It was a banner week for senior guard Jeremy Morgan.
As a team, the Northern Iowa Panthers have had their ups and downs over the first month of the 2016-17 season. They opened the year with three straight wins, including a victory over the Oklahoma Sooners.
Then, they followed that up with four straight losses, including a pair to the Xavier Musketeers on back-to-back occasions.
Their losing stretch brought them into the first week of December at 3-4 overall. Many picked the Panthers to be the team that would pose the greatest challenge to the Wichita State Shockers in the Missouri Valley Conference this season.
After their two games this week, it seems as though the Panthers may have found their groove.
Northern Iowa went a perfect 2-0 this week, knocking off two high-calibre programs at home. A big reason for their two wins was the play of senior guard Jeremy Morgan.
After averaging 27.5 points and 9.5 rebounds over the Panthers’ two victories, Jeremy Morgan has been tabbed the College Court Report Co-Fan Voted Player of the Week for December 5 – 11, 2016!
Albany Great Danes‘ guard Joe Cremo was also named Co-Fan Voted Player of the Week, as voted on by basketball fans via Twitter.
In their first game of the week, the Panthers welcomed the South Dakota State Jackrabbits to town on Wednesday evening. Led by sophomore forward Mike Daum, the game was expected to be a close affair, given how the Panthers had played in their previous four games.
Close, it was not.
Morgan recorded 17 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists in the Panthers’ 86-58 drubbing of the Jackrabbits. He was 6-of-11 from the field, and 5-of-8 from three point range on the night.
While that was a strong performance all around, Morgan’s best was yet to come.
On Saturday night, the Panthers took on the North Dakota Fighting Hawks, who looked to follow up their win over the North Dakota State Bison and make it back-to-back impressive victories.
In the first half, Morgan was held scoreless, and the Panthers trailed 33-29. Something clicked in the second half, and Morgan took full control of the game.
He would score a career-high 38 points in the second half to lead Northern Iowa to the come-from-behind win over North Dakota, 78-70. Morgan outscored the entire North Dakota roster in the second half, 38-37.
Morgan finished the game with 38 points, on 10-of-17 shooting from the floor, and 16-of-22 from the free throw line. He also added 11 rebounds and 2 assists. It was his third double-double of the year.
Over the two games, Morgan averaged 27.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per contest, while helping the Panthers end their four-game skid and improve their overall record to 5-4 on the year.
For the season, Morgan is now averaging team-highs in both points (18.1 ppg) and rebounds (7.3 rpg), while also chipping in with 3.2 assists, 3.0 steals, and 1.7 blocks per contest.
He is filling up the stat sheet on a nightly basis, and the Panthers are a scary team because of his ability to take over full control of a game, like he did against the Fighting Hawks.
For his efforts over the past seven days, senior Jeremy Morgan was selected by the fans as the College Court Report Co-Fan Voted Player of the Week for December 5 – 11, 2016!
– T. Bennett
Nov. 28 – Dec. 4, 2016: LaVell Boyd, UMKC Kangaroos
Nov. 20 – 27, 2016: Egor Koulechov, Rice Owls
Nov. 14 – 20, 2016: Josh Robinson, Austin Peay Governors
Nov. 11 – 13, 2016: Alize Johnson, Missouri State Bears
**College Court Report Player of the Week recipients are selected from teams in the following conferences:
America East, Atlantic Sun, Atlantic 10, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Colonial, Conference USA, Horizon League, Ivy League, MAAC, MAC, MEAC, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot League, Southern, Southland, Summit League, SWAC, Sun Belt, West Coast, and WAC