While the commitment of elite in-state prospect Romeo Langford was a major development for Archie Miller as he works to return the Indiana basketball program to prominence, the status of forward Juwan Morgan was another key as the team looks ahead to 2018-19.
Morgan, a second team All-Big Ten selection after averaging 16.5 points and 7.4 rebounds per game last season, entered his name into the 2018 NBA Draft without hiring an agent. Tuesday evening, shortly after it was reported by multiple outlets that he would return to Indiana for his senior season, Morgan made the news official via his Instagram account.
The combination of the 2018 recruiting class, which in addition to Langford includes a grad transfer in former Saint Mary’s forward Evan Fitzner, and the return of Morgan likely ramps things up when it comes to the expectations for the “rebuild” in Bloomington.
Three of Indiana’s top four scorers from last season will be back, with Morgan being joined by De’Ron Davis (9.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg in 15 games) and Devonte Green (7.6 ppg), but keep in mind that Davis is coming off of a year that came to an end due to a ruptured Achilles tendon in his right leg. How much time it takes for Davis to get back to full strength remains to be seen, but the additions of Fitzner and three four-star recruits (Jerome Hunter, Damezi Anderson and Jake Forrester) will help the Hoosiers from a numbers standpoint.
That all being said Morgan’s decision to return to Indiana gives the team a proven leading offensive option, ensuring that the Hoosiers can return to the NCAA tournament after missing out in each of the last two seasons.