Monday, May 05, 2008

J'mison Morgan Considering UCLA Again

By Bruin Basketball Report


Five star basketball recruit J'mison Morgan has submitted a request for a release from his commitment to LSU, the Dallas Morning News reported.


Morgan, a South Oak Cliff HS senior, had signed a national letter of intent with LSU last November; however, after John Brady was fired as head coach at LSU, Morgan began to reconsider his commitment to the university.


After meeting with new LSU head coach Trent Johnson two weeks ago, Morgan remained undecided on his basketball future, even though reports from the LSU athletic department indicated Morgan had reaffirmed his commitment to the school.


The 6'10 265 lb center reportedly submitted his release papers to LSU over the weekend and is now awaiting to hear back from school administrators on his official release.


LSU is not obligated to release Morgan from his commitment. If LSU does not grant his release, Morgan would have to sit out a year before transferring to another school to play basketball.


Morgan is reportedly considering UCLA to attend next fall to play in the 2008-09 season.


UCLA had aggressively pursued the highly sought after Morgan last year in a tough recruiting battle with schools including LSU, Alabama, and Kansas.


With the early entrance into the NBA by UCLA center Kevin Love, an opportunity opened up for a big man, like Morgan, to play major minutes on an elite team. UCLA's third consecutive visit to the Final Four seemed to weigh heavily in Morgan's decision.


"It was a real hard decision for me," said Morgan to the Dallas Morning News. "My comfort level was at LSU, but I felt like UCLA was a better fit for me as far as exposure."


LSU assistant coach Butch Pierre's re-hire by Coach Trent Johnson seemed to be the key to keeping Morgan at LSU, but at the end, the prospects of playing in Westwood and gaining national exposure on a bigger stage was more important to Morgan.


Morgan averaged 13.5 points, 11 rebounds and 4 blocked shots as a senior last season.


If Morgan decides to attend UCLA, he will be joining a recruiting class already ranked No.1 by most experts. Already commited to UCLA are guards Jrue Holiday, Jerime Anderson, Malcolm Lee, and post player Drew Gordon. Morgan's commitment would put an exclamation point on an already stellar class.


(photo credit: Dallas Morning News)

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66 Comments:

At May 5, 2008, 5:29:00 PM, Anonymous jake said...

Wow - at least at bit more official. I hope there are no issues with Trent Johnson that would prevent him from being released. That would certainly ease my concern regarding bigs. Crossing fingers and waiting.

 
At May 5, 2008, 7:00:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Trent is a stand-up guy and will grant the release. If a kid doesn't want to be on a team, forcing him to stay or sit out a year doesn't help anybody. To be fair, it's not like the kid just changed his mind. The old coach got canned, and yes I know the rules state that this is not enough of a reason to allow an incoming committed player to leave without permission from the school - but I just don't see how that is fair to the athlete.
Here's to Trent - hoping he does the right thing and let him go, regardless if he ends up at UCLA or somewhere else.

 
At May 5, 2008, 7:37:00 PM, Anonymous Torp said...

Great News! Let em go TJ...

 
At May 5, 2008, 11:04:00 PM, Anonymous leroi said...

Jumping well ahead of myself here (love doing that!) IF it works out, is this the Fab 5 all over again? I guess not because all 5 wouldn't start. But in terms of talent, how does it compare?

 
At May 6, 2008, 12:16:00 AM, Anonymous 1&done said...

J'Mison Morgan is a shot-blocking and rebounding machine! This would be Howlands "Ace in the hole" some of us were talking about the last two weeks. "Git-r-done" Ben!

 
At May 6, 2008, 4:13:00 AM, Anonymous Bruinau said...

To answer Leroi's question, the problem with Michigan's fab 5 was no point guard. They got 2 shooting guards in that class but no leader and that proved to be their downfall: ie, no national championship.

 
At May 6, 2008, 6:00:00 AM, Anonymous J said...

How good is this guy, these high school stats, 13.5 points, 11 rebounds and 4 blocked shots are not THAT great, KLove was scoring over 30 points per game, and over 17 rebounds in High school! He is a bit bigger than KLove though right? Does he have a lot of potential and can he shoot Free throws like Love?

 
At May 6, 2008, 6:11:00 AM, Anonymous Peter said...

He doesn't have to be just like Love to be successful next year at UCLA. In fact, he seems more mobile and might play well with a fast, guard-oriented team.

 
At May 6, 2008, 6:14:00 AM, Anonymous J said...

I know he doesnt have to be just like Love, I am just curious if he is as good as him? or even close?

 
At May 6, 2008, 6:14:00 AM, Anonymous Bruin 2005 said...

Since Chris Weber was paid several hundred thosand dollars before turning pro we should stay away from the fab 5 comparisons...that was a bigger issue than a point gaurd!

 
At May 6, 2008, 6:18:00 AM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

holding my breath...
J'mison:
-Better exposure for basketball
-Hotter West Coast women
-I'll be your agent and get you endorsement deals
-Your game will drastically improve
Red carpet is waiting....do it!

 
At May 6, 2008, 6:21:00 AM, Anonymous LN23 said...

Kevin Love is a special player so its not even close. First, lets wait for it to be official. Second, he's a way better center than Aboya of keefe so be grateful.

 
At May 6, 2008, 6:32:00 AM, Anonymous Rob said...

Christ, I can't even pronounce the kid's first name, but hope that Johnson let's him go. Morgan sees an opportunity to play with Holiday and other top ranked freshmen, in addition to Collison and (most likely) Shipp, Mbah a Moute. No doubt that he's making the right choice by seeking to play for UCLA.

 
At May 6, 2008, 6:39:00 AM, Anonymous JonW said...

Nice evaluation of J'mison Morgan from ESPN--
Evaluation
Morgan has all the physical tools to be an impact center at the high major level. He has an impressive frame (extremely long arms), broad shoulders, and overall great length for the five spot. Despite his size he gets off of the floor remarkably quick and has excellent timing around the basket at both ends. He is a very good rebounder and possesses nice instincts around the basket. He is capable of running the floor, but is not very fluid in that area of his game. As with most "bigs" his defense is ahead of his offense. Morgan is one of the most prolific shot blockers in the country due to his long arms and quick reactions. Offensively, his post skills are raw and he needs to develop a go-to move other than a dunk. In addition, Morgan needs to utilize his impressive frame more effectively when posting up - he allows defenders to come around him too often to deflect entry passes. However, an area that he is quite good at despite his youth is his patience while posting up - he reads defenses very well and usually delivers a pin-point pass to an open teammate. Overall, despite his raw offensive game, Morgan will be recruited at the highest level and should have a very productive college career.

 
At May 6, 2008, 6:52:00 AM, Anonymous alan said...

I'm excited about this and hopes it will happen. Just don't expect another Kevin Love just yet. I think he has a great chance of starting, but even if he turns out to be just a good freshman backup to Keefe or Aboya, this would add much-needed depth to the frontcourt.
Even with him, our strength next year will be in the very deep backcourt.

 
At May 6, 2008, 7:41:00 AM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

FYI Bruin Fans:
Love dropped to #11 on mocknbadraft
updated today...

 
At May 6, 2008, 8:12:00 AM, Anonymous Bruin 2005 said...

``He's planning for sure to attend UCLA next year,'' said Ronnie Morgan, J'Mison's brother, said Tuesday.
According to numerous recruiting experts, the Bruins already have the top recruiting class in the country with Jerime Anderson, Drew Gordon, Jrue Holiday and Malcom Lee. Now that class could be bolstered by Morgan, a 6-foot-10 center. The Bruins desperately need a center since Kevin Love has declared for the NBA draft.
Asked whether he thought LSU would grant the release, Ronnie Morgan said: ``They haven't made an (official) decision yet, but they say they're going to.''
Los Angeles Daily News

 
At May 6, 2008, 8:14:00 AM, Anonymous Bruin 2005 said...

I'm not standing by this reporting I am just putting it out there...note the bad grammer "said, said" and the mispelling of "to"...obviously not a UCLA Grad.

 
At May 6, 2008, 9:00:00 AM, Anonymous KDL1984 said...

I'm hoping and praying that Trent doesn't hold those last second wins by UCLA over Stanford against the kid. He deserves to play at a school he wants to be at. And making him sit out would be cruel. Trent Johnson is a stand up guy that did wonders for the Stanford program. He'll do the right thing here too.
No other recruiting class would come close! Now, all we have to do is let Ben do the recruiting for the football team!

 
At May 6, 2008, 9:02:00 AM, Anonymous KDL1984 said...

Listen Rick,
I was just kidding!

 
At May 6, 2008, 10:11:00 AM, Anonymous jake said...

JonW,
Thanks for sharing the ESPN evaluation. Comparisons to Love are not fair - Love isn't something you just replace - with all the different skills sets he brought to the team - and doing what Love did as a freshman was amazing. The important thing here is upside. Howlands band of recruiters have had him on the radar for some time so that is noteworthy. Perhaps not ready to be a pure plug and play but not many out of high school are. If he has a good attitude and work hard in this system under the guidance of Howland - that is what we are looking for. Hanging around Pauley in the summer playing against all the studs that showcase themselves around here won't hurt either. Perhaps I can talk Kareem into some offensive skills tutoring ala Bynum - with some soft baby hooks with either hand.
First things first ... hate to jump the gun here.

 
At May 6, 2008, 10:28:00 AM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

Jake, grab the beer and the nachos....I hope u have season tickets folks!!

 
At May 6, 2008, 10:48:00 AM, Anonymous george said...

KDL1984 - I doubt that TJ will hold "those last second wins against UCLA" as a reason not to release this kid. First, TJ seems like a very fair-minded individual. Second, UCLA dominating Stanford next year may not be, from his perspective, such a bad thing!

 
At May 6, 2008, 11:14:00 AM, Anonymous db said...

Comparison between Love and Morgan is unfair. Love was ahead of his game at his age as well as his league was easier than Morgan's league so highschool avg. is not a really good comparison.
I am not surprised Love dropped to 11 as projected as I have been saying for NBA, he is not that great. IMO Morgan in the long run have greater potential than Love. Love's potential is about to level out due to his lack of athleticism. Course basketball IQ makes up for some of that.
It is like Al Horford where he came out of highschool not even close to Love's number or hype, but will have a much better NBA career because of his athleticism.
Course all tremendous players have one thing in commmon. They have both athleticism and basketball IQ.

 
At May 6, 2008, 11:25:00 AM, Anonymous willis said...

...and I forgot Lucius Allen!

 
At May 6, 2008, 11:25:00 AM, Anonymous willis said...

Another important thing to remember here is that this is an "out of state" 5-star recruit. If Morgan comes to UCLA from Texas this will be the 2nd consecutive year that Howland lands a big time out-of-stater, Love being from Oregon in 2007. This puts UCLA in a recruiting world with the likes of UNC, Kansas, Arizona, and Duke, etc., who always land 5-star out-of-staters to keep their programs thriving. Howland is lucky to have the very hot and fertile recruiting base of LA in his back yard to fill most of his roster, but getting a 5-star out-of-stater every year or every other year is critical to staying a top 5-10 program. Although Howland has LA pretty well locked up for those he really wants, (Farmar, Afflalo, Collison, Shipp, Lee, Holiday, Stanback), he does not have it fully locked up, (Mater Dei's Wear twins, UNC's Stepheson and Thompson). You will remember other out-of-state Bruins like Walt Hazard, Mike Warren, Lew Alcindor, Mike Warren, Henry Bibby, Larry Farmer, Andre McCarter, JaRon Rush, Dan Gadzurik, et. al. Landing Love and Morgan takes UCLA's program to a whole 'nother level!

 
At May 6, 2008, 4:44:00 PM, Anonymous jake said...

Willis - completely agree. You turn the corner in recruiting if you can start recruiting out of state. Success breeds success. When you think of all the 6th/7th/8th graders out there right now seeing UCLA this and UCLA that ... and final fours etc ... added into the historical mystique of the program via Wooden etc ... then you start truly building a pipeline of blue chippers knocking on the doorstep. Bring it.

 
At May 6, 2008, 5:23:00 PM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

Whatcha talkin about Willis:
I finally agree w/ ya....join me and Brew in with beers and nachos as we roll out the red carpet for Morgan....
I'm not celebrating until it is official....
I, like other Bruin Fans are salivating....
J'Mison you are a smart man in choosing UCLA.....the hot women and endorsement deals are waiting....your game will drastically improve too....
BBR, when Mr. Morgan decides to transfer, it is time to have a party....in Westwood at Westwood Brew Co....I'll host it...(but am not payin for anybody)...cheers....I am losing sleep on this possible outcome....

 
At May 7, 2008, 3:53:00 AM, Anonymous 1&done said...

I'll buy you a brewski at Westwood Brew Co. BruinFan! I think BBR will have a Morgan update soon.

 
At May 7, 2008, 5:48:00 AM, Anonymous KDL1984 said...

I'll be there too with a Captin Morgan in my hand!

 
At May 7, 2008, 5:50:00 AM, Anonymous KDL1984 said...

Yu sea, I alreadie drunk won ant con't spill no mur....

 
At May 7, 2008, 9:00:00 AM, Anonymous JJ said...

Started this website. Lets make it happen!
www.releasemorgan.com

 
At May 7, 2008, 3:55:00 PM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

JJ that has got to be the most "classic" post. We will party nce the release happens and he signs with UCLA.
I suggest all fans to add a sentence on top of the pre-drafted email...
I mean, the kid does not want to be there....
Awwww yeah....Final Four, Championship Banner are smellin good....

 
At May 7, 2008, 5:41:00 PM, Anonymous Hank said...

Rumors going around that LSU said, "NO".

 
At May 7, 2008, 10:41:00 PM, Anonymous Bruin 2005 said...

If they say no he can appeal the decision to an NCAA board from what I understand ... that is why they are always granted...

 
At May 8, 2008, 12:20:00 AM, Anonymous Larry said...

Hope you're right. Either way, true or not - it looks like we will not know the status for quite some time. I wonder if any other schools could get into the mix during that time - eck.

 
At May 8, 2008, 12:35:00 AM, Anonymous Bruin 2005 said...

From what I understand is that no one can talk to him while this is pending...so it is doubtful that anyone else will get in the mix...a LA paper is reporting that Johnson is attempting to get him to stay now.

 
At May 8, 2008, 12:57:00 AM, Anonymous Larry said...

Bruin 2005, I think you're right, "no one can talk to him while this is pending", however, unfortunately I think there's a big difference between what's supposed to happen and what does happen. There's many ways to get to a kid indirectly (i.e. high school and elite team coaches, "friends", etc.). Johnson would be a fool NOT to try to get him to stay so no surprise there. Hopefully those "rumors" Hank referred to above are only in ref to Johnson making a push to get Morgan to stay rather than LSU directly saying, "NO".
Peace All, I'm out!

 
At May 8, 2008, 2:35:00 AM, Anonymous Brew In said...

1&done, how about me for one of those brews? I think BruinFan has always offered to bring the nachos... Too bad when you guys talk about meeting at Ques that I am closer to the one in Pasadena... Pauley is your stomping grounds, the Rose Bowl is mine! Keeping my fingers crossed on Kevin Craft!!!

 
At May 8, 2008, 4:03:00 AM, Anonymous LN23 said...

I think coach Johnson's last push is only to show effort. Morgan's mother siad the decision to leave had to do with coach's lack of communication since Morgan reaffirmed his LOI. It should happen by the end of the week

 
At May 8, 2008, 5:28:00 AM, Anonymous Bare Gunner said...

Hey BBR, hoping you will have something else to report so everyone can comment on something else for awhile as this thing with Morgan is all just speculation. I know we are all hoping, but I will celebrate once I hear something definitive...from YOU!
Thanks for the great job you do on this site!

 
At May 8, 2008, 5:33:00 AM, Anonymous Bruin 2005 said...

Johnson says he will release Morgan if he wants to go.
"Johnson said he made repeated attempts since April 22 to contact Morgan and his mother, but calls were not returned.
He said he would try to get to the bottom of the issue, but did not intend to force Morgan to abide by his commitment to the Tigers if Morgan cannot be persuaded to come to Baton Rouge in a good frame of mind.
"I want guys who want to be here," Johnson said."
Sporting news

 
At May 8, 2008, 5:41:00 AM, Anonymous Brui Master said...

Mr Wong is our eyes and ears
keeping the Bruin fan informed for years
With the latest news
accurate in the words you choose
Insight gathered to sooth our soul
National Title is the goal
On edge with the change of the roster
BBR in one not to foster
bad news we may not want to know
but Mr Wong cannot forego
keeping this site up to speed
fulfilling all the Bruins inquiring needs
Yo BBR...major peeps we all agree.

 
At May 8, 2008, 7:09:00 AM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

Hail KS Wong...never stop reporting good and bad...

 
At May 8, 2008, 7:52:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what the hell are you talking about?

 
At May 8, 2008, 11:54:00 AM, Anonymous Brew In said...

To the lame greenie who didn't even post his name, KS Wong is the reason you are viewing all this exceptional material. If you ain't down with it, go across town and root for that academically inferior, public university with the Dried Blood Red and Gold for their spoiled school colors.
I'm not just drinking...I'm chugging one down in honor of you Mr. Wong and the wonderful BBR website!
KS, though we ramble a lot on here, we really do appreciate you making this site possible to all us die hard baby-blue and gold bleeders!

 
At May 8, 2008, 12:46:00 PM, Anonymous jake said...

I second that. Clink. Excellent site BBR ... now wave your magic wand and bring in some BIGS ... grin.

 
At May 8, 2008, 2:16:00 PM, Anonymous 1&done said...

Mr. Wong(BBR) is the king of UCLA hoops news and Brew In, you are the undisputed "king of beers"! Hey LSU, do the right thing and remove J'Mison "Bobo" Morgan's shackles so we can get this party started!

 
At May 8, 2008, 2:24:00 PM, Anonymous Bruin Basketball Report said...

The shout outs are appreciated. Its all about the blue and gold here. Good to have you all hanging out even during the offseason.
Brui Master, you're quite the laureate.
- BBR

 
At May 8, 2008, 3:56:00 PM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

Heck, I just renewed my season tickets TODAY even though I might be living in San Diego....NOW THAT IS WHAT I CALL DEDICATION.....
Party soon BBR....
the suspense is killing me....

 
At May 8, 2008, 7:53:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Brew In", how the heck would I know that BBR's name is Mr. Wong? And as for me not posting my name, sorry I did not put something as witty as you. Funny how you critize me, yet you don't post your real name.
Regardless - Mr. Wong - it's a pleasure (as always) to review your site. The best that's out there. Keep up the great work.

 
At May 9, 2008, 1:30:00 AM, Anonymous Brew In said...

A lot of funny things in life Mr. non-poster. Name stated for identification purposes is what I'm referring to, which holds we faithful accountable to previous comments, quotes, tyrades, predictions, etc...
Your gained insight to the BBR brain thrust is appreciated by me with your accolades given to Mr. Wong. And I agree with your assessment of these site being "The best that's out there"
And you will find other Bruin loyalists on here who are very passionate about the Academic programs and articulate their ideas and opinions with objective observation and balance.
Gee, I almost sound semi-intelligent before I've had a brew or two. ;)

 
At May 9, 2008, 2:01:00 AM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

psssst.....GET YOUR SEASON TICKETS!!!
1995 all over again....

 
At May 9, 2008, 5:01:00 AM, Anonymous Jef said...

Hey, I pointed this Morgan situation out first!!! and no one responded to it when i posted it. wah-wah-wah!(hopefully it happens so this statement means something)

 
At May 9, 2008, 5:53:00 AM, Anonymous KDL1984 said...

Hey BBR- Thanks for all the updates on the Wide World of UCLA basketball! Youdaman! Information is right on and the comments that follow show that you're the one the rest of us look up to to provide up to the minute news on our alma matter's bball team. After all, you are the "guru" of Bruin Basketball! Keep up the fine work!
I've been reading all kinds of stuff about Morgan, but what about any others like Nolan Dennis or Stephan Van Treese? Anybody know what's going on with these guys?
Much obliged!

 
At May 10, 2008, 3:46:00 AM, Anonymous Wayne said...

I wondering what will happen if Morgan comes aboard and Love returns? Love made a mistake. He is not a center or power foward at the next level.Not now anyway.

 
At May 10, 2008, 5:43:00 AM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

Wayne...check out mocknbadraft.net
if that doesn't work....
google mock nba draft....
would you go pro if you were projected 11th?
his athleticism is not going to improve...he will always have his waddle...white guys, myself included cannot jump....although there are some who can....Happy Mother's Day Bruin Nation...

 
At May 10, 2008, 9:04:00 AM, Anonymous UCLA Philly said...

Let's get out the Irish Jamison and burn up some gold and maroon cars!!! Party in Las Vegas when we land Jamison Morgan!!! The brews are free downstairs at Shammies!!!! U.C.L.A. alumni 1992

 
At May 10, 2008, 9:27:00 AM, Anonymous Swoop said...

Not sure about the timeline here, but this report says Morgan is staying put.

 
At May 10, 2008, 11:05:00 AM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

Shammies in Vegas...It would be great if BBR, aka Mr. Wong would let you post a banner about the event....I'd drive from Westwood...

 
At May 10, 2008, 9:20:00 PM, Anonymous Bob said...

Ok,this topic is now official ancient and I'm bored. No resolution due for at least a couple weeks. What else can we talk about?

 
At May 11, 2008, 1:21:00 AM, Anonymous The Baron said...

Love will make a very good pro. Anyone who can get rebounds is valuable. Obviously, there are ways for him to contribute offensively. Look for him to improve his 3-point shooting as he struggles with his low-post scoring. You know how mentally tough he is.

 
At May 11, 2008, 7:06:00 AM, Anonymous Bruin 2005 said...

I love kevin but the 3 is not the answer to his game. His three point shot is too slow for the pros....you can see the wind up a mile away.

 
At May 11, 2008, 1:53:00 PM, Anonymous jake said...

I don't tend to remember players that are one and done (ie no real bruin legacy) but I would think the player in question will probably do just fine. Yes he has some shortcomings (who doesn't) but also possesses a great skill set and willingness to put in the time to improve in all areas. National High School player of they year honor and then first team All-American who leads team to the final 4 and second most double/doubles as a freshman etc etc ... I think he'll find a niche for himself.

 
At May 11, 2008, 2:16:00 PM, Anonymous Don said...

You are right Jake, he will be just fine... too bad he is leaving so soon but that is college basketball these days unfortunately... Time to bring in this great Freshmen class and keep moving forward.... after this #1 2008 class, add to Nelson in 2009 and keep things going...

 
At May 13, 2008, 9:26:00 AM, Anonymous dan c said...

This story is bogus he never committed to UCLA he was at a Big East school this weekend. Where do you get your info?

 

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