Marist’s Jeff Bower on Isaiah Morton Leaving Team

On Wednesday junior point guard Isaiah Morton officially announced that he is leaving the team to be closer to his family.

morton
Junior Isaiah Morton (right) will be leaving Marist after the first semester of the 2013-14 season.

Morton, who committed to Marist from Saint Augustine Prep in New Jersey, told head coach Jeff Bower early this week of his decision to move to be closer to his family. Morton’s family recently moved from his hometown in New Jersey to California.

“He hadn’t talked about that or made us aware of any discomfort,” Bower said expressing that his decision came as a surprise. “That was the first that he had talked about it but, after listening to him hearing how he had discussed it with his family and everything, it seemed like that was the best thing for him. We have to respect that and move on.”

Morton will finish the semester, as the school is currently in finals week, before leaving school.

“That was the message that I tried to relate to him was how important it was the finish the semester strong and to take care of his finals, which were in this week, so that he has as many options as possible for his future,” Bower said.

“We’ll try to help him with whatever we can. He didn’t go in to what his future plans would be when we talked, I don’t think he really has that firmed up to be quite honest, beyond the idea of going out to California.”

The junior started the first three games of the season, scoring a season-high 15 points against Stony Brook in the opener, however his playing time had dwindled and struggled to crack over 20 minutes per game after being taken out of the starting lineup. He started 58 of the 72 games he played in during his career at Marist, totaling 505 points.

Bower said that he will look to redistribute the minutes Morton played, who appeared in 52.6% of the teams minutes this season according to kenpom.com.

“We will have to redistribute minutes and roles, but I think it’s going to open up opportunities for Manny Thomas to be a bigger part of the rotation,” Bower said also noting that T.J. Curry will get more minutes at both guard spots.”It will give couple of other players, like Chavaughn [Lewis], the opportunity to handle the ball more to get us into offense. We’ll have to redistribute roles a little bit, but we’ll move forward and fill the gap.”

Marist is 0-9 and continue their season, after finals week, with a trip to the College of Charleston on Sunday before hosting Bucknell and Penn to close their non-conference schedule.

Ryan Restivo covers the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and America East conference for Big Apple Buckets. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanarestivo or contact Ryan at rrestivo[at]nycbuckets.com.

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