New Cajuns assistant Morris joins two of his juco players
Two of his players recently signed with the Ragin’ Cajuns.
Now the UL basketball team has officially announced the hiring of former Cajuns staffer Brock Morris as an assistant coach.
The anticipated hiring of Morris, who spent last season as head coach at Daytona State College in Florida, was initially reported earlier this month.
The Albertville, Alabama, native served as UL’s director of basketball operations from 2010-13, then left to become an assistant coach for two seasons at the College of Southern Idaho.
He spent the ensuing three seasons as an assistant coach under Matthew Graves at fellow Sun Belt Conference-member South Alabama.
“We are excited to have Brock and his family rejoin our program,” UL head coach Bob Marlin said in a statement released Tuesday. “He is an outstanding young coach, a tireless recruiter and his familiarity with both our program as well as the Sun Belt Conference will pay immediate dividends.
“His leadership and ability to relate to our players,” Marlin added, “will prepare them for success both on the court and in the classroom.”
Morris’ Daytona State team went 25-6 and won the Mid-Florida Conference Tournament this past season.
He inherited a club with only two returnees and signed 12 new additions in a four-month span, with four of them ranked in the NJCAA Top 100.
Two of his Falcons, Bryce Williams and conference Player of the Year Khadim Sy, have signed with Ole Miss. Another, Corbin Merritt, signed with Oklahoma. And two others, ex-Buffalo signee Durey Cadwell and Mid-Florida Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year DouDou Gueye, recently signed with UL.
“We are grateful … for the opportunity to rejoin the Louisiana family,” Morris said in a statement released by UL.
“Since we left Lafayette six seasons ago, the Ragin’ Cajuns men’s basketball brand has grown leaps and bounds. We have been impressed with the investment into the men’s basketball program, and athletic department entirely.
“My wife, Amanda, and I,” he added, “could not think of a better place to raise our son than Lafayette.”
Morris played at Snead (Ala.) State and earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Alabama in 2008 before joining the Crimson Tide basketball staff as a graduate assistant.
He also earned a master’s degree in human environmental sciences from Alabama in 2010.
Morris fills a vacancy created when assistant Kevin Johnson left UL to become an assistant at Tulane under former Georgia State coach Ron Hunter.
Former Cajuns forward Jerekius Davis recently joined the transfer list compiled by the basketball recruiting website verbalcommits.com.
Davis would have been heading into his senior season at UL.
The product of Provine High in Jackson, Mississippi, was the Cajuns’ fifth-leading scorer last season, averaging 9.5 points per game.
He averaged 6.2 points over 89 games including 10 starts in three years as a Cajun.
GLADNEY GONE TOO
Freshman forward R.J. Gladney also has been deleted from the UL roster for the 2019-20 season.
Gladney — slowed by a concussion — appeared in just 13 games last season, averaging 0.8 points per game.
He becomes the fourth Cajun with eligibility remaining to leave the program, joining seniors-to-be Davis, big man Justin Miller and shooting guard Jeremy Hayes.
HAYES HAS NEW HOME
Verbal Commits recently reported that Hayes has found a new home in Angelo State, a Texas-based program that plays in the Lone Star Conference.
Hayes came to UL as a juco-transfer and left after one season in which he averaged 11.3 minutes and 4.0 points per game over 30 games.
He’ll be eligible to play right away because Angelo State is an NCAA Division II program.
UL has just one remaining scholarship senior, shooting guard P.J. Hardy.
The only current Cajun basketball scholarship players who played in 2018-19 and return for 2019-20 are regulars Hardy and Cedric Russell, backup point guard Trajan Wesley and seldom-used reserve big man Kristian Lafayette.
Also back are Kobe Julien, who took a medical redshirt following surgery to repair a major knee injury sustained in high school, and Jalen Johnson, who sat out last season as a transfer from St. Louis University, along with walk-ons Mason Aucoin and Eli Mouton.
UL has added six new scholarship players: Daytona State’s Sy and Cadwell; juco-transfer spring addition Tirus Smith, who began his career at UTEP; and high school products Chris Spenkuch, Mylik Wilson and Javonne Lowery, each of whom signed in the fall.
RUSSELL ATTENDED CAPTAINS ACADEMY
Russell, who is heading into his junior season, recently was one of 17 players from throughout the country attending the Athletes in Action Captains Academy.
The program’s stated purpose is “to equip, empower, and encourage student-athletes to be competent, confident, effective team leaders.”
Former Cajuns Bryce Washington, Johnathan Stove and Marcus Stroman all previously attended the academy.