Although the Indiana Hoosiers didn’t live up to the hype last season, the team still put up some impressive performances at times and will now have to regroup for next fall. And one of the team’s bigger losses will come from Juwan Morgan. He will depart after graduating with one of the better four years runs in recent Hoosier history.
Morgan is a long shot for Thursday night’s NBA Draft, but how does he project to the next level? Let’s take a look.
During last season, Morgan was really impressive across the board. He played really well down low, hit the boards, and was really efficient, even with a lot of usage. There were times last season where Morgan seemed unstoppable down low. This certainly resulted from his quality lower body usage and footwork.
Morgan has also shown the ability to hold his own on the defensive side of the floor. He’s not a lock down option or an elite shot blocker, but he’s not a massive issue either. And for a player with his offensive production, that’s an encouraging statement.
The limitation with Morgan’s game, however, comes outside the arc. He shot 29.5 percent from three-point range last season and has never shown consistency in that regard during his career. He’s also a mediocre free throw shooter, finishing with 64.7 percent from the line last year.
If Morgan could play a similar role in the NBA as he did in college, his shooting woes wouldn’t nearly be as concerning. However, he’s only listed at 6-foot-8 and it’s hard to imagine him playing upfront for significant minutes as a result. Even if a team wanted to use him there, he would need to be able to stretch the floor to demand minutes. That’s not going to happen with a sub-30 percent shooter.
The reality here is that Morgan’s either going to need to improve from outside the arc, or really turn into a bruiser. There’s a role for bench guys that can rebound, defend, and get inside in the NBA. There’s a chance Morgan could do that, he’s just going to need to improve.
Given Morgan’s draft prospects, there really isn’t a “best fit” for him in this draft. He simply needs to hope someone takes a shot on him in the late second round or as an undrafted free agent. Expect him to try and earn a roster spot in Summer League play.
It seems unlikely that Morgan will hear his name called on draft night due to some of the issues noted above. However, he will get a shot to earn a spot in the Summer League and G League, should he wish to do so and skip Europe. What he does after that will largely depend on how he grows his game.