Report: Darius Morris to Test NBA Draft Waters

Dylan Burkhardt

The Detroit Free Press is reporting that Darius Morris will test the NBA Draft process but not hire an agent.

“He’s going to test the waters,” DeWayne said. “He’s not going to hire an agent. He’s going to go through the process as if he was going to enter the draft.”

“That’s always been his goal to go to the NBA,” DeWayne said. “He wanted to try it out and see where he stands. It can definitely work out. Next year he’ll be familiar with the process and know what he has to work on. If it works, he has a chance to live out his dream also had a chance to see what he can be better at. That’s his dream. Give it a shot.”

Testing the waters and not hiring an agent is a move that makes sense. If Morris gets a first round guarantee, he should go. If not, he still has the opportunity to return to school. The deadline to withdraw from the NBA Draft is May 8th.

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  • Dylan Burkhardt

    This wasn’t the good news that I hinted at in the other post, so that should still be coming at some point.

  • Drew

    Um, crap.

  • Sam

    I think people need to breathe for a minute. He is entering his name, which I thought was pretty clear for the past month or so, but will not hire an agent, and wants to see what he needs to improve on to improve his draft stock. I don’t think he is going anywhere. Later in the article his brother basically says Darius will be at Michigan again next year.

    • Beast1530

      That’s a standard procedure for most players who had a great year. Shelvin Mack entered his name in NBA draft but came back. Kevin Anderson from Richmond did the same thing and came back.

  • Jon

    Once he realizes he’ll be a mid-second rounder, with a potential lockout coming, he’ll be back. I’m sure he’s well aware of what Manny went through last year an the risks associated with being rated as a low draft pick.

    • Beast1530

      Manny Harris was never considered to be a low draft pick. He was a fringe 1st/2nd rounder which is why he went to NBA. It’s better to be undrafted than get drafted in 2nd round.

    • Beilein’s Swish

      Actually, I don’t think you want to point to Manny’s experience as a negative. Manny made a roster and he’s making more than a half a million a year on a guaranteed contract. Manny made the right choice in turning pro.

      Still, I doubt Darius will rate high enough to enter the draft. He still needs to work on his jump shot before even considering it.

      • Anthony

        He made the worst roster in the nba morris might not be so lucky… Thats not a knock on manny, but manny would not be on many nba rosters.

    • Dylan Peiffer

      @ Jon
      A 2011 Mock draft has the butterfly going anywhere from 30 to around 38 (depending on which mock draft you look at). That’s pretty good considering Kalen Lucus is predicted to go High 70s and Summers is 100+. I hope to God D.M. stays, but I think he has a great shot at making the 1st round. He definitely could improve his off hand shooting. Hopefully this will be a reason enough for another year. GO BLUE!!!

  • Agree Sam

  • Can’t hurt to try. A smart decision for this young man, as many players who go through the draft process early in their college careers end up getting chewed up, spat out, and have their careers completely ruined. Some experience under his belt when (/if) he goes through it again will be very valuable.

    Clearly we’d like him to stay, but I think that he’ll make the decision that’s best for him.

  • Evan

    fine with this the scouts will tell him what to do so he can be better he will work all summer and come back next year

  • MaceoBaston

    I have no problem with him testing the waters, but he should definitely come back. He still no has no long range jump shot and definitely has areas of his game that need to improve.

  • Mattski

    Hopefully, the scouting report he obtains makes him work all the harder, and prove himself the more rounded on the court next year.

  • Kenny

    Anyone know where he stands by most mock draft.

    Hope that he will come back next year. Manny was lucky to get playing because of the situation of the cavs.

  • Kainkitizen

    There is nothing wrong with Darius testing the NBA waters. He’s basically looking for NBA Advice to better himself next season. If the team and him do well, then he should really consider making the verbal commitment for the NBA Draft after next season. It wouldn’t upset me to see him leave with another year of being in Ann Arbor. Great Players make Great Decisions!!

  • Tweeter

    yea I dont see how any fan can complain about this. This is exactly what Darius should be doing. I think the key is that he keeps a level head about the whole thing and makes sure he has all the right information before making a decision. I know most are saying he should come back, but who are we to tell him what is best for his future. Dont get me wrong, I definitely want him to return and I personally believe that returning will only help his draft stock and his talent development. But if he feels he is ready and he is ok with where he is projected, than I wish him the best of luck.

  • Quick Darshan, probably the most reliable site for mock drafts, has Darius Morris ranked 52 among pro prospects. They don’t have him in their 2011 Mock Draft, but they have him going 25th in the 2012 Mock Draft.

    Most likely, Morris will hear that he needs to work on being able to shoot from distance off the dribble and to improve as a catch-and-shooter as well. Something everyone knows anyway.

  • SS

    This is good news! It’s a sign of a growing bball program…as the program continues to grow we’re going to have this almost every year or so where a player wants to test the NBA draft waters early. It’s good for recruiting too especially if we want to get some 4 and/or 5 star guys (not that we have to have them but it helps).

  • Rb

    I think a pg with his size, handle, and willingness to distribute and defend is a lock for first round. Hopefully his sights are on being a lottery pick. Dont think we are more than a bubble team next year without him. It is CRITICAL he come back next year for this program to make the next step.

  • georgeesq.

    Does Darius really need to enter his name in the draft to find out what he needs to work on? Isn’t it obvious? He might say that he’s entering the draft to see what he needs to work on, but he’s really hoping to sneak into the first round and go pro ASAP. That’s his prerogative, but I sure hope he has sound advice. Wonder if Beilein is involved in the advice part. Well, I don’t really wonder.

    • Tweeter

      Well I think that in saying his hope is that he sneaks into the first round is incorrect. Or at least that it is an unlikely guess at the situation. I have no idea what Darius’ hopes are or what he expects from this or what he wants in life, but neither does anyone else on here.

      At this point in time with the uncertainty regarding the NBA and the CBA for next season, I think to assert that a player enters his name solely to sneak into the first round, is pretty unlikely. My guess and its only a guess, is that he is doing the smart thing. Checking out where he stands in terms of picks, getting to know the process, the people involved both at the league level and the agents, as well as seeing what the talent evaluaters have to say about his strengths and weaknesses.

      There is absolutely no reason not to enter your name in this thing. As long as you do not hire an agent, all that it can do is help you.

      • georgeesq.

        My concerns would be getting to know agents – depending on which ones, you can get some really bad advice; having a lot of different people telling him what he needs to do – what if what they tell him is different from what Beilein wants him to do? It all seems very benign, just checking out your draft status. But it can effect a player’s attitude if he does return.

        Like I said there are lots of ways to find out what you need to work on without entering the draft. He’s been scouted. Beilein could contact some NBA scouts to get feedback for him. Izzo has done that for his players.

        • Tweeter

          but that is part of the process. He obviously has to be smart about the whole thing and know what his plans are and what he is willing to risk. There are no guarantees in this whole thing, but if he is ok with taking the risk that he might not get drafted, then fine. That is his choice. But the process itself cannot hurt him, if he is smart about it and understands the risk. Getting to know how the agents work and how they pump up players is great experience for when he does want to go pro for certain (if that time is not now). It will help him a ton to understand them, how they interact with players, with teams, etc., when he goes to hire one down the road.

  • WTHef?

    I imagine he is just doing the smart thing and testing out the process in anticipation of leaving after his junior year but it does seem like we have bad luck with guys leaving early even when it doesn’t seem to make sense at the time they declare (Harris and Crawford come to mind). I love Morris but don’t really think he is necessarily the kind of guy that the NBA loves in workouts (like Crawford), which should encourage him to return – he’s not a great athlete, not sure he has the quickness to cover guys like Rondo or Rose – plus he has that injury history with the bad back that forced him to sit out the summer before his senior year.

    However, not to be Debbie Downer but I haven’t heard anyone talk about the worst case scenario that seems very possible – that Hardaway has a strong sophomore year and also exits. He’s a better pro prospect than Morris and the NBA is going to love his size, athleticism, and shot. We could potentially lose 4/5 of our starting lineup in one year. The only takeaway from this is that the 2011 & 2012 classes are going to be critical – a couple of those guys are going to have to emerge as studs early on, not just backup role players. We’ll have veteran posts, an all around player in Smotrycz, and a senior Vogrich, so I think we can be pretty good (maybe NCAAs) if 1 or 2 of those guys emerges.

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      There aren’t many 6-foot-4 point guards in the NBA. That’s a huge plus for Darius.

    • Tweeter

      well I would just add that your worst case scenario (both Darius and Timmy leaving after next year), is probably a pretty good scenario for next year. If they are both at the level where they are going to get a good look in the NBA, then I would imagine the team will have a pretty solid season. Not a guarantee since some guys turn all selfish the year before the go pro, but it would bode well for the team. Not to mention the boost in recruiting you get from being able to say that you put another two players into the NBA.

      Honestly I am not very concerned about that scenario anyway since the team would still have a veteran Morgan upfront along with Horford, Smotrycz, Bielfeldt, McLimans and Christian. Young but slightly experienced guards in Burke and Brundidge. Highly talented young wings in Robinson and Stauskas. Plus any other late additions that take the open schollies. But that group alone sounds like a group that can win some games.

  • JD

    I hope Darius is serious that he’s only testing the waters and makes sure to keep going to class during the process so he maintains his eligibility.

  • ForeverBlue23

    “If Morris gets a first round guarantee, he should go.”

    Why, so he can get buried on some teams bench? Some analysts have said he’s potential lottery pick if he stays another year. I hope he’s testing the waters to figure out how to make himself that. I love Darius and want him not to just get to the NBA, but play in the NBA.

    • Beast1530

      1st round pick has an automatic guaranteed contract so a player who gets drafted in the 1st round are pretty much on the team.

      Morris will never be a lottery pick because he doesn’t have that breathtaking athleticism and his shooting are still suspect. His ceiling is mid to late 1st rounder IMO. If he projects as a 1st rounder, he should go. If not, he’ll come back and work on improving his stock into 1st round range. With that being said, he’ll come back for his junior year. I still expect him to declare for the draft after next season.

      • ForeverBlue23

        I know that it’s a guaranteed contract, it’s also likely to be a decent team and a spot on deep on the bench. If there was nothing to do change that, I guess it would be time to take the money and run. I just think if he can improve his shooting he can improve his draft position. It seem to me that he has a better chance to do that in Ann Arbor and in game action.

        • Beast1530

          IMO, he won’t be projected as a 1st rounder. At best, it’s early 2nd round which is enough for Morris to come back. His ceiling is mid-to-late 1st round which is appropriate for a player who doesn’t have that jaw dropping athleticism needed to be a lottery pick. I suspect that he’ll be in the draft after his junior year which he’ll certainly be a mid to late 1st rounder. The writing on the wall is he won’t be back in his senior year.

  • Troy

    Whatever he decides to do I wish him the best. I believe he has the potential to be a solid NBA PG with his size. That being said I hope he returns and leads us to a B1G title next yr.

  • bird

    I would never criticize that last shot, especially with as much as you meant to our success this season, but you can’t go out like that, D Mo. Sorry, you have to come back, do wonderful fluttery things, and then you can leave Trey the keys. (Although it certainly wouldn’t leave a Webber-level bad taste if he does go; the kind you can’t get rid of for a generation.)

  • Jeff

    I was just looking through a mock draft database. The highest he’s projected is 32nd, and I’d say that more than half that list a 2nd round, have him going undrafted. I think he’s just doing what Harris did after his sophmore year and testing the waters. I’d be really suprised if he leaves this year.

  • Quick Darshan

    I’m sure Josh Bartelstein’s dad can give him advice on the process and get him access to scouts that will shoot him straight. Dumars and Hardaway Sr as well.

  • Dford

    Im not hating because I love Morris’s game and think it will translate to the pro’s one day, just not today. He needs to work on that stroke before 1st rd teams look at him as their floor general of the future. He is 2nd rd right now and I have no doubt that by this time next year after mastering his jumper and having some more success at Michigan he will be a top 15 pick no doubt…

  • Tom, Too

    He will come back with news to work on going left. This is perfect because it will give Burke a year to learn stuff. This Butterfly stuff is brutal. I’d rather have a nickname like The Destroyer or THE L.A. Punisher….The Butterfly sound like he might land on you and it will tickle.

  • C weezy

    Maybe I’m selfish! I just wanna see UM do great, they been down so long. Darius just one more year just so that I can talk my ish again!!

  • ScottGoBlue

    I’m a little surprised, but not totally. Secretly I had hopes he wouldn’t realize how good he was and just stay 4 years. I think we get him for three.

    If Morris and Hardaway depart together after next season, that would leave us with two extra scholarships, and the following line-up:
    1: Burke
    2: Brundidge
    3: Vogrich, Stauskas
    4: Smotrycz, Christian, G.Robinson 3
    5: Morgan, Horford, McLimans, Beilfeldt

    So I’m guessing we’d go after a PG and/or a SG?

    • Sam

      Well, I can all but guarantee you that we will be going hard after PGs in the 2013 class. There are a plethora of high-D1 caliber PGs in-state, and that will be the right time to pick up another PG for the roster.

  • fresh

    i want to see dmo stay because he is one of teh most exciting and creative players in the country to watch

  • Anthony

    Darius lacks a quick first step he does not have elite nba quickness, and that is why he will not sneak into the 2nd round. When dmo over dribbles thats because he cant take a dribble and get to the basket. Look at good nba pgs they are very quick and explosive. Morris lacking the quickness and a consistent jumpshot will not put him in the first round so he will be back.

  • Alex

    Whatever is best for him. I don’t want a player to come back unless that player is committed to another year oh college. McCamey and other Illinois players show us the perils of players coming back when they are not focused. Manny may be another example. As I said, I hope D Mo makes the decision that makes the most sense to him and his family.

  • VA michigan man

    He needs to get a degree and let the NBA wait . Go Blue!

  • Beilein’s Swish

    Still haven’t seen any official word from Darius. I’m just thinking that idiot Snyder is pushing a non-story forward. If Darius publicly states this I’ll believe it, but in the meantime Snyder has no credibility. I think every player after every season thinks about possibly turning pro and asks around. This is usually a very private set of consultations. Sounds like Darius’s brother is not particularly discreet when talking to a reporter fishing for a story.

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      There’s media availability today, so we’ll see.

      • Beilein’s Swish

        Cool. Definitely looking forward to hearing if anything is said. I really think that after writing that unsourced story last week speculating about Darius going pro, Snyder went on a fishing expedition to try to prove himself right (wouldn’t be the first time he’s done that). However, best to keep an open mind and Darius could confirm Snyder’s right today.