Darius Morris pro potential?

Submitted by cypress on February 8th, 2011 at 10:02 PM

We havent really had the problem of guys leaving early for the NBA lately, (outside of Manny which was kind of a unique circumstance), and I was wondering if Morris might be one of those guys. Projecting forward, I'm pretty excited about the basketball team in the next couple years, but keeping Morris on board is a big part of our future success. So, does he have an NBA game, or does he look like a guy who is likely to stick around for 4 years?


Flying Dutchman

February 8th, 2011 at 10:07 PM ^

He will play some NBA basketball, but I'm betting he's not a big star.   Good size, not outrageously quick, somewhat physical.  He's going to have to develop a really good jump shot to be a major NBA contributor.   I think, and hope, he is a 4 year Wolverine.

Hardaway will end up being the one we will need to be more concerned about when it comes to the NBA.


February 8th, 2011 at 10:07 PM ^

I see him leaving early is if he fixes his turnover bug next offseason and he improves his jump shot. Then maybe we're talking at the end of next year that he would be a good NBA prospect. He has great size for an NBA point.


February 8th, 2011 at 10:17 PM ^

Of the top assist guys in the conference, only Jordan Taylor at Wisconsin has a significantly better assist/turnover ratio (McCamey is at 2.31 to Darius's 2.30).  I don't think occasionally making mistakes that all human basketball players make constitutes having a "turnover bug".

Gustavo Fring

February 8th, 2011 at 10:31 PM ^

Those bullet passes that go through Jordan Morgan's hands might be the right decision if he's throwing that pass to Blake Griffin.

I think Morris is a very accurate passer who can get the ball where it needs to be.  I don't even think visions the problem.  I think he needs to take less risks, though a risk at Michigan is different from a risk in the NBA


February 8th, 2011 at 10:33 PM ^

We're always harshest on the folks we watch closely.  I'm sure Cardinals fans have seen Albert Pujols strike out a bunch of times and commit errors in the field and on the bases, whereas I've just seen him hit bombs on Baseball Tonight.

Just wanted to point out the numbers and remind everybody that they say we have one of the very best point guards in the entire country.


February 9th, 2011 at 8:00 AM ^

His low turnover % is even more incredible given the fact that he has the ball in his hands for probably more than 60% of the time during our offensive possessions. He and Beilein probably wouldn't like that to be the case, but it is what it is. Not to mention the fact that he's often tasked with doing something during the last 10 seconds of the shot clock.


February 9th, 2011 at 1:03 PM ^

TO per touches hence TO rate %.  Regardless of how much you touch the ball, the TO rate % tells a much better story than just TO given up per game.


Even then with as many touches that Morris has all year, he needs to improve on taking care of the ball.  He does have a tendency to dribble the air out of the ball and doesn't necessarily play within the offense.  I've seen him getting picked far too often for a guy who is a PG.


February 8th, 2011 at 10:23 PM ^

Jumper does need some work, shooting less than 30% from 3 in college usually projects very poorly to the pros.  Not to mention he has to learn to finish going to his left.  Otherwise, great size, athleticism, good handles and court vision.  He would be at best a second rounder this year, likely undrafted.  If he shores up a couple of the weaker areas of his game by next year?  Who knows.

Gustavo Fring

February 8th, 2011 at 10:24 PM ^


Basically he has great size, strength, finishing ability, and passing/vision for a PG.  He needs to improve his jump shot and his decision-making (which is an issue with most young point guards)

The potential is there.  He's not as quick as John Wall or Derrick Rose, but he could be a solid Chauncey Billups-type if he can hit the three consistently.  Otherwise he'll probably be a career backup.

Gustavo Fring

February 8th, 2011 at 11:52 PM ^

People make comparisons all the time.  I'm talking about styles.

Billups doesn't have elite speed, but he's crafty with very good size and good athleticism.  Sounds like Morris.

Obviously Billups put in a ton of work to get to that point.  I'm not saying he'll be as good (or that he won't) but he is a similar player.  


February 9th, 2011 at 12:59 AM ^

Wasn't at all bashing you but Morris has a long way to go before he can play in the league. He can't go left period and his mid-range game is decent. No NBA range whatsoever from 3, If he made it he would def be more like Andre Miller like dude below said but again you can't really compare people, I just look at his game for what it is. He can make plays though.


February 8th, 2011 at 10:54 PM ^

Similar sort of body type, big, rangy guard. Not a great shooter, but able to drive and score when they need to, and very, very good at distributing to teammates.

Obviously he would have a ton of work to do if he was going to be as good as rondo, and I don't know if he ever can be. Its not like rondo was a no brainer coming out of college though, and he took a long time to develop into a real force in the league.


February 9th, 2011 at 12:42 AM ^

I've always agreed with Morris as a very poor man's Rondo.  Rondo is a great finisher near the rim with great vision and great passing as well as great athleticism.  Rondo has the better athleticism than Morris, but Morris seems to have a slightly better mid-range game (comparing them as college players).  Neither is a great long-range shooter, but both are deadly in the fast break possessing the ability to finish themselves in traffic or dish to a teammate.  Its important to  remember that Rondo was the 21st pick in the draft and was the weakest starter on the Celtics when he started playing for them.  Many people said he would be the reason they couldn't win a championship and he has quietly become the star of the team.  If Morris were put in the same situation he would most likely not have the same amount of success, but remember that Rondo was not seen as a highly regarded prospect.


February 9th, 2011 at 12:58 AM ^

is he was forced to play in a slow down half-court offense for Tubby where it didn't play into his strength as a PG.  Rondo could've gone to Louisville since he grew up in that town but Pitino never showed interest in Rondo.  Rondo would've shine if he had played for Louisville instead of Kentucky.


February 9th, 2011 at 1:39 PM ^

Rondo was a poor man's Rondo before the Celtics acquired KG and Ray Allen to play with Paul Pierce. 

Darius has the upside.  Darius's size, ball handling (not to his left yet though), ball protection, passing and free throw shooting are improvements from last year. 

He has enough potential to be a solid NBA player if he keeps up his pace of improvement (shooting and defense and dexterity to the left). 

The Shredder

February 8th, 2011 at 11:29 PM ^

I would say he projects to a back up or a D-league guy. His size and vision are very solid but his lack of quickness and speed will be his main problem(also shooting as noted). The Points guards rule the league right now and they are all as big as him but can jump out of the gym(when I watch Morris on break away dunks it seems he has a hard time even puitting those down.) and have great speed and explosion. At the moment there would be no way he could stay in front of guys like Derrick Rose and John Wall. Or hit the open three or even the mid range. If he ever gets his jump shot right he got a chance at a back up role but his speed and athleticism will never be on par to be starter or better. 

This is what NBA PG do these days.



.... Morris can't. Hes a great college player but doesn't look to be a NBA type.


The Shredder

February 9th, 2011 at 12:01 AM ^

Thats not what I am saying.I am saying he gonna have to cover guys like this on a every night basis and almost every starting PG in the league is gonna be fast and will hit a jumper without blinking. Morris struggled with covering Lucas(future Euro player) during the MSU game. His lack of quickness is a major issue at the next level. He won't make a team if he can't cover or hit shots. At least he has time to fix his shot. 

My buddy had some work outs with the Rockets,Bucks and Thunder. He can shot the lights out. All said the same thing. Great shot but to slow for the NBA game. If you can't cover anyone than you are useless. He has played over seas ever since. 


Edit: Also like others have mentioned he goes right 80% of the time. Hes so big at the college level that its hard to make him go left unless it is coming from a trap. So he needs to work on that as well.


February 8th, 2011 at 11:48 PM ^

I admittedly haven't watched a ton of him in his career, but the guy Morris reminds me most of is Andre Miller. If Morris can develop a back to the basket game to take advantage of his size and continues to improve his jump shot, I think he's got a shot to be in a rotation on an NBA squad. 


February 9th, 2011 at 12:00 AM ^

reminds me a lot of Andre Miller.  He's almost a spitting image of Miller in terms of size, passing ability and shooting.  Like Miller, Darius isn't a great shooter but is a good passer.  Both players need the ball in their hands most of the time to make an impact.


IMO, he'll be a solid NBA player but won't be a star.

Sac Fly

February 9th, 2011 at 2:11 AM ^

The first would be more time in college to develop, he needs to add a 3-point shot. If he did go into the draft early he would need to be drafted by a good organization who can help him learn. He has the moves, the mid range jumpshot, and the overall playmaking ability, i don't see why with 2 more years of college he couldn't be a good pro.

Desmonlon Edwoodson

February 9th, 2011 at 6:18 AM ^

I wouldn't be surprised if Darius AND Tim are on nba watch after next year.  These are the kind of problems you want to have, and if they come out early it means they have probably accomplished a thing or thing or two in maize and blue.  With baby Horton and baby Battle coming in next year, you hope they can pick up a thing or two from Darius before he matriculates(whenever that may occur).  Neither of those pre-frosh really have size that screams NBA, but if their college game looks anything like their senior year the point will be in good hands when Darius leaves.


February 9th, 2011 at 7:37 AM ^

Darius will definitely get a nice long look from the pros when he decides to declare. Size in a PG is always a valuable thing, especially when that size comes with very legitimate passing ability.


He reminds me a lot of Antonio Daniels, who a lot of non die-hards probably don't remember that well, but was/is (he's in the d-league now trying to make it back) a 6'4 PG that didn't possess top end athleticism, but was still very effective (and undervalued in his prime IMO). I think Morris can be more dynamic than Daniels, but there's also no guarentee he ever becomes as crafty/heady of a player.

Braylon 5 Hour…

February 9th, 2011 at 10:04 AM ^

It's hard to project how much Morris and Hardaway will improve.  You would hope that if these guys aren't projected lottery or first round picks, they would stay.  Manny left despite it being pretty clear that he'd be a 2nd round pick at best.  I am hoping that Morris and Hardaway love Beilein and want to keep building at Michigan.  If they ever play well enough here that they are guaranteed lottery or first round picks, chances are that means that our basketball team will be the best it has been in a really long time, so I guess it's a win/win?




February 9th, 2011 at 5:23 PM ^

NBA players tends to stay away from senior players because they pretty much reached their ceiling and they're a bit old for a NBA rookie.


The best thing for Manny was to go undrafted rather than get drafted in 2nd round because Manny can pick any team that gave him the best chance of making the roster instead of being stuck with that team who drafted you. Plus, leaving a year early allows you get an head start on the contract and you get one less year to contend for the 2nd contact.  Even if you don't make the NBA, you can always play oversea and still make six figure for a living.


February 9th, 2011 at 12:06 PM ^

I also see Darius Morris with an Andre Miller-like ceiling. He does need to improve his jump shot, but perhaps equally as importantly he needs to continue to develop his left hand. He has good vision and given his size, has decent, not great quickness. He's an average athlete who plays below the rim, so he'll really need to improve his outside shot in order to score. He won't be able to make those awkward fadeaway 7-footers in the NBA though, and he only attempts those cus he can't finish with the left. I think he's an NBA player because true PGs are rare with his size and it's even rarer to find someone with his passing ability. No chance he leaves this year, and even if he develops the left hand or the shot I'm not sure he leaves next year cus I hear he gets in the 95th percentile on his calc tests.


February 9th, 2011 at 12:24 PM ^

since noone has mentioned it i'm guessing i'm the only one that looks at DMo play and is reminded of a young Darren Williams (sp?) from Illinois and currently with the Jazz.


Braylon 5 Hour…

February 9th, 2011 at 1:54 PM ^

Deron Williams is one of the most physically impressive point guards that I've ever seen in college, and one of the top 2 or 3 in the NBA right now.  He can shoot, he can drive, he can distribute, he's the complete player.  I unfortunately dont' think Morris' game resembles his at all .