In an era when top Granite State basketball talent is sprinkled around the top Division III programs in New England, East Hampstead’s Brennan Morris rises to the top.
The junior at Tufts University is the consummate scorer. Morris has started every game since the start of his sophomore year and is currently averaging 10.7 points a game on a team with a record of 16-4.
“He’s just a knockdown shooter,” Tufts coach Bob Sheldon said. “He’s athletic. He’s 6-4, 210 (pounds). He’s an athlete and plays the game hard and was smart enough to get into Tufts.”
Morris has been a key piece in Tufts’ turnaround. After getting put through the grinder last year en route to a 12-14 record, the Jumbos have turned it around and put themselves in a spot to make a push for an NCAA tournament bid.
Before Tufts, Morris shined at Pinkerton Academy, where he was part of an Astros team that made the state title game in 2015, one of only two Pinkerton teams to make a final this century.
After Pinkerton, Morris played a post-graduate year at Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Conn.
“I just thought it was a great fit for me,” Morris said of Tufts. “Coming out of prep school. I wanted to get a great education and play basketball, and that led to Tufts, one of the top schools in the country.”
One thing that’s helped Morris get to this point in his career has been the talent he’s been able to practice against. Morris played alongside current Rutgers star Geo Baker at Pinkerton and played against a slew of top talent as part of the DC Blue Devils AAU program.
Those players include current Fairfield junior Caleb Green as well as recent Saint Anselm graduate Cody Ball. Both are from Londonderry.
“It really opened your eyes to the world,” Morris said. “(In) New Hampshire public schools, you don’t see a lot of players go high-major D1 like Geo. It just opens you to the work they put in and all the skills it takes to play at that level.”
Morris played his first college game in his home state last Tuesday when Tufts traveled to Henniker to play New England College. Despite Tufts falling 59-56, Morris led the Jumbos with 13 points in 28 minutes of action.
Over the weekend, Morris started his 44th and 45th consecutive games for the Jumbos, including a win over fifth-ranked Colby on Saturday.
Although his scoring average has dropped slightly, Morris averaged 13.9 points a game last season. His play on the court has improved in other facets, and Sheldon said that he could be putting up bigger numbers but has focused on making others on the team better players.
“We’ve got some good pieces around him and we’re very deep,” Sheldon said. “On some other teams, he might average 25. I don’t know where his ceiling is, but it’s high.”
The Jumbos will finish the season with four straight road games, including a date at nationally ranked Middlebury on Valentine’s Day. The Jumbos eliminated then top-seeded Middlebury in the opening round of the conference tournament last season.