Sports

It Would Be an Honor to Get Run Over By the Ja Morant Hype Train

HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT - MARCH 21:  Ja Morant #12 of the Murray State Racers celebrates scoring at the end of the first half during the first round game of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament against the Marquette Golden Eagles at XL Center on March 21, 2019 in Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Ja Morant, ladies and gentlemen.
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Unless you’re a diehard college basketball fan with a NORAD-grade satellite package, chances are you haven’t seen much of Ja Morant. Murray State’s sophomore point guard will be a top-3 pick in this year’s NBA draft, and he’s built most of his resume within the confines of the Ohio Valley Conference. For those who lack object permanence, Morant’s accomplishments against the Austin Peays and Tennessee Techs of the world were non-events. He’s been a tree falling in the forest, but Thursday’s NCAA Tournament game against No. 5 seed Marquette gave him a chance to make some noise, and the No. 12 seed Racers ran all over the Golden Eagles. They won the first-round matchup, 83-64, and Morant packed his triple-double performance with enough highlights bring the uninitiated up to speed.

Morant was everywhere and his stat line reflects this: 17 points, 11 rebounds, and 16 assists. What the box score doesn’t show is how much fun he is to watch. It’s just the first round, but Morant already had the dunk of the tournament, a filthy, two-handed slam that sent Marquette’s Joey Hauser back to Wisconsin under the care of witness protection.

You’re going to want to see that from a couple more angles. Hell, you’re going to want to watch it on IMAX.

Morant only took nine shots all game. He spent much of his energy providing for his teammates, like he did with this left-handed whip pass. (He’s right-handed, by the way.)

He might have eyes on the sides of his head, like a bird or some sort of gecko. How else do you explain this alley-oop?

If lizard vision doesn’t impress you, may I suggest a Harden-like step-back 3-pointer?

There’s still time to hop on the Ja Morant hype train. Murray State plays Florida State in the second round on Saturday, and you’re going to want to see him with your own eyes.