Ken Bone landed some much-needed front court help on Wednesday afternoon when a 6-foot-8, 210-pound power forward from the junior college ranks committed and signed a letter of intent to play at Washington State.
Jermaine Morgan, a former three-star prospect from Chicago (Ill.) Whitney Young, becomes the second commitment in the Cougars' 2014 class, joining Seattle (Wash.) Garfield guard Tramaine Isabell, who signed his national letter of intent last week.
"I committed to Washington State today and I'm very blessed," Morgan told WazzuWatch.com. "I called coach Lopes about my decision and told him that I committed to Washington State."
Morgan, who will have three years to play two and also held offers from Bradley and New Mexico with interest from Iowa and Minnesota, says his decision had a lot to do with his relationship with the coaches and the fact they made him a huge priority.
** See bottom of page for eligibility note **
"I received an offer from them about two months ago and from there I did my research and I really liked the Pac-12 Conference," Morgan said. "I built a really good relationship with Coach Bone and Coach [Ray] Lopes and they're both real cool guys.
"Over the last couple months I've been talking to Coach Lopes as much as I can, learning more and more about the program and he's a really cool guy. He told me everything I wanted to hear and he told me the things that they're working on, he didn't lie or anything like that. He told me the truth and I really respected him for that."
Currently playing for Moberly Area Community College in Missouri, Morgan is averaging 8.5 points and 8.3 rebounds through eight games. Morgan signed with Moberly in 2012 out of Whitney Young High School where he averaged 15 points and 11 rebounds per game as a senior, which earned him All-City and All State honors.
Initially, Morgan signed with Colorado State out of high school but was released from his letter of intent when the CSU staff moved to Nebraska. He followed in their steps and made a verbal commitment to the Cornhuskers but due to some complications with online classes taken in high school, Morgan was a non-qualifier and went the junior college route.
Hoping to gain ten more pounds before arriving on campus next summer, Morgan says he's working on becoming a more complete player this season and hopes to provide an uptempo presence in the front court but also expand his game towards the perimeter.
"I like to play up and down the court and I'm a pretty fast guy so I like to be all over the place and run up and down," he said of his style of play. "I've also been working on my ball-handling a lot more, too, so I can get out on the wing and create more opportunities from out there."
Morgan committed and signed to Bone and staff sight unseen, though he admits he just had a feeling about Pullman and knew it was the place he truly wanted to be.
"I like the situation at Washington State. They're rebuilding and looking to do really great things, so I wanted to be apart of that. I'm very happy with my decision."
Notes: Morgan tells WazzuWatch.com that he has three-years to play two, however he redshirted last season, which was his first at Moberly Area CC. If he graduates on time, he should have three-years to play three, though it's unclear why Morgan reports that he has two years left. We're reaching out to his coach and as soon as we know -- or when WSU releases an official announcement -- we'll pass it along.