Just as the first three guys I touched on with Darius Quisenberry, Naz Bohannon and Michael Akuchie, these next three guys were also just as important to Youngstown State’s success all year. In a continuation of these players’ seasons in review, I’ll talk about Garrett Covington, Jelani Simmons and Devin Morgan.
What an incredible player and also an incredibly frustrating guy at times. He can be so good which was proven by his second consecutive Horizon League All-Defensive team. He’s an elite defender at this level but also hasn’t progressed a ton on the offensive end which isn’t a huge deal so far.
Last year, he averaged 8.5 points per game. That was a two point dip from the previous season. He also shot a career-low 63.9 percent at the free throw line. He also shot 42.8 from the field and 24.6 percent from three. Those are both lower percentages from last year.
On the flip side, he averaged four rebounds per game, a career-high, but otherwise struggled to play consistently. He’s still a top-flight defender in this league and numbers be damned, he’s a valuable piece on this Penguins team.
After a very good first year in Youngstown, Simmons’ production dipped a bit in the 2019-20 season. He started just 10 games after starting 22 the year prior. In 33 games played, he averaged 5.4 points per game while shooting 37.4 percent and just 32.5 from three.
Other than shooting, he also dropped in nearly every important category which wasn’t what Jerrod Calhoun and company were expecting.
With Simmons entering the transfer pool, it makes the mind wonder what happened on the court and in his head last year. Hope he plays well wherever he may play in the future.
In a season where he was primarily a bench scorer, Morgan thrived. He averaged a little less in actual scoring but he was very important in his role. He hit double digits six times on the year. He averaged 6.1 points per game on 34.5 percent shooting, 31.5 3-point shooting and 81.3 at the free throw line.
He also struggled with consistency throughout the year but was definitely a major piece of this team’s success. At times, he was merely a guy meant to be a breather for others but that’s also important for team success.
Unfortunately, he was a senior so they won’t have his pure scoring ability. Morgan did go out on top in some way as the Horizon League sixth man of the year.
In the next installment of Season in Review, I’ll talk about Donel Cathcart III, Olamide Pederson and Geoff Hamperian.