Latest Team Rankings
Free Text Alerts
|ShopMobileRadio RSSRivals.com Yahoo! Sports|
|College Teams||High Schools|
March 30, 2010UCLA basketball coach Ben Howland announced Tuesday in a press release that sophomore center J'mison Morgan, a centerpiece of the Bruins' 2008 recruiting class, will not return next season.
The release stated Morgan, who averaged 2.1 points and 1.1 rebounds in 40 games at UCLA without making one start, has not decided on where he will transfer. Morgan, a former five-star recruit by Rivals.com, averaged less than nine minutes per game this past season. The Bruins finished 14-18.
"I feel that it is in the best interest of this program and for J'mison Morgan that he no longer be a part of this team," Howland said in the release. "We are supportive of him and his future in whatever direction he decides to go."
It's safe to say Morgan's UCLA career was filled with frustration. Rivals.com rated him as the fourth-best center, second-best prospect in the state of Texas behind Willie Warren and No. 25 nationally in the 2008 class, but he never established himself as a go-to player for the Bruins.
Morgan, from Dallas (Texas) South Oak Cliff, and Jrue Holiday, now with the Philadelphia 76ers, were the five-star prospects in that recruiting class. Drew Gordon, who decided to transfer earlier this season, and guards Malcolm Lee and Jerime Anderson were four-star recruits.
But Morgan never got it going in Westwood. He scored his personal-best eight points in a win against FIU on Nov. 29, 2008 and had a career-high five rebounds this year in a victory over New Mexico State in mid-December, hardly numbers expected from a five-star recruit.
LSU, Cincinnati and Kansas were three other schools Morgan considered during the recruiting process. Alabama, Baylor, Kentucky and Louisville had also offered.
"The major issue is he never got in good enough physical conditioning to compete at that level," Rivals.com recruiting analyst Jerry Meyer said. "A lot of that was probably mental focus as well. There's no doubt there's a high-level basketball player in J'imson Morgan, but his mental and physical conditioning has to improve."
There could also be some turnover on UCLA's staff. The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday citing an anonymous source that assistant coach Donny Daniels is "very close" to joining Mark Few's staff at Gonzaga.
Daniels came to UCLA with Howland in 2003 and helped the Bruins make three consecutive Final Four appearances.
Georgia Tech NEWS