For the second straight year, Matt Morgan will return to in Ithaca for Cornell men’s basketball after testing the waters in the NBA Draft.
Morgan, an incoming senior, declared for the draft and will withdraw in advance of the May 30 withdrawal deadline, he told The Sun on Monday. Since he did not sign with an agent, Mogan retains his final year of eligibility. The reigning Ivy League scoring champion will return for the Red a year after guiding his team to an Ivy Tournament berth.
Last ride with my dawgs! Coming for what’s ours! 🗣🔥🔴 https://t.co/UBn08vcrMr
— Matt Morgan (@TheRealMM10) May 28, 2018
“It was in my best interest to come back and play one more year and finish out not only my athletic career but also my academic career,” Morgan said in a text message on Monday. “It was great going through the process again but I’m glad to officially be back and getting ready for another run with my team.”
In declaring for the draft a year ago, Morgan said he intended to gauge interest and learn what he could improve on. After receiving feedback from three NBA teams, he returned to Cornell for his junior season.
This time around, he said his intention was to get drafted, but knew that he would return to Cornell if the opportunity didn’t arise.
Morgan said he used the process leading up to the draft, which will take place in New York City on June 21, to learn what he needs to improve in order to be a viable NBA option. Specifically, Morgan said he needs to improve his shooting percentage.
“You learn a little bit more each year,” he said. “I learned the stuff I need to improve on to get to that next level. It was great feedback and I’m ready to get in the gym and work on improving those things and [continue to expand] my game.”
With the announcement that its star guard will be back in Ithaca for the 2018-19 season, the Red’s Ivy League hopes took a positive turn. When Morgan’s classmate Stone Gettings announced his intention to transfer earlier this month, it appeared possible Cornell would lose its top two scorers.
“Stone leaving is obviously tough,” Morgan said. “He was an All-Ivy player, but we have a next-man-up mentality. We have talented [junior college] transfers and incoming freshmen. We will have most of our guys that played major minutes back while adding [incoming senior] Troy Whiteside [back from injury] as well.”
Morgan dominated the Ivy League last season, dropping 22.4 points per game. He said the pieces are in place for the Red to improve on last season’s fourth-place Ivy finish.
“We have more than enough talent to not only be competitive but to win a lot of games if we play the right way,” Morgan added. “We are all excited about the upcoming season. It’s a new challenge for us and we are going to put the work in this offseason to come back better than last year.”