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Nate Morris (’16) got posterized and proved why every coach in the country should recruit him

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PHILADELPHIA — It didn’t take long for Nate Morris to make a play that resonated with the coaches and the scouts sitting in the stands at Reebok’s Breakout Classic.

In the first quarter of his first game on Wednesday, Morris found himself locking horns with Diamond Stone, the No. 6 recruit in the Class of 2015, when Stone caught a ball in the post and went up with two hands to try and dunk on Morris. Morris met him at the rim and sent the shot back, drawing a series of “oohs” from the crowd that amassed to watch Stone’ matchup with Skal Labissiere.

It’s something that the 6-foot-10 Morris has become accustomed to, as he prides himself on the way that he is able to defend.

“I pride myself on being a defensive players,” Morris, the No. 76 recruit in the Class of 2016, told NBCSports.com. How often do you here that at an elite recruiting event like the Reebok Camp?

But it gets better. Morris lists South Florida, Texas A&M, SMU, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Tulsa and Creighton, among others, as the schools that have offered him, but I have a hard time believing that he won’t collect quite a few more offers in the coming years. When asked what he is looking for in a school, he said “a program that will let me play my way.”

Which is?

MOREAll our content from the 2014 July Live Recruiting Period

“I like setting a whole bunch of picks, getting a lot of movement in and running the floor,” Morris said. In other words, this 6-foot-10, 250 pound 16 year old has no problem doing all of the dirty work that big men are supposed to do. Every coach in the country can use a piece like that. There is a risk, however, to being a guy that challenges everything at the rim, as Morris was on the receiving end of a nasty posterization from Nate Grimes, but that’s not the end of the story. On the next possession, Morris went up to try and challenge a dunk attempt, and three possessions later, he tried to chase down Grimes on the break as Grimes as lining up to throw down a dunk in transition.

In the hoopmixtape era, do you realize how uncommon it is to find a kid that doesn’t care if he ends up on a viral video?

“I’m not worried about it,” he said. “I don’t stop. I don’t care if I get dunked on or not, I’m going to go after you.”

VIDEO: Monmouth hits a game-winner, Bench Mob member tries to disrobe

King Rice
AP
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Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.

The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:

No. 17 Arizona erases double-digit deficit to beat UCLA

Arizona coach Sean Miller reacts to a foul call during the first half of Arizona's NCAA college basketball game against UCLA, Friday, Feb 12, 2016, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
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Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.

UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.

Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.

All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.

The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.