Despite the best efforts of the coaching staff, Norris didn't initially pick South Dakota. But he's here now. And he's making a huge impact for the Coyotes.
The traditional role of the point guard is to distribute, find teammates and control the flow of the game. But Norris has been anything but traditional of late. He’s had to add a bit of a scoring punch.
“I’m a pass-first point guard, so I try to get my teammates involved,” Norris said. “When I see my teammates struggling. I try to be more aggressive on the scoring part of it. I feel like I balance it well, I feel like I do what coach James needs me to do for our team, and lately, I’ve just been scoring it pretty good.”
That’s not to say Norris has completely neglected his point guard duties, far from it. Despite being third on the team in scoring, Norris still dishes out a Summit League-leading 4.9 assists per contest.
It’s the ability to adapt and expand his role that has interim head coach Joey James impressed.
“He’s constantly working on his game, and I thought that was the biggest step he had to take from last year to this year, just by red-shirting,” James said. “He was really inconsistent from the 3, he was just more of a ‘dribble-drive’ type point guard , pull-up type of guy, try and get to the rim.”
“For guys playing off the ball, it’s like a dream come true,” added junior guard Brandon Bos. “Because you know he gets into gaps and you know he sees you. Even if he’s not looking at you, he’ll find you.”
And Norris is finding it much easier to be around the team this year, considering he actually gets a chance to play.
“It was very tough, just seeing my team. We only won 10 games last year, so I really wanted to get out there and help them any way I could.”
And now, he can help, knowing his coach has already shown how much he wants him out there
“He’s quick, he’s strong,” James said. “We recruited the heck out of that kid out of high school, we chased him all over. I mean, from Texas to Minnesota to Kansas City to California, I mean, we were everywhere.”
With a staff going everywhere, for a guard who can seemingly do everything, it’s no wonder #1 has already been making a difference in more than one way.
In addition to leading the Summit League in assists (4.9/gm) this season, Norris is also tied for third in the conference with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.7.