Hoosiers want more offense from Morgan

Steady play, fundamentals and versatility have endeared Juwan Morgan to Indiana’s basketball program through two seasons.

Now, new IU coach Archie Miller is asking Morgan to do a little more.

With the early departures of James Blackmon Jr., Thomas Bryant and OG Anunoby — three of IU’s top four scorers from a season ago — the Hoosiers are looking for a new cast of primary offensive options.

That’s where Miller needs Morgan to grow the most.

“I think that Juwan really has an opportunity to create a new vision for himself,” Miller said.

Leading returning scorer Robert Johnson (12.8 points per game) will have the green light on the offensive end and center De’Ron Davis (5.9 ppg) will need to become a consistent post option, too. In spurts last season, Davis demonstrated the potential to do so. Collin Hartman, who missed all of last season with a knee injury, can also add a shooting touch from the outside.

But it’s Morgan (7.7 ppg) who is being specifically asked to show more than he has in the past.

As a sophomore last season, Morgan improved in several categories as he grew into a larger role.

He shot 65 percent from inside the arc after hitting 16 of his 30 2-point attempts as a freshman. He decreased his turnover rate from 23.5 percent as a rookie to 17.2 percent, and finished as one of Indiana’s most consistent rebounders on both ends of the floor, averaging nearly six boards per game.

Morgan, who started 20 of his 32 games as a sophomore, will see his workload increase in his junior season.

With it, his production and efficiency must continue to climb.

“I just have to be aggressive,” Morgan said. “Whenever I see something, I have to take it.”

That includes his ability to shoot from the perimeter.

Indiana doesn’t need Morgan to be one of its primary 3-point shooting threats. The Hoosiers are hopeful that Johnson, Hartman and youngsters such as Curtis Jones and Devonte Green can help in that regard.

But Miller will also need Morgan to shoot better than he did last season, when he connected on merely 10 of his 40 3-point attempts. Following through on that objective would go a long way toward further diversifying a skill set that is already fairly well-rounded.

“With minutes, and how their dispersed, I think that Juwan has to become an offensive threat,” Miller said. “Juwan has to become more of an offensive-minded player from a production standpoint. He’s got great skills. I think he’s got to do it consistently over the course of some months. I think Juwan has the ability.”

Morgan played through a nagging shoulder injury as a freshman before dealing with some nagging injuries last season.

He was particularly strong down the stretch, averaging 10.7 points during the final nine games and scoring in double figures five times in that stretch.

Now, Miller wants to see Morgan replicate that production across a full season.

“He’s a tremendous kid, a hard worker, but I think he’s having to learn a little bit about responsibility of production,” Miller said. “He’s going to be asked to do things and get production in a way that he hasn’t.”

3 comments

  1. Morgan is a great player that really has potential. Coming into his junior year and watching his fellow in state class mate go to the NBA has to give him some real motivation to turn up his game. When you look at this years roster it’s hard to figure out how this team will do. Most years under CTC we had at least one McDonalds all-American as a go to guy. This year we have some experience. Hartman is a 5th year senior…newkirk our point guard is a 5th year senior…Johnson is a senior with plenty of starting time under his belt…morgan a seasoned junior and davis has some understanding of what it takes with a season under his belt. Lots of experience for today’s game. Guys like Green and Jones are real question marks. Neither of the two really competed consistently. Both seem to have reasonable upsides. McSwain is also a senior and a freak athlete who has yet to adjust to the college game. A guy like McRoberts is probably the best nonschalarship player in the country which is an added bonus. Then the freshman seem to have high ceilings for not being ranked very high. One mock draft has Moore going in the first round in 2019. Where does the scoring come from? This teams greatest asset is probably Coach Miller who has arguably done more with less. It will be interesting to see how this year plays out.

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