At the beginning of each new year, Phenom Hoops works to assemble a series of articles centered around unsigned senior prospects. Last season, hundreds of players from North Carolina went on to play at the Division I, II, III or NAIA levels, and that number looks likely to continue increasing with the current senior class. Typically, we take a closer look at guys who are overlooked and underrated, and today’s edition will highlight Eric Morgan Jr. of Liberty Heights.
We’ve seen Morgan countless times this season, stating, “In rounding out the roster, Morgan Jr. quietly goes about his business and maximizes his two-way presence for this group. He’s as low-maintenance as any of the Cardinals, truly able to defend his position and capitalize on spot-up opportunities as a perimeter shooter. Morgan is smart, tough, and does a great job of filling in the gaps.” Which was later followed by, “Morgan fills such a meaningful role for this squad. Quality spot-up threat with toughness and defensive prowess. Plays hard, effectively attacks closeouts, and moves well without the ball. Deserving of opportunities.” And, “Morgan knows how to maximize his presence on both ends of the floor. Scrappy defender and useful shot-maker with the understanding of how to cut, make the extra pass, and knock down open jumpers.”
There’s simply no denying the massive pool of talent from Liberty Heights, and Morgan is definitely included within that group. It’s somewhat disappointing to see a player like him, who has clearly taken a lesser role for the betterment of the team, getting brushed to the side for no real reason. College coaches want gaudy production, which is somewhat understandable, but there should arguably be more value in already understanding how to produce within a role. How many guys are going to go to college to receive the same role or touches? Almost zero. On the contrasting side, someone like Morgan should be more coveted due to the seamless transition of roles. He’s a reliable defender and shot-maker (from midrange or beyond the arc) with IQ, motor, and toughness. Morgan hits jumpers at an efficient clip, doesn’t force the action, and consistently does the dirty work whenever available. He will be a useful piece wherever he ends up.