Morgan's Game Making Strides

GoBlueWolverine talked with U of D Jesuit High School Coach Pat Donnelly about Jordan Morgan and his development this year and his future. The future Wolverine is making steady progress this year and could develop into a contributor for the Maize & Blue during his freshman season.

GoBlueWolverine: How is Jordan doing this year?

Coach Donnelly: "Jordan is doing pretty well this year. He is averaging sixteen points a game with nine rebounds a game. That is deceiving as well because he is the focus of every team's defense we're playing so far and is getting double and triple teamed pretty often."

GoBlueWolverine: What do you think of Jordan's potential?

Coach Donnelly: "He has a long way to go in terms of potential where he is as a player. This is my first opportunity to coach him this year and he has a lot of raw physical ability. He is 6'7 and 240lbs and can run pretty, jump well, along with he has a lot of strength and athletic ability. He is just learning the fundamental things now that will make him into a very good player.  Once Jordan gets over to Michigan with Coach Beilein and staff I really think they are going to be pleasantly surprised to see what type of player Jordan will develop into. He is also a great kid and an intelligent kid as well.

GoBlueWolverine: What are the strengths and weakness that Jordan needs to work on at the next level?

Coach Donnelly: "He really tries and is working to develop his touch from the perimeter. He is not bad or anything like that right now, but he is continuing to work to becoming a more consistent shooter. He does pretty well from about 12-14 feet in and a little less consistent past that range, but I believe he has the ability to become more consistent at the next level once he works on his game at Michigan under their staff."

"He is becoming stronger getting the ball inside and he is developing more post moves going to his right, going to his left, using a jump hook. He has real wide shoulders so I think that jump hook with either hand could be very effective for him."

"He needs to work on every aspect of his game such as his ball handling, like most bigger high school kids, to be a solid contributor in the Big Ten.  I know he is willing to do that and I know he is getting great coaching when he moves on from here."

GoBlueWolverine: What do you see from him in the short term? Do you see him contributing right away or do you see him having to develop his game and see limited minutes?

Coach Donnelly: "I think they are going to get a hold of him early and soon as he is finished up here, I am sure he is going to be spending a lot of time working out and getting a lot of direction on individual workouts. I think he has a lot of ability to go in and help especially with the situation they have right now with not much presence inside. It will be a big adjustment for him since he does not see many people bigger and stronger than he is… while at the next level in the Big Ten that is all he will face night in and night out.  Jordan is only 17 right now and he is a young man where he is going to be going up against players that are 21-22 years old who are physical, mature men and there will be an adjustment period for him."

"As far as his playing right away I think that is all up to Jordan, and this is not a cop out on my part. If he spends the rest of the season and the summer and the pre-season next year really devoting himself to becoming a Big Ten player and somebody that can contribute right away… because I think he has the physical tools to do it… it will come down to the mental aspect of it along with his work ethic. He has been working hard this year, but as we all know, there is a big difference between working hard in high school and working hard in the Big Ten conference. Therefore, in the end it will come down to how much Jordan wants to play and what he does from now until next season."

GoBlueWolverine: What do you think of the people saying that Jordan is not dominating as he should be at this stage?

Coach Donnelly: "We have not run into to many big players, but the other night he faced a player 6'10 player who was 250lbs. The kid he played against was not that athletic, but he is going to a division one program and Jordan was very effective against him. I know there are some skeptics out there that say he should be dominating at this level, but they are not looking at Jordan and his upside. He is a very intelligent player and I am sure that is something Coach Beilein likes… a big body and good athleticism.   Going to play at Michigan and going up against players that are more athletic and same size is really going to benefit Jordan and let him blossom and turn into a very good player for Michigan." 

GoBlueWolverine: What do you think of the Michigan coaches and them recruiting the Detroit area?

Coach Donnelly: "There was a lot of speculation when Coach Beilein first got here with the style of play and the type of kids he would want to recruit towards Michigan.  Right now, the area coaches can see good positive results. You can see just watching their games how much this team has progressed and as they continue to recruit and get players who play well in their style and system they will only get better and better." I have no doubts about that at all. Coach Beilein has done a great job no matter where he has been and he is a tremendous coach and I can tell you just being around the Detroit schools in the metropolitan areas that this Michigan coaching staff is around a lot. I especially see Mike (Jackson) a lot and they are working hard at getting Detroit / in-state players. They have shown they are busting (their behinds) to try to get those that will want to play in their system that want to come to Michigan."

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