Darius and the Draft Comment Count

Tim March 28th, 2011 at 1:50 PM

lastshotCHANTEL'SCOLUMNA Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure.

It seems just about everyone in the media has a "source" that knows what Darius Morris plans to do this offseason. Such rumored plans include:

  • Returning to school for his junior year with 100% certainty.
  • Entering his name for the NBA Draft, but not hiring an agent, so he can pull out of it.
  • Absolutely, with 100% certainty, entering the NBA Draft - for keepsies.

The correct answer is... none of the above. At John Beilein's meeting with the media today, he went into great detail about Darius's (possible) upcoming decision.

There are effectively three phases for an underclassman who intends to enter the NBA Draft. The first phase, which is what Darius has done, is to submit an application to the NBA Draft Undergraduate Advisory committee. John Beilein recommended to Darius that he apply to this committee: "Within two days after the season was over, I called Darius into the office, and suggested that we go through the Undergraduate Advisory Committee and gather information - and that's all that's happening right now." This is not a decision that blindsided the coaches, and in fact was Beilein's own idea.

Phase two is declaring for the NBA Draft, which Darius has not done. In fact, the application for evaluation explicitly states:

Please note that submission of this application is not a declaration of eligibility for the 2011 NBA Draft. A separate letter must be sent to Commissioner Davis Stern (received by April 24th, 2011) declaring eligibility for the 2011 NBA Draft.

(Emphasis original to the source). The third phase is actually going through with the Draft, which means not withdrawing by June 13th, or hiring an agent, etc.

Beilein declined to discuss specifics of Darius's merit for the NBA Draft, only pointing out that conventional wisdom states that underclassmen who aren't projected to be first-rounders usually stay in school at least one more year. He's not a scout, and hasn't watched film on every player who's a senior or has submitted his name for evaluation, and so did not say whether or not he thought Darius met that standard.

He was adamant in pointing out that Michigan's coaches want nothing more than for their players to have successful careers (emphasis on career, presumably as opposed to a big draft payday) in the NBA. "It's not about getting drafted, it's about having success in the NBA."

"There's a lot involved in this, and you have to think about it; it's a very important decision," Beilein said. Manny Harris has proven in his first NBA season that he made the right decision, as he's a regular in the Cavs' rotation. It remains to be seen what the Committee will tell Darius, and he'll make his decision after that.

Other post-season notes from Beilein's luncheon are less pressing matters, so expect a recap tomorrow.



March 28th, 2011 at 1:54 PM ^

Others who were at this press briefing have pointed out that both Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims went through the same phase-one advisory committee evaluation two years ago, and neither of them entered the draft that year. So this is something Beilein has prior experience with. I think it makes a lot of sense for him to be proactive about this.


March 28th, 2011 at 2:00 PM ^

oh yeah manny harris definitely made the right decision... a REGULAR in the rotation of the cleveland cavs hahahaha the worst team in a long time!

it is still an accomplishment though


March 28th, 2011 at 2:19 PM ^

Nothing good comes from badmouthing your ex-players, and saying they made bad decisions to go pro. It just comes off as making your program look like it doesn't want players who have pro aspirations or ability, and we need more of those, not less.


March 28th, 2011 at 2:39 PM ^

it did come off a little more badmouth-y than i really mean - mostly just saying he wouldn't be a regular on even a middle tier NBA - he's a good scorer which is why he's found minutes on the Cavs, but a solid team with a concept of team defense would not have a spot for him

i expected him to need at least two years of improving, maybe bulking up, to make the rotation for a team


March 28th, 2011 at 2:42 PM ^

The question he was asking was "Do I have a chance to be a viable NBA player next season?" The answer to that question is pretty clearly "Yes." He's squarely in the middle of the pack among rookies in terms of PER, and included in the names below him on that list are guys like Evan Turner, Gordon Hayward, and Ekpe Udoh.

Landing on a bad team isn't necessarily a bad thing for a rookie; in fact, it can be quite the opposite, especially for someone who's leaving early. Instead of riding the bench and picking up garbage-time minutes, he's getting decent minutes and playing in a variety of situations. (He might also be demonstrating that unlike some other NBA players, he isn't going to sulk and pout if he's not on a 60-win team every year.)

As far as "worst team in a long time," well, the 2009-10 Nets, the 2007-08 South Beach Talents, and the 2004-05 Hawks disagree with you. Sure, the Cavs are bad, and they've had really bad stretches, but they didn't invent the concept.


March 28th, 2011 at 2:13 PM ^

this is why i come to mgoblog, and why i donate $$ here and not to the pay sites, detroit area newspapers, etc. 

i was freaking out a bit about darius and the draft and now am a little calmer.  my hope is that darius sees where he is projected to go (probably in the second round, outside chance of making the first round) and realizes that he's best served by staying another year.  i say that not only for my own selfish reasons (which are considerable) but also because he most likely to have a successful career if he stays another year.


March 28th, 2011 at 2:31 PM ^

Thank you Tim. This makes more sense.

I think Beilein is going to avoid a situation like Manny's where the kid doesn't get his eval done by the official channels by taking anyone he thinks is even the remotest possibility and recommend they go through these channels. It just makes sense.


March 28th, 2011 at 2:44 PM ^

I'll say it now, Morris is coming back for a 3rd year.  At this point he is projecting to be a second round pick which means his contract is not guarenteed.  So he could be drafted, brought to camp, cut, and looking to make his way into the league.  Underclassmen should only leave early if they are a lock for the first round where their contract is guarenteed.

We shouldn't panic that he is applying for the draft, if anything, we should be proud.  We have a sophomore player who could play in the NBA and possibly succeed now!  The only thing that worries me is that this is a weak draft class, so if Morris tests well, he could move up to the first round, then, and only then, PANIC!

Number 7

March 28th, 2011 at 4:44 PM ^

Vizzini:  Darius Morris is the best.  He'll never go pro.  I mean ... He's the Butterfly!

Inigo Montoya:  But he just might be the best PG in the Big Ten.  Why wouldn't he?

Vizzini: Don't you mean the BI2?

Inigo:  I'm just saying --

Vizzini:  Inconceivable!  Anyway, he said himself that he's coming back next year, so there's nothing to worry about.

Inigo (checking iPhone):  It says here Darius Morris is submitting an application to the NBA Draft Undergraduate Advisory committee.  That means he will at least check out where he might be drafted?

Vizzini:  Drafted!?!  D-Mo would never be drafted.  Not after just his sophomore year! Not after he missed that shot against Duke!  Not without a better shooting touch.

Inigo:  But as an NBA point guard, he'd just need to distribute the rock, and not turn it over.  That's what he does best.  (pause)  And now Coach Belien is saying he advised Darius to apply to that committee.

Vizzini:  John Belien is the coach of the Michigan Wolverines, and it is absolutley inconceivable that he would advise one of his star plays to leave the team.

Inigo:  Actually, he just wants to do right by the players, so that other recruits will see that and come here.

Fezzik: Yah.  If you want to get the star, he must think that he'll go far!

Vizzini:  Shut Up! Everything is set up perfectly for the 2011-2012 season.  Nothing can go wrong.  It is inconceivable that anything could go wrong.

Inigo:  You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Feat of Clay

March 29th, 2011 at 8:35 AM ^

I'm two clicks above idiot status when it comes to college basketball, but I was able to grasp the particulars of Darius' decision with only one read-through of your post.  So how come I saw so many major media outlets reporting "ZOMG DM LEAVING FOR NBA FOR REALS"? 



March 30th, 2011 at 10:12 AM ^


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