Barca’s Unselfish Leader
There’s no Euroleague crown in Barcelona without Terence Morris.
To say that Terence Morris is an unselfish player simply doesn’t do him justice.
After averaging 15.8 points and 8.6 rebounds per game his sophomore season at Maryland the home state native was slated as a consensus top 5 pick on NBA mock drafts. Against conventional wisdom the highly talented, hyper-athletic, and level-headed forward decided to stay at school for his junior and senior seasons.
“Trying to finish up school was the number one thing I was trying to do,” said the well traveled FC Barcelona forward. “But second was to be really unselfish to try to win something. I gave up personal things for team things. I talked to Head Coach (Gary Williams) and realized when I was there that I could have averaged 18-19 points a game and been on a losing team. But being on a team that’s consistent means you give up points and you do other things like getting other people the ball, so it was that kind of thing for me.”
Giving the ball up during his senior year helped the Terrapins reach the Final Four but Morris’ draft stock took a beating due to his unselfish play and lower numbers. His minutes also declined from 32.4 mpg his sophomore year down to 16 mpg his senior year.
Still, he ended up being drafted with the 33rd pick overall by the Houston Rockets and played two seasons there and one season in Orlando before deciding to move to Europe.
“It’s a little tough sometimes for second round picks but I’m still happy,” stated Morris. “I’m doing what I love to do. At the same time I’ve been to different countries all around the world. I’ve got to see things that other people haven’t gotten to see.”
He has been around the world and played for top Euroleague teams such as Maccabi Tel Aviv, CSKA Moscow, and finally FC Barcelona.
During the off-season he carefully evaluated his options after he learned that CSKA Moscow was cutting the budget and wouldn’t be able to afford him.
“I looked at the rosters to see who had the best chance of winning and I thought the best chance was here (FC Barcelona),” said Morris.
Morris chose FC Barcelona because they offered him an excellent chance to attain one of the only feats that he has not achieved, and that was a Euroleague championship.
“Thing that’s crazy is every year I have played in Europe I’ve played in the finals,” said Morris following a Euroleague Quarterfinals game against Real Madrid. “Maybe this year could be a highlight year for me.”
Boy was he right. FC Barcelona has had quite a year while winning the Euroleague Championship handily a few weeks ago over the Greek club Olympiacos (ex-Atlanta Hawk Josh Childress squad). Barcelona has a talented squad the features 8 players who have either been drafted or have played in the NBA at some point in their careers.
As a veteran Morris leads by example doing all of the little things on the court. His hustle for loose balls on both ends, ability to run the floor, willingness to make the extra pass, and movement without the ball has made him one of the best wing players in European basketball.
Perhaps the best statistic to show how unselfish and smart of a player he is would be his field goal percentages in Euroleague play this season, which check in at an unheard of 82.6 percent while also shooting 43.8 percent from deep this year, respectively.
His free throw average is a tad worse than his field goal percentage at 82.4 percent.
Terence Morris plays the game with a selflessness that has helped to prolong his career while also winning wherever he has gone. He is proof that making the extra pass consistently helps everybody to reach their goals.
Jeremy Bauman is a Sports Marketing & Management major who currently attends Indiana University. He scouts high school basketball in the New York area and posts at GothamHoops.com.