Juwan Morgan

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Indiana’s Juwan Morgan returns to practice following shoulder injury

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Indiana pulled off one of this season’s most impressive victories on Saturday night when the Hoosiers went on the road and got a top-ten win at Michigan State. Ending a seven-game losing streak, the win is even more impressive considering that senior forward Juwan Morgan only played part of the first half before exiting with a shoulder injury.

According to a report from Andy Katz on Monday night, Morgan practiced with the team on Monday as the Indiana coaching staff seems optimistic about his recovery. Indiana has a busy week with two home games on Thursday against Iowa and on Saturday against Ohio State as the Hoosiers need all of the wins they can get right now after the losing streak put them squarely on the bubble.

Averaging 15.9 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.0 steals per game, Morgan is also shooting 58 percent from the floor and 37 percent from three-point range. He’s a huge part of Indiana’s offense and forms a great one-two punch with freshman guard Romeo Langford. While Indiana was able to pull off Saturday’s critical Big Ten win without Morgan, they need him to return to the lineup to make the NCAA tournament and get off the bubble.

Juwan Morgan’s status remains uncertain for Indiana

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Indiana senior forward Juwan Morgan is battling a leg injury as his current status remains certain. In a radio interview played Monday night that was recorded on Saturday night, Indiana head coach Archie Miller said that Morgan’s injury was a leg injury and not a foot injury as he received an X-ray.

Morgan exited Saturday’s Big Ten win over Northwestern with under four minutes to play as he didn’t return. The Hoosiers have a Big Ten road game at Penn State on Tuesday as Morgan’s injury will be something to monitor for that game and beyond.

Averaging 16.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game this season, Morgan is a huge part of Indiana’s expectations as he’s been a key player for them the past few seasons. Without Morgan in the lineup, it would be interesting to see how Indiana changed up its rotation as they could go to a smaller look, or use more of its frontcourt bench in early minutes.

Things don’t get much easier for Indiana after the Penn State game on Tuesday as they play Louisville on Saturday before a Crossroads Classic game in Indianapolis against Butler the following weekend. Indiana will need a healthy Morgan back as soon as possible if they hope to potentially make the NCAA tournament.

Indiana lands commitment from three-star 2015 power forward

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Indiana head coach Tom Crean added his second big man to his Class of 2015, as Jefferson City High (Missouri) power forward O.G Anunoby announced that he had committed to the Hoosiers during a press conference at his school on Tuesday.

Last month, four-star power forward Juwan Morgan became the first piece to Crean’s current recruiting class. The 6-foot-7 Anunoby, who picked Indiana over the likes of Iowa and Georgia, is regarded as a three-star recruit by Rivals.

“I think he was intrigued with Indiana from day one,” Anunoby’s AAU coach Norton Hurd told Brian Snow of Scout.com following the decision. “From the day Tom Crean offered him I think Indiana led. They were the first high-major to offer him a scholarship in July while other coaches were waiting around.”

“Crean talked about how he doesn’t wait for other coaches to offer. When he sees a player he likes that he knows he can develop he offers him a scholarship, and that is what he did and it really impressed O.G.”

In the summer, Anunoby played six for Team Thad in the Under Armour Association.

College Basketball Talk’s Recruiting Roundup

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Each Monday and Friday, College Basketball Talk’s Scott Phillips goes over some important news and notes in the world of college basketball recruiting. This week, Florida State’s big weekend, Texas A&M continues momentum and can Tom Crean and Indiana pull together a solid recruiting class?

Florida State basketball puts together a huge weekend

Florida State is fresh off of a national championship on the football field and many fans of college athletics wouldn’t associate the school with having a strong basketball program.

But Leonard Hamilton made major waves in the college basketball world over the weekend by landing two high-level wings in Georgia native Malik Beasley and in-state five-star wing Dwayne Bacon. When you couple those two with previous Florida State 2015 wing commit Terance Mann, the Seminoles have the makings of a class that competes with ACC juggernauts like Duke, North Carolina and Louisville.

Bacon, Beasley and Mann all do different things well and when you add a shooter like Xavier Rathan-Mayes to the equation, then the Seminoles have the makings of a fantastic dearth of wing talent for years to come.

Now, can the Seminoles keep the recruiting momentum going by adding an elite point guard or big man with this group in the next year or two? That remains to be seen, but recruits absolutely notice Florida State’s athletic department thriving and basketball should be a sport that is included in that equation.

But if Florida State wants to annually compete with the big boys of the ACC they’ll still need to add a high-level floor general to get those wings the ball and a post presence that can make Leonard Hamilton’s free-flowing offense tough to stop. The wings are a start, and give Florida State a lot of playmaking talent, but they need to keep going if they want to win championships on the hardwood.

Texas A&M continues to pull in talented players

Billy Kennedy and Texas A&M continued its Texas Titans-to-A&M pipeline over the weekend with the commitment of four-star small forward and perimeter shooting threat D.J. Hogg.

The addition of Hogg and Tyler Davis in the 2015 class goes along with Texas Titans guards Avery Johnson Jr. and Alex Robinson in the previous class. Simply put, this is one of the biggest grassroots-to-college pipelines we’ve seen in quite some time and other recruits are starting to notice the influx of talent as well.

Prized five-star guard Malik Newman — not a member of the Texas Titans, but from Mississippi — has scheduled his first official visit to Texas A&M, according to Courtney Cronin of the Clarion-Ledger, and the Aggies also remain in the mix for Titans wing and former Ohio State commit Mickey Mitchell.

Despite resurgent 2013-14 campaigns from in-state rivals Texas and SMU, the Aggies have built recruiting momentum in Texas, and elsewhere, using in-state connections and the hard work of assistant coaches Kyle Keller, Rick Stansbury and Amir Abdur-Rahim.

Texas A&M is already off to a great start in 2015 and more important commitments could be on the way.

Can Indiana put together a strong class?

Indiana and head coach Tom Crean aren’t in the mix with many elite five-star prospects in the 2015 class, but can the Hoosiers still piece together a good group?

That’s what Hoosier fans are hoping for and a big piece of that equation will come on Wednesday when four-star forward Juwan Morgan decides between Indiana and Vanderbilt.

Although Crean and his staff aren’t involved with many All-American candidates, in-part because Indiana’s high school prospects are a bit down in 2015, Crean has still done plenty of good things with under-the-radar prospects that he later develops.

During both his time at Marquette and Indiana, Crean has developed guys like Dwyane Wade and Victor Oladipo from under-recruited prospects into NBA lottery picks. That’s not to say Crean and Indiana will work that sort of magic with this 2015 class, but it goes to show that talent development is a big part of what Indiana can accomplish.

If Indiana ends up with Mokan teammates Morgan and Shake Milton, the Hoosiers are getting two players that helped lead that program to Peach Jam while each player had a strong spring and summer.

They might not be the All-Americans that Indiana fans are craving, but Crean has shown that he can still win a lot of games without those types of recruits.

Four-star power forward sets date for commitment

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The last month has been a busy one on the recruiting trail, with many Class of 2015 prospects deciding to pick a school early as opposed to waiting until the spring. One more player revealed his intentions to make an early decision on Sunday, with 6-foot-8 four-star power forward Juwan Morgan scheduled to announce his choice on Wednesday according to Evan Daniels of Scout.com.

Also of note with regards to the Waynesville, Missouri native is the fact that he’s down to two schools according to the report: Indiana and Vanderbilt.

Morgan played for the MOKAN Elite program this summer, averaging 11.2 points and 6.9 rebounds per game in Nike EYBL play. As a junior at Waynesville HS Morgan emerged as one of the best players in Missouri, averaging 19 points and ten rebounds per game. For his efforts he was named Ozark Conference Player of the Year.

“Juwan is becoming one of the better players in Missouri,” Waynesville head coach Chris Pilz said in a release announcing Morgan’s award. “He is improving daily and becoming a quality leader for our program. He is garnering attention from colleges/universities across the country while staying humble and hungry for improvement – we look forward to him leading us in another successful year next year.”

Morgan, who took an official visit to Indiana this weekend, is a player both the Hoosiers and Commodores can use for their respective front courts. Front court depth isn’t an area of strength for either program as they approach the 2014-15 season, with Indiana having just one upperclassman (junior Hanner Mosquera-Perea) to go along with three sophomore wings (including Troy Williams and Devin Davis) and four freshmen.

As for Vanderbilt they have more experience heading into this season, but the Commodores will have to account for the loss of three players at the end of the 2014-15 campaign with Josh Henderson, Shelby Moats and James Siakam all being seniors. Ranked 105th in the Class of 2015 by Rivals, Morgan’s decision Wednesday will be an important one for both Indiana and Vanderbilt.