Men's basketball

Former Crete-Monee star Orris bound for NCAA tournament with Kansas St.

2013-03-18T18:15:00Z 2013-03-19T01:20:28Z Former Crete-Monee star Orris bound for NCAA tournament with Kansas St.Bobby La Gesse Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
March 18, 2013 6:15 pm  • 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. | As Michael Orris ran off the court following No 7 Kansas State’s victory over No. 14 Oklahoma State in the Big 12 semifinals on Friday, he flashed a smile.

Why wouldn’t he?

It’s a great time for the former Crete-Monee standout to be a Wildcat.

Kansas State won a share of the Big 12 regular season title and a No. 4 seed in the NCAA tournament even after losing the conference tournament title game to Kansas, 70-54, on Saturday.

“I’m just happy I could be a part of it,” Orris said.

Orris had an up-close view of the Wildcats' success as a freshman. While he hasn’t seen much playing time, Orris has taken mental notes.

He plans to put them to use in his final three seasons.

“It’s been a change from what I’m used to, not playing,” Orris said, “but it’s a blessing in disguise for me.”

Orris played in 14 regular-season games and scored four points. Most of what he picked up this season came in practice, going head-to-head with fellow point guard Angel Hernandez, a second-team all-conference selection, and Martavious Irving.

“They’ve done a good job of showing me the ropes,” Orris said.

Hernandez is amazed with Orris’ energy and toughness.

“You can’t teach a motor,” he said.

Hernandez sees a player similar to himself when he arrived at Kansas State a year ago.

“He’s got to develop his shot,” Hernandez said. “He’s not the first player that’s had to do that. I didn’t have a great shooting season last season, and this year I’m shooting it better. He’s going to learn and get better.”

Orris’ is also focused on improving his ball-handling, especially when facing intense pressure.

“Coach always says ball security is job security,” Orris said. “So I have to be solid with the basketball.”

Like most freshmen, it was a tough transition from high school for Orris. Kansas State coach Bruce Weber called it “culture shock,” between the faster pace of the college game and the tougher competition, which Orris needed to adjust to.

Weber is now seeing the same Orris take the court over the last six weeks that he watched on the recruiting trail, a kid out of the mold of Ohio State guard Aaron Craft, someone who is tough, can defend and will fight for every inch on the hardwood.

“He is not the most athletic,” Weber said. “He is not going to be doing 360s, but he is very intelligent and very smart. He knows how to play, and we hope he can take a big step a year from now.”

It wouldn’t surprise Hernandez if that role was as a perimeter defensive stopper.

“When he wants to, he can get after it,” Hernandez said.

What Orris wants right now is a lengthy stay in the Big Dance. He has an entire offseason to work on his game put himself in a spot to contribute in the future.

This March it’s all about enjoying the ride.

“We can really go far,” Orris said. “You see how we played against (Oklahoma State). We can go and make a big run.”

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Fan Poll

Loading…

Which school has the area's best girls cross country team?

View Results

Follow your school

Duneland Conference

Chesterton Trojans
News
Crown Point Bulldogs
News
Lake Central Indians
News
LaPorte Slicers
News
Merrillville Pirates
News
Michigan City Wolves
News
Portage Indians
News
Valparaiso Vikings
News

Greater South Shore Conference

Bishop Noll Warriors
News
Calumet Warriors
News
Lake Station Eagles
News
Michigan City Marquette Blazers
News
North Newton Spartans
News
River Forest Ingots
News
Wheeler Bearcats
News
Whiting Oilers
News

Great Lakes Athletic Conference

Clark Pioneers
News
Gavit Gladiators
News
Hammond Wildcats
News
Morton Governors
News

Hoosier Conference

Rensselaer Bombers
News

Northwest Crossroads Conference

Andrean 59ers
News
Griffith Panthers
News
Highland Trojans
News
Hobart Brickies
News
Kankakee Valley Kougars
News
Lowell Red Devils
News
Munster Mustangs
News

Northwestern Conference

Lew Wallace Hornets
News
Roosevelt Panthers
News
West Side Cougars
News

Porter County Conference

Boone Grove Wolves
News
Hanover Central Wildcats
News
Hebron Hawks
News
Kouts Mustangs/Fillies
News
LaCrosse Tigers
News
Morgan Twp. Cherokees
News
South Central Satellites
News
Washington Twp. Senators
News
Westville Blackhawks
News

Independents

Bowman Academy Eagles
News
Calumet Christian
News
Campagna Academy
News
Covenant Christian Knights
News
E.C. Central Cardinals
News
Hammond Baptist Swordsman
News
Luther East Eagles
News

Chicago Catholic League

Mt. Carmel Caravan
News
Seton Academy Sting
News
St. Francis deSales Pioneers
News

Chicago Public League

Washington Minutemen/Minutewomen
News

East Suburban Catholic

Marian Catholic Spartans
News

Metro Suburban

Illiana Christian Vikings
News

River Valley Conference

Beecher Bobcats/Ladycats
News
Illinios Lutheran Chargers
News

South Suburban Blue

T.F. North Meteors
News
T.F. South Rebels
News

Southland Athletic Conference

Bloom Twp. Blazin' Trojans
News
Crete-Monee Warriors
News

SouthWest Suburban Blue

Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings
News

SouthWest Suburban Red

Thornridge Falcons
News
Thornton Wildcats
News
Thornwood Thunderbirds
News

Latest Local Offers