Geesh, I didn't realize he had such a historic season. He just needs to shoot 500 3-pointers a day in the off season and he'll be unstopable.
Record-Breaking Year for Darius Morris
I mentioned in the D. Morris thread that Darius Morris with his six assists against Duke had passed Rumeal Robinson (233 in 1988-89) and Gary Grant (234 in 1987-88) to become the all-time single-season leader in assists at Michigan with 235 (as Rothstein reported in an annarbor.com article). His 6.7 assist average for the season is second only to Grant's 6.9 average for 1987-88 (Grant played in one fewer game that season than Morris did this season--34 vs. 35).
It's also worth noting that Morris accomplished this as a sophomore, whereas Grant was a senior in 87-88 and Robinson was a junior in 88-89. Also, in that other thread, enlightenedbum made a good point about Morris besting Grant and Robinson in total season assists:
That's super crazy because of the pace we played at in the late 80s compared to now.
The numbers bear this out: Michigan had 847 made field goals this season, compared to 1,197 in 87-88 and 1,325 in 88-89.
This brings up a related way to assess Morris's season: percentage of team field goals a player either assists or scores--a measure I first saw used in a Wall Street Journal article from February. His 201 field goals and 235 assists mean Morris was involved in 436 of the team's field goals--or 51.5% of the 847 total.
- Robinson in 88-89 was involved in 432 of his team's field goals (199 FGs + 233 assists), or 32.6% of the team total
- Grant in 87-88 was involved in 503 of his team's field goals (269 FGs + 234 assists), or 42% of the team total
Note that when the WSJ did their analysis of this statistic to determine what they called "backcourt MVPs," Morris came out on top among players from the top 10 conferences in the country.
Morris set another Michigan record this year: most 10-plus assist games in a season. He had seven of those, which topped the six each that Grant and Robinson totaled in the same seasons noted above.
As I mentioned in the other thread, if Morris can manage to put together another season like this one next year, he'll have to be considered one of the top point guards in Michigan history.
He's already pretty difficult to stop.
Goes from first team all-B1G potential to first team All-American potential. No one respects his three point shot, but I guess it's more amazing that he can score when people know he's going inside.
doesn't have that breathtaking, jaw dropping athleticism that you see from the latest PG(that we've seen like John Wall, Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo, Russel Westbrook, etc.). Morris uses his size very well and do a variety of shot fakes and moves at the paint to get his shot off. Morris would be a great fit in the old Wisconsin swing offense in which guards are required to post up as well as shoot threes.
Morris definitely needs work on his jumpshots and continue to gain knowledge of JB's system. He'll be very good next year. Hopefully, Tim Doyle won't have to call him butterfly anymore because it doesn't apply for next season.
It is easy to see and to say how good this kid is but to see those numbers really hammers it home. He is a special player, a leader, and he has great work ethic. It is a shame that his runner didn't drop for him but for this kid that might only drive him harder.
The future looks very bright.
i hope he stays til senior year lik nolan smith and singler to break every single record.
If Morris stays for all four years, he'd have a chance at Michigan's career assist record, but he'd need two very good years to do so. Gary Grant (1985-88) is by far the career leader with 731. Morris has 319 assists for his first two seasons, so he'd need 413 to overtake Grant. A junior year similar to this year would vault Morris into third place, ahead of Antoine Joubert's 539 but behind Rumeal Robinson's 575.
My source for these figures, by the way, is the U-M Basketball Record Book.
So he's our MBB Denard. Involved in everything we do to score. As opposed to dilithium speed, he just drops dilithium dimes
Morris is a very good distributor no doubt, great to seem him get the record. As Hardaway developed, the game seemed to get easier for Morris, giving teams another threat to key on.
Morris has a great opportunity the blow the record out of the water next season. He is fortunate to play with a team of terrific 3 point shooters and a hard charging Jordan Morgan, who happens to run the floor extremely well.
I think you're right that Morris could have an even better year next year in terms of assists. One thing that surprised me when looking at the stats is that Michigan as a team didn't rank that high in assists. They were seventh in the Big Ten in assists per game at 13.7 (Northwestern was first at 16.8), and Kenpom has them 96th in the country in assist rate (the percentage of made field goals that were assisted on) at 56.9% (Northwestern was tops in the Big Ten and 5th in the country at 66.3%). I would expect the offense to run even more efficiency next year, which should result in more assists and a higher rate of assisted field goals.
The other thing about Morris that stands out to me is how high his shooting percentage is. He shot 49% from the field, which is pretty remarkable for a guard, especially one without much 3-point range. Inside the arc he shot 53%. He went from having very little shooting ability as a freshman to being very accurate from about 15 feet in. He is a very, very efficient player.
And maybe one of the CBS highlights people will actually bother to learn learn his name.
Love the part about 1 minute into the Michigan-Duke highlights where Darius Moore passes the ball to Morgan Jordan. I know that CBS sports doesn't care about the Michigan team, but you could at least go to the effort of picking up a roster before you do the highlight reel.
I thought it was pretty amazing watching his transformation this year, and the numbers confirm it. With the reinforcements arriving next year and the return of the everyone (fingers crossed), this team has the chance to be one of the best in the country next season, and Morris has a chance to be POY material.
Wow. Pretty good for a player that averaged like 4 points per game and 2 assists per game. Darius's improvement has been unreal, maybe we could shell out tons of money so John Wall could come and practice with all of our players this year.