Transcript: Juwan Morgan post-announcement presser

  • 09/10/2014 10:03 pm in

Class of 2015 Waynesville (Mo.) forward Juwan Morgan committed to Indiana on Wednesday night. Afterward, he addressed the assembled media at his high school.

Here’s a full transcript of the press conference:

Q. Reiterate again some of the factors involved in your decision to select Indiana.

Juwan Morgan: Well first off, academics was always the first thing because I do want to get my degree, but also things such as player development, impact on the court as soon as I get there and kind of the family feeling about the team. Those were some big things for me in the decision.

Q. Talk about your visit to Indiana and how that swayed you to make your final selection.

JM: As soon as I stepped on the campus, I knew it was the place for me. Just being around the players and all of the coaches, it was like I was already a part of the team and that was just a great feeling.

Q. Has a weight been lifted off your shoulders now?

JM: Yeah, it’s a huge weight, especially with everyone asking me where I’m going.

Q. How’d you keep it so tight lipped the past few days?

JM: Really I kind of just kept off to myself a little bit and the basketball team, that’s all the people I was around the whole time.

Q. Juwan, can you kind of take us through the timeline of your final four, five, six choices and how you managed to narrow everything down?

JM: Well, I knew that I wanted to visit Indiana from the time they started recruiting me. And other schools like Washington and Creighton, I’d been talking to them and building a relationship with them for a year, almost two years. Vanderbilt and Stanford, those are two of the best academic schools and great at basketball as well that I had on my list so I wanted to get out to those places as well.

Q. You had a couple of other official visits planned as well, right?

JM: Correct.

Q. Why did you decide to cut the process after going to Indiana and make the decision now?

JM: I felt like it was only fair to those coaches because if I knew I wanted to go to Indiana, I didn’t want to go and waste their time.

Q. Did the summer change the way coaches were talking to you?

JM: I felt like it was business as usual, but before coaches were kind of viewing me as a second or third choice if they didn’t get their first guy. But after the summer, they realized the things that I could do because I had a bigger role on my AAU team and they started viewing me as a first option.

Q. Did you tell anybody before today who you were choosing?

JM: I told a few people. I told my Dad, I told my closest friends on the basketball team.

Q. What did it make you feel to see the turnout of people here today?

JM: It felt great. Sometimes, I don’t even know who is watching, but someone can always be looking up to you and it’s just a great feeling having that community behind you.

Q. Juwan, did you ever get tired of the recruiting process? Were you ever anxious for it to end?

JM: Coming toward the end of the AAU circuit, I started getting anxious when everyone was committing and I felt like I wanted to right then and there. But I knew to just wait it out a little bit and the right decision would come.

Q. You mentioned Missouri State by name (during the announcement) and Coach (Paul) Lusk. Talk about your relationship with them and was there ever a draw to stay close to home and play for them?

JM: At first there was. Coach Lusk, he was the very first coach to call me and the very first coach to come and see me. He’s probably doubled every other coach in coming to see me and talk to me. I was able to build a great relationship [with him] and even the Missouri State players as well.

Q. Was there ever a “wow” moment for you in the recruiting process?

JM: Pretty much every time I was on the phone with the coaches it was kind of unreal.

Q. What do you have to do to be competitive at Indiana now?

JM: I feel like I have to go in with the same mindset that I have in high school and AAU and I just can’t let anyone outwork me and I have to earn my spot and always put that work to keep that spot.

Q. What have you done to improve your game over the last 12 months?

JM: Playing up with MoKan really opened my eyes. There’s tons of people better than me out there. I don’t like people being better than me so that just made me put in work to get to that spot where they are and eventually pass them.

Q. What are you going to major in?

JM: Sports communication.

Q. Now that this is all over with, what’s your next step?

JM: My next step is to go and win a state ring.

Filed to:

  • notfargj

    “I just can’t let anyone outwork me…”

  • HoosierGrampy

    Welcome to Indiana! You’ll come to like it here in B’town!

  • RKJackson23

    This guy sounds like the real deal with a Vic, Jordy, Sheehey mentality. ALWAYS a welcoming site to see. Should be a great player for us.

  • Nice get here. The more I hear, the more I like. On to the next…a true center or another great guard.if yogi, JBJ, and Williams are around for 2015 we could have a very special team.

  • Snookafly

    “I don’t like people being better than me…”

  • CheesyHoosier

    I’m unreasonably optimistic about a Zimmerman commit if he starts showing interest, hopefully we can start getting traction with him. With Zimmerman and Juwan + Troy, Stan, Yogi, JBJ, Rob… Yeesh we’d be in a good way. Plus we still haven’t seen Emmitt play and they’ll (Emmitt and Juwan) compete with each other for playing time from day one.

  • Dean Olson

    Zimmerman isn’t happening. My inner Cubs fan is pretty sure.

  • Bryce Kepner

    Zimmerman isn’t happening. He just barely gave us an in home visit, but no OV to the school. I can’t wait to see the combo of Emmitt and Juwan play together

  • JetpackJunky

    Same quality that made Will Sheehey the Sixth Man of the Year and an essential leader on the team…

  • JetpackJunky

    If Yogi, JBJ, and Troy all stay then I feel bad for the lower ranked guys we brought it who are moving on.

    Though, a Nat Champ will soothe that badness for me.

  • Michael Crawley

    I want a degree… OMG we are going to have him for more than 2 years. Am I wrong cause I really dont know these kids but they seem like All American 1950s gee wiz I guess Apple pie eating kids. Golly it is really swell that Juwan will dunk on your head with authority. I’m so stoked welcome to Hoosier Nation.. I am so glad you chose us Juwan we are excited for and about you being a Hoosier

  • Derek Morris

    wow – this young man GETS IT!!! I’m very impressed by his attitude and manner.

  • Derek Morris

    great thought – that is definitely similar to Will’s demeanor.

  • This seems like a really good get. I love the kid’s attitude and demeanor. Seems like Crean and the other coaches are really pursuing the high character guys who want to work hard. That’s always okay in my book. That’s IU.

  • Hoosier Pride

    now lets go get some guards!!

  • Hoosier Pride


  • hardly

    Why worry? A kid moves across the country on a promise he’ll get a few years to develop into a contributor and get a top notch education then has the rug pulled out from under them after their first year, only to be pushed out when higher profile recruits are signed. Seems totally fair and ethical to me, and it’s something we all can be really proud of(that’s sarcasm, in case it wasn’t obvious.)

  • Hoosier Pride

    At the end of the day I want kids who want IU for the right reasons, with high character and strong work ethics. Juwan seems to fit those categories and cant wait to see him in candy stripes.

  • Brklynhoosier

    OR… a kid no one’s bothered to recruit/take a second-look at is discovered by a top-notch coaching staff who have an immediate need and see something in him. He’s given a chance to come in and prove himself. Best-case, he comes in, busts his butt, shows what he’s all about. And the worst? Over a year’s time, his profile has risen immeasurably, and he gets a chance to transfer/play somewhere else, far better than any of the schools that were calling when he was in high/prep school. I call that a win-win.

  • Candy Striped Kid

    or Will “I Hate to Lose and I Hate Tonight” Sheehey

  • JetpackJunky

    Just like I told him that night, “well then, you shouldn’t have lost”

  • JetpackJunky

    I agree for the most part with this line of thinking. Though, it’s important to draw a distinction here between players like ‘Nilla Prilla and Hollowell.

    If Priller plays some minutes this year even deep down the rotation and looks good? Then he could transfer someone MUCH better than Incarnate Word and has improved his position by coming here. (Not that I think it should or am saying this will happen, he’s just a recruit that we all know well his other offers).

    But, Hollowell could have gone somewhere between Georgia State and Indiana in quality and maybe gotten to remain there. So, I feel bad about that.

    Encouraging transfers takes the risks of recruiting off the coaches and moves it to the players, which, I’m uncomfortable with. If you make a bad decision recruiting someone who was overranked it should be harder to ditch them.

  • hardly

    you can justify it however you like if that’s what you need to feel better about it. i highly doubt that is the story these kids are told when they’re recruited, and I’m quite sure the parents weren’t told this(if someone can show me I’m wrong, then I’ll be happy to admit it.) would it be fair if the university started rescinding a four year academic scholarship(assuming all requirements had been met) with the excuse ‘sorry, we found someone smarter than you…good luck.’ No, it wouldn’t be cool. The key is to choose wisely and only offer kids to which you’re willing to make a four year commitment.

  • INUnivHoosier

    I think Hollowell is a different situation than a guy coming and busting his butt.

  • Brklynhoosier

    I had a 4-year academic scholarship, and I can tell you that to keep it I had to maintain a 3.4. Commitment’s a 2-way street, no one’s entitled to 4 years…

  • hardly

    y – agree. definitely a 2 way street. the athlete gets punished for a transfer already(maybe they should lose a year of eligibility unless there are outside circumstances?) It can be taken too far, but hopefully there’s a happy medium somewhere.

  • JetpackJunky

    Yeah, but he was the first high-ranked recruit turned transfer that came to mind.

  • notfargj

    his comments remind me a lot of victor. let’s hope he continues to embrace this mentality.

  • HoosierGrampy

    Sheehey as a Junior versus Sheehey as a Senior = world’s apart. In his Senior year, he disappeared for significant portions in key games and lost his “edge”.

  • JetpackJunky

    That’s why I cited his Sixth Man time. I loved him as a Junior, disliked him as a Senior. He was never a starter, he was a burst of energy and determination at critical moments and a leader off the court. Once he started he lost that.

  • Hoosier Pride

    Georgia State has come along way, they are no slouch. Going to be one of the top mid majors this year. Went 25-9 last year. Have RJ Hunter from Pike who has turned into quite the ball player as well as Ryan Harrow, a transfer from our pUKe friends.

  • JetpackJunky

    Still a downgrade from us or wherever else he could have been if we hadn’t signed him.

    Though, who isn’t a downgrade from us? We’re the best.