Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Onetime Seton Hall recruit Jesse “The Takeover” Morgan has enrolled early in school.
But it’s not Seton Hall.
“He’s at UMass,” Fred Snead, Morgan’s Godfather and coach, said by phone.
“Yes, he is at UMass,” confirmed a source close to the UMass basketball program.
The 6-foot-5, 175-pound Morgan, out of Philadelphia Olney, signed a Letter of Intent with Seton Hall in the fall but Snead says he does not have a qualifying SAT score.
The Big East does not accept non-qualifiers, but the Atlantic 10 does. Morgan will have to spend a year in residence at UMass and meet their minimum academic requirements before potentially being eligible for the second semester of the 2010-11 season.
“He doesn’t have a qualifying SAT score,” Snead said. “He wasn’t going to qualify [at Seton Hall]. The Big East doesn’t take non-qualifiers.
“In the Atlantic 10 they can take non-qualifiers. He has to maintain a GPA of 2.0.”
Snead pointed to several former A-10 stars, including Eddie Jones (Temple) and Lou Rowe (UMass), who he said took this route.
“UMass has a success rate with a a lot of guys from Philadelphia, a lot of different guys that went that route,” Snead said.“They have to prove themselves as a college student before they can play basketball.”
Morgan did not pick up his cell phone when called and a Seton Hall spokesman declined comment.
UMass was originally on Morgan’s list before he chose Seton Hall in the fall.
Morgan graduated from Philadephia Olney, Snead said, but went to South Kent (Conn.) to boost his academic status. He parted ways with South Kent coach Kelvin Jefferson after just two months at the school.
“He went there to help shore up his academic status but was only at the school two months,” Snead said.
Morgan would have joined a 2010 Seton Hall recruiting class that includes Paterson Catholic wing Fuquan Edwin.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to add Jesse Morgan to the program,” Pirates coach Bobby Gonzalez said when Morgan signed in November. “He’s a versatile player that can play any one of the three guard positions. We feel he’s one of the most underrated players in the country and that he’s destined to be a future star at Seton Hall. His long-term potential is incredible, and in the short-term, he’ll provide quality insurance for Jeremy Hazell. He’s a big guard, who can play the point if necessary, and it’s good for us to add a kid from Philadelphia to our roster as well.”
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.