Perry basketball looks for well-rounded approach with new head coach Morris
"It's worth it," Perry boys basketball's new head coach David Morris said about the hour roundtrip drive he took every day to get acquainted with the team before the season officially started on Nov. 16.
Looking at a team that has strung together only 10 wins the last three seasons, Morris said he's excited to once again help establish a program and culture as he did over a decade ago with Ogden.
Following the two-year stint of Aaron Lyons, Morris comes to Perry after serving as an assistant at Woodward Academy in 2019 and before that was the head coach at Ogden 13 years. With a record of 154-141 (.522) as a head coach, Morris oversaw six winning seasons and peaked in 2012 with a 20-3 record and second-place finish in the West Central Activities Conference.
Morris said roadblocks in the Raccoon River Conference aren't anything he hasn't seen before considering his experience in the WCAC's juggernauts like Van Meter and Des Moines Christian along with coaching against players like Michael Jordan's son and All-American Harrison Barnes in summer games.
"It's about getting these guys mentally ready to compete no matter what the outcome's going to look like. Just competing against themselves," Morris said about the mentality of preparing the team for such challenges ahead this season.
Adopting a roster that brings back just one part-time starter, Morris added that the motto for the year is to "Keep it Super Simple" and hopes to score fast with a spread-out attack.
No matter the talent pool, Morris' philosophy has been to equally distribute the ball. Even in his final year with the Bulldogs, Morris said he had all of two or three designed plays for his all-state player.
"That's kind of what I'm looking at now. You build on that process. It's a family. It's a team," Morris told the Perry Chief. "So [hopefully] I can get these guys to buy into the 'We've got to do it together.' I've never put the emphasis on one player."
In sync with the rest of the rebuilding process in Perry, Morris echoed an ambition of first-year head football coach Bryce Pierce, hoping to find wins that may not always come on the scoreboard. In 11 of 13 seasons with Ogden, the Bulldogs were an all-state academic team.
Morris will be joined on staff by first-year assistant coach Jason Lutterman. The Bluejays began their first official practice on Monday, Nov. 16.