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Morlan seeking to strengthen his game in critical month

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For more on prep basketball, follow Tom Davis via Twitter at www.twitter.com/Tom101010

Blackhawk star opens summer season in front of horde of college scouts

Thursday, July 11, 2013 - 2:25 am

INDIANAPOLIS – Joey Morlan works on his basketball game all year long. So in that regard, July isn't much different than any other month.

However, this isn't just any other month for the 6-foot-4 forward. This is his time to shine – to a degree – in front of college coaches and see what his hard work will reap.

“It's not that college coaches don't watch high school basketball, because they do,” Morlan said. “But playing AAU is really your chance to go out and show what you can do, because not a lot of college coaches are going to go watch (Class A) Blackhawk Christian (High School).”

Morlan is spending this week playing in front of hundreds of college coaches at the adidas Invitational Classic as part of a very talented and deep Spiece Indy Heat 2015 squad. There will be a lot of attention paid to Morlan and his teammates.

“Last year we played against (New Haven's) V.J. Beachem and (Notre Dame coach) Mike Brey was there,” Morlan recalled. “But summer is when you really have to show what you can do.”

Morlan's reputation as a shooter is well deserved. He sank over 50 three-pointers as a sophomore at Blackhawk Christian last season (35 percent made), but he is trying to diversify his game.

“I've really been working on shooting off of the dribble,” Morlan said. “And if I can, getting to the rim and finishing at the rim. But mostly one-dribble or two-dribble pull-ups.”

He averaged nearly 13 points per game for the Braves last season, and led his team in rebounds and blocks. His ability has already paid dividends, as he was offered a scholarship to IPFW last August.

Morlan admits to really liking the Mastodon program, but at this point in time, he isn't quite ready to commit to any one school.

“If IPFW is the right fit for me,” Morlan said, “and can offer what I want to study (sports medicine), and I can go there and play right away, it's a Division I school, I'd be all for it.”

Both of his parents (Jim Morlan and Lisa Zehr Morlan) played basketball for the Mastodons in the mid-1980s and his mother also was a standout on the IPFW volleyball squad. However, the younger Morlan said they are placing no pressure on him to select their alma mater.

“They are great,” Morlan said of his parents. “They are real supportive and they said that they'd be happy no matter where I go to play.”

Earlier this summer, Morlan visited Vanderbilt, and also attended camps at Stanford and Wright State.

Morlan was critical of his opening game of the adidas event on Wednesday. He didn't shoot the ball as well as he would like, but his team ran roughshod over the Dallas Mustangs 65-34.

“I didn't play overall as well as I would have liked to,” Morlan said. “But we came out and played pretty well, so it was a good start to what, hopefully, will be a pretty good July.”