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Morgan State men red hot as they prep for Howard

Morgan State is on a roll as MEAC play heats up. A big matchup with Howard looms to start the weekend.

Courtesy: Morgan State

The Morgan State men’s basketball team (10-8, 3-0) returns to conference action when they travel to face the Howard Bison  (10-10, 2-1) on Saturday night at Burr Gymnasium. Tip-off is slated for 4:00 p.m. (EST) and fans can catch the action live via hubison.com.

• Senior guard Isaiah Burke scored 18 of his game and career-high 31 points in the first half, while Malik Miller added 14 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, as Morgan State defeated Hartford, 92-84 in a non-conference matchup Wednesday night at Hill Field House.

• Morgan shot .563 (36-of-64) from the field, compared to Hartford’s .467 (28-of-60). The Bears shot .438 (7-16) from beyond the arc, while the Hawks connected on 9-of-24 (.375) from 3-point range.

SCOUTING HOWARD

• Head coach Kenneth Blakeney enters his fourth season leading the Howard men’s basketball program in 2022-23. He has coached at seven Division I universities over a 12-year span. Blakeney was a McDonalds All- American and Gatorade Player of the Year at the famed DeMatha Catholic HS, and played at Duke under head coach Mike Krzyzewski.

• The Bison, who were picked to finish third in the MEAC Preseason Poll, currently have a 10-10 overall and 2-1 MEAC record following a 89-65 win versus Morehouse on Monday (Jan. 16) n the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) Day Classic at Burr Gymnasium before an overflow crowd. The Howard defense forced Morehouse into 27 turnovers that it turned into 29 points. The lead ballooned to 39 at the nine-minute mark of the second half. In addition to his 15 points, Elijah Hawkins dealt out six assists and grabbed seven rebounds for good measure in a little over 20 minutes of play.

• Howard is led by All-MEAC Preseason First Team selection Elijah Hawkins, a sophomore 5-11 guard from Washington, D.C. (DeMatha Catholic HS), is averaging 13.3 points (No. 7 in MEAC), 3.6 boards and ranks No. 3 in the MEAC averaging 4.9 assists per game and  No. 5 in the MEAC in assist/turnover ratio (1.3).

• 6-10 redshirt junior Steve Settle III, a All-MEAC Preseason Second Team, is averaging 11.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and is shooting 38.1 percent from the field and 84.5 percent (60-71) from the stripe. Settle, an Glenarden, Md. product (DeMatha Catholic HS), also has accounted for 30 steals, 26 assists and 13 blocks.

• Shy Odom, a freshman 6-6 forward from Chestnut Hill, Mass. (Sierra Canyon HS), is averaging 9.4 points, 3.4 boards.

• Howard ranks among the league leaders in a few statistical categories:  No. 2 in free throw percentage (.727), No. 3 in 3-point percentage (.349), No. 4 in field goal percentage (.447) and No. 4 in rebounding margin (0.2).

TWO PLAYERS AVERAGING DOUBLE-FIGURES 
The Bears will enter Saturday’s game against Howard with two players averaging double-digits.
• Senior guard Isaiah Burke is averaging a team-high 20.0 points with 2.9 assists, 1.3 steals and is shooting a league-best 45.3 percent from 3-point territory.
• Senior guard Malik Miller is averaging 18.3 points to go along with 10.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 2.1 steals.

INVESCO QQQ LEGACY CLASSIC
The Invesco QQQ Legacy Classic, a college basketball showcase featuring Historic Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) created by actor and producer Michael B. Jordan, WME Sports (the sports division of WME, an Endeavor company), Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, and Scout Sports and Entertainment, a division of Horizon Media, announced the second installment of the showcase will be held on Saturday, February 4, 2023, at Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.
• This year’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) men’s college basketball showcase will feature Morgan State University versus Delaware State University and Norfolk State University versus Hampton University competing in a doubleheader airing on TNT.

OFFENSIVE OUTPUT
Offensively, Morgan is currently averaging 80.6 points thru its first 18 games.
• Morgan exploded for 130 points in its home opener versus Penn State Allegheny.
• The Bears are No. 2 in the MEAC shooting 47.6 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from beyond the arc.
• Senior guards Isaiah Burke (20.0 ppg; No. 2 in MEAC) and Malik Miller (18.3 ppg; No. 3 in MEAC) are leading the team in scoring. 
• The Bears averaged 75.0 points (No. 2 in MEAC) thru 28 games during the 2021-22 season.

BEAR DEFENSE
Defensively, Morgan State limits its opponents to scoring 71.2 points per game on 42.3 percent shooting from the floor and 30.9 percent from 3-point range, allowing 6.2 long distance strikes per night. 
• Morgan’s defense ranks No. 1 in the country in turnovers forced (356 turnovers;  19.7 avg.); the Bears also ranked No. 2 in steals per game with 196 steals.
• The Bears lead the conference with 89 blocks (4.9 blk/g). 
• Morgan State outrebounded the opponent by a 1.1 margin as the opponent has grabbed 644 total boards (35.8  rebs/g) compared to the 664 total rebounds (36.9 rebs/g) secured.
• Last season, Morgan held opponents to 72.4 points per game (rank No. 6 in MEAC) and 43.7 percent shooting from the field (No. 8).

THREE-POINT PERCENTAGE 
Through games played on Friday, Jan. 20 the Bears rank No. 2 among all MEAC teams in 3-point shooting percentage (38.5%, 131-for-340). 
• Isaiah Burke leads the conference shooting 45.3% from 3-point range (62-for-17). 
• BurkeMalik MillerKhalil Turner and Kamron Hobbs are the only Morgan players who have made at least 10 shots from 3-point distance this season… Burke leads the way with 62, Hobbs has 21, Miller has 18 3s, and Turner has made 12.
• Last season, MSU ranked No. 6 in the MEAC in that category, having shot 31.3% from 3-point range in 28 contests.

HOME COOKING 
• Morgan has started the 2022-23 season 7-0 at home.
• Morgan completed the 2021-22 season with an 8-3 mark inside Hill Field House.
• The last time the Bears lost at home was against North Carolina Central (74-64) … their previous loss was on Jan. 23, 2022 against Howard (91-82) on Jan. 23, 2022.

NON-CONFERENCE RECAP
•  The Bears have registered a 6-8 record in their non-conference slate of games this season.
• Morgan State went 5-8 in non-conference play a season ago.
• Last season, MSU went 4-0 at home, 0-7 in road games and 1-1 in neutral site games.

AT THE HELM
• Kevin Broadus is entering his fourth season at the helm of the program after being named as the men’s head basketball coach in 2019.
• The Broadus-led Bears team compiled several significant victories over non-conference competition in this most recent season, elevating the caliber of wins for a program that aims to compete at a championship level within the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). Broadus demonstrated exemplary leadership while successfully overcoming a number of challenges at the onset of his tenure at Morgan, including having to navigate rebuilding a program under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic.
• In Broadus’ debut season, Morgan State went 15-16, its largest victory total since 2013-14. Then in the midst of a pandemic, the Bears produced a 14-8 mark — their best winning percentage since going 27-10 and making the NCAA tournament in 2009-10. This past season, Morgan finished with a record of 13-15 overall, and placed fourth in the MEAC standings with a 7-6 record while advancing to the MEAC Tournament semifinals game. 
• Prior to Morgan, Broadus worked at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he has been one of the nation’s best recruiters as the top assistant on Mark Turgeon’s coaching staff. Broadus was influential in the successful NCAA tournament run for the Terps. 
• Consistently ranked in the top 20 nationally for recruiting, Broadus was instrumental in signing a number of local Baltimore talents such as DeJuan Summers, Brandon Herbert, LaFonta Johnson, and Henry Sims.

WHO’S OUT
• Trevor Moore (Houston, Texas), Sherwyn Devonish (Bladensburg, Md.), Lagio Grantsaan (Utrecht, The Netherlands), Seventh Woods (Columbia, S.C.), Chad Venning (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Keith McGee (Rochester, N.Y.), Elijah Bowens (Bowie, Md.), Myles Douglas (Edgewood, Md.) and De’Torrion Ware (Hopkinsville Ky.) wrapped up their Morgan careers last spring.

WHO’S BACK
The Bears return four starters from last year’s team, bringing back guards Malik Millerand Isaiah Burke. MSU also returns guards Will Thomas along with forwards Ty Horner and Collin Nnamene.

WHO’S IN 
The Bears have added several newcomers to the 2021-22 roster: G Daiquan Copeland, G Kevon Wiggins,G Chase Williams, G Kamron Hobbs, G Robert Lawson, F Djonkam Lewis, F David McCullough, and F Khalil Turner

RETURNING PRODUCTION NUMBERS 
Morgan State returns 29.2 percent of its scoring, 28.7 percent of its rebounding and 29.0 percent of its minutes played totals from last year’s team. The team leaders in field goal percentage (Malik Miller – .552), three-point percentage (Isaiah Burke, .410), free throw percentage (Miller, .605), rebounding (Miller – 8.8 rpg), assists (Burke, 2.0), steals (Malik, 2.0),  blocked shots (Miller, 0.7). and minutes played (Burke, 22.8). Two (2) players who started in at least five (5) games a year ago also return – Miller (16) and Horner (9).

HOME GROWN 
Morgan State has seven players from the DMV (D.C., Maryland & Metropolitan-D.C.) area. Senior guard Isaiah Burke is from Annapolis and was a prep standout at Bowie HS, while senior guard Malik Miller hails from Washington, D.C. and played at Friendship Tech Prep. Junior guard Will Thomas is from Baltimore and played at Mervo HS. Bowie State transfer David McCullough is a product of Bowie, Md. and played at Riverdale Baptist HS. Freshman guard Chase Williams is from Waldorf, Md. and was a prep standout at Grace Brethren HS.

BROADUS’ STAFF
Morgan State head basketball coach Kevin Broadus‘ coaching staff consists of assistant coaches Chretien Lukusa, Keith Goodie and Larry Stewart.
• Lukusa enters his first year as associate head coach with Morgan State Basketball, after serving the previous three years as an assistant coach with the program.Prior to Morgan State, Lukusa spent five years on staff at Binghamton University, three years as an assistant. In his time at Morgan State, Lukusa has contributed many facets of the program, including recruiting, player development, and scheduling.
. A 2011 Binghamton graduate who also earned his master’s degree at the University, Lukusa returned to the program in 2014. After serving two seasons as the coordinator of player development, Lukusa earned a promotion to assistant coach in Summer 2016. 
• Goodie enters his  enters his first season as a member of Broadus’ coaching staff for the upcoming 2022-23 season. Goodie comes to Morgan State after serving as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Delaware State University from 2020-21 under head coach Eric Skeeters. Prior to the Hornets, he was a member of Todd Bozeman’s staff at Morgan State from 2007-to-2015. 
• Stewart’s most recent stop was as an assistant coach at fellow Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) member Maryland Eastern Shore (2019-21). A standout player at Coppin State from 1988-1991, Stewart led the Eagles to their first ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 1990 and first ever National Invitational Tournament in 1991. Stewart signed as a non-drafted free agent with the Washington Bullets (now Washington Wizards) in 1991.

THE SCHEDULE
Morgan State will have a coast-to-coast presence — and even make an international venture — during nonconference play.
• The Bears open Nov. 7 against Xavier, a Big East school coming off an NIT title. Three nights later, Morgan State begins its 12-game home slate against Penn State Allegheny.
• The Bears will also visit Virginia Commonwealth before playing two games in the Jamaica Classic on Nov. 18 and 20 before heading west to meet Loyola Marymount on Nov. 23. The highlight of the December slate is a Dec. 22 trip to Arizona, which is coming off a Pac-12 championship. 
|• MEAC play begins Jan. 7 against North Carolina Central. Another January highlight is defending league champion Norfolk State’s trek to Hill Field House on Jan. 23.
• The final nonconference game is actually against a MEAC opponent. The Bears will meet Delaware State on Feb. 4 in the Invesco QQQ Legacy Classic in Newark, N.J. Morgan State closes the regular season with three out of its last four at home, including a Senior Night showdown March 2 against crosstown rival Coppin State, before its annual trip to the MEAC tournament March 8-11 in Norfolk, Va.

Morgan State men red hot as they prep for Howard
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