Ivy 60 for 60: Matt Morgan

Matt Morgan finished second on the all-time Ivy scoring list. (Cornell University Athletics)

Ivy Hoops Online announces the next entry in Ivy 60 for 60, our series running through 60 of the greatest players in Ivy League men’s basketball history after a hiatus to continue celebrating six decades of modern Ivy League basketball. An Ivy 60 for 60 for Ivy women’s basketball will follow.

Scoring 2,333 points, Matt Morgan had not only one of the most historic careers in Ivy League history but all of NCAA history. His sheer dominance as a member of the Cornell Big Red greatly contributed to the continuing rise of Ivy League Basketball over the last four years.

Milestones & Achievements

  • Cornell all-time leading scorer, surpassing Ryan Wittman in 2019 Ivy opener against Columbia
  • Second behind Bill Bradley in all-time Ivy League points
  • Career high 41 points against Dartmouth (2/8/19)
  • Three arena scoring records: Newman Arena (Cornell, 35), Leede Arena (Dartmouth, 41), SECU Arena (Towson, 38)
  • Scored 30-plus points in back-to-back nights in his Freshman year to sweep Dartmouth and Harvard on the road
  • Won the CBS Sports Freshman of the Week once
  • All-Ivy in all four seasons, including two unanimous first team All-Ivy selections in his final two seasons
  • Led the league in scoring in all four of his seasons
  • Top 20 in scoring in NCAA in junior and senior seasons
  • 2017-18 Lou Henson All-American

Matt Morgan is without a doubt the best mid-major player I have seen play with my own eyes. The rate at which he scored the ball was absolutely incredible and something very few players can do.

He would just go on Stephen Curry-like streaks of hitting threes in four possessions in a row, extending a lead or getting the team right back in it.

A lot of basketball players that score at that high rate are often bad teammates on the court, but that wasn’t the case for him. He always made sure to pass the ball around, and sometimes his selflessness would actually lead to turnovers, making an extra unneeded pass.

Though he was the smallest guy on the team, he had the best vertical on the team and would end up getting a lot of rebounds because of it. He had two double-doubles in his final season in points and rebounds.

Morgan wasn’t always the best defender, but he played so hard on defense. Morgan’s size would often limit his defensive ability, especially against bigger guys, but he would always clog the passing lanes and get steals that way.

Surpassing Expectations

After the Big Red lost Shonn Miller, Devin Cherry and Galal Cancer, it was clear that there would be a lot of roster turnover and not much certainty regarding who would start with then-junior guard Robert Hatter.

Cornell was Morgan’s lone Division I offer, but Morgan was thrown into the starting lineup for the first game of the 2015-16 season at Georgia Tech. He put on a show, scoring 20 points and knocking down four threes, including one at the first-half buzzer from way downtown.

Then a week later he dropped 24 points in his Newman Arena debut, the beginning of a palpable buzz over the next four years in Ithaca and on East Hill.

From there, his level of play just continued to rise.

Now the Cox Mill High School product who attracted just one Division I offer is trying to make a name for himself in the NBA. He played well in NBA Summer League and could be headed for the G-League for his first professional season.

Morgan should be an inspiration to kids like him who were overlooked in high school. He took advantage of his best opportunity, and his story shows the power of hard work.

Good luck to Matt Morgan as he tries to make his NBA dreams come true. The Ivy League is rooting for you.

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