Morgan thinking about tournament, not shoulder

DES MOINES, Iowa — Juwan Morgan will never forget his first shoulder injury and the shock that came with it.

Two years and countless aggravations later, the pain still resonates.

“I thought I lost an arm the first time it came out,” Morgan said. “I still remember it. It was at the Peach Jam (AAU tournament) my junior year summer. I was going against Spiece Indy Heat and Trevon Bluiett. I went up for a rebound and the ball got caught under his and I basically felt like I didn’t even have a left side anymore. It hurt so bad.”

Morgan has familiarized himself with that same pain this season, playing through repeated injuries to that same left shoulder as he establishes his role as a consistent contributor in IU’s frontcourt.

Morgan had to leave each of IU’s last two regular season games after aggravating the shoulder. But each time his shoulder separates, Morgan pops it back into place and finds a way to return to the floor.

Though he was clearly limited in IU’s Big Ten Tournament loss to Michigan, logging only six minutes, Morgan has practiced with the team all week leading into Thursday’s NCAA Tournament opener against Chattanooga.

Whether or not he will eventually undergo surgery on the shoulder to prevent future problems, Morgan isn’t sure. That’ll be something that he’ll discuss with coaches after the season.

In the meantime, he’s still trying to make the most of his freshman year at Indiana. Bum shoulder or not, Morgan refuses to change his game to accommodate the injury itself or the pain.

“I’m pretty much used to it at this point whenever it pops out,” Morgan said. “Sometimes it’ll take a little longer than other times, but I know how to move it back into place.”