If you have heard any news regarding Indiana basketball in the last two weeks, it is probably related to the signing of Romeo Langford. Although this news was a major turning point for the Hoosiers in Archie Miller’s first recruiting class, there is still a major event approaching that has taken a back seat. On April 12, returning senior forward, Juwan Morgan, declared for the NBA Draft but decided not to hire an agent in the process.
Since Morgan will not have an agent in the draft process, he has the opportunity to withdraw his name from the draft and be eligible to return to Indiana. If a player enters the NBA Draft with an agent, then they are rescinding their ability to return to their college team, which is predominately chosen by potential first-round draft picks. Morgan had a breakout year this past season as he led the team in points, rebounds, and blocks on the season, while also being elected to the second team All-Conference in the Big Ten. Unfortunately, even though Morgan was able to achieve a career year this past season for Indiana, he might still go undrafted due to the highly competitive nature of the draft.
Indiana will definitely feel the absence of Morgan in the upcoming season if he is able to sign with a team in the draft. He poses a great offensive threat, due to his lanky stature and ability to break down a defensive scheme, as well as a tremendous defender for a young team. Morgan will be a senior on the team next season, therefore he would be bringing three years’ worth of experience to a squad that could certainly benefit from it. The new-faced organization is preparing for the potential loss of Morgan, as they land multiple five-star and countless four-star recruits.
There are many analysts that would love to see Morgan go in the draft following a successful 2018 season, but there still remains a large amount of uncertainty. He would benefit from an extra year to develop his skills in college, although he would run the risk of injury or underperforming, which will damage his draft value in the following year. Miller would be delighted to see one of his players ascend to the NBA, but he also understands that the loss of Morgan would leave a large hole in their starting rotation. If Morgan is able to sign with a professional team in this year’s draft, then Miller would likely look to land a late signee to pose as his replacement.
Indiana is a collegiate establishment that has sent endless amounts of players to the NBA, with Eric Gordon, Victor Oladipo, and Cody Zeller highlighting the current Hoosiers in the league. Morgan would likely see time in the G-League, which is the standard starting point for players entering the NBA after being drafted. Whether or not Morgan is chosen to further his career in the NBA, he will always be a Hoosier to the fans that rock candy stripes. Be sure to tune-in for the draft on June 21, which is set to take place in New York at the Barclays Center.