Thursday, November 23

Center J’mison Morgan, assistant coach Donny Daniels will not return to UCLA men’s basketball program

Their season may have ended with a loss in the Pac-10 conference tournament, but those associated with the UCLA men’s basketball program haven’t necessarily been resting on their laurels watching March Madness.

On Tuesday, coach Ben Howland announced that rising junior center J’mison Morgan will not be returning to the team and will seek an immediate transfer.

“I feel that it is in the best interest of this program and for J’mison Morgan that he no longer be a part of this team,” Howland said in a press conference.

The dismissal is the culmination of a disappointing UCLA career for Morgan, who committed to UCLA late after being released from his commitment to Louisiana State. Despite his status as a five-star recruit, Morgan saw limited minutes in his two seasons and averaged just 2.1 points and 1.1 rebounds per game during that span.

Also on Tuesday, it was announced that assistant coach Donny Daniels would be leaving Howland’s staff to join Mark Few’s staff at Gonzaga. Howland said that he supported Daniels “100 percent on his decision” and that he “considered (Daniels) a good friend and a very good coach.”

Howland added that he will not immediately begin the search for Daniels’ replacement.

Tuesday’s final piece of news involved an intersection of UCLA’s past and future. Steve Lavin, who coached the Bruins from 1996 to 2003, accepted the head coaching job at St. John’s University, which coincidentally begins a home-and-home series with UCLA at Pauley Pavilion next season.

Compiled by Ryan Eshoff, Bruin Sports senior staff.

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