Jesse Morgan invited to Utah Jazz summer league

Jesse Morgan will play for the Utah Jazz in the the Utah Jazz Summer League.

The former Owls’ guard averaged 11.9 points per game last season and knocked down a team-high 68 3-pointers.

The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania native sat out the 2013-2014 season due to NCAA transfer rules after transferring from the University of Massachusetts.

Morgan played his first game as an Owl on Dec. 18, 2014 against the University of Delaware, scoring 16 points on 6 of 16 shooting, including 4 of 8 on three-point field goals.

Morgan played high school basketball at Olney High School in Philadelphia and was a first team All-City selection.

The league, which runs from July 6 to 9, will include summer league teams from the San Antonio Spurs, Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers.

Morgan joins his former teammate, Will Cummings — who agreed to terms on a free agent contract with the Houston Rockets on June 26 — in the pursuit of making an NBA roster. The Rockets will be participating in the Las Vegas Summer league, which begins on July 10.

Men’s basketball to contest conference quarterfinal with Memphis

HARTFORD, Conn. – When Memphis faces the Owls Friday in a quarterfinal matchup in the American Athletic Conference Tournament, it’ll likely do so without its top scorer.

Sophomore forward Austin Nichols re-injured his ankle in the Tigers’ 74-72 overtime loss to Tulsa on Feb. 28, and hasn’t played since. Reports last week said Nichols, who averages 13.3 points per game, will likely sit out for the duration of the Connecticut-hosted tournament, which will take place in downtown Hartford at the XL Center.

Nichols initially injured the ankle in Memphis’ 61-60 home defeat to the Owls (22-9, 13-5 The American), in which junior guard Josh Brown hit a game-winning jump shot with 2.4 seconds left to play.

Senior forward Calvin Godfrey has averaged 11 points in his last two games starting in Nichols’ spot on the frontcourt alongside junior Shaq Goodwin. Without Nichols, Goodwin will enter Friday’s contest as the leading scorer for the Tigers (18-13, 10-8 The American) with his 9.5 ppg.

Senior guards Will Cummings and Jesse Morgan are coming off games in which they netted point totals of 23 and 17, respectively, in the Owls’ 75-63 defeat of Connecticut in their regular-season finale March 7 at the Liacouras Center. Cummings, who earned first-team all-conference honors for his regular-season efforts, paces Temple with 14.1 ppg, along with 4.3 assists per game and 2.1 steals per game. After re-joining the starting lineup Jan. 22 against South Florida after suffering a muscle strain in his lower left leg earlier in the month, Cummings hasn’t scored less than 12 points in any of Temple’s contests since.

Morgan, meanwhile, enjoyed his highest point total in a game Saturday since he netted 19 points in the Owls’ defeat of USF on Jan. 22. He sank 5 of 7 3-pointers in the victory, including two in the game’s final eight minutes.

With the absence of Nichols, junior Jaylen Bond, the conference’s leading rebounder with 8.3 boards per game, could benefit from a favorable matchup Friday alongside a combination of Temple forwards Devontae Watson and Obi Enechionyia.

Temple last won a conference tournament in the 2010-11 season as a member of the Atlantic 10. In The American’s inaugural tournament at Memphis last year, the Owls dropped a 94-90 contest to South Florida in double overtime.

The Tigers entered a conference quarterfinal matchup against Connecticut last season as the favorites and the No. 19-ranked team in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, but were topped, 72-53, by the Huskies en route to UConn’s national-title-winning run.

The two teams will tip off at 2 p.m., and will be shown on ESPN2. The winner will play Saturday at 3 p.m. against the victor of a quarterfinal between East Carolina and Southern Methodist, which will take place Friday at noon.

After winning week, Owls receive Top 25 votes

The men’s basketball team received 33 points in this week’s Associated Press Top 25 poll, which was released Monday.

Monday’s poll marked the first time Temple garnered Top-25 consideration since the week of March 11 during the 2012-13 season, when the Owls reached the second round of the NCAA tournament in their last season before jumping to the American Athletic Conference from the Atlantic 10.

Conference victories in the last week against Connecticut (7-5, 0-1 The American) on Wednesday and Central Florida (7-6, 0-2 The American) Sunday ran the team’s current win streak to five games. During the streak, which included a 77-52 win against No. 10 Kansas on Dec. 22, the Owls (11-4, 2-0 The American) have benefited from an improved 3-point shooting effort.

Since gaining eligibility to play on Dec. 18, transfers Jesse Morgan (14 points per game) and Devin Coleman (5.0 ppg.) have added depth to a squad that needed it, while another transfer in Jaylen Bond has averaged eight ppg and 7.9 rebounds per game. Bond had a career night against the Knights on Sunday, when his 21 points and 14 boards helped Temple to an 84-78 victory.

The Owls will face Tulane University (11-3) and the University of Tulsa (9-5) this week, The American’s two teams along with Temple that have started conference play with a pair of wins. Temple’s road contest against Tulane will tip off Wednesday at 7 p.m., while the Owls will host Tulsa at the Liacouras Center Saturday at 3 p.m.

Morgan to sit early, play spring semester

Senior guard Jesse Morgan has decided to play out his final semester of eligibility in the spring, according to a CBS Sports report Wednesday.

Morgan will miss the Owls’ first 10 games of the 2014-15 season, and will become eligible to play starting on Dec. 18 for Temple’s non-conference matchup at the University of Delaware.

Temple had petitioned for Morgan to receive a full year of eligibility for the 2014-15 season, but the NCAA elected to maintain Morgan’s eligibility for one semester. On the American Athletic Conference media day at the New York Athletic Club last Wednesday, coach Fran Dunphy said the ruling allowed Morgan to choose whether to play out his semester of eligibility in the fall or the spring.

Originally a University of Massachusetts commit, Morgan averaged 13.4 points per game as a junior during the 2012-13 campaign for the Minutemen, before a torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament ended his season. He transferred to Temple that summer and petitioned for eligibility for the 2013-14 season, but was denied a waiver by the NCAA.

After he regains eligibility, Morgan will join an experienced Temple backcourt that features senior Will Cummings, junior Quenton DeCosey and junior transfer Devin Coleman, who will play his first season with the team after sitting out in 2013-14, per the NCAA’s transfer policy.

Morgan ruled ineligible to play for Temple

Jesse Morgan, the former Massachusetts guard, was denied eligibility to play for Temple in the 2013-14 season, making it unlikely that Morgan will ever suit up for the Owls.

The news was first reported by Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

There are a few possible reasons Morgan’s appeal was denied. He did not take classes in the spring 2013 semester because UMass denied him the ability to do so for disciplinary reasons. NCAA rules require that to be eligible, a student-athlete must make continual academic progress. Another possible reason is that Morgan has already used four years of eligibility, and this year (which he would have had to sit out) would have counted as his fifth, rendering him unable to play.

The Olney High graduate tore his ACL in January and was later expelled from UMass for disciplinary reasons, which is why he did not take classes in the spring. He was averaging 13.4 points per game in 14 games before the injury.

Morgan meeting with NCAA Monday

Former Massachusetts guard and current Temple student Jesse Morgan will meet with the NCAA on Monday to determine his eligibility for the 2013-14 season.

This story was first reported by Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports. Morgan, a native Philadelphian who attended Olney High School, tore his ACL in January and was later expelled from UMass for disciplinary reasons.

Morgan has just one year of eligibility left, and the meeting will potentially decide if he can use it at all, and if so, whether he can use it for the 2013-14 season. He is enrolled at Temple as a continuing studies student.

He was in the midst of his best collegiate season last year before the injury, averaging 13.4 points per game in 14 games.

Former UMass guard taking Temple summer classes

The Temple News has confirmed an report that former Massachusetts guard Jesse Morgan has enrolled in summer classes at Temple.

Morgan has one remaining season of eligibility. If he is cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse, he could use it to join the Owls.

Morgan, an Olney High School graduate, just finished up his junior year of college, in which he averaged 13.4 points in 28.7 minutes per game. He was the Minutemen’s second-leading scorer behind junior guard Chaz Williams..

Morgan has not played since January, when he suffered a torn ACL in a loss to Saint Louis. It is unclear if he will be fully healed in time for the 2013-14 season. He reportedly left UMass for disciplinary reasons.