Darian Bryant, Mike Morsell of St. John’s make college decisions

Mike Morsell had it all planned out. With Wednesday marking his birthday and the first day of school at St. John’s, the senior figured it’d be the perfect time to make his college commitment official. But following a Thursday workout session, Morsell and teammate Darian Bryant had a talk with Coach Sean McAloon that made him reconsider.

“I was all ready to have my coming out party next Wednesday but Coach Mac called us in his office and basically said what were we waiting for?” Morsell said. “He knew we had made up our minds and he told us how recruiting isn’t a game and we’ve got to take the right opportunity if we know it’s right. After that, me and Darian just looked at each other and said ‘Let’s do it.’”

Darian Bryant, red, committed to George Washington while teammate Mike Morsell pledged to play at Towson (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post).
Darian Bryant, (4 in red), committed to George Washington while teammate Mike Morsell pledged to play at Towson. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

On Thursday night, Morsell announced his commitment to Towson on Twitter with Bryant following about 10 minutes later with a tweet saying he was committed to George Washington. The pair marks the third and fourth St. John’s seniors to pledge to Division I schools, joining guard Tre Campbell (Georgetown) and guard James Palmer (Miami).

 

 

In Morsell, Towson gets a 6-foot-5 swingman who proved to be one of the hottest players on the AAU circuit with D.C. Assault this past summer. After entering May with just one offer from UNC-Greensboro, Morsell garnered four more offers within the next month, thanks to an improved handle and jump shot.

“I basically got overconfident in my ball handling and jump shooting,” said Morsell, who also had offers from Florida Atlantic, Morgan State, Radford and Siena. “Before, every time I got the ball, I would usually look to pass, but after working hard with my trainer, I believe in my ability now.”

Towson Coach Pat Skerry showed his confidence in Morsell by attending every one of the senior’s games at the Hoop Group Elite Team Camp in July, even sticking around for an extra 90 minutes after a late St. John’s game was postponed.

“When he did that, that’s when I knew he really believes in me,” Morsell said. “They have three shooting guards/small forwards leaving next year and Coach Skerry said I come in and be a scorer and be a great fit.”

Bryant’s comfort with the coaches and system at George Washington also proved key in his decision. Following a strong showing in the Cadets’ run to the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title game that spilled over into his time with Team Takeover this summer, Bryant reeled in 15 offers from schools including Albany, Delaware, Loyola, Monmouth, Towson and Wagner.

The 6-foot-3 forward can knock down the outside shot and crash the boards with his diverse skill set. He averaged 11.2 points last season.

“In a nutshell, their offense is like a five out, fast-break and up-tempo,” Bryant said. “That fits my game well. My family and I really loved the campus and atmosphere and I loved Coach [Mike] Lonergan and how he sees me as a freshman on their team.”

Recruit Watch: The latest offers, commitments and signings

Brandon Parker is a sports reporter for The Washington Post.
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Brandon Parker · August 22, 2013