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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, May 30, 2018 1:00 am

Edwards, Morgan to remain in school

Purdue, IU standouts stay out of NBA draft

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

Both Indiana and Purdue basketball saw their outlooks for the 2018-19 season improve significantly Tuesday. Indiana forward Juwan Morgan and Purdue guard Carsen Edwards both withdrew their names from the NBA draft and will return to school.

The pair led their teams in scoring last season, with Morgan putting up 16.5 points per game and Edwards pouring in 18.5. The Purdue guard, who won the Jerry West Award as the nation's best shooting guard, will be a junior, while Morgan will be a senior.

“It's been a great process and I thank all the teams for their feedback, but after talking with my family, coaches, and closest friends, it is in my best interest to return to IU and continue preparing for my senior year,” Morgan said in a statement. “It has always been a goal of mine to play basketball at the highest level and that hasn't changed.”

Indiana announced Morgan's return on Twitter with a video package of highlights from the forward's Hoosiers career. He was all-Big Ten second team last season and led the Hoosiers in points and rebounds (7.4) and was second in steals (1.2) and blocks (1.4).

Morgan was not invited to the NBA combine and was not listed on most mock drafts, even as a second-round pick. Nick Baumgart, editor of and a coach in Indiana for 15 years, said he thought it would be a good idea for Morgan to come back for his final season.

“No doubt I love Juwan Morgan, and I love his talent,” Baumgart said. “He's so well-rounded at everything. ... If I look at Juwan, if he were to become really good from the corner, a really good corner 3-point shooter this year, kind of work on that, (then) he's an (NBA) jump shooter.

“If I'm an NBA (general manager), it's just really hard for me to project him right now as great at anything.”

Morgan returns to a team that has a chance to rival his freshman squad as the best of his Indiana career. The Hoosiers made the Sweet 16 and won a Big Ten regular-season title in the Waynesville, Missouri, native's first season.

After missing the NCAA Tournament the last two seasons, Indiana brings in a recruiting class that ranks No. 9 nationally, per, including Indiana Mr. Basketball Romeo Langford.

Purdue coach Matt Painter announced Edwards' choice at the “Boilermakers On the Road” event in Jeffersonville. Painter also announced freshman guard Nojel Eastern will make his final draft decision today, the deadline to make such a decision.

Edwards was not listed on most mock drafts, but he was invited to the NBA combine, where he was the shortest of the 69 players at a shade under 5-foot-11. He was all-Big Ten first team in last season but will be the only returning starter on a team that loses one of the best senior classes in program history. 

“I love the dude's game,” said Reid Forgrave, an NBA and college basketball writer at CBS Sports. “At some point as a second-round pick for a team that needs a backup point guard in the NBA, I think he'd be a super smart pick.”