The Sad Saga of Baylor’s J’Mison Morgan Ends With a DismissalPosted by dnspewak on December 31st, 2012
Five years ago, long before reality set in, there was a big kid with a world of potential. He committed to play for Ben Howland and UCLA, which had just wrapped up a run of three straight Final Fours. They wrote things like this about him:
Rated the No. 3 center and the No. 23 overall prospect in the Class of 2008 by Scout.com … listed as the No. 4 center and the No. 25 overall prospect in the Class of 2008 by Rivals.com … rated the No. 2 center in the nation by Streetball and the No. 4 player at his position by BasketballPreps.com …
They made a glitzy Rivals.com profile for him that looked like this. Committed to UCLA after originally pledging to LSU and former coach John Brady. Offers from Kansas and Kentucky. Louisville. Alabama. Cincinnati. J’Mison Morgan was on his way to a heck of a college career, no doubt about it. But things didn’t quite work out at his first stop in Westwood. He struggled with his weight, got into Howland’s doghouse, faced a short suspension, and eventually found himself dismissed from the team after two unproductive seasons.
So he transferred to Baylor to play for Scott Drew. Same story. After making some strides as a junior in 2010-11, he redshirted last season and then appeared in one game this season. Over the weekend, Drew booted him from the team, ending Morgan’s unceremonious college career. Drew’s press release was quite PR-ish: “‘J’mison Morgan will definitely be missed by our team… He has grown during his time at Baylor and we are confident that he is going to continue to develop as a person and basketball player.”
UCLA fans likely forgot the J’Mison Morgan era a few days after he transferred to Waco. Baylor fans will unfortunately do the same. Morgan began his college career as a top-25 recruit and finished with career averages of 2.5 points and 1.7 rebounds per game in 72 games played. After last year’s redshirt year, he seemed like a classic case of post-sleeper hype– the kind of guy who could rebound from a bust of a career to make an impact in his last hurrah. That would have been a terrific story. Instead, Morgan’s story ends with his second collegiate dismissal. The Bears will be just fine without him, considering they have Isaiah Austin, Rico Gathers and Cory Jefferson in front of him at the power positions, but it’s hard to watch a guy fall so hard in such a short period of time.
Here’s to Morgan finding his way in professional basketball overseas, or perhaps in a totally separate avenue in life. It may not have worked for UCLA or Baylor, but as they say, the third time could certainly be a charm.