Juwan Morgan is a 6’8” senior forward from Indiana. Morgan tested the NBA Draft waters last year, and it is certainly evident that he took the constructive criticism offered by NBA scouts and executives and applied himself to improve his game in preparation for the next level. Morgan’s final stint as a Hoosier is off to a tremendous start, and all signs point toward continued efficient production throughout Big Ten conference play.
Tale of the Tape
The most notable knock on Morgan’s NBA projectability as an underclassman was his lack of a consistent, reliable jump shot. This is likely the feedback that Morgan received when testing the 2018 NBA Draft waters. Morgan has exceeded even the most optimistic of expectations as a shooter throughout the first two months of his senior campaign, ranking as a 98th percentile jump shooter at 1.455 PPP. Although this is undoubtedly a small sample size (only 33 possessions), tweaks in Morgan’s mechanics and the consistency of his shooting form are apparent and indicative of some semblance of sustainability.
In the clips below, we highlight Morgan’s compact, new and improved shooting form as compared to his inconsistent prior year mechanics:
As displayed in the clips above, Morgan’s jumper has seemingly reached the point of potential translatability to knocking down corner threes following kick-outs or scrambling defensive rotations, as well as pick-and-pop or post-dribble-hand-off mid-range looks. He has yet to show above the break NBA range, and the free throw shooting woes are certainly a negative indicator, but Morgan’s jump shooting improvement, to date, is certainly encouraging.
This season, Indiana has featured Morgan as the spoke-hub of their offensive scheme. This has given Morgan the opportunity to flash some of his passing vision prowess. Morgan notched the second triple-double in IU’s storied history in a win against Jacksonville, and has been an adept post facilitator throughout the first two months of his senior campaign.
In the clips below, we highlight Morgan’s passing vision and IQ, as he reads help defense to dime up cutters and sling skip passes to open shooters:
Morgan is certainly a bright, high character kid that offers a high floor based on his effort, physicality, and leadership acumen. Morgan’s path to the NBA will be built upon these solid foundational attributes, but will likely hinge on the two swing skills featured within the ‘Tale of the Tape’ above. The concern coming into the season was Morgan’s translatability to the modern NBA from a ball skills perspective. His game had always been more that of a “traditional power forward”, a prospect archetype that has been less valued in a skill and space conscious NBA. If Morgan, a likely Two-Way candidate, can continue to showcase his improvements as a facilitator and a shooting threat, he has the potential to vault up draft boards, and into late 2nd round consideration.
Jon Chepkevich serves as the Director of Scouting for the Professional Basketball Combine. In his role at STATS LLC, Jon reviews the financial terms/profitability of customer contracts, develops NBA minutes projections, and records live statistics for NCAA and NBA games. When he isn’t in the office, Jon enjoys Chicago’s competitive pick-up hoops scene, dissecting NBA draft prospects, and performing salary cap analysis.
Follow Jon on Twitter @JonChep.
James Fox serves as the Scouting Intern for the Professional Basketball Combine. James attends the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where he is a student-athlete on the men’s basketball team. He plans on graduating in May with a Sports Management degree. Outside of the classroom and off the court, James enjoys attending Wisconsin sporting events with friends and family as well as watching plenty of NCAA and NBA basketball.
Follow James on Twitter @JamesFox23.