News and Notes: Darius Morris, Bacari Alexander & More

Dylan Burkhardt

Photo: Freep

Darius Morris and the NBA Draft

Morris will have to make his stay-or-go decision by midnight on Sunday. As things stand he has not hired an agent and will continue on with the process. Chad Ford confirmed that Darius Morris will participate in the mega-workout hosted in New Jersey on Saturday and Sunday, likely his only opportunity to impress scouts before having to make a final decision on his draft status.

Ford notes that a surprising number of underclassmen on the bubble actually declined to participate in the workout, which will feature 5-on-5 action, but mentions Morris as one of the stronger players in the workout with the ability to play his way into the first round. The notable point guards in the workout include Reggie Jackson, Tu Holloway and Cory Joseph while players like Shelvin Mack, Norris Cole and Demetri Mccamey declined invites. has bumped Morris into the first round in their latest projections, going to the San Antonio Spurs. Most other mock drafts and rankings still have Morris listed right near the top of the second round.

Those close to Morris insist that going through the process as if you are dead set on entering the draft is important. No NBA team wants to waste their time if they think you plan to return to school. That being said, I would be pleasantly surprised if Morris made the decision to turnaround and head back to Ann Arbor at this point.

Jordan Morgan Highlights

In case you missed it, we posted Josh Houchin’s highlight video of Jordan Morgan over the weekend. All of the highlight videos are archived here.

Bacari Alexander Returns to Twitter

Bacari Alexander, @bacari34, disappeared from the Twitterverse on April 1st and many were quick to point out that it was a convenient April Fools Joke. Bacari delayed his return long enough to convince some that he had really left twitter. But now, a month later, he’s back and better than ever. Bacari rattled off well over 50 tweets beginning with this one at 5 a.m.


The most notable or interesting tweet was one giving kudos to strength coach Jon Sanderson and pointing out that Jon Horford is reportedly up to 246 (!) pounds, up from his listed 220lbs last season.

Meet Eso Akunne

Bacari also tweeted a link to this video, put together by student manager Daniel Pinedo (also behind many videos), featuring Eso Akunne.

Could Akunne factor into back court minutes next season if Morris enters the draft early? It’s probably unlikely with Stu Douglass, Zack Novak, Carlton Brundidge and Trey Burke all in the backcourt rotation but it’s nice to have a guy at the end of the bench with a bit of game experience.

  • Joe

    Dear Darius,

    Don’t go.

    Marcus Taylor

    • michiganhoops4eva


  • Kelvin Torbert

    Screw Marcus Taylor

    • KS Hoops


  • Fred_Ex

    I still don’t think d-mo is ready for the nba but from what I’ve read it appears he’s a legitimate first round pick I hope he returns but I wish him luck in new jersey. There is no question he has weaknesses especially his jump shooting. However his size and strength could with incredible vision separate him from other point guards. There must be some feelings of wanting to return to Ann arbor, considering the bad taste left in everyone’s mouth following his great performance all season but his missed floater at the end of the duke game (what appeared to be a very makeable shot). I Think often as fans we analyze players skill and ability with some bias. Myself included. If Darius Moriss decides to come back another year and developed his game to include left handed dribbling, a three point game, and other skills like the running floater- I don’t think he will lose anything between this year and next. Remember his dream is to play in and make lots of money but that is also an answer, the nba is a business in it to make money, a meat grinder if you will. If morris fails in the nba no one will ne around to cuddle him. If someone would have told me morris’s fresh year he would be a.first round pick this year, I would have said yeah right. He became the player he is now at Michigan under j.b. Perhaps it is best for morris to dance with the one who bring him.

  • alan

    if Darius goes its gna break my heart…all we need is one more consistent season and a year in the tourney to break through, without him and itll be much tougher.

    • I know it’s poor form to link to stuff I’ve written, but I think I did a decent job explaining what would happen if Morris decides to leave here:

      • ForeverBlue23

        What happened between 2008-09 and the 2009-10 season? The Wolverines lost a couple of unheralded senior point guards. Beilein’s system requires that the PG understand the playbook and can make the right reads. It doesn’t require a PG that dominates the ball or scoring. Sure, Morris was the MVP this past season but that was out of necessity when they started the season with 3 freshmen.

        The Wolverines don’t have a PG that can replace Morris next season but it won’t be a requirement if Stu and Eso can hold down the fort as Burke develops AND if Smotrycz, Morgan and Hardaway take another step forward.

        • I’ll respectfully disagree. Stu has not shown the ability to consistently run the point, Akunne is a walk-on who hasn’t seen significant minutes, and Burke is a freshman (who seemed to be much more of a shooter anyways). Manny Harris and Deshawn Sims were really good players in ’09-’10, and they were both better than anyone on this team, save for Morris and maybe Hardaway. We’re not going to be as bad as we were in ’09-’10 if Morris leaves, but we aren’t going to be a Top 25 caliber team IMO. I’ve been proved wrong before, but out of Stu, Eso, and Trey, I don’t think any of them can play PG at a high level next year.

          • And we’ve seen a “good” team without a PG.

          • Mattski

            We’ve hashed this enough that we are often restating the obvious at this stage–this can’t be as good a team without Darius. And since few guards thrive as freshman, including the phenom who’s leaving, odds are good Burke won’t excel, either. But I’ve always maintained Stu is better than he gets credit for, and he DOES know Beilein’s offense. The element of surprise, the fast toss down court–some of these will be gone. But maybe Brundidge can supply a little of that, especially as change of pace. Another reason I think we may see more of him this year than Burke. And Stu as steadily improving three-point threat at the point could bring a dimension Darius did not.

            I’m wrapped up enough in this team after the last few years that I’ll watch whatever happens. But I’m glad we’ll know soon.

  • Adam

    I wish Darius nothing but the best in whatever he chooses

  • eddie

    lovin the umhoops screenshot on Bacari’s monitor in the Eso vid

  • Mike

    I think D. Morris can do anything he puts his mind to–and that includes making an NBA roster this year. I just think he stands to gain a lot more if he sticks at this college thing for another year, improves his jumper and his left hand. Lottery picks make a lot more money than the borderline guys.

    Who am I kidding, 100% selfishly, Please Dont Go!

  • jmblue

    The best reason for Darius to stay isn’t even really so much about his future NBA chances, but this: if he leaves, he can never again be a college basketball player. The NBA could be there for years afterward, but he can never again play at Crisler or in the NCAA tournament. One more year!

  • Beilein’s Swish

    Sounds like unless he bombs at the combine, he’s gone. I think he’s a late first rounder to early second rounder this year, and he’d probably be in the same position next year given it’ll be a much stronger draft. I selfishly hope he stays, but can see why he would want to leave.

    • Kenny

      I think that he is gone. But I don’t agree that he will be in the same position next year if he can address several concerns, outside shooting and left hand. That said, his stoke might slide if he does not improve in those aspects next year. This is a gamble that only makes sense when he sees 50/50 chance in improving his game next year.

      • Beilein’s Swish

        He may improve, but will that make-up for a much stronger draft next year? I still think he’d go in the late 1st round draft next year, even with improvements, when considering the Sullingers, Barnes, etc. that will enter the draft. Plus, the one-and-done’s next year look exceptionally strong, so you’d have the Gilchrist’s, etc. taking first round slots.

        So if he thinks he’ll be drafted around the same slot in both years, he’s probably risking sliding next year if he underperforms (like Manny did his last year). I guess in that case, it makes alot of sense to go out this year (as long as he doesn’t bomb in the pre-draft combine).

        • JD

          I think if he has a similar statistical season to this year, while improving his J and left hand and the team makes the Sweet 16, he will be a Top-20 pick in the draft.

          He’ll get a lot more notoriety.

  • shawn

    while i have to say at first I was initially freaked out by the thought of D-Mo leaving, it rerally wouldnt be that bad. Don’t get me wrong i want him to come back, but just think of this lineup possibility…
    1) Douglas, Brundidge
    2)THJ, Vogrich, Burke
    3)Novak, Smotrycz
    4)Morgan, Smotrycz, Bielfeldt
    5)Horford, Morgan
    I still like our chances

    • Brian

      That lineup is not something we would see. Burke is a PG, and will likely start there. He will hold that job unless he struggles big time. Also Morgan will never be a 4 in JB’s offense. Him and Horford are strictly 5’s for JB. Hardaway is the 3 in this offense. Your most likely starting lineup if Morris is gone to me is….

      PG: Burke
      SG: Novak
      SF: Hardaway
      PF: Smotrycz
      C: Morgan

      The other possible combination I see is Smotrycz staying on the bench, with Novak at the 4 and Douglass at the 2.

  • Blue for Life

    I agree with Brian. Brundidge is a scoring 2 guard all day. Burke is a scoring pg all day. THJ is a slasher/swing man. Novak is the hustle guy/leader of the team. Stu will be the catch and shoot guy. This team will be good with Morgan and Horford on the inside and Smot as the pick and pop specialist.

  • Anton


    that shot will get you laughed out of the NBA. Please stay at least one more year and work on correcting it. You will not regret it.

    • David


      The kid has done everything right. He’s worked his way into a potential first-round selection. And he owes you nothing. Don’t be selfish.

      • Anton

        I want him to have a long career. He needs a jump shot to do it. HArd to develop your jump shot in the NBA playing 5 minutes a night.

        • Tweeter

          you dont develop your jump shot in games. You develop it in practice. The fact of the matter is that once in the NBA he will receive more coaching and more practice time on that jump shot. Games are where you learn what works and what does not, then you improve those things that work in practice.

          His decision to leave early really is not about where he is as a player or where he is going to be. Its all about what his first contract is going to be like. Then once he is in the league, its all on him in terms of whether or not he stays. The number of years he spends in college does not factor in as much as people like to make it seem.

          • Beilein’s Swish

            Andre Miller is an 11% 3-point shooter with average athleticism and he’s made a nice NBA career. I think that’s who Darius will end up modeling his career against, and I think a team that’s looking for the next Andre Miller will end up drafting him. Best of luck to the kid….hope he stays at Michigan, but if not I’ll wish him the best and hope that he has a great NBA career and makes lots of money. He did give Michigan fans a great season with many enjoyable memories.

  • BluCheese

    I think that everybody talking about Darius’s perceived weaknesses as a reason to come back is short sighted. Every player has some weaknesses.

    What he should be looking at is coming back and being the leader and floor general of a team that makes a deep run in next year’s tournament. That would gain him immeasurable hype and what NBA team could resist that?

    • rook34

      College success doesn’t mean he’ll go any higher in the draft. The NBA drafts totally on measurables and potential. Morris returning to have a great run wouldn’t necessarily help him, at least not enough to vault into the lottery in what will be a loaded draft.

      Media hype won’t help him either. NBA teams keep their own counsel on player potential. They don’t care what the media says.

      Good for him if he comes back if that’s what he wants to do, and good for Michigan. But a deep tournament run won’t necessarily be an automatic ticket to the lottery. The NBA doesn’t really care.

      • Tweeter

        somewhat disagree. A deep tourney run definitely could help his draft stock. But only to the point on moving up to solidly in the middle of the first round. I agree, that it is not going to make him a lottery pick. Unless we see some great strides made in his shooting (likely), post up game (maybe a little), and athleticism (not likely).