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Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

Morrison makes big splash in debut

Rick Bonnell Charlotte Observer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – This is precisely what Adam Morrison is paid to do, so the fact that he did it isn’t much of a surprise.

But to do it this well, this soon, can’t help but turn your head.

In the first exhibition of his first NBA season, Morrison was clearly the best Charlotte Bobcat and nearly the best player on the court. He had 19 points on 7-of-14 shooting.

That wasn’t enough to avoid a 109-90 loss to the Orlando Magic on Tuesday night, but it was sufficient to have his teammates buzzing about his impact.

“Adam is a shooter – get him open shots, and he’ll do that every night,” point guard Raymond Felton said.

Maybe so, but can he do it any more spectacularly than he did at the end of the first quarter? That’s when he swished a 3-pointer with no time left on the clock, drawing a shriek from the crowd. It’s what Morrison did all through college at Gonzaga, but it was also the sort of play you almost never saw from a Bobcat the past two seasons.

“He did what he’s supposed to do,” coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. “We actually got after him for passing up another” open shot in the second quarter.

Morrison was happy with his performance, though not quite satisfied. He’s still learning what’s expected of him as a defender, and that’s not always a pretty process.

“I got beat a couple of times,” he said, perhaps referring to the 14 points ex-Bobcat Keith Bogans scored for Orlando. “And my shot selection – I took some bad shots.”

He admitted to jitters early, at least until he hit his first shot, as a reserve nearly 10 minutes into the game. He wasn’t particularly impressed with himself.

“That’s what they brought me here to do, and it was just the preseason,” he said.

“I guess the surprise so far – and it’s not totally a surprise – is everybody is really good. You’ve got to adjust to the fact that everybody in this league can score.”

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