Cole Morgan has come a long way for Ed Madec’s Fresno City College basketball team.
From arriving as a grayshirt – recruits offered a delayed scholarship – to being a bench guy as a freshman to his leading role on the 2016-17 team, Morgan has seen it all. In Morgan’s first season in the program, he even ran the scoreboard clock as he watched older brother Tyler complete his two-year career.
Morgan took it all in, then made good on his shot at a bigger role.
Each year has got better for me.
Fresno City sophomore guard/forward Cole Morgan on his development
“Each year has got better for me,” said the former Clovis East High standout, who is averaging 11.3 points per game. “I’ve enjoyed my time here, and it’s been a great three years.”
How much better was this year? The 6-foot-3 Morgan, who also averages 4.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists, was named Central Valley Conference Co-Most Valuable Player ahead of the Rams’ run in the Northern California Regional playoffs.
Fourth-seeded Fresno City (23-6) will host No. 13 American River (15-10) at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Morgan certainly doesn’t want to see his Rams career come to an end, not at home, and especially since last season’s team advanced to the state final four.
“Overall it was a good freshman year, and I did what I had to do on that team,” he said. “My role is a little different than it is now.”
Morgan and guard Christian Carroll, after all, are the only sophomores back from last year’s team. There are nine freshmen and two sophomore transfers on the roster.
“He’s worked his butt off for three years,” said Carroll, who joined Morgan on the All-CVC team. “He’s just all Fresno City. With all the freshmen he had to lead and I had to lead, he’s done a great job as far as putting guys in the right position.”
Madec is not surprised. He feels Morgan had it in him to do well, and “he’s definitely our leader.”
Cole is an All-State player, and nobody can take that away from him.
Fresno City head coach Ed Madec
“He’s always been a great kid, comes from a great family,” said Madec, who picked up his 400th career win a week ago. “Cole is an All-State player (an automatic honor given his conference MVP award), and nobody can take that away from him.”
Morgan understood what was asked of him last season, when he averaged about 10 minutes per game. He was OK with that. But this season, it’s been a lot different.
“Since Christian and I were the only ones returning, we have a lot of weight on our shoulders,” he said. “We had to show these freshmen what Fresno City is all about. I was actually excited to lead them through the path at Fresno City. This year I had to step it up.”
No. 13 American River at No. 4 Fresno City
Saturday: 7 p.m. at campus gym
Records: Fresno City 23-6, 12-2 (first) Central Valley Conference; American River 15-10, 8-6 (tied fourth) Big 8