Dwayne Morgan is a talented wing forward and, at 6-7, has good size for his position, yet he's barely taller than his own mother. Tabitha Chambers competed for Clemson's hoops squad in the 1990s, a 6-6 center who averaged a double-double in her own prep career.
While her son doesn't possess equivalent center size, he's never needed it. Morgan always has been an impressive athlete and wing scorer who over the years has continued to make gains.
The Runnin' Rebels appeared to be an odd fit for a Beltway talent, but Morgan gravitated toward the coaching staff and the program's preferred style of play. They offered during the 2012 summer and were joined by Seton Hall, N.C. State and others.
That fall, he impressed us as the finest prospect to attend the Elite 75. His reputation solidified on his home turf — he averaged 17 points and eight rebounds per game as a junior — and that enabled him to focus on his recruitment. Unlike many modern players, Morgan wanted to crush the suspense before it grew out of hand. Despite power brokers such as Arizona, Indiana and Georgetown all working hard to carry his favor, he committed to UNLV this past March.
He didn't perform spectacularly during the spring and summer, but he was consistently good and battled through persistent injury. When even remotely healthy, such as at the Pangos All-American Camp, he demonstrated why he became such a high priority for colleges in the first place.
At this juncture Morgan appears to be a strong contender for postseason all-star honors — though he plays a position that's absolutely loaded in the Class of 2014 — and should move on to even greater success.
Likely the most precise word to describe Morgan's body type is "spindly." Though technically that means only tall and thin, in his case the word connotes something deeper because his knees and elbows seem to command their own space. Morgan's spidery frame gives him a solid wingspan advantage over most opponents, and along with that he's a fine run/jump athlete.
He may be most impressive in the open floor. He's an outstanding scorer on the break because he can finish with slams, finger rolls or reverse layups. He's also a gifted freelance defender who could develop into a hellatious trapper.
His halfcourt offensive game doesn't have the same potency, but he has become a solid mid-range jump shooter and is a reasonably effective three-point marksman as well. He no longer relies as heavily on his athleticism, a testament to his hard work and a harbinger of future success.
He likely will outrebound most wings due to his natural physical characteristics, another quality in the plus column.
Though Morgan has shot the ball fairly well over the past year, his mechanics do leave room for concern. He shoots with something of a corkscrew wind-up that may or may not prove viable versus college competition. Altering a player's shot late in his high school career makes for a risky proposition, however, and thus simple repetition may be his most advisable approach.
Like most high school players, he also needs to get stronger and become more physical on both ends of the court. Thinking long-term, he could tighten his handle in order to create even more effectively as a slasher.
Morgan is an easy call for national prominence. He's tall, long, athletic, skilled, smart and unselfish, and that combination makes him a great bet. Most East Coast kids refuse to attend school so far away from home, and the fact that his business-minded thought process led to UNLV indicates just how serious he is as a young athlete.
If he can iron out the wrinkles — or prove they don't exist to the extent I've insinuated — he could enjoy an inspiring collegiate campaign and a 10-plus year professional career.