Scouting Moses Morgan: Nevada 4A State Championship

Dylan Burkhardt
score-boardKen in Vegas, a frequent commenter on the site, made it out to see Moses Morgan play in the Nevada Class 4A State Championship game. Moses and his Palo Verde squad were taking on Bishop Gorman, a team that had beaten them just a week earlier. Moses had 10 points and 9 rebounds in the loss and it sounds like he never really got going on offense. Ken’s thoughts on the game are below and there are also some links video clips and photo galleries after the story.


When a final full-court desperation shot was blocked and the buzzer sounded, a dejected Moses Morgan knew he had let a state championship slip through his fingers and the young junior couldn’t help but show emotion.  Morgan walked back to the bench in disbelief, which eventually turned to anger as he punched a folding chair and ripped his jersey off. Palo Verde parents screamed obscenities at the refs, who had arguably cost them the game. The coaches clutched their heads in shock, before finally sulking over to congratulate an uproarious opponent.

Palo Verde and Bishop Gorman battled it out for the Class 4A  Nevada State Championship on Friday night at The Orleans Hotel and Casino.  The final score was 56-55 in favor of Gorman, and the final 2 minutes were absolutely heartbreaking.  The game had been sloppy and unimpressive throughout, another indicator of the level of talent in Nevada, but Palo Verde had control the entire way.  With 2 minutes left to go and a 6 point lead, all Palo had to do was control the ball, but a few turnovers later Gorman had tied the game with two clutch 3-point baskets.  Palo still had the upper hand, however, as they had the ball with 16 seconds left and a chance to take the final shot.  A streaky Palo guard drove through the lane and botched a contested lay-up with 3 seconds left on the ticker. What transpired next, was basically a replay of the Iowa game when DeShawn was called for a foul while trying to tie up a loose ball.  Instead of swallowing his whistle and sending a hard fought game to overtime, he called a reach-in foul on Palo Verde as they tried to secure a rebound.  With 7 team fouls, this sent Gorman to the line with 1 second left and a chance to ice the game with a free throw.  The crucial shot of a 1-1 fell, and the second one rimmed out, which conveniently gave Palo Verde no chance at a solid miracle attempt.

Moses Morgan was virtually a non-factor in this game.  He scored 10 points according to my tally on a poor shooting performance and never seemed to be in good positions to score.  My overall assessment of his play is nearly identical to my first scouting report.  In that report I said that I felt he had been overrated due to poor competition, and my opinion has not changed.  Moses never once created any offense for himself or tried to score off the dribble.  If we are recruiting him to replace Manny Harris, then we are going to be sorely disappointed.  He will have to gain a wealth of coordination and confidence in his senior year to be that kind of player.  He’s just not a good enough ball-handler to take it to the rack or find a crease yet.  90% of the points I have seen him score in the 3 games I have attended have been offensive rebounds or open jump shots.  That being said, he is a good shooter (although not last night) and has a great wing span.  At this point in time, he reminds me of Anthony Wright, and I would project him to be a slightly more athletic and productive version of him.  Again, this is only my assessment at this point in time.  I have no experience scouting high school talent and may just not have proper perspective, however I suspect that watching the likes of Zeigler or Hardaway Jr would have left a very different taste in my mouth. It will be interesting to see how Moses develops as a senior and I will certainly keep you updated.

More on the game:

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  • Avery Queen

    Also keep in mind the Huggins is pretty sketchy.

  • raiderfan

    I completely agree with what everyone is saying about Beilein doing things the right way. My personal opinion aside, JB does a great job of turning these boys into very well-mannered, respectful, student athletes. While I may disagree with his recruiting success, he is definetely no Kelvin Sampson. He does everything by the book and refuses to bring in players who will mess up the chemistry of his team. This could also be a reason why he doesn’t go after the top recruits, as oftenly those players can be a distraction to the program.

  • Ken in Vegas

    Let’s give Beilein a chance to recruit AT MICHIGAN before we start labeling him a good recruiter or a bad recruiter. We can really only judge him on one class. Considering we are coming off the worst season in program history, I would have to say he did an EXCELLENT job.

  • raiderfan

    I wouldn’t say he did an excellent job with his first class. Novak and Douglass average 12.8 ppg between the two of them. That is about 17 percent of Michigan’s total points. In comparison, West Virginia’s three freshman, Ebanks, Jones and Bryant average 25.2 ppg. That is about 38 percent of WVU’s total ppg. Beilein’s first class is well below the national average for freshman production. His second class, however, looks to be much more talented and deeper so hopefully that will produce better results.

  • Avery Queen

    that’s a fair point.

    i think the key is how you evaluate recruiting. there getting big time recruits part (4/5 stars) and there’s picking winners like joe d taking stuckey (obviously not recruiting but same idea).

    evaluating what beilein has done so far clearly the 08 class was lacking in top recruits and i don’t think you could have hoped for much better. he has made progress already with the ’09 class but it’s just too early to really evaluate. what you can say is he took two nobodies and look at what we got. stu would get time for any team in the big ten that gave him a shot and probably start for a handful of teams. novak is more of a role player and is playing that role pretty well considering he is definitely not a real 4.

  • Jay

    Ken..I respect your opinion but his work speaks for itself. He is a solid player trust in that. Hes put up numbers against Anthony Marshall who is going to UNLV, he also looked good in games vs Elijah Johnson from Cheyenne who is going to Kansas, one of the top PG’s in the nation. Every night out these kids are not going to face equal talent. But this kid is good, and at about 6-4/5ish with the possibiliity of growing I would take him in a heartbeat. A true wing, who can put it on the floor and attack the rim with a strong J? I cannot knock that at all.

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  • Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Thx for the post