Darius in the Draft

Submitted by Tim on April 21st, 2011 at 5:49 PM

Via UM Release:

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan sophomore guard Darius Morris (Los Angeles, Calif./Windward HS) has submitted the necessary paperwork to declare for the 2011 National Basketball Association (NBA) Draft, but has opted not to hire an agent at this time.

Morris is eligible to return to Michigan for his junior season if he withdraws his name from draft consideration before the May 8 deadline.

"All my life it has been a goal of mine to play in the NBA and I am blessed to have the opportunity to take this step towards that dream," said Morris. "I look forward to going through this process with the potential of playing at the next level."

This is the next step in gathering as much information as possible to assist Darius in making an educated decision," said U-M head coach John Beilein. "As Darius considers his options we will continue to support him in every way we can throughout the process."

Morris, who was an All-Big Ten third team selection by both the coaches and media, helped the Wolverines to a 21-14 record and a trip to the NCAA Tournament third round. He recorded the largest margin of improvement in scoring in the Big Ten, jumping from 4.4 points per game as a freshman to a team-best 15.0 per game this past season.

Morris broke the U-M season record for assists with 235, becoming just the third Wolverine to record 200-plus assists in a year. He recorded just the third triple-double in U-M history with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists against Iowa (Jan. 30) and tallied seven double-digit assist games, including a career-best 12 helpers against Concordia (Dec. 6) and Bryant (Dec. 20). Overall, Morris led the Big Ten with 6.71 assists per game, putting him fifth in the nation.

In two seasons in Ann Arbor, Morris has started 53 of 67 career games, compiling 666 career points (9.9 ppg), 197 rebounds (2.9 rpg) and 319 assists (4.76 apg).

In not hiring an agent, he can choose to withdraw if he'd like. For a rundown on how the NBA Draft process, works, read this post. He's now gone into phase 2, which is beyond just showing interest.


kevin holt

April 21st, 2011 at 5:52 PM ^

Should we run around like chickens with the heads cut off?

/s (I know it's not a huge deal. If anyone reads this, please do not commence panic until you are instructed to do so. Believe me, you will know when panic mode has been issued)


April 21st, 2011 at 10:43 PM ^

Saw this in 1983 when Eric Turner left an improving Michigan team only to not make it. 

I never understand these comparisons.  Darius Morris is not Eric Turner.  For that matter, we are no longer in the first Reagan administration (or even that century).  Different era, different player.  He may or may not succeed, but what happened 28 years ago has no bearing either way.

J. Lichty

April 21st, 2011 at 6:09 PM ^

I dont really follow the NBA very closely, but I do know that rookie contracts are guaranteed for 3 years.  Is that likely to change?

How does a potential lockout affect the decision at all?


April 21st, 2011 at 6:27 PM ^

There's been very little scuttlebut about that.  Rookies are currenlty guaranteed 2 years and are under control of the team for up to 4.  Any changes are likely to be very minor at this point such as tweaks to restricted free agency (the end of the 4th year).  There may be some tweaks arond D-league elgibility, foreign player buyouts, and how long you can hold the rights to somebody but I haven't heard anything significant around changing the salary structure.

Personally, I think one way to encourage kids to stay in school longer would be to give kids who stay longer a bit more salary to compensate for them being generally further along in their development but I doubt that that would happen.


April 21st, 2011 at 6:17 PM ^

God damn it... how are we so unlucky?? It seems like any player in football, basketball and even hockey who has any type of shot of going pro does... I don't blame them at all, but we seem to be on the lose almost every player that is even borderline to go, while some other teams are able to at least retain some of those players one more year... 


Damn, come on Morris, please stay!


April 21st, 2011 at 6:18 PM ^

About 20 or 30 kids pull out every year.  A few stay in even with 2nd round grades but most pull back out.

Getting drafted in the 2nd round is a scary thought this year with the lockout. Only about 50% of 2nd rounders back the NBA team that drafted them which means agents won't be willing to lend money to 2nd round draftees if they don't know if they'll ever make a dime in the NBA.

Any undergrad that comes out this year that doesn't either have a 1st round guarantee or a guarantee from a top Euro club has gotten some really bad advice.

I don't know anything about Darius' handlers but I hope he is surrounded by good people.


April 21st, 2011 at 6:27 PM ^

Yeah, everyone panicking over this needs to relax.  The deadline to declare is April 24, he's just keeping his options open in case he gets a good evaluation.  And everything I've read on that front so far points to another year of development before entering the draft for real.

UofM Die Hard …

April 21st, 2011 at 6:18 PM ^

I hope no NBA scouts are telling him he is 1st round material, which in my opion is a player who is almost ready to start, because his midrange game and defense is NO WHERE close to being good enough for the NBA.

I love Michigan and I would hate to see him go and I am not saying this just because I want him to stay but this is not good for him.  He needs to spend the summer hitting 10 footers and working on his quick feet then putting that game in next years college season not the NBA.



April 22nd, 2011 at 11:18 AM ^

Well, there are 32 draft picks in the first round, and 13 rookies in the league are playing more than 20 minutes per game this season. If you think that's an arbitrary cutoff to define "almost starter" minutes, take a look at the #32 rookie in the league in terms of minutes played. Zabian Dowdell from Phoenix is playing 12.2 minutes a game, and I don't think anyone will disagree that 12 minutes is not remotely close to "almost starting."

In fact, only 2 rookies (Blake Griffin and DeMarcus Cousins) have even played in every game, much less started many of them.

UofM Die Hard …

April 22nd, 2011 at 11:57 AM ^

You are comparing two different positions, small forward to point gaurd.  They got Adam because they thought he could shoot, I agree with you that they probably didnt look much into his defense except for the fact his wing span could cause some trouble for shooters.  

But if you are a PG and a team invests in you, you bet your ass they look at defense for a PG...if you cant slow down the dribble drive or put any quality pressure on the opposing gaurd your stock goes way down.


April 21st, 2011 at 6:22 PM ^

I hope there aren't front office people or agents telling him or other underclassmen thinking about going pro that the NBA labor issue will definitely be resolved.  I can see how they would hint at this to get the kids to come out this year, in what is regarded as a weak draft.  On the other hand, I suppose that means Darius could get a first round rating.  A double edged sword huh?  We want him to be awesome, but if he's too awesome he's gonna leave.  Sigh.


April 21st, 2011 at 6:27 PM ^

I had to be in to work at 6:50 am today.  I somehow caught my nice shirt on a door handle and ripped a hole in it.  I just found out I have to be in at 6:50 am on my birthday to be tested on some stuff and then I have to give a big presentation later that day.

And now this :(