LSU lands guard Malik Morgan from John Curtis

Morgan dialed up Johnson with the news

On Wednesday Trent Johnson picked up his first commitment for the 2012 class when John Curtis shooting guard Malik Morgan committed to LSU.

If LSU basketball coach Trent Johnson was in need of a pick-me-up, a phone call Wednesday night from John Curtis Christian standout Malik Morgan likely did the trick.

Morgan, a 6-foot-3, 180-pound shooting guard, dialed Johnson up ready to commit.

Johnson, who had yet to take a pledge for the 2012 class, accepted on the spot.

“I called Coach Johnson up and he started to scream,” Morgan said. “I felt the love after our talk. He left me feeling ecstatic right now. I really feel like crying.”

Riding high on emotions, Morgan said one of the biggest reasons he decided to stay in Louisiana was the distance between River Ridge and Baton Rouge – a 72-mile stretch of I-10 that Morgan said he will drive as often as he can.

“I just enjoyed the thought of being at home to see my parents and see my brother and sister, because they are still in high school,” Morgan said. “I had made a few unofficial visits and everything felt right, so I made the call. It was my time, and committing to LSU was something that I felt like doing.”

Morgan said his list of finalists included Georgia Tech, Boston College, Missouri, and Oklahoma. In the end, the work done by Johnson and assistant coaches Brent Scott and Donny Guerinoni helped seal the deal and keep Morgan inside the state.

“Coach Scott was my main recruiter, and we are like family,” Morgan said. “I feel like one of his children. He’s been great for me.

“I went to some tournaments in Indianapolis and Las Vegas, and Coach Scott and Coach G both came out and saw me. LSU has stayed in touch for about a year now, and around February I got the sense that they really wanted me. I’m happy with where things are, and I’m not going to look around anymore. My recruitment is over with.”

Morgan even joked about Guerinoni’s recent marriage, which culminated with a honeymoon this past weekend.

“I told Coach G that I was going to give him a good little marriage present,” Morgan said.

Morgan, who averaged 28.9 points per game last season, will arrive to campus when current shooting guards Ralston Turner and Andre Stringer are juniors.

“I’m ready to get over there,” Morgan said. “Coach Johnson’s style really fits me. And I think I can bring and intensity and leadership that will really help out. I love to win, no matter what time or what day.”

Morgan has already scheduled his next return trip to Baton Rouge.

“I’m going to take my first official visit to the campus some time in September,” he said. “I’ll probably come in for a football game.”

A member of the Louisiana Dynasty AAU team, Morgan credited head coach Quannas White with molding him into the player he has become.

“I have to give thanks to Coach White for all he has done,” Morgan said. “He has been developing me for a few years, and that’s how I turned into the player I am.”

Tip time at Rutgers set

LSU’s game in the Big East/SEC Challenge at Rutgers on Dec. 3 will tip off at 6 p.m. CST and be broadcast on ESPNU, the league and ESPN announced Wednesday.

The Tigers and Scarlet Knights meet in the next-to-last game of the challenge, which expanded to include all 12 SEC teams this season.

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The national early signing period brought one commitment - Malik Morgan - into the LSU program.

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