Dwayne Morgan

Cody Doolin’s late-game heroics push UNLV past Portland (VIDEO)

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Through his first nine games in a UNLV uniform, senior point guard Cody Doolin has proven to be a nice addition for head coach Dave Rice. On the season Doolin’s averaging 8.1 points per game, and he also has a team-best 47 assists with just nine turnovers. And Wednesday night in the Runnin’ Rebels’ 75-73 overtime win over Portland, Doolin showed just how valuable he is with two critical plays in crunch time.

The first play came in the final seconds of regulation as Doolin made his way to the basket and found a wide-open freshman Dwayne Morgan, who made the game-tying layup as time expired.

Doolin’s second big play came with four tenths of a second remaining in overtime, as this time he completed a drive to the basket on his own.

Doolin finished the game with 15 points, three assists and no turnovers, with freshman Rashad Vaughn leading the way for UNLV with a game-high 25 points to go along with seven rebounds. This is an important win for UNLV, as they complete their week with a game against No. 14 Utah Saturday night at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas.

Video credit: Tyler Bischoff (Mountain West Connection

7-foot center Chase Jeter replaces Dwayne Morgan on USA U18 National Team

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Just three days after USA Basketball announced the 12 members of the Under-18 National Team that will compete in the FIBA Americas U18 Championships that begin Friday, a family illness has necessitated a change. Due to that issue UNLV signee and 6-foot-7 forward Dwayne Morgan has to leave the team, with USA Basketball calling in 2015 center Chase Jeter to be Morgan’s replacement.

Jeter, a 7-footer who attends Bishop Gorman HS in Las Vegas, is a five-star prospect being recruited by many of the nation’s premier college programs. Among those in pursuit of Jeter’s services are Duke, Arizona, UCLA and UNLV.

“We’re really, really sorry that Dwayne is unable to play, he’s great kid and we’re sorry to hear about the illness in his family and we are supportive of his decision to return home,” U18 national team head coach Billy Donovan said in the release.

“So we’re bringing back Chase Jeter. It was really close with Chase, he played well enough during our training camp to make the team. I’m excited he’s willing to come back on such short notice. He’s a great kid and he really made a big impression on all of us.”

Jeter’s return to the squad means that Bishop Gorman now has two players on the roster, with fellow 7-footer Stephen Zimmerman being the other.

USA Basketball announces U18 national team

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On Sunday morning, USA Basketball announced its 12-man roster for the U18 national team competing in the 2014 FIBA Americas Championship.

The roster includes a pair of Duke signees, Tyus Jones and Justise Winslow. Both of them have experience with USA Basketball. Jones sparked his friendship with future teammate Jahlil Okafor through international play, and has won gold medals with the U16 and U17 teams. Winslow will be suiting up for the U18 team after winning gold with the U19 team in 2013. Arizona commit Stanley Johnson has also played for the national team for several years.

The team is coached by Florida head coach Billy Donovan. His coaching staff includes Providence’s Ed Cooley and Arizona’s Sean Miller

“I’m really excited about the team. As it is every year, it was a really hard selection process because only 12 guys can be on the team. We just tried not necessarily to take the 12 best players, we tried to take the guys that were going to make up the best team,”  Donovan said in a statement.. “We had the chance to look at this group for almost a week and all of them worked very, very hard. It’s never easy when you’ve got to get down to 12 guys because for as hard as everybody has worked you almost want everybody to be on the team, but it doesn’t work like that so it’s always a challenge.”

Here is the full roster:

  • Isaiah Briscoe; Roselle Catholic H.S. ’15 / Union, N.J.
  • Jaylen Brown; Wheeler H.S. / Alpharetta, Ga.
  • Jalen Brunson; Adlai E. Stevenson H.S. ’15 / Lincolnshire, Ill.
  • Stanley Johnson; Arizona ’14 / Fullerton, Calif.
  • Tyus Jones; Duke ’14 / Apple Valley, Minn.
  • Luke Kennard; Franklin H.S. ’15 / Franklin, Ohio (Duke)
  • Tyler Lydon; New Hampton School ’15 / Elizaville, N.Y.
  • Dwayne Morgan; UNLV ’14 / Baltimore, Md.
  • Allonzo Trier; Montrose Christian ’15 / Seattle, Wash.
  • Myles Turner; Texas ’14 / Bedford, Texas
  • Justise Winslow; Duke ’14 / Houston, Texas
  • Stephen Zimmerman; Bishop Gorman H.S. ’15 / Las Vegas, Nev.

USA Basketball will continue its training through June 19. The 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship takes place on from June 20-24 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Report: UNLV’s Roscoe Smith declares for the NBA draft

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After two inconsistent years spent at Connecticut, Roscoe Smith decided to transfer following his sophomore year, trekking to UNLV to continue his college career. Smith was eligible this past season, and after cementing a reputation as one of the nation’s best rebounders, Smith decided to leave Las Vegas and declare for the NBA draft.

Smith’s offense will need work at the next level, but as a forward who has shown dedication to grabbing each and every rebound that comes his way, Smith could be a valuable commodity. Smith’s offensive and defensive rebounding percentages both ranked with Ken Pomeroy’s top 60, and the junior was simply relentless on the glass. Teams will notice that skill and hustle, and while he continues to improve and develop his offense — his perimeter game is notably lacking, attempting just ten three-pointers last season — he could earn minutes (provided he makes a squad) because of his rebounding ability.

Even without Smith, coach Dave Rice isn’t lacking for frontcourt depth. It isn’t clear whether Khem Birch will return for the 2014-15 season, but Christian Wood will be joined by Dwayne Morgan and Goodluck Okonoboh in the paint, so the departure of Smith will actually open up some sorely needed minutes next fall.

‘Live In AC’ Preview Part II: Team Takeover (DC) favorites to win 16U

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Wednesday begins another five-day live recruiting period for Division-I coaches and, along with the events going on in Las Vegas, “Live in AC” begins in Atlantic City, N.J.

Below is a preview of the 16U division, which feature high-major talent and should draw high-major coaches to the stands to watch and evaluate. Check out NBCSports.com’s preview of the 17U right here, as well.

Marquee Player 16U: Dwayne Morgan, Baltimore’s Finest

UNLV has been hot on the trail of this Top 15 recruit from the Class of 2014. Uber-athletic and full of potential, the 6-7, 190-pound forward has a bevy of high-major offers, including from Georgetown, Florida, LSU, Miami, Maryland, NC State, Missouri, South Florida, and Seton Hall.

Roy Williams and the Tar Heels are even showing interest, of late.

Morgan is still learning how to harness all of the physical skills that he has, but his athleticism and intensity on both ends of the floor make his game very malleable and appealing to college coaches.

Favorite to Win 16U: Team Takeover DC

The backcourt combination of Phil Booth and Dion Wiley make Team Takeover one of the Top 5 16U programs in the country.

Wiley is a silky smooth shooting guard with offers from schools that include Georgetown, Maryland, and Rutgers, while Booth runs the point and has similar interest and offers, including those same three schools as Wiley, plus Indiana, Seton Hall, Villanova, and others.

Takeover begins in Pool K, along with the New Jersey Roadrunners and U-Play (Can.).

Team to Keep an Eye on 16U: DC Assault Gold

Led by guard Romelo Trimble, DC Assault is battling it out with Team Takeover for supremacy in the Washington, D.C. area. Byron Hawkins, who could likely be headed to a mid-major-type school at the collegiate level, rounds out the backcourt.

As a side note, Karl Towns, who played for John Calipari on the Dominican National Team during Olympic qualifying, will not be playing for Sports U.

Player to Keep an Eye on 16U: Abdul-Malik Abu, Expressions Elite

At Hoop Group’s Summer Jam Fest, one Division-I assistant called him “a young Emeka Okafor,” and its warranted. The 6-8 forward has trimmed down since last year, adding muscle and becoming explosive around the rim.

Tom Izzo and Michigan State recently offered the rising junior, adding to his impressive list that already includes Cincinnati, Iowa State, Providence, and Rutgers. Abu is an elite rebounder and effective low-post player around the rim, and is working to develop his game outside of the paint.

He will likely be playing without high-major counterpart Jared Terrell, who sprained his ankle during that same Hoop Group tournament this past week.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

2014 Dwayne Morgan interest rises, has UNLV, Seton Hall, NC State, USF offers


PHILADELPHIA—Right now, Dwayne Morgan is 6-7. That makes him about the same height as his mother, and he’s only a sophomore in high school.

The 2014 forward from Baltimore City College High School (Md.) has college coaches taking notice, not only because of the skills he has now, but because, down the line, he could end up being close to seven feet tall.

He currently holds offers from UNLV, Seton Hall, South Florida, and NC State, and says he is drawing interest from schools that include Texas, Maryland, and Syracuse.

“I want a team that lets me play,” Morgan told NBCSports.com this past weekend about his college desires. “Sometimes I play in and out.”

He was impressive over the weekend, showing his length in blocking shots defensively and getting to the rim offensively. He is still raw, but considering how much he can grow and how high his ceiling is, his stock should continue to rise.

As he matures on the court and understands the full breadth of his talent, the high-major offers will keep coming.

“Sometimes I get really nervous because I want to play good. I’m comfortable with it, it’s just I get so excited that I rush a little bit,” he said. “I think it’s a positive now, but as time progresses, it’ll get better.”

Morgan says, as far as his recruitment, he is not bound to any geographical area, and mentioned what he is looking for in a coach and program.

“I want a coach that will tell me the truth, a guy who will tell me if I played good or played bad,” said Morgan. “Pretty much, a hard-nosed guy because that’s how my AAU coach is.”

As a recruiting side note, Daquan Cook, a Baltimore native out of the Class of 2012, is signed to play for UNLV in the fall. The Rebel coaching staff has ties to the D.C./Baltimore area, and has been among the schools recruiting Morgan the hardest.

UNLV watched him over the weekend at the Hoop Group Jam Fest in Philadelphia.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_