoop, threw a pass to a cutter, but it sailed out of bounds.

Also, he showed a terrific ability to rebound the basketball.  He hauled in numerous boards on both ends of the court due to possessing very good athleticism, instincts, and motor to do so.  Morris also showcased great defensive skills.  He showed off quick hands, as he would frequently jump passes to collect steals, and he also would get deflections.  Also, he also blocked a couple of shots due to possessing very good leaping ability and timing.

In general, Monte Morris put forth a very good showing, as he had a solid all-around game to lead his team to another win.  He played very well in Iowa State’s victory over Oklahoma State, and with his skill set, he could be a solid pick in the late first round range of the upcoming draft.

Oklahoma State’s sophomore point guard, Jawun Evans put forth a stellar showing in his team’s loss to Iowa State.  He showed off strong offensive skills and athletic gifts, as he would make many plays to keep his team in the game.  Evans showed a gifted ability to garner scores off the dribble.  He has great speed and first step to the basket, and he often was able to draw free throws and get speedy scores on the break.  He also used a hesitation move once to get a quick score on a nifty, underhanded scoop shot.

Also, he showed a great ability to knock down jumpers to space the floor for his team.  Evans displayed quite a knack for making pull-up jumpers, and he also made a spot-up three off the catch.  Plus, he also was able to draw three free throws by getting a defender to foul him on a three-point shot another time.

Plus, Evans showed off solid playmaking skills.  He showed off very good patience and court vision, and he would often make timely passes to set up scoring chances for them.  He is a quick player that can really get into the lane, and he would either kick it out to shooters, or find roll men on the move.  But there was one play where he lost the ball after dribbling it to commit a turnover.  Evans also displayed a decent ability to rebound the basketball.  Plus, he also displayed adequate defensive skills.  He managed to deflected a ball out of bounds once after staying in front of his man to do so.  But he did commit a reach-in foul on a separate occasion.

In this game, Jawun Evans put forth a strong showing, especially on the offensive end, as his team was almost able to defeat Iowa State on the road.  Evans is a fast, skilled offensive minded point guard that could be a solid pick for a team in the late first round range of the upcoming draft.

Iowa State’s senior guard, Matt Thomas had a terrific game, as he shot the ball really well to lead his team to a narrow victory over Oklahoma State.  He did an outstanding job of knocking down threes to space the floor for his team.  He really excelled at making spot-up threes off the catch, and he also showed a knack for making pull-up threes, as well as quick threes off of screens.  Thomas also had a go-to move when he would get the ball despite covered, as he would use a pump fake, make a side step move, and then launch a pull-up three to knock it down for his team.  Plus, he also excelled at scoring on the move, as he was able to get a score on a backdoor cut to the hoop.

Also, Thomas showed off very good playmaking skills.  He made crisp, accurate passes, as he would throw interior passes to big men, and he also would find shooters to set up scoring chances for them.  Plus, he showed off decent defensive skills, as he would use his length and positioning ability to force some misses.

In general, Matt Thomas had a great showing in his team’s win over Oklahoma State, as he shot the ball incredibly well on this day.  His performance was Klay Thompson-esque, and he could be a very good find for an NBA team at the next level.

Iowa State’s 6-4 senior guard, Deonte Burton also put forth a very good performance in a win for his team over Oklahoma State.  He showed off solid all-around skills, as he showed off versatile scoring skills and solid defense in this game.  Burton showed off a great ability to attack the basket to garner scores.  He was able to get numerous scores and free throws on strong drives to the hoop, and he has a very good first step to get there.  He has a pump fake that he can use in his arsenal, and he also can utilize a quick rip move to get past defenders.  Plus, Burton managed to throw down a thunderous dunk on the break, and he also managed to score on a cut to the hoop.

Also, he showed a decent ability to shoot the basketball.  He made spot-up threes off the catch, and he made one from pretty far out.  He did struggle to make jumpers when he was on the move though, and he missed one pull-up, mid-range shot after using a step back move to create space between him and his defender.

He also showed off decent playmaking skills.  Burton showed a good willingness to find the open man.  But there was one time where he had the ball ripped away from him on a drive to the basket, which led him to commit a turnover.  He also showed a decent ability to collect rebounds.  He would leap up to haul in his fair share of defensive boards, and he also drew free throws once after boxing out his opponent on an attempt to collect another one.

Plus, Burton played solid defense.  He showed a very good ability to get steals, blocks, and deflections.  Burton managed to break up a lob pass to get one steal, and he poked a ball away for another.  He also managed to swat a shot on a fast break drive due to possessing very good athleticism, timing, and instincts, but he did struggle more to guard jump shooters, as he committed a foul on a mid-range shot once, and he gave up too much space another time, which led his team to allow a three-point basket.

In summary, Deonte Burton put forth a very good showing to help lead his team to a win over Oklahoma State.  He may have the skills to end up being a good role player in the NBA, and he could be a good find for a team in this league.

Other Notes:

Oklahoma State’s 6-8 senior forward, Leyton Hammonds played very well, as he showed off a strong ability to knock down numerous threes off the catch, and he even used a jab step to do so once.   Plus, he also made a pull-up, long two-point shot.  He also showed off the ability to score on hustle plays around the basket, as he scored on a put back, and he also drew a non-shooting foul in the post another time.  In this game, Hammonds showed off solid shooting skills and good athletic gifts, and he may have the skills to end up on an NBA summer league roster this year or sometime down the road.

Iowa State’s senior guard, Nazareth Mitrou-Long showed off versatile scoring skills, and he also had a good all-around game in a win for his team.  He scored on quick drives to the hoop, and he also would draw plenty of free throws for his team.  Mitrou-Long showed an adequate ability to score on quick threes off the catch, as he ran off of a pin-down once to do so.

He also made good passes, as he would tend to find the open man to set up scoring chances for his team.  Plus, he was fairly active on the glass, and on one possession, he managed to score on a put back.  Defensively, Mitrou-Long showed a good ability to jump passes to get steals, but he tended to have trouble guarding bigger players on the floor.  In summary, Mitrou-Long had a good all-around game, and he did many things to help his team defeat Oklahoma State.  With his skill set, he could likely end up on an NBA summer league roster, and there he would likely get the chance to prove himself to NBA teams.

Oklahoma State’s 5-11 senior guard, Phil Forte shot the ball well, as he showed a very good ability to knock down jumpers, and he also used a pump fake to get a quick score off of a drive once.  Forte did not look to shoot too often in this game, but he was selective and efficient in making shots, and his shot-making ability could give him a chance to end up on an NBA summer league roster this year or sometime down the road.

Oklahoma State’s 6-6 junior swingman, Jeffrey Carroll did not play nearly as well as he did the first time around against Iowa State, though.  He did show a decent ability to make jumpers off the catch, though he did not look to take as many shots, and he struggled more to score off the dribble.  Carroll did do a very good job of rebounding the basketball.  However, he also had a tendency to commit some turnovers and fouls in this game.  In summary, it was not Carroll’s best game, but he could be a player to keep an eye on in the future.

Overall, it was quite an entertaining game.  Both of the first-round point guard prospects, Monte Morris and Jawun Evans, played very well, and Iowa State’s Matt Thomas put on an incredible performance due to his strong shooting skills.  Burton also played very well, and Oklahoma State’s Leyton Hammonds also shot the ball well.  In the end, Iowa State was able to make enough plays to come away with a narrow victory at home over their Big 12 conference opponent.