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Morey beginning to make big impact

Press Photo by Dustin Monke Dickinson State junior guard Robbie Morey, right, brings the ball up the floor against South Dakota Mines freshman Troy Whiteto III on Sunday during a nonconference men's basketball game at Scott Gymnasium.

Robbie Morey is becoming increasingly willing to take matters into his own hands on the basketball court.

For the first time in his career, the Dickinson State junior has expanded his leadership role beyond his off-the-court actions and it has resulted in a more aggressive, take-charge attitude on the court and is helping the struggling Blue Hawks, who have lost four in a row and play their final two games before Christmas at home this weekend at Scott Gymnasium.

"We've kind of been struggling the last couple games," Morey said. "We haven't been executing well offensively. So basically everybody's got to take it upon themselves and make the offense work."

For the first two years of his DSU career, the 6-foot-2 Dickinson Trinity High School graduate had relished in a role as a spot-up shooter and, every once in a while, was the Blue Hawks' primary ball-handler.

But, changes are beginning to take place in Morey's game.

Early in the first half against South Dakota Mines on Sunday, he drove the length of the court and powered in for a layup, an aspect of the game he excelled at in high school but something he hasn't done much of in a Blue Hawk uniform.

"It just depends on the role for the certain situation," Morey said of his aggressiveness this season. "Each player has their own set role. With the way I fit in to this team right now, that's kind of turned into my role as far as this year goes."

He finished 4 of 6 from the field for a season-high 10 points in a loss to the Hardrockers.

Blue Hawks head men's basketball coach Ty Orton likes what he's seen in Morey the past couple of weeks.

"He's our point guard right now, he's doing some good things with the ball and he's attacking," Orton said. "With the way our last couple of games have gone, our attack has just been terrible."

Though Morey is averaging just 5.2 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game while shooting 46 percent from the field and 7 of 15 from 3-point range, much of what he is doing for the Blue Hawks doesn't show up on a stat sheet.

Not only is he handling point guard duties when he's in the game, he's doing the dirty work -- setting picks, taking charges, diving for loose balls -- that gets Orton and his teammates fired up.

"He'll take a hit and it's not fazing him," Orton said. "He is like (former DSU standout guard) Nate Lebsock was. He's so big, he'll run into things and you think he'd get hurt and he doesn't. That's kind of where Robbie is at right now."

DSU junior guard Brock Boos went to Bowman County High School and had some great battles with Morey in their prep days. He said he has noticed a change in his teammate this season.

"Just knowing Robbie and playing with him for the past two-and-a-half years, I've got to know him and he's playing a lot more aggressive and we need that," DSU junior guard Brock Boos said. "He's just really playing hard."

Nonetheless, Morey said he isn't happy with the way the season has gone and said he expects more out of himself and his teammates.

DSU gets chances to improve when they host Oglala Lakota College at 7 p.m. Friday and Jamestown College at 6 p.m. Saturday.

"We need to start executing better, our defense has to pick up and, speaking for all of us, we're not at all satisfied with where we're at," Morey said.

Dustin Monke

Monke came to The Dickinson Press in July 2006 as the newspaper's sports editor and was hired as its managing editor in March 2013. During his tenure at The Press, Monke has won multiple awards for sports reporting, feature reporting, column writing, page design and photography. He was a key part of The Press winning the North Dakota Newspaper Association's General Excellence and Sweepstakes awards in 2009 and 2012, and oversaw The Press' Sweepstakes and General Excellence wins in 2014, as well as its national first-place honors for Community Leadership in the Inland Daily Press Association and contributed to the first-place Inland award for Investigative Reporting. As the newspaper's editor, he writes an occasional Sunday column, is a member of The Press' Editorial Board, contributes feature stories and breaking news, designs pages, and oversees the day-to-day operations of the newsroom and editorial staff. In his free time, he enjoys watching sports and action movies, exercises whenever his schedule allows, and spends every minute he can with his wife and son.

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