Malik Morgan didn’t have to search far to find a new landing spot.
Barely a week after the sophomore left LSU, the guard is headed to Tulane, after signing the necessary paperwork with Green Wave coach Ed Conroy on Wednesday night.
The former John Curtis standout, who tore a patellar tendon in his right knee on Feb. 12 against Auburn, was released along with Shane Hammink and Anthony Hickey last week.
The 6-foot-4 Morgan, who averaged 4.9 points and 3.0 rebounds over 52 games, had been one of LSU’s key reserves.
He’s been a target Conroy’s since scoring 28.9 points per game as a junior for the Patriots in 2010-11, which earned him four-star status from Rivals.com before signing with LSU.
“Conroy was the first person to offer Malik when he was coming out of high school, and he was always my favorite person who recruited us,” said Detre Morgan, Malik’s mother. “Back then, Tulane wasn’t the most obvious choice to me, but as far as people, Conroy and I hit it off.
“So when we had another opportunity to go through this process we went with the relationship and went with the right people. He was the right person for us.”
The former Class 2A All-State pick fielded interest from UNO, Houston and UTEP, a source close to Morgan said. No matter where he landed, the likelihood was Morgan will likely sit out this season with a medical redshirt, leaving him two years of eligibility.
UTEP also courted Morgan out of high school, while Houston coach Kelvin Sampson had a connection with the guard through Morgan’s AAU coach in Quannas White, who played under Sampson at Oklahoma.
Detre Morgan added Tulane’s academic reputation and the fact his younger sister, Kolby Morgan, will be a freshman for the Green Wave’s women’s basketball also helped sway Tulane in their favor.
The youngest Morgan sibling, Kai Morgan, is a guard at John Curtis and already projected as one of the state’s top 2017 prospects.
“Kolby was already going to Tulane and just when we thought LSU would be the place where the whole family would end up, now it looks like it could be Tulane,” Detre Morgan said. “Maybe this is the place. All we know is for right now, Tulane is great for us and we are excited.”
There’s also a measure of stability around the Green Wave program after Conroy was rewarded with a two-year contract extension on Monday.
The fourth-year coach, who has gone 65-65 in four seasons, has led Tulane to back-to-back postseason trips, and the program is preparing to transition from Conference USA to the American Athletic Conference.
“I think it’s better than a good fit, it’s a great fit,” White said. “Coach Conroy was the first person to call me and Malik once he got his release. I think Tulane should be really excited because they are getting a great player.”
Even after the addition of Morgan, Tulane still has two scholarships available for the 2014-15 season and is actively recruiting to fill the spots this spring.
“I don’t think Malik was given the opportunity at LSU to do some of the things he can do,” White said. “Malik could have started on my Final Four team (at Oklahoma in 2002), that’s how good he is. It’s just the type of confidence I have in him after coaching him and now I believe he’s going to get that opportunity to show that off.”