When you think back on college basketball seasons of years past, you remember specific teams, moments or players and usually you remember something from the NCAA Tournament that year. It might be a spectacular championship run, a Final Four appearance from a Cinderella, an improbable buzzer-beater never to be forgotten, or it could just be one player that seemed to define that tournament.
Adam Morrison is my favorite college basketball player, and his finest season of college basketball was in 2006. He didn’t end up winning National Player of the Year that year – J.J. Redick did – and he pan out as an NBA star (although he is an NBA champion as a member of the Lakers). Now, you don’t have to be a player of the year or an NBA star to have a lasting legacy in college hoops, but I’m left to ponder, 11 years after his final game at Gonzaga, what Morrison’s lasting legacy will be.
College basketball history is kindest to players and teams that had big-time tournament performances (either in the NCAA or a major conference tournament). Think, Kemba Walker with UConn in 2011. A player dragging his team to improbably high success is the one that is remembered most fondly. He finds his way into NCAA Tournament highlight packages for years to come, ensuring his efforts will never be forgotten.
Adam Morrison never had a signature NCAA Tournament moment. The furthest Morrison ever went in the NCAA Tournament was the Sweet 16 in 2006, but that team is remembered for the wrong reason. We remember Florida’s 2006 team that won it all with Joakim Noah and Al Horford. We remember George Mason’s 2006 team that stunned the world by making it to the Final Four.