Class of 2015 forward Juwan Morgan impressed by Indiana visit

  • 06/17/2014 9:26 pm in

Class of 2015 Waynesville (Mo.) forward Juwan Morgan wasn’t expecting to see a fanbase that has an uncommon passion for its basketball program when he arrived in Bloomington.

When his visit was over, it was clear the support he saw for Indiana basketball over a two-day unofficial visit surpassed his expectations.

“Yes (it met them) and more, actually,” he told Inside the Hall on Tuesday evening. “At first I thought the fanbase was just like any other fanbase. But after seeing videos and things like that of games and the fans going crazy, it’s like you could feel it while you’re sitting there watching it on the screen.

“The whole place was nice and the people who were around the campus love the basketball team. Even just riding around the campus, there were people walking past the (golf) cart saying, ‘Go Hoosiers,’ and things like that. It was just a great experience.”

Rated the No. 98 prospect nationally by the 247Composite, the 6-foot-8, 210 pound Morgan has become a major priority for the Hoosiers in recent weeks.

Indiana scouted him with his MoKan Elite team in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) session in late April in Sacramento and in late May, began making a strong push in his recruitment.

“It was probably three weeks to a month ago,” he said. “At first it was just me talking to coach (Steve) McClain once or twice a week, but then after the Minnesota (EYBL) session was when it really started getting stronger and then they wanted me to come for a visit and that’s when they offered, which was like two weeks ago.”

The coaching staff is also pursuing Morgan’s AAU teammate, class of 2015 guard Shake Milton, who was on also on campus on Monday for an unofficial visit.

“Shake and I are real close,” Morgan said. “That was a great thing (that we visited together) because before we joked about going to college together and then a school like Indiana, if Indiana wants you to come play basketball for them, you don’t take that lightly. It was just cool that they are actually recruiting us both and it was just great being there with him.”

Morgan said he spent time meeting with the coaches, touring the campus and also playing in open gym while on his visit.

One of the things that stood out for Morgan was how the coaching staff and players interacted with him and made him feel like he was already on board with the program while on campus.

“It was a great experience, all of the coaches were real nice, real good people,” he said. “It felt like I was already a part of it with how they were treating and talking to me and with all of the players, how I fit in with them and everything.”

Getting a chance to play in open gym, he said, was a valuable experience because it allowed him to measure himself against talent similar to what he’ll face at the next level.

“I felt like I did pretty good for the most part,” he said. “On the rebounding, I could still get on the glass and get boards against bigger and stronger people. I do have to work on getting stronger and faster because that was like a whole other level playing with them.”

Morgan, who is averaging 10.9 points on 69.2 percent shooting in EYBL play to go along with 6.2 rebounds per game, already has a plan for the rest of the summer and the fall as far as recruiting goes.

Besides Indiana, he mentioned Creighton, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt, Washington, Northwestern and Arkansas as the schools recruiting him the hardest.

“I’m still just taking visits and everything and officials will come probably around September or October,” Morgan said. “And then I’ll be making my decision in November before the high school season starts.”

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  • Miamihoosier

    If he’s shooting 70% from the field, he’s obviously a banger down low (despite being just 210lb)….we need guys like this to establish consistency in the program. If he came in next season, went against Hanner in practice every day, backed him up in games, by his Sophomore year, he’d be ready to step in and we’d likely not miss a beat. That whole “next man up” has been missing in Crean’s first 5 seasons..

  • PocketHoosier

    Wait, we’re trying to recruit players outside of the top 10? Rabble! Rabble Rabble!
    (for the record, I’m making fun of the silliness surrounding recruiting ranks)

  • The quote that stood out to me was: “It was a great experience, all of the coaches were real nice, real good
    people,” he said. “It felt like I was already a part of it with how
    they were treating and talking to me and with all of the players, how I
    fit in with them and everything.” I think some people on here had the misconception that our guys were selfish and maybe unwilling to gel together. Maybe last year was just exactly what we are unwilling to admit…..A tough transition year.

  • SCHoosier

    On point..I’d rather recruit a very good player with upside potential (diamond in the rough so to speak) who will b e around for a while..than a five star who just wants a one year polishing for NBA bling.

  • VAHoosier

    Really impressed with Milton and Morgan, not just as players but as young men. They’re both going to get lots more offers, but I hope they remember how great their trip to Bloomington was when it comes time to make a decision.

  • marcusgresham

    If he plays against Hanner in practice every day, at the very least he’ll learn how to play while absorbing contact.

  • marcusgresham

    Could you imagine a Bob Knight recruit saying the same thing? “He cussed me out just like the older guys.”

  • shknqk

    Book at least one of these kids…

    I get great vibes on fit, character, academic importance, talented but not entitled…

  • PocketHoosier

    It’s pretty a pretty generic opinion, but I feel that it’s much less important to stack a starting lineup with top 25 talent than it is to trust the coaching staff to find players that fit their system and have specific qualities and characteristics that represent the program. You build around those guys to develop and maintain a culture.

    Then once that culture is a systemic thing, you target to bring in the “missing pieces” from the Top 25 and try to make a run. Building out a roster of players that have been told their entire lives by sycophants that they’re the best in the world is a recipe for disaster without extremely careful management by the coaching staff. Only one person can have the ball at any one time, and nearly all of the “single digit through teens” recruits have aspirations of big bucks at the professional level. You can bring in one of them or two of them that have very good chemistry, but their presence can easily poison an entire roster.

    I personally like the way Crean has gone about building the roster. The recruiting process is very, very drawn out and we are still in the “near-post-Cody” era where Indiana recruiting is trying to make a hard shift away from the “post-Sampson” era where recruits were offered very early to try to get them on-board before they became top tier high school prospects. Crean had to do this gamble to get in on players before other programs got a chance to poison them against us with Kelvin Sampson rhetoric. Now, the Hoosiers are not desperate for 3* talent that might ‘overachieve’ and had a 5* PF early commit end up decommitting. Had he not been such an early commit, Crean would have almost definitely been in better position with other talent that would have been more serious about coming to IU. The sweetheart deal that the Lyles reportedly demanded as a price for Indiana to retain him was just way too much. Notice that the coaching structure at Kentucky has not changed; they were so full of themselves that they thought that kind of quid pro quo was just a way to do business, and I’d bet you dollars to donuts that they at least floated the idea to other schools after his decommitment and realized that they weren’t going to get any bites because it was so outlandish.

    When people want to try to tear down the upcoming season’s roster, remember that Trey Lyles was supposed to be on it.

  • PocketHoosier

    Crean mentioned at Huber that last year’s team was much too “buddy buddy” with each other and didn’t demand the excellence from each other that great teams and teammates demand.

    He didn’t think that they got along too well, but he thought that the leadership on the team helped enable mistakes and create the culture that not being the best team in the nation was acceptable.

  • VAHoosier

    I wish I could share your optimism, but 2016 is way far off. But, if we get one, I feel like there’s a decent chance we’ll get both. Sounds like they’d like to play together. And I agree they both would be a great fit in terms of character/personality.