Alexis Morris, LSU women's basketball benefit from switch to point guard
BATON ROUGE — Alexis Morris led the fastbreak.
As she approached the lane, she dished the ball inside to Angel Reese, who took plenty of contact as the whistle blew.
Reese took the hit and made the layup. The fifth-largest crowd in LSU women's basketball history inside the Pete Maravich Assembly Center of 11,475 fans erupted as the Tigers went up 57-28 on Auburn. And there was Morris, basking in her teammates' and-1, dancing by her side among the applause.
The senior point guard tallied her second double-double on the season in the 84-54 win with 12 points and 10 assists.
"(LSU coach Kim) Mulkey gets on me a lot for passing up shots," Morris said after the game. "But I'm having fun with my teammates scoring and I'm scoring.
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"We're having fun. I think that's most important right now."
In the last five games, Morris is averaging six assists and 11 points. Both of her double-doubles have come in that stretch as LSU (18-0, 6-0) has continued to roll to a program-best start.
The Tigers finished with a little better than a 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio (18 to 8) against Auburn, thanks to Morris and her complete performance.
"A part of it is me but I give credit to my teammates because they are the one making the shots. I find them and they do the job for me. I can't assist myself," Morris said. "I give all the credit to my teammates. I get mad when they don't take shots because that's what I'm setting them up to do is shoot the ball."
Morris was a preseason first-team All-SEC selection, per the league's coaches, and second team by the media.
After being one of the conference's most efficient scorers last season in Mulkey's first season in Baton Rouge, the expectation was that Morris would be the headliner, before Reese transferred in.
And as Reese and freshman sensation Flau'jae Johnson have come along, Morris' role has shifted. For this team, the fifth-year senior didn't need to be the scorer she was, putting up 15 a game. Instead, her facilitating needed to take more of a focus in her final year.
That role has taken better shape as LSU has opened up SEC play. Morris has found her task; building up the confidence of her teammates has improved the team, and her game.
"I feel like I'm having a complete, all-around game because I'm not just getting points for myself but I'm making my teammates better. If I can give them confidence – I know I can go score the ball, so my job is to make everyone else around me better. It's not all about scoring," Morris said.
"Last year, that was my role but I'm in a different role this year and that is to make everyone else around me better."
Cory Diaz covers the LSU Tigers and Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns for The Daily Advertiser as part of the USA TODAY Network. Follow his Tigers and Cajuns coverage on Twitter: @ByCoryDiaz. Got questions regarding LSU/UL athletics? Send them to Cory Diaz at firstname.lastname@example.org.