PITTSBURGH — Butler’s Ethan Morton is one of the most sought after sophomores in the country, and he recently started training with former Duquesne standout Micah Mason.
Mason starred for the Dukes from 2013-16 and spent time overseas playing for the Antwerp Giants, before deciding to return to Pittsburgh to be with his son and train at Mason Elite Hoops, a facility he runs with his father.
Over the last year and a half, Mason has worked some of the area’s top prep players, including Notre Dame commit and Mars guard Robby Carmody. He was introduced to Morton by the youngster’s high school coach Matt Clement. Since they’ve met, Morton has met with Mason at least once a week for more than a month.
Pittsburgh Sports Now caught up with Mason to get his evaluation of the talented Butler star.
“With the top guys, I’m trying to focus on the things they’re weakest at,” Mason said of his sessions with Morton. “That doesn’t mean anything he does he’s very weak at. We’re focusing a lot on his shooting, a lot on two-dribble pull-ups, his touch in the paint.”
“Like I said, that doesn’t mean he is weak at those things, just he’s not as good as attacking the whole way to the rim with his body.”
Aside from breaking down three of Morton’s game films, Mason had never seen the Butler star play before being introduced by Clement. So the former Duquesne sharpshooter entered their first workout together with an open mind, and Morton quickly impressed.
Always fun being in the gym with guys who want it bad, also willing to learn, and are never satisfied with average. Another good one with @EthanMorton_24 , Sophomore from Butler! pic.twitter.com/93Dg9zWsSz
— Mason Elite Hoops (@masonelitehoops) May 9, 2018
“When you’re a trainer, you notice when guys come in, their work effort is right on the table as soon as they walk in the door—you can see it,” Mason said. “The thing about him in 10th grade, how he respects the game of basketball, how hard he goes every rep, he’s hard on himself. He’s a perfectionist. He wants to get better.”
“The best thing about him—how I know he’s a high-level player—he doesn’t come in and think he’s too cool to learn. He’s open ears and wants to get better every time.”
Despite having two years of high school left, Morton is surely a top target for new Pitt head coach Jeff Capel. Morton is that rare point guard with a blend of size and court vision. He’s extremely adept at anticipating open lanes and delivering pinpoint-accurate passes, something Mason immediately recognized.
“His IQ and ability to see his teammates is next level,” Mason said. “You watch him play, he’s a point guard. He’s not selfish. He doesn’t care if he scores 30 points or gets his team involved.”
Having excelled at the Division I level, Mason’s breakdown of Morton will surely excite Pitt fans and local hoops fans in general.
“He’s elite,” Mason said. “You can tell right off the jump when he’s working out. He has what it takes to succeed at the next level…if schools are jumping the gun on him in 10th grade, there’s a reason.”
Mason did add Morton is in no rush to make a decision about his future, and their relationship has been strictly about improving the rising star’s game.
“I know he’s just taking it one day at time,” Mason said of Morton’s recruitment. “He’s getting a lot of offers, but he’s just focusing on his craft. That’s the main thing he has said.
“He’s said he’s not in a rush, and he’s not real stressed out about it, because it’s just fun for him. He’s working hard everyday and good things are happening for him.”