Upping his game

Morgan joins YSU

The last thing Devin Morgan wanted to be was complacent.

Delaware State wasn’t the place for him, despite being the team’s leading scorer last season. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound guard, and former Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year, wanted a new challenge.

Scoring isn’t his sole focus. He wanted something more — to contribute to a prospering organization.

Enter Youngstown State. The Penguins became his new home.

New YSU coach Jerrod Calhoun has been the pied piper of sorts, coming from Division II Fairmont State and touting an up-tempo style and a new era in Penguin basketball. He transformed the Falcons into the D-II national runner-up after five seasons.

YSU, the only Horizon League team to never go to the NCAA Tournament, went 13-21 last season and has endured 11 20-loss campaigns in the past 16 seasons.

Morgan joins Michael Akuchie (6-8, 210), Naz Bohannon (6-6, 220), Garrett Covington (6-4, 190) and Jacob Brown (6-8, 183), who have all signed with YSU.

“I wanted to elevate my game, and I felt like with the experience and relationships the Youngstown coaching staff has, I will have a great opportunity,” Morgan said.

Morgan has to sit out next season due to NCAA transfer rule and has two seasons of eligibility remaining. He’ll spend this season focusing on his business major with a concentration on management and marketing. Morgan said he’d like to improve his academics and graduate in two years.

He’ll have time to learn YSU’s new up-tempo offensive and defensive systems, a hybrid of the West Virginia style of play.

“I plan to learn the system and push my teammates in practice and workouts to bring that edge we need to keep being successful,” Morgan said.

Morgan said he follows high-motor NBA scorers like Damian Lillard, but he likes to emulate Chris Paul as well.

“He knows when to take over, but still is efficient in getting his team (involved) throughout the game,” Morgan said.

He quiets things down off the floor, but said he likes to make people laugh no matter where he is.

“I love putting smiles on people’s faces, but I don’t like negative vibes,” Morgan said.

He added he loves shopping and calls himself a big sneaker guy. Morgan plans to lace up and help the Penguins in practice sessions.

He’s happy to be at a place he can call home.

Calhoun recruited Morgan while he was at Matoaca High School in Chester, Va. This time around, he’s ready to head west.

“Youngstown is farther, but I’m more mature now and realize that sacrifice is necessary to be successful,” Morgan said. “It will give me a fresh start.”