Senior Raymar Morgan likely has the most NBA potential of anyone on Michigan State - quite a compliment when you consider that Sparty found themselves playing in the tournament's final game. Raymar was having another solid season in 2008-09 until injuries and walking pneumonia forced him to miss quite a few games and play sparse minutes in quite a few more. He displayed first-round talent as a freshman, had another solid season as a sophomore, but in 2008-09, his stock dropped like General Motors. OK, it didn't fall that horribly, more like General Electric.
Morgan is a good defender and he has to be, because he plays for Tom Izzo. He has a good but not great mid-range jumper, and he can bang inside too. The 6-7 225 forward should fit in at the three in the NBA, but it wouldn't hurt for him to develop more post moves in college this season. Teaming with super-soph Delvon Roe at Michigan State (who might have pro potential himself some day) should make this improvement in the paint come naturally.
I had an exclusive with Morgan where I asked which skills of his needed improvement.
"Shooting definitely, just being more consistent, extending my range, ball-handling, it's coming I been working," Morgan stated.
And conversely, his biggest strengths?
"Defense, attacking the basket. Mid range jumper," he said.
When I asked whom he models his game after, Morgan responded "Sort of like a Joe Johnson/Corey Magette, I think I play a little bit like them."
It's only natural for people to compare him to former Spartan front-line players currently in the league, such as Zach Randolph and Morris Peterson. Like MoPete, he's had some ups and downs during his career in East Lansing and he can shoot from the perimeter. He's not a three-point threat like Peterson, but does possess a more balanced all-around game.
As for the Randolph comparisons, well 1) He's not batsh** crazy and 2) His game is more on the wings and less in the paint than Randolph.
Most NBA Draft experts have him going in the early-mid second round of the 2010 NBA Draft.