Indiana junior Juwan Morgan will return to Bloomington for his senior season, Inside the Hall has learned.
The 6-foot-8 forward made the decision to return on Tuesday, just a day before Wednesday’s deadline to withdraw from the 2018 NBA draft. He confirmed the news via his Instagram account:
Morgan, a second team All-Big Ten selection last season, averaged 16.5 points and 7.4 rebounds in 29.4 minutes per game. Despite not being invited to the NBA draft combine in Chicago, Morgan had several workouts for NBA teams before deciding to return to school.
The Waynesville (Mo.) product will be Indiana’s leading returning scorer next season and one of the Big Ten’s top returning players. As a junior, Morgan was sixth in the conference in scoring in league play and fifth in rebounding.
The Hoosiers lost five scholarship players – Robert Johnson, Freddie McSwain, Josh Newkirk, Collin Hartman and Tim Priller – to graduation. Morgan’s return means that Indiana has 13 scholarship players on the 2018-19 roster, which is the NCAA limit.
Morgan started 30 of Indiana’s 31 games last season and is just 170 points from 1,000 in his career. He shot a career-best 57.9 percent from the field as a junior and also averaged 1.8 assists, 1.8 blocks and 1.4 steals per game.
After spending most of his time as a freshman and sophomore as a role player, Morgan emerged as Indiana’s go-to player in Archie Miller’s first season in Bloomington. The 6-foot-8 forward recorded eight double-doubles last season and scored in double figures 25 times.
Morgan’s return solidifies what should be a very deep and talented frontcourt for Miller, who is entering his second season at Indiana.
In addition to Morgan, the Hoosiers will return Justin Smith, Zach McRoberts, De’Ron Davis, Clifton Moore and redshirt Race Thompson in the frontcourt. Indiana will also welcome Saint Mary’s graduate transfer Evan Fitzner and freshmen Jake Forrester and Jerome Hunter, two four-star recruits.
Indiana’s 2018 recruiting class – which is ranked in the top ten nationally – also features McDonald’s All-American and Indiana Mr. Basketball Romeo Langford and Indiana All-Stars Robert Phinisee and Damezi Anderson.
The full release from IU on Morgan’s decision to return is available below:
BLOOMINGTON, Indiana – Indiana University men’s basketball player Juwan Morgan will withdraw from the 2018 NBA Draft and will return for his senior season with the Hoosiers.
“It’s been a great process and I thank all the teams for their feedback, but after talking with my family, coaches, and closest friends, it is in my best interest to return to IU and continue preparing for my senior year,” said Morgan. “It has always been a goal of mine to play basketball at the highest level and that hasn’t changed.”
Morgan, a 6-8 forward from Waynesville, Missouri, was the most improved player in the Big Ten where he upped his overall scoring by 8.8 points and his Big Ten output by 10.6 points. A first-team USBWA All-District and second-team All-Big Ten and NABC All-District pick, Morgan started 30 games and averaged 16.5 points overall and 7.4 rebounds. He also shot 57.9% from the field and added 1.4 blocks and 1.2 steals. He ranked among the top 10 players in the league in each of the categories overall and in Big Ten play.
Against conference opposition, he averaged 17.9 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.3 blocks. He shot 37.8% from three-point range in Big Ten action and 41.2% from long range in February. He averaged 18.4 points in December, 17.8 points in January and 17.6 points in February. He earned National Player of the Week honors after leading IU to an 80-77 win over nationally ranked Notre Dame in the Crossroads Classic. He made the game-winning dunk with 8.6 seconds left and scored a career-high and event record 34 points and added 11 rebounds. He had eight double-doubles this season and scored 20 points or more 10 times.
"It's been a great process … but it is in my best interest to return to IU and continue preparing for my senior year." – @juwanmorgan
— Indiana Basketball (@IndianaMBB) May 29, 2018
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