Things didn’t exactly go according to plan between the Saigon Heat and Moses Morgan last season.
After a successful first year for Morgan and the Heat in 2015-2016, both sides were expected to reunite next season. Morgan averaged 16.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 2.8 assists in his rookie year. The Heat made the playoffs for a second straight time. There was mutual interest from both sides for another go round but things didn’t work out as expected. Instead, the Heat signed Joshua Munzon to start the 2016-2017 season.
After a rocky 1-6 start, the Heat decided that they need to shake things up. Among other changes the team made was re-signing Moses Morgan as their Heritage import. Morgan was a catalyst that sparked a midseason turnaround. The Heat went 7-6 for the rest of the season to seal the final playoff spot. Though the team had succeeded, Morgan’s numbers had slightly dropped to 14.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.8 assists.
“Last season, I came in out-of-shape and overweight,” Morgan explains. “If you’re not physically maxed out as a player, you can’t play to your full potential.”
The Saigon Heat have faith in Morgan’s full potential. That is why they signed him up as their Heritage Import early in the offseason. There is a lot positivity between the two sides and they hope that will result in another successful season.
“We feel as though we are blessed to have Moses back in Saigon this year,” says new Head Coach, Kyle Julius. “He was not all the way healthy last season and we anticipate a more improved and more aggressive version of Moses Morgan this season.”
“Moses is our kind of guy,” Julius continues. “Tough, competitive, and willing to work his tail off. He is a great person off the court. He’s a family man committed to his family and he is very well liked by the staff and all his teammates.”
“I feel good coming back for a third season,” Morgan says. “It’s a place that I’m familiar with. Both with the organization and the city itself. Blessed to be a part of Saigon for another year.”
With solid commitments and an early head start, fans should be expecting to see a whole new Moses Morgan this year.
“My main focus this offseason heading into training camp was to come in the best shape,” Morgan says. “I’ve lost 20+ pounds just so that I can give myself a chance.”
“We expect Moses to be one of our leaders both via action and vocally. We know Moses will have a great season because he is putting the work in now.” Coach Julius adds.
Already been impressed with Morgan’s performance from last season, Coach Julius expects his star forward to take another step forward. Morgan is a player who has the physical tools and skills to be a swiss army knife for the team. That’s what the Heat are expecting him to be. Morgan himself says that there could be nights where he plays multiple positions ranging from the shooting guard position down to small forward and even power forward.
“Moses is a strong guard with a good mix to his game,” Julius says. “He can shoot the ball well and attack. Because of his size and athleticism he can cover and play multiple positions.”
As two major pieces to the team, it was important that Morgan and Julius were on the same page from the start. The two have clicked immediately and that relationship could result in a breakthrough season for the Thai-American forward.
“Coach Julius has been a blessing in the sky for me,” Morgan says. “Since he has been here, he’s been straight forward with me from the first phone conversation we had and [told me] that I am going to have to work. He came in knowing my weaknesses and studying my game to help me max out as a player, paying attention to the little details so that we can incorporate these things on the court.”
“Morgan will be more well-rounded this season. He will have more assists and rebounds based on our scheme. He will have the ability to be more of a focal point on both sides of the ball.” Coach Julius says of what he expects to see from Morgan.
“I expect to see myself more at the 4 position and to see me on a lot of different spots on the floor to cause different types of mismatches.” Morgan adds.
There will be a lot of changes in this upcoming season for the Saigon Heat. To make it work, they will need Moses Morgan to embrace and adjust to his new role in Julius’ system. It’s still early to predict how everything will turn out for the Heat but considering Morgan’s performance from last season when he was “out-of-shape and overweight”, we should be expecting greater things this time around.