Morgan on Huertas

Arlington County Day Coach Rex Morgan, who coached recent Rebel hoops signee David Huertas for two years in high school, believes the 6-5 guard who is transferring to Ole Miss from Florida will have a positive impact on Coach Andy Kennedy's program. Read about it inside.

Yes, it's the same Rex Morgan, the one who played guard for Jacksonville State in 1970 with Artis Gilmore on the J-State team that went to the Finals of the NCAA Tournament only to lose to the UCLA Bruins in the championship game.

Yes, we laughed about that being "100 years ago."

"Yes, that was me," Morgan, now the head hoops coach at Arlington Country Day HS in Jacksonville, FL, chuckled. "It doesn't seem like yesterday."

Morgan is the only boys basketball coach Arlington County Day has ever had. The school has been in existance for 11 years with him at the helm.

In that time, Morgan said he has been "blessed" to have coached some "excellent" basketball players.

6-5 shooting guard David Huertas, who signed with Ole Miss yesterday after making a decision recently to transfer from the Florida Gator squad, is one of them.

"David is one of the better players we've had at Arlington Country Day," Morgan began. "He could have gone to just about any school in the country out of high school. He's that good.

"He played on a team here that had six guys sign and he was the one with the most offers if that tells you something."

Morgan didn't get Huertas until David's junior year when he came to Arlington County Day from his homeland of Puerto Rico.

"David stepped in and averaged 19 points a game for us his junior year and he was the new guy," said Huertas' mentor. "He did a great job for us.

"As a senior, he averaged around 16 points a game, but he missed 12 games with a back injury, an injury that hampered him for most of the year. He was still willing, but he just wasn't the same most of the year."

College scouts had seen enough Huertas' junior year, however, and didn't back off, according to Morgan.

"If anything, he became a hotter prospect after his senior season. He chose Florida, but could have gone just about anywhere."

The decision Huertas made to transfer from a national championship team was, according to Morgan, a playing time issue.

"If Corey Brewer (the Gators' 6-8 swing man who Huertas played behind) had gone pro, I don't think David would have transferred," Morgan said. "He wasn't unhappy at Florida, he just couldn't see getting the playing time he wants with Brewer around. It's no disgrace to be beaten out by Corey Brewer, one of the best players in the country."

Morgan said the Rebels are getting a "special" person and player in Huertas.

"David is a great person. He's all business on the court. If Ole Miss has anyone who outworks him, then I tip my hat to them because they've put in a full day's work," he continued. "David is real tough and worked as hard as anyone I have ever coached. He's very coachable - a class act."

Huertas' strength, according to Morgan, is his shooting ability.

"David has great range and real strong wrists. He can shoot from anywhere and is a terrific three-point shooter," Morgan stated. "He's got big hands and handles the ball well. He was our best passer and we had a point guard who signed with Florida State who played with David.

"He's not a clear-out guy, but he can put the ball on the floor comfortably and he's real good at coming off screens ready to shoot. He's also a very good offensive rebounder."

Defensively, Morgan said Huertas was not his ace at Arlington County Day, but he got better during his freshman campaign at Florida.

"He had to get better," Morgan said. "He was guarding Corey Brewer every day in practice. His defense improved a whole lot in one year. I could tell the difference in several of their tournament games when he stepped out and successfully guarded some very good shooting guards during Florida's run to the title."

Morgan believes a redshirt year at Ole Miss will only make Huertas better.

"David won't have any pressure on him next year. He can just concentrate on getting better. After he spends a year in Andy Kennedy's program, he will be ready for action in more than a backup role. I think he needs the redshirt year to develop all his potential," Morgan closed.

Huertas, currently playing for the Puerto Rican National Team as its youngest member, will enter Ole Miss this fall and sit out a year due to transfer rules.

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