Today, it is never surprising when a college athlete decides to switch, especially under conditions such as those around Joshua Morgan.
The 6-foot-11 center spent its freshman season in Long Beach State, blocking 80 shots (2.5 per game), tops in the Big West Conference, which named him the Defensive Player of the Year.
He entered the transfer portal and was picked up by USC in April. With one season of good play, Morgan went from a mid-major to a high-major program. Again, no surprise.
That doesn’t mean that LBSU head coach Dan Monson wasn’t very disappointed with the move.
“Well, sure, we were very disappointed because Josh was a great player,” he said.
Morgan is also a fine young man, Monson said, but this is what is happening today.
“You know, there are about 2,000 people in the transfer portal and it’s kind of a standard for college basketball right now, kids switching and having situations that are more beneficial to their careers, so we certainly understand it,” said Monson.
It was suggested to Monson that Morgan might start thinking about a move once he saw how well he played in a mid-major. Monson is not so sure.
“He’s a very good boy,” said Monson. “Worked really hard, done everything we asked, represented the school the way you want. So you’re so bad, but it’s not going through their heads. People fill their heads.
“It’s just a college basketball culture right now. You know, ‘What are you doing in Long Beach State? You could be playing in one of these bigger schools.’ And soon it’s human nature where people are going to grab those opportunities when they are presented to them. ”
Beach welcomes Raymond Hawkins
As disappointed as Monson may be at losing Morgan, he’s quite excited about the addition of striker Raymond Hawkins, who left Alabama after one season last week.
Hawkins averaged 14.9 points and 5.9 rebounds as a senior at Findlay Prep in Nevada after averaging 15.3 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks in three seasons at Bishop O’Dowd in Oakland. Hawkins entered six games as a freshman in Alabama last season.
Monson hopes Hawkins can fill Morgan’s void.
“We will try to make a request to see if he can qualify immediately and help us right away,” said Monson. “It’s a different player because he has a different physical presence from him. Raymond weighs 240 pounds and has a very developed body yet very athletic for that type of body.”
The slim Morgan weighs in the ’90s.
“You don’t get that kind of player very often, so we’re very excited,” said Monson. “(Hawkins) can come in and immediately give us a physicality. And yet it walks well on the floor and can look upwards from 15 feet and be effective. ‘
Badrtalei obtained his doctorate from UC Irvine
Ryan Badrtalei, who will be sixteenth on the UC Irvine staff next season, has been promoted to head coach by head coach Russ Turner.
“No one has been more part of our continued success in men’s basketball at UC Irvine than Ryan, and I appreciate his work ethic, professionalism, and talent,” Turner said in a statement published on the school’s website.
Butterly fifth commissioner from Big West
The Big West named Dan Butterly the fifth commissioner last week. He replaces departing Dennis Farrell, who has served in the past 28 years.
Butterly’s government begins on June 1, and Harrell ends on July 1. Butterly is currently the senior associate commissioner for the Mountain West Conference.