If Idaho State is going to be better than last season, when they went 9-20 and were poor offensively and defensively, they will need a big season from JUCO transfer Melvin Morgan.
Morgan will be replacing departing senior Broderick Gilchrist, and much of the ballhandling and playmaking onus will fall on his shoulders. Coach Joe O'Brien (and a commenter on a previous post!) certainly thinks he is up to the challenge:
“Melvin gives us our best true point guard we've recruited since we've been here,” O'Brien said. “He is a guy we have been watching since high school and someone who looks to pass first and score second. His stock really went up this year.”Morgan averaged 15.9 PPG and 3.4 assists per game last year as a sophomore, and ISU will immediately need that type of production from him during his first season in Pocatello. He is also a solid outside shooter, with a 41.6% mark from downtown and over 70% from the stripe.
Last year Gilchrist had a higher turnover rate than assist rate, and he was not all that efficient as a scorer. Morgan should be a better distributor than Gilchrist, which will obviously help the offense all around. He could also potentially match his scoring output with a little more efficiency, but the better bet would be for him to settle in at a lower clip than Gilchrist, which is ok.
Melvin Morgan should be one of the top incoming players in the Big Sky, and Coach O'Brien will need him to be that and then some for Idaho State to get back around the .500 mark in the Conference. No matter how well the team does, though, Bengals fans should be treated to a guy that plays the PG role a little more traditionally than Broderick Gilchrist did last year.
ISU fans, what are your expectations for Morgan?