Juwan Morgan ‘feels great’ following commitment to Indiana

  • 09/11/2014 7:02 am in

When class of 2015 forward Juwan Morgan chose to make his college announcement on air Wednesday night via a globally-broadcast YouTube stream, he chose not to advise the Indiana coaching staff of his decision beforehand.

So after he finished his announcement that he will be attending IU next fall, his next step was to get his phone and call Hoosiers coach Tom Crean to inform him of the good news. But when he went to make the call, he saw Crean had already sent a text message congratulating him. As had each member of the IU coaching staff.

“He just said he couldn’t wait to get me on campus and everything,” Morgan told Inside the Hall on Wednesday evening. “All the coaches texted me, actually.

“It feels great finally being committed and everything, especially to as great of a place as Indiana.”

Morgan described Indiana as a “perfect fit” for him, something he knew instantly when he arrived in Bloomington for the first time for an unofficial visit in June. But the Hoosiers had just started recruiting him, and the 6-foot-9 forward admitted he “didn’t think it was” possible he could end up at Indiana. He knew, though, after playing with the team during that visit that he could easily fit into the system.

And the Hoosiers continued to make him a priority on the recruiting trail. They offered him a scholarship. They invited him for an official visit, which Morgan took this past weekend.

On the court, Morgan’s prowess grew. By the end of the summer, he was rated the No. 87 overall prospect in the 2015 class (according to the 247Sports Composite), and he had earned EYBL honors as its most improved player for his role on MoKan Elite.

Morgan also was highly recruited and scheduled official visits to Vanderbilt, Creighton, Stanford and Washington, eventually turning down offers from the likes of Harvard and Princeton, as well.

“He’s only started to begin to scratch the surface of how good he could actually be,” MoKan Elite coach Rodney Perry said. “One of the things is people don’t realize how well he can shoot the basketball from the perimeter and from three. That’s something he had to do on his team and he had to play a little bit out of position for us. He’s a four-man that had to play some post for us, but he can really shoot it, he can handle it and he’s a really good passer.”

But when Morgan arrived in Bloomington last Thursday for his official visit, that first night he knew the decision had been made. He wanted to be a Hoosier.

“It kinda hit me the first day I was there, the first day I was on campus,” Morgan said. “When I was with James (Blackmon Jr.) and Rob (Johnson) and just talking with them on that day, I just knew it was supposed to be.”

Throughout the visit, Morgan said he felt at home. Just a day after returning to his home in Waynesville, Missouri, he announced he would make his decision on Wednesday night.

“Even just being there, I felt I was already a part of the team,” Morgan said. “And I had that great feeling from the first time I was there.”

And so it came with no hesitation when Morgan announced he would “further my education at Indiana University” on Wednesday night, choosing the Hoosiers over Vanderbilt.

“A steal,” Perry said. “That’s the first thing, they’re getting a steal.

“He’s 6-8, he’s athletic, he’s a competitor, he’s a winner. And so I think you’ve got to love that factor there. He’s athletic, blocks shots, runs the floor, catches lobs, can hit the three. He makes his teammates better. And even more than what they’ll love about him is he’s a great person and you’ll never have to worry about him on the floor or off the floor.”

Of course, Morgan said his ultimate goal is to get to the NBA. He said he has confidence in Crean and the Hoosiers staff in being able to get him there — “especially with Cody Zeller and Noah Vonleh being the same position” — but knows he has a long way to go. He said he has to get stronger, continue to work on his ball-handling and shot release, among other aspects of his game.

But even on the night of celebration after committing to Indiana, Morgan had to cut it short. He had work to attend to on Thursday.

“I’ve got to get to school for 5:30 a.m. workouts,” he said.

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  • Ole Man

    Starting to really like this kid.

  • Gregory J. Haggard

    I’m very impressed, he says all the right things, and anyone who mentions him speaks highly.
    Kudos to the coaching staff on a great find.

  • Alford Bailey

    Bet he is top 50 by the end of the season. THESE are the type of guys IU should be landing consistently. Way to get back on track CTC.

  • Brad

    As much as five star guys are nice to have, I agree with you 100%. You can’t ask for much more than a rising four star gym rat. He’ll be here more than one year and only get better.

  • josephmoore264

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  • 323SGrant

    5:30 a.m. workout for a high schooler. Impressive!

  • KmanCRK

    Keep these hard working, high character, high ceiling, top 100 kids rolling in!! This is a great start to the 2015 class. If this class can land a top 50 big man, look out…

  • Crimson&CremeFraiche

    I definitely think that we got a steal. I love that we don’t get entitled players. He knows that he has to work hard to achieve his goals. Nice work CTC and staff. Welcome aboard Juwan!

  • BlakeD1223

    Each new recruit just gets me more and more excited for basketball to start. I’m ready to yell at my tv and team again!

  • Outoftheloop

    A truly great kid! Yes, he excites the fan base!

  • iubase

    Sounds like Blackmon and Johnson clinched the deal here. I think James is going to be a huge attribute to this program. He and Johnson with Yogi create an environment that should pull in some winners. Morgan fits the mold of what CTC does best. Nurturing an athletic player with character who is willing to dig down deep. VO and Wade are his two best examples. If Troy hits his mid range and plays D he could be there as well.

  • Outoftheloop

    I knew that those icebergs were really “melting”!

  • FinEndNow

    Is he allowed to keep his hair? If so.. THAT IS WONDERFUL. And when will Crean start letting players where headbands and sleeves?

  • FinEndNow

    As long as we can mix in 5 star guys with them.

  • ForeverIU

    It means more to me to be picked over Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, Vanderbilt (my dad’s alma mater), Arkansas (my alma mater) than it does over a Kansas, Duke, Kentucky, etc. etc. There is something about this kid that reminds me of Cody Zeller. Maybe it’s that Hoosier Indiana mystique that he seems to have connected to instinctively. He’s the kind of player I have been waiting for for a long time.

  • FinEndNow

    Lets be real… if Juwan Morgan has half the impact that Zeller did then we’re a Top 10 team. Zeller is arguably a Top 10 player in Indiana history. We just need Morgan to come in and play hard. We don’t need anything special. If he turns out great then that is awesome.

  • inLinE6

    True. The kid has 4.0 GPA and can be a realllly good student too. He has all the potential to be successful, both on and off the court. He’ll be representing the university well even years after he graduates.

  • inLinE6

    That’s what I knew from the very beginning. He has 4.0 GPA and he’ll stay around for more than 1 year and get a degree for sure.

  • inLinE6

    That’s what VO did and VO has 1 hour on the road too, IIRC.

  • JJ

    Great get. Seems like he’s got a great head on his shoulders. I’m very excited to see this team this year, but more so next.

    This may sound crazy but screw the 5* one-and-done type guys. This is how you build a consistent winner and return to national prominence by being relevant and in the national conversation.

  • Ole Man

    Hey; I can get “soft” once in a while…LOL!

  • MisterSlippery

    Can’t tell if this is a serious comment or not. Not knocking you, just curious.

  • Caleb Moore

    Stan wore a short sleeve white shirt underneath last year. I doubt there is any kind of dress code for the players on the court when it comes to sleeves and headbands as long as you keep it tight. But I personally think the sleeves look rediculous.

  • Gregory Spera

    I think Holt and Morgan will make an excellent future forward tandem. Their skill sets would seem to complement each other. As with these two young men, Crean seems to be “betting on the come” and getting in on some talented players that are only just starting to break nationally.

  • Ole Man

    Arkansas? I thought you told us you had a college degree?
    (LOL! Just kiddin’….sorta!)

  • Ole Man

    Slight disagreement; though not necessarily about Morgan.
    We’ve got kids playing hard now. We do need something “special”.

  • ForeverIU

    I had my best education in Arkansas. Some real hidden gems south of the Mason-Dixon line, like our recruits 🙂

  • Gregory Spera

    Just on the one-in-a-million chance that he might see this… Caleb he didn’t mean you!

  • INUnivHoosier

    When they get into the NBA. Then, they can wear all the headbands and sleeves they want.

  • Gregory Spera

    Why wouldn’t he be able to keep that rockin’ coiffure? A player can’t have big hair? You mean to tell me Dr. J couldn’t have played for Crean?

  • Outoftheloop

    Check your mailbox, there just might be a “hoghead” stuffed inside it.

  • Outoftheloop

    Luv it Ole!

  • SCHoosier

    If you equalize “betting on the come” with “confidence in IU’s ability to “develop players”..then I agree with you. April, Hoetzel, Priller all have the potential to be excellent players by the time they are juniors.. if Coach martin’s new slogan “you get better at IU” holds true.


    Hey Caleb, what Gregory said !

  • 323SGrant

    VO is also impressive!

  • FinEndNow

    Hanner looks pretty good on the court with sleeves on. JBJ wore one in high school at times. A lot of players do. Heck even Vic and Cody wore them at times last year lol. It is a silly thing from Crean. Some coaches are like that. But I think it is silly to not let players be free… (Just an observation just look at the other top schools.. UK, KU, Duke..)

  • FinEndNow

    How many kids have we had with hair like that? Am I right?

  • Eugene Debs

    This is a good pickup. Solid.