Will Morton take the proverbial next step?
25 days. That’s all that stands between us and Purdue Basketball returning. Just over 3 weeks. Less than one month. Incredible. The crossover between college football and college basketball is one of the most special times of the year. With just these 25 days to go it’s time to take a look at my current favorite player, Ethan Morton.
Morton hasn’t been asked to do a ton during his time at Purdue. In his first season he suffered from a bout of mono that really set him back. Last season Morton was stuck in a numbers game. While nearly doubling his minutes up to 14.8 minutes Morton became a key reserve on the Boilermaker squad that ultimately made it to the Sweet 16. Morton improved himself all over the floor and I truly believe that with another offseason in the books and more improvement he will be a key contributor on this team.
Morton’s biggest improvement is hard to quantify because it truly seemed like he improved all over the court. From a purely statistical standpoint Morton’s three point percentage jumped from 28% to 44%. He was not a high volume shooter to be sure but if he can replicate those numbers while taking 3-5 threes a game it would help to keep the Purdue offense dangerous and wide open for a monster like Zach Eden underneath. Morton also saw improvements in rebounds, steals, and assists.
More than just what you can see on the stat sheet though Morton looked more confident and showed great improvement on defense as the season progressed. At 6’6 Morton is a very big guard and his length can be a big advantage on defense. I know I’m biased, as I noted above, but I truly think Morton could become one of Purdue’s most important players. With the graduation and transfers that impacted the team in the offseason Morton will get all the minutes he can handle. It’s time for the former Pennsylvania Player of the Year to step into his role and be the player we all know he can be. He’ll have his first opportunity in just 25 days.