Among the topics discussed by Temple head coach Fran Dunphy at last week’s American Athletic Conference media day was the status of transfer guard Jesse Morgan. Morgan enrolled at Temple in May of 2013, one month removed from being dismissed from the UMass program and four months after he’d suffered a torn ACL in his knee in a game at Saint Louis.
With the NCAA ruling that Morgan had a semester of eligibility remaining to play at Temple he had a choice to make. The options: either play in the first 19 games of the 2014-15 season for the Owls, or play in the final 21 games while also having the opportunity to play in the postseason should the Owls qualify. Wednesday evening it was reported by CBSSports.com that the decision’s been made, with Morgan choosing the latter option.
Morgan will be eligible to play in games beginning with Temple’s game at Delaware on December 18, and he’ll be an important piece for the Owls.
Prior to knee injury, Morgan averaged 13.4 points per game and was also second on the team in steals. During American Athletic Conference media day last week, Dunphy made note of Morgan’s work on the defensive end in preseason practices according to Jake Kaplan of the Philadelphia Daily News.
Once on the court, the Olney High product offers the Owls a long-range shooter and, more notably, another aggressive defender. When the team gathers at the end of each practice, Dunphy likes to read off stats kept from that day’s session. One is deflections, and Morgan owns that category.
“That’s what he adds,” Dunphy said. “He’s a hound on the basketball defensively.”
Morgan is one of two transfer guards who will be eligible to take the floor December 18, with former Clemson guard Devin Coleman being the other. Senior Will Cummings, who averaged 16.8 points and 4.6 assists per game last season and is on the Bob Cousy Award preseason watch list, will lead the way in the backcourt for the Owls.