Darius Morris Reportedly Staying In Draft

Submitted by Brian on May 3rd, 2011 at 11:41 PM

I wasn't sure how much credence to give this tweet by DraftExpress…

Darius Morris has decided to keep his name in the draft and will not be returning to Michigan, according to a source close to the situation.

…but UMHoops says he's legit, so he's legit. So… fuuuuuuu.



May 4th, 2011 at 12:26 AM ^

Incoming Freshman Trey Burke looks like he could be really good one day.  However, it's hard to think he can be that good in year 1 in Beilein's system, even Morris wasn't an all-star until his sophomore year.  We could also always throw Stu at the point, but he really hasn't proven to be all that great of a pg, he's better as a sharpshooter. I would imagine Burke would get the starting nod on Game 1 though.


May 4th, 2011 at 2:32 AM ^

ya stu is not an option at pg .....but i'd like to see  trey burke play as a frosh and i honestley wouldn't mind seeing brundidge getting some playing time at point guard as well...i feel like those two could be great.  i see it this way...we all thought that we would suck after manny harris left us last year.  but FINALLY......we have some senior leadership with novak and douglass..i think we could be great...lets do it up this year boys LETS GO blue baby!!!

FYI.....I'm hammered...I'm a CMU student and finals week got the best of me.....lol


May 4th, 2011 at 1:14 AM ^

We will survive this? We've been waiting for over a dozen years to have basketball success that we could sustain and build upon. We aren't exactly playing with house money, OK? We're kinda desperate for everything to start going right for us.

Unless Beilein's recruiting goes to another level, this is a HUGE setback. We won't get many Darius Morrises and when we do and they leave before they reach their potential, it kills.


May 4th, 2011 at 1:41 AM ^

I mean, we don't get his reasoning, and it's probably bad advice, but it certainly might be made out of ego or desperation and not hostility.
<br>But I have to agree that this is a major blow for the program at this time. We needed at least a split vs. MSU to continue momentum against them in recruiting. Not recruiting stars AND losing players early is a recipe for the fears of perennial 1st or 2nd round Tourney exits, without making enough of a move to attract the talent that will make you great. It's set the team back a year (in year 5) minimum, and more if Hardaway does the same thing. It opens up a scholarship, but we really can't afford for it to go to a 4 year project. It has to be used on a top player. Otherwise the 5 year rebuilding project becomes at least 8, assuming losing guys who aren't great yet becomes an annual trend. Then it could be even more.


May 4th, 2011 at 9:23 AM ^

Its not a major blow... at all... while Morris is a great player, and putting materialism first in his life, and wants to live out of a hotel at 20 years old with grown men, its his (bad) choice.... our program is on the major rise, and there is nothing better to recruits to hear that someone is going to the NBA early as to open up a spot....GARY HARRIS COME ON DOWN


May 4th, 2011 at 9:50 AM ^

Doesn't make it so. No more than CAP makes Gary Harris come here. He needs to now though, but that wouldn't even occur until 2012-2013, and then only as a freshman.
<br>Kids like seeing guys go pro. But they like seeing them drafted high, and making the League. They also like sustained excellence against your rivals you are recruiting against, and deep runs in the Tournament. Both of which just became a lot tougher next year. The program is in a precarious position. Regress again and we look like an up and down mediocre program to big time recruits. Amaker beat MSU; and had teams that should have gone to the Tourney. And people talked about how "Michigan was back". But momentum couldn't be sustained or capitalized on, and it never went anywhere. So it's no guarantee. It's maybe the biggest year in the last 15 years of the program.
<br>This isn't Beilein's fault. There's not really anything he could do about it. He's getting broadsided too. He's just learning what it's like to be a Michigan fan lately.


May 4th, 2011 at 9:58 AM ^

Sorry, but you're completely overreacting. Losing Darius Morris for one season does not turn a five-year rebuilding project into "at least 8." I'm as disappointed as anyone that it looks like he isn't coming back next year, because I thought the team would have a chance at a Big Ten title and a Final Four appearance.

Those possibilities are now longshots, but I believe next year's team will be much better than all you doomsayers are predicting. In fact, barring major injuries, I think the team can have a better season than 2010-11. Don't forget that everyone else will be back next year, and we should expect some marked improvement from at least some of the first-year players from 2010-11. Then you have to factor in the influx of freshman talent, plus take into account the solid senior leadership.

By 2012-13, the team may actually be better off given that Beilein can now either take a late 2011 signee (Patrick Heckmann) or sign up someone in November for the 2012 class.

And I completely disagree with your complaints about Beilein "not recruiting stars." So Morris leaving after two years is a major blow to the program, yet you want Beilein to start taking one-and-doners?


May 4th, 2011 at 10:15 AM ^

A Final Four appearance was a pipe dream. Can anything happen and can a team get hot and lucky? Sure, but you could say that about any team in the Country. Even with Morris we don't have the talent level to be a legitimate Final Four team. Maybe if enough teams slip a Big Ten title? Sure, considering we were tied for 4th. But making up those last spots was going to be tough. Especially with the returnees to OSU. 

And yes, the team could be better next year, even losing their best player. But a minor improvement. Maybe a surer thing to make the Tournament, but another 2nd round exit.  That again is going to look like a program that is up and down, but kinda at that bubble level. They had a real chance to at least be in contention talk in the Big Ten the whole season, and be likely to make the Sweet 16. Make the leap, and show recruits that it IS a program on the rise.

And please, no late 2011 signees just to fill a scholarship. Save it for 2012, and land an impact player. It doesn't necessarily have to be one and done.  Though I have no problem with it. Programs who recruit those guys replace them with those guys. That's why it works. And just because they're talented it doesn't mean they have to be one and done. Look at OSU. To make the Final Fours we all want to see them in, they need to regularly recruit players like that. And you do that by winning more.


May 4th, 2011 at 10:36 AM ^

So the major blow you're talking about is that instead of making the Sweet 16 next year the team will only get to the second round? That's one game! A minor improvement over this year IS the Sweet 16.

We'll just have to agree to disagree on recruiting. I thought the Bielfeldt signing was somewhat questionable but only because it left us without another scholarship for 2012, which now seems like a moot point. All the other 2011 and 2012 recruits seem solid to me.


May 4th, 2011 at 10:54 AM ^

In reality, that leap is around 16 places in the rankings...from being considered a top 32 team to a top 16. I mean, the difference between winning 3 games and 4 is only one game. But it's the Final Four! How about the difference between 5 and 6? I'd say there's a big difference in that one game.

If you don't think recruits see a difference between a team that is on the bubble every year, versus one that makes the Tournament no sweat most years, then you're right, we just won't agree. The difference is the regression to the mean, which back through Amaker has been bubble teams. Beilein is a much better coach than Amaker (though not saying a lot), and has achieved more. But if we get swept by MSU, struggle to make the Tournament, win one game again, we can very well achieve what we have before, and what we will next year. But we're talking about progress. 

Yes our recruiting has been fine. But not great. He's gotten players that can make a nice little run in the Tournament, if they stick around, which IS an accomplishment from where the program was. But to continue it we need to start getting players that MSU, OSU are interested in...and get the odd guy who would go to a Duke, NC, or Kansas. I'm don't think we'll be fighting for every guy THOSE programs get...but we need to occasionally, if we want to be a team that people say is a "Final Four" team, on a semi-regular basis. Then getting there with that talent is the challenge. Yeah, you can do it like Butler (who arguably has better talent than we do), but it's a lot harder.


May 4th, 2011 at 9:04 AM ^

Beilein has two guards coming in that were ranked as high / higher than Morris when he came to Ann Arbor.  Michigan basketball is as healthy as it's been in years and years.  I think as Morris will find out in the NBA, Beilein's system and staff are bigger than any single player.  They have the talent to adjust. 


May 4th, 2011 at 9:20 AM ^

Truly competent till his second year. And just assuming Burke or whoever will make the same leap is still contingent on Hardaway not leaving. Much of the success this year came due to being able to go outside the system and molding it to the talent you have. The system isn't bigger than the players, because systems font win championships, players do. It's a setback.


May 4th, 2011 at 10:30 AM ^

Come on, Beilein didn't go outside the system, he simply expanded to take advantage of talent and matchups.  Morris became a ball dominating PG because he started the season along 3 freshmen, his role was dictated by necessity.  But if that's the way you see it, then take heart, Beilein will go outside of the system again to adjust to the talent he has.    



May 4th, 2011 at 10:46 AM ^

A more point guard oriented offense....more pick and roll with a big man down low...much, much less use of zone defense...yeah, it was the same thing he's always run. There was a reason there were major coaching staff changes. Beilein has certainly shown flexibility in his system, and adaptation to players, which is a good thing. But the idea stated was that the system outweighed the players in value, and that's what succeeds. And if you think he's willing to go outside the system to adjust to the players, then obviously Beilein doesn't agree with that point.


May 3rd, 2011 at 11:48 PM ^

I was really hoping D Mo would come back and the BBall team would have a great tourney run next year, but he's gotta do what he thinks is best for him. Good luck to you Darius, I'll be rooting for you wherever you end up. Thanks for helping put Michigan Basketball back on the map.


May 4th, 2011 at 12:05 AM ^

Hugely disappointing news.  Hopefully the presence of an Angry Michigan Point Guard Hating God means the football-related Angry Michigan (Blank) Hating Gods have been replaced.

(p.s. - Good luck D-Mo.)

Flying Dutchman

May 4th, 2011 at 12:07 AM ^

Stu Douglass will have a great senior year running the show.   Plus Burke and Brundidge will come in big as freshman guards and show big things for the years to follow.   We will find a way to get better from this.   I hope Darius gets his money.

MI Expat NY

May 4th, 2011 at 10:19 AM ^

I really don't like Stu at the point guard position.  He's a shooting guard and in the past, playing him at point has taken away his strongest asset, the three point shot.  The pressure is now on Burke to come in and be a solid, starting point guard.


May 4th, 2011 at 12:12 AM ^

I cannot believe this... we are the freaking unlukiest team losing players to the draft... I mean, players that everyone thinks will come back don't in both football and basketball (except for Martin)... damn, this blows, we just have such a hard time building something... I don't blame him, but I think we would've done better for himself and the school had he stayed... wish him the best.... but faaaaaaackkkkk


May 4th, 2011 at 12:14 AM ^

That sucks...kind of deflating and is 1 reason I don't get into bball as much.  We were just picking up steam and I still can't believe he's that good.  One good season and he jumps.  Money money money...

Indiana Blue

May 4th, 2011 at 10:18 AM ^

I cannot see any way that he was ready to go pro ... just not enough offense.  Another year or 2 would have allowed him to work on his game.  He improved sooo much in 1 year, it would have been great to see his development continue.

I really think that Michigan will not drop "a ton" from losing DM.  Would they be better with him ... absolutely, but the team is still very young - so I still am looking for even more improvement next year.

Go Blue !


May 4th, 2011 at 12:28 AM ^


People who say its not a huge deal are nuts. Its devastating for M basketball.

Don't blame Darius - he's gotta do what he's gotta do - but its just so f'in depressing. F&*K!!!


May 4th, 2011 at 1:20 AM ^

This seems very selfish. His game doesn't have NBA polish and he took Michigan to the cusp of big things, only to bail before we could actually get there.

I don't have a lot of love for him, especially when a ton of other superior NBA prospects (Sullinger, Buford, Barnes, Jones, Jenkins, Henson, maybe even Taylor) came back to school. Those guys are loyal; our guy has shown himself to be an opportunist.


May 4th, 2011 at 6:52 AM ^

Let me get this straight. You're mad because a 20 year old kid is taking a shot at a dream, and actually have the nerve to call him selfish?

I mean, I wish he was coming back too, but can't fault a kid for taking a shot at a life long dream.


May 4th, 2011 at 7:50 AM ^

Darius Morris is not obligated to stay at Michigan any longer than he wishes to do so. He has every right to act in his own self-interest and take his shot at the NBA now, if that's what he decides is best for his own future. Acting in what you believe is your own self-interest is not being selfish.

How is this any different than a coach leaving one school for another? For example, John Beilein leaving West Virginia for Michigan. That's being pretty opportunist, isn't it?


May 4th, 2011 at 1:22 AM ^

Why hope it works out for him? He just dealt a massive blow to our program. His credentials are questionable and he still went. He abandoned us on the brink of something big for an outside shot at a first round paycheck, even with a labor lockout looming.

His decision screams "I wanted to get out of here ASAP." And I'm pissed about it.

MI Expat NY

May 4th, 2011 at 10:30 AM ^

Players will always receive bad advice during the process, you just hope that they also receive good advice from someone they'll listen to.  

Of the three players that we've recently questioned leaving early (Manny, Warren, Morris), this is by far the most disappointing.  In a lot of ways, Manny and Warren were already who they were going to be as college players.  They had reached their ceilings.  While them leaving arguably hurt Michigan (Warren certainly, Manny only maybe), it didn't really hurt their professional prospects.  Manny was going to be a second rounder and Warren's lack of NFL athleticism was going to be spotted.  If both wanted to make a go at a professional career, there was no reason they had to stay.  

Morris, on the other hand, has two serious flaws that could be improved upon in college, his outside shot and finishing with his left hand.  Serious improvement in those areas probably bumps him up to the tail end of the lottery, a much better position to begin a professional career.  Now, he's looking at a second round grade in a draft proceeding what could be a serious labor dispute.  Just not a good decision all around.  Makes me wonder who was advising him.  His brother, maybe?

Away Goal

May 4th, 2011 at 12:36 AM ^

I think he's getting bad advice from someone but it is easy to listen when people tell you how great you are.

Hopefully it does work out for him and Trey steps up huge as a freshman.