After 2 years at UCLA, native Texan, J'mison Morgan, is seeking a fresh start in his home state. The 6'10" former All-American is headed to play for the Baylor Bears.
In his sophomore season at UCLA, Morgan, who sports the nickname "Bobo", averaged 1.9 points per game, 1.3 rebounds per game, and .8 blocks per game. Under whelming numbers for one of the premiere basketball players to come from the Class of 2008. As a high school basketball sensation at South Oak Cliff High School in Dallas, Texas, Morgan caught the eye of most every program in the country. He was a 5 Star recruit, the #3 ranked center in the country, and was part of the #1 recruiting class in the nation at UCLA. He originally signed with LSU, then got a release from his letter of intent after a coaching change. Later, he found himself in Los Angeles as a UCLA Bruin. Two years later, a more mature Morgan finds himself heading closer to home.
"I am going to play at Baylor," says Morgan. "Mainly, it is a lot closer to home. It is about 45-50 minutes from the DeSoto area. My grandmother was mainly involved in taking care of me growing up. She cared for me. She was recently diagnosed with cancer, and they didn't give her much longer to live. I wanted to be close to her, and be in a position to help my family."
While the talented center is still unsure whether he will have to sit out next season, he does provide that Baylor's success last season made the decision easier.
"It actually helped that they were in contention to win a title," says Morgan about the Baylor Bears Elite 8 run this past season.
Morgan is, in essence, getting a new start. And while he looks forward to helping his new teammates, he explains why he believes Baylor will be a better fit than his previous school.
"At UCLA, they played defensive totally different. They wanted to get out and hedge. At Baylor it is much more of a matchup 2-3 zone. I think playing in the middle there, I can be productive," says Morgan.
Scott Drew and the Baylor Bears recently found success in an incoming transfer in Ekpe Udoh. Udoh, a transfer from Michigan, finished his junior season at Baylor breaking a Big 12 record for blocked shots and helping the Bears to its most successful season ever. Morgan looks to continue the trend.
"I plan on having the same type of success personally, but I also want to help my teammates as best I can," Morgan explains.
Morgan explains that he feels like he has matured a lot, and he looks forward to being a leader on a team that lost three important pieces to the puzzle. With the ability to score with his back to the basket, Morgan will most likely be called upon to bring a defensive intensity to the floor as a Baylor Bear.
Stay tuned to BearsIllustrated.com for the latest in Baylor recruiting and athletics.