2017-2018 Player Profile: Juwan Morgan

  • 10/26/2017 10:17 am in

With the start of college basketball season on the horizon, we’ve transitioned from our look at other Big Ten programs to our player-by-player previews of the 2017-18 Indiana roster. Today, our profiles continue with a look at Juwan Morgan.

If the Hoosiers are going to contend for a spot in the 2018 NCAA Tournament, Juwan Morgan will have to have a breakout season.

The 6-foot-7 forward struggled to stay healthy during his first two years in Bloomington, suffering a variety of injuries. He’s only missed eight total games but has been ineffective in others when not at 100 percent.

When healthy, however, there is perhaps no player as vital to the Hoosiers’ hopes. Morgan’s 122.2 offensive rating was the 2nd best on the team last season, behind James Blackmon Jr. (per KenPom).

As the Hoosiers wilted down the stretch of Tom Crean’s last campaign in Bloomington, Morgan was one of a few Hoosiers that consistently produced. In the final four games of the 2016-17 season, Morgan played 26.8 minutes per contest, posting averages of 12 points, 6.3 rebounds, one assist and two blocks while hitting on 68 percent of his field goal attempts (17-of-25).

Over the summer, Morgan was a college counselor at the Adidas Nations in the Houston. Morgan had the opportunity to play several games against some of the best upperclassmen and newcomers in college basketball.

In the three games Morgan played, he displayed an improved 3-point shot, connecting on 8-of-13 triples he attempted. It was a limited sample size, but a positive indicator his shot is progressing.

“It was a great experience just playing all the top players from college basketball and then even a few coming into college basketball like (Michael) Porter,” Morgan said at media day. “It was just a great experience being able to guard those guys. I think we played four or five games that whole weekend. And just being able to go against the best, it just really gave me, I guess, a measurement of where I’m at.”

Now a junior, Morgan knows he will be counted on to be one of the leaders for Archie Miller’s squad.

“I just have to take more responsibility and not just sit back and try to help on the side,” Morgan told the media in July. “I think I have to take initiative and actually put myself out there more and show the guys how it’s supposed to be done.”

In the Hoosier Hysteria scrimmage, Morgan struggled from deep but wasn’t afraid to shoot. Although his first two attempts from three were off, his willingness to shoot from deep was encouraging.

Bottom line: Morgan’s versatility will be key for the Hoosiers in Miller’s first season in Bloomington. The junior will be relied on to be productive on both ends of the floor and to cause matchup problems for the opposition. If he’s able to stay on the floor and hit on over 35 percent of his shots from three, it’s possible he earns Big Ten accolades come March.

Quotable: “Juwan really has an opportunity to create a new vision for himself from a basketball perspective. He’s a tremendous kid, a hard worker. But I think he’s having to learn a little bit about responsibility of production. He’s going to be asked to do things and get production in a way that he hasn’t, and that’s been interesting to kind of see how he’s developed, you know, not getting down on himself if things aren’t going well because he’s going to be needed to do things, not only with his voice, but his game,” Archie Miller on Morgan at IU media day last month.

PreviouslyJustin SmithClifton MooreAl Durham Jr., De’Ron Davis, Curtis Jones, Devonte Green

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  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    huge fan of JM, really hoping to see continued improvement and sustained health!!

  • John D Murphy

    I can’t wait to see what JM can do this year on D with real ball pressure in front of him and a consistent effective scheme around him. I think he has a chance to be the versatile defender in the B1G.

  • Mark Bando

    Yes, i agree, and its on defense where i think he will be so valuable. Not sure if he will ever be one of the top offensive guys on the team, but he doesnt have to be

  • Arch Puddington

    Juwan Morgan is toughness personified. He needs to become a bit more of a scoring threat for the Hoosiers to reach their full potential, but his defense and rebounding are great as-is, and his toughness is off the chart. Love the guy, and look forward to what he can become over the next two seasons.

  • Arch Puddington

    Seems to me that Juwan Morgan is the absolutely ideal pack-line defender. His length, balance, and timing are the perfect traits for lane-clogging, pass-deflecting, and help-side shot blocking. Archie should work wonders with him.

  • pcantidote

    Just the fact that these guys are always going to know what defense they are in and become experts at implementing the nuances of that defense I think will go a long way towards seeing guys like JM becoming noteworthy defenders.

  • bball at nick’s

    I have no doubt Juwan will be NBA material by the end of the season. I just feel it. He came in just as highly touted as OG, but he was the less flashy player and was slowed down by injury. I can’t wait to see him flourish.

  • TomJameson

    Yeah, that’s pretty much where I am on Juwan. Will be nice to see how he does when he’s injury free. Toughness personified … a very apt description of JM.

  • OLDIUFAN

    I agree … his biggest value to the team will be his defense … maybe as a possible “shut down” defender you put on the opposing team’s best offensive forward…. or even, in some cases, guarding guards.

  • sd chuck

    You already know what you are getting with JM! I think he will flourish with a team that all are dedicated to defense! Seems like 1-2 fouls @ game, he always picked up trying to cover someone who had beat they’re man. Not going to be flashy on offense, just doesn’t seem like that’s his game. Great kid!

  • Ivan Renko

    i sure hope so, and I love JM as a player and individual, but I’m definitely more bearish on his NBA potential. YES, he’s an excellent college player and will be integral to IU’s success these next two seasons (and I’d bet money he’s going to be at IU for two more seasons). I’m pretty sure we’ve debated this topic before actually haha.

    the style of play the NBA demands is, IMO, just out of JM’s talent/ability at this point. believe me, i want him to prove me wrong haha. and he’ll surely have plenty of opportunities to do so over the next 2 seasons. currently, however, here’s my take….

    the majority of his value will reside in his defensive and rebounding ability at the next level. if he offers little offensively in the NBA, he’s going to HAVE to be able to guard the best of them in order to carve out a role. there’s definitely some credence to the “poor man’s Draymond Green” comparisons, but can we reasonably expect JM to effectively guard/limit players like Kawhi, Jimmy Butler, Gordon Hayward, Blake Griffin, Paul Millsap, PG13, KLove, etc on a night-in/night-out basis? Draymond can, which is why he was DPOY. but I just can’t see JM doing so.

    It’s unfair for me to compare JM to the best in the NBA, but it’s what he would be up against.

  • bball at nick’s

    If his offense were to stay where it is now, I agree with you. But my prediction is based on the premise that his offensive game and production will burgeon this season. That’s what Archie has been pushing for, and what Juwan seems to have bought into.

  • Ivan Renko

    I’m right there with you if his offensive game takes that leap.

  • IdahoHoosier

    I can’t wait to see the improvement of all the guys including JM. I’m with Ivan though, in that I don’t see JM improving enough to be an NBA guy. He isn’t that big, hasn’t (so far) shown an assertive offensive game, and is quick but not super quick on defense. I see him as a 4 year IU guy, getting better each year. If JM can average for the season what he did the last 4 games last year (as listed above: 12 ppg, 6+rpg) I will be ecstatic. If he puts up better numbers than that against B1G competition I’ll recalculate my opinion on his NBA potential.

  • bball at nick’s

    I think your faculties tend to be more “rational”, and mine more “intuitive”, lol.

  • marcusgresham

    “toughness personified”
    Are you actually Chuck Crabbe, or are you just quoting him from Hoosier Hysteria?

  • marcusgresham

    Five, ten, fifteen years from now, when we discuss a list of our all time favorite Hoosiers–not necessarily the guys who went on the most success, but the ones everyone loved–one of the first names you’ll hear (after AJ Moye,) will be Juwan Morgan.

  • IdahoHoosier

    Hey the world needs both!

  • IdahoHoosier

    I’ll always have a soft spot for DJ White. Guy was a total stud on several bad teams but stuck it out. A lot to like about him.

  • VOXAC30

    AJ Moye, Juwan, Jarrad Odle, and Marshall Strictland all hard as nails!

  • Arch Puddington

    Neither! I’d chalk it up to “great minds think alike”, but my mind isn’t that great.

  • Piker

    Is it a recurring theme that we need guys to step up this year. Lost alot of the scoring this off season and now we need to concentrate on D and hope a couple guys turn into scorers. JM could be one of those guys along with a tuff D to compete this year.

  • iugradmark

    I think that Juwan will be asked to do more than almost any other player on the team this year. He is the only person of size (height and strength) to slide into DD’s spot when he is out and we are playing against some wide bodies. When CH is out, he will likely be asked to help with feeding the post, hitting inside and out and helping direct the offense. He will also be a critical rebounder for the team. I really want to see him healthy all season. I think he could be our MVP this year.

  • marcusgresham

    I just got a VOX VT100 a few weeks ago.

  • VOXAC30

    I don’t know how VOX does it – that thing has 2 12AX7 tubes for the pre-amp and it really is a fat sounding amp. I was a click away from getting the 40W version. The 100 W version is gigable did you get the foot switch also?

  • Juwan = Cornerstone

  • totally agree. He deserves a shot at being healthy for a full season. If healthy, he will be great. Sgt. Morgan!

  • Fair points, all. I’m a bit more bullish, so to speak. He was one of the few that finished last season on an upswing and showed glimpses of great toughness, aggressiveness, and leadership. As well as a solid defensive presence.

    On the Draymond Geen comparison: could Draymond Green as a junior defend the Draymond Green of today? Or in other words, who has a better junior season, today’s Juwan Morgan, or Green halfway through his college career?

    I’m willing to side with Juwan on these questions. I bet their stats are similar. Also, that doesn’t mean that Juwan is therefore guaranteed to be a better pro. But let’s compare apples to apples and be fair to Juwan. He’s going to be great!

  • Ivan Renko

    you’re very correct, their stats through 2 years are very similar, except Juwan actually shows more ability to shoot from deep.

    Draymond lept forward his final 2 years and ended up being the top scorer on the team his senior year. I remember watching how he could single-handedly take over a game offensively and defensively.

    it’s going to be really fun watching Juwan’s progression. I truly believe he could develop into NBA level talent after 2 more seasons. here’s to Juwan!

  • marcusgresham

    Not yet, but I need to so that I don’t have to turn around and move knobs every time we go to another song.
    The same day I got it, I also got a beautiful left-handed sparkly silver Gretsch Jet (Les Paul-style body.)

  • Juwan’s also been battling injuries the whole time, thus far.