Report: Darius Morris will stay in NBA draft

Dylan Burkhardt

MorrisDarius201011_thumb[1]Jonathan Givony of just tweeted that Darius Morris will leave his name in the NBA Draft.

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.

Givony is one of the best draft reporters out there and this report confirms all of the information that we’ve received over the past several weeks. In this context, sources close to the situation generally refer to agents involved in the courting process.

Morris hasn’t officially signed with an agent but we expect that to be announced reasonable soon. Currently Morris is in Vegas working out with Alec Burks, Kawhi Leonard, Josh Selby and others.

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  • Well poop

  • Chris

    1. If true, best of luck to Darius. Hopefully he has a nice lengthy career in the NBA.

    2. (#*$(!($!($!$!@%!#%!#^ If he had stayed for one more year, then we would have been completely set for the future!!

  • This is a bummer.

  • JayRich

    I’m not that worried. Are we going to be as good, probably not. Burke and Brundidge are legitimate players.

    • Junderground

      Absolutely. It’s just a matter of whether or not Burke will be vexed by running the point in Beilein’s system for one year. If not, and he scores near double figures with 4.0 or more assists, we may not drop off much at all from last year, and maybe not at all.

  • blueinflorida

    Big time punch to the gut. Just seems like every time Michigan builds a little momentum something crazy happens to slow it down. Also seems like every time Michigan develops a stud, the guy takes off for the pros the first chance he gets (see Donovan Warren, who didn’t even get drafted). Very frustrating in light of studs on rival teams like William Buford and Jared Sullinger staying.

    • georgeesq.

      Warren turned out to be a dud, not a stud, so I hope the comparison doesn’t hold.

  • Fred_Ex

    Good luck to Darius I hope he comes to Memphis. And although I think he is not ready for lack of 3 point shooting I hope he does well. I think its safe to say however he seen the almighty dollar and went to it. I’m really glad that this is over and he didn’t stretch his decision to Saturday night.

  • Tweeter

    If true, I wish you nothing but the best Darius. Thanks for the memories and the slogan I use at work. Still not going to get too emotional over this until the deadline passes. Seems like there has been a lot of conflicting information floating about.

  • Rob Pollard

    Bad move on his part. He’s not ready (too many holes in his game) and there likely will be a lockout next year. He’s getting bad advice. Does he really think he’s ready to go against D Rose, D Williams, C Paul, Rondo, J Wall, R Westbrook, etc, let alone the average NBA guard?

    Well, good luck to him anyway and thanks for his two years of contributions – who knows, maybe he’ll not end up scuffling along in the D-League or on an NBA bench? Weirder things have happened.

    • Yeah, it’s depressing for the kid. Maybe we’re wrong.

    • It’s not about whether you’re ready, it’s about when you’d be drafted the highest. Cynical but true.

  • Nick

    Yeah I have to agree. Way to many holes in his game. Average shooting, and average at best left hand dribble. He’s not going to make a roster.

    Thanks for the two years Darius.

    Coach B: How come OSU can get most of their guys to not go to the NBA early?

    • rook34

      Sullinger dreamed of playing for OSU and has family ties to the program. Buford is much the same without the family ties.

      Unique cases.

      • JD

        Maybe the $$$-eyes don’t just pay their football players?

    • Huh

      Nick are you referring to

      Mike Conley
      Greg Oden
      Kosta Koufos
      Evan Turner
      BJ Mullens
      or Daequan Cook.

      • Brick

        Oden, Koufos and Mullins were gone before they set foot on campus. Turner stayed for 3 years and was a first round lock after 2.

        Bad examples.

        Conley would have stayed is he wasn’t a lottery lock.

    • Don

      So UM has a player turn pro early two years in a row and all of a sudden it’s an epidemic? Sending guys to the pros is a good thing because it helps recruiting. Apparently you haven’t paid attention to all of John Calipari’s success.

  • JD


    Also, good luck! I hope the Pistons take him in the 2nd round. That might be a win-win for both player and team.

    I hope this isn’t the mistake I think it is for his sake. He’s got NBA ability but he’s going to have to work hard to be in the league for more than a year or two. The good news for him is that he’s shown that he can put work in.

  • Section13Row15

    I think Darius’ game is well suited for the pros. He’s a big point guard with good size and decent athleticsm, has some craftiness in the lane, and has unreal court vision to find open shooters. Not everyone can be D Rose, Williams, Rondo, etc. and I don’t think he has to be. Darius can shoot from inside the arc, is a great ball handler, and will continue to get better.

  • JB


    Hard to argue with his decision though. Even if he stayed another year and improved his shooting and his left hand he’d likely drop in the draft as next year’s draft looks to be much stronger.

    He had a truly outstanding season last year, so there are no guarantees he would’ve increased his production during his junior season (see Manny Harris).

    Good luck Darius, and thanks for your contributions to Michigan hoops!

  • Whatever man, good luck. I hope it works out. I’ve made it well known that I think this is career suicide, but I’ve been wrong before.

  • Dylan Burkhardt

    From Dan Wolken on twitter:

    Darius Morris’ decision to enter the draft was pretty much done a while ago. I really believe his college coach was the last to know.

    • JD

      Did you see Coach Bacari’s tweet to Darius from earlier today?

      • MichBball

        I did, I feel bad for Darius for being put in that awkward situation……

      • Paul

        No – what did it say?

        • JD

          bacari34 Bacari Alexander
          @dariusmorris4 When was the last time I told you I love you son? I can’t wait to cut the nets with you. Grow Blue!
          14 hours ago Favorite Retweet Reply

          • JD

            Darius’ reply was “Yup”.

          • Dylan Burkhardt

            The yup was too an earlier tweet that just said “grow blue”… fwiw.

    • KSnio

      Even though you could see some tension on the bench last year, I did not think there was that much of a disconnect between the two. Whether it is true or not is to be seen, but to say that a coach has absolutely no idea what is going on in the mind of his player is a huge insult to the program.

      • JD

        It looks like Coach Alexander already deleted the Tweet I pasted up here.

        Twitter is a funny thing.

  • MichBball
  • Chris

    So do we take Patrick Heckmann now?

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      I’ll have more reaction, as well as some notes on Heckmann, in the morning.

      • JD

        How about including the PF/C’s of 2012 that we have a shot at. I really hope we go that route.

  • Mattski

    If it’s your goal to play pro ball, you grab it when you can. I think many of us could see that there were few guarantees he’d be in a better position next year. After that it’s mostly just conjecture. I’ll be disappointed if Darius disrespected John Beilein on the way out, though.

    We look forward to your analysis about where the team goes from here, Dylan. At mgoblog someone pointed out this afternoon that Beilein’s ideal offense probably doesn’t feature the guard as much as we featured Morris last year, anyway. Do you think that with a step up from the entire rest of the team we see something more like the coach really wants sooner? And does Burke being thrown in the deep end sooner mean we’re better in 2013 even if we struggle early in 2012? I can see arguments either way. . .

    • Tweeter

      U asked Dylan, but I will respond with my opinion. In terms of Beilein’s offense, I think it is tough to say what his ideal is. At least in terms of the focus of the offense. Generally speaking, he likes to run an offense that is based on spreading the floor and creating opportunities with ball movement and player movement. But that is real general and most coaches favor such an approach. The big difference with Beilein’s basic set up as opposed to some other coaches, is that he tends to use more of a four out, one in, look. Some other teams, but certainly not all, focus more on a 3-2 look or a high-low look with the 4 and 5 man. Beilein, at least in his time at Michigan (dont remember a lot from his WVU days), stays away from these looks because it takes away a lot of the back-cutting and isos on the wing.

      In terms of who is featured though, or what position is featured, I have found that he has been very flexible in his time at Michigan. With Manny, he tended to try and free him up in as many iso situations as he could. But on those same teams, they also ran a lot of stuff trying to get Sims in iso situations on the block or short corner. This past year, the team did a lot more of early offense stuff for D-Mo. Which usually involved clearling out one side and letting him come off a ball screen with options for kick outs. I think Beilein will focus on whatever option he believes works best.

      Next year, I would guess we see a lot less of the early offense high ball screen game, and more of the wing isos for Hardaway. With a little bit of a ball screen game worked in for a Burke or Brundidge. But I also would not be surprised to see us run stuff to free up Smot at the four or isos for Morgan in the post.

      I agree with you that you can make arguments either way for where the team will be in 2013 depending on how much Burke has to take on in 2012. I believe it is probably better that he plays behind a seasoned vet who has success running a college offense, but at the same time learning by fire teaches you pretty quick. The biggest thing that I think next years team has going for it regardless of what Darius does, is that we have two great leaders returning next year who have been through everything for three years now. Even if they are not playing his position those guys can provide a lot of direction and support.

      • ForeverBlue23

        I think that’s a pretty fair analysis. One of the tough things about JB’s system is making all of the reads, it’s a thinking man’s offense. Morris started last season along side 3 freshmen, that won’t be the case this time around, the PG will not have to dominate the ball. Stu’s knowledge of the offense, providing Hardaway, Morgan and Smotrycz continue to grow, will help offset the loss of Morris. Even if Burke becomes the starting PG, Stu can take some of the floor general burden off his shoulders.

      • Mattski

        Thanks for the thoughtful reply. Have to assume that being able to confidently throw multiple looks at opposing teams, being improved at multiple positions, helps to offset the loss. And I agree with ForeberBlue23 that Stu becomes an important piece of the puzzle. Hope that both he and Hardaway, who showed increasing ability to make the great assist as the season wore on, are working on their handles as we speak!

  • Tweeter

    I love how many new faces i see posting here about how bad a decision this is. Troll much?

    Many people who question this have made their points quite clear and I dont believe I can or necessarily want to change their minds. But it is a bit absurd to call him out or say it is depressing for him. Its his life, not yours. If his dream is to play in the NBA and the information is telling him that it will be a reality for next season, then good for him. Returning for more college is not going to make whatever career he ends up having in the NBA any longer or any shorter (barring injury).

    If he is good enough and works hard enough, he will make it. Regardless of what year he leaves or what pick he is when he does leave. Personally, I would absolutely love to him back and I believe that this team can be very special if he does return. But its not my decision to make nor my decision to question. I do think he has a lot of things he needs to work on, but that is going to be true no matter when he decides to leave. It just seems like people think that players stop improving their games once they enter the NBA when in reality most players improve drastically. Those that do not, either were not good enough or were not dedicated enough to work on it.

    Best of luck to you Darius whatever your decision ends up being.

    • Beilein’s Swish

      Amen…I only wish the best for Darius going forward, and if he makes the league I think he’ll be a great representative for Michigan going forward. I wish him all the success in the world and lots of cash :-) It would be pretty funny if he turns around and decides to stay at the last minute. I wonder where his bashers would go in that case.

    • Rob Pollard

      So you think he’ll get better riding the pine somewhere as opposed to playing 35 minutes plus a game in major college ball? I know you can get better by practicing, but I think you get better practicing AND playing games.

      That assumes there will be games next year: chances are better than 50/50 they won’t (e.g., they’re not having a Vegas summer league this year).

      i hope he succeeds but I doubt he’ll ever make a real impact in the NBA coming out now.

      • Tweeter

        My point was more pointing out to some people who have been saying this is a bad decision solely because his game is not reaady in their minds. That in fact players do continue to improve a lot once they reach the NBA or professional basketball in general. College is a great experience and while it certainly helps players to hone their skills, it also is not the best place for all players to improve their games. Practice time limitations, coaching time limitations, class distractions, general college distractions, all take a lot of focus off of basketball. And while a player will face a lot of distractions in the professional game, they also face virtually zero limitations.

        I dont think Darius is being projected as a first round pick to ride the pine in the NBA. He is not some 7’0 freak athlete with no skill, that needs a ton of time to figure out how to play. If Darius gets drafted there, he is going to get some PT. That may only be 5-10 minutes a game, but I would argue that those minutes are more important to his development as a player then 30 minutes a game in college.

        • Rob Pollard

          You note he’s a “first-round pick” but you’ve acknowledged like everyone else, that the only reason that might be so is this is a weak year. If he gets drafted late, that means he’s going to a team that went deep in the playoffs; do you think they’re going to play a young PG, who can’t shoot from outside or go to his left, even 5 minutes a game, let alone 10? How’s he going to develop?

          If he goes in the 2nd round, as was noted elsewhere, it would have been better for him to have been a free-agent so he can at least pick his spot. But if he’s a 2nd rounder, why go into the draft this year, esp with the NBA in such a weird financial state?

          Darius definitely could be a player in the NBA; if everything falls right, he could have Eric Snow’s career, which wouldn’t be bad at all. Hopefully, he’ll get drafted by the Lakers, perform well and maybe take over for Fisher & Blake in a couple years. I just think he’s not ready to contribute next year in the NBA, so why go in the draft? Those other players that will be coming in next year’s draft will be his competition, on way or another, if not for draft position, then for roster spots.

          It looks like he’s running from something rather than too something. I hope it works out for him.

  • Paul

    Bummer…he was just starting to get on a nice roll @ Michigan :(

  • JB…

    who will be the “butterfly” of 2011?!?! Best of luck D-MO! keep working on that jumper.

  • Dford

    Tough decision but he knew he was going, all this John Beilien was the last to know crap need to cease, it doesn’t matter. Darius wanted two things, to come to Michigan and help turn the team into a winner and go pro. I think he has accomplished both, Um is back on the national radar and getting good recruits and D Mo had the type of season that gives him a legitimate shot at the NBA in the process, well done, fair exchange. Though I wish, for selfish reasons he would stay I’m happy for him and wish him the best. Michigan will be fine thanks to D Mo and him helping lay a foundation for the likes of Burke, and Brundidge, who will pick up where he left off. Go Blue!!!

  • Sam

    I know DMo is all but gone now, but what about this article by Andy Katz listing Morris under the “expected to return to school, regardless of what occurs the rest of this week or over the weekend”: ? Who do we trust here?

  • Mason

    Ah Darius. You were as exciting a player as I’ve seen in Crisler in a good long while. While I was hoping to see you here for another year or so, thanks for the lot of fun memories of last season, and giving this Wolverine fan a reason to look forward to making the drive up US-23 from Toledo for every home game this year. That pass to JMo against Iowa was right in front of me, and really something special. We’ll miss ya, and I wish you nothing but the best – and millions and millions of dollars – in the NBA.

  • Paul F.

    Well I knew Darius would leave and I wish him the best. Go blue!

  • Section13Row15

    I love Morris but I’m excited to see Burke and Brundidge play a lot of meaningful minutes next year.

  • Brick

    Can someone tell me why Darius would be ahead of E’Twaun Moore on the draft boards. I don’t see why Darius is guaranteed to go ahead of Moore.

    • Tweeter

      I have not paid attention to where Moore is being projected so I cant comment on that part of the “guarantee.” But I dont think you should be surprised to see Darius projected before Moore. Moore is a shooting guard who does not have great size for that position at the NBA level. He has not shown himself to be a particularly good distributor and he seemed to lack some consistency in his scoring from game to game. I would guess most NBA teams see him as a potential quick offense guy off the bench with the ability to guard the point guard spot. In a lot of ways he kinda reminds me of Eddie House.

      • Brick

        I thought Moore was a PG. If he is pegged as a SG, I can see why he is second round. I didn’t see him play much this year so I wasn’t sure what the knock on him was.

        • Tweeter

          well I think some teams may look at him as a PG, but at Purdue he played mostly at the two with Lew Jackson running point. Earlier in his career he may have played more point, I dont really remember. But even still, in the NBA he does not have a lot of the skills to make himself an elite pg. He is not a playmaker for others or even a great ball handler.

  • TheYooper

    I’ll definitely miss seeing Darius-JMorgz action. Best of luck to you D-Mo!

  • TBVT

    As a MSU fan I am glad I don’t have to see morris play MSU again. I wish him the best in his future and for his sake I hope it isn’t another Marcus Taylor. Personally I think both he and Marcus could have used another year to hone their skills but at the end of the day it is their decision, not ours. Even without morris, I will still be really nervous when MSU plays UofM. THJr with smotz/horford/morgan/novak and crew still scares me.

  • Evan

    It’s such a bummer the way sports are these days. All these guys want is to make the jump to the league. This team really accomplished something this year, coming back with a young team from way down to nearly upsetting Duke. You think that would make a guy like Darius excited to get back next year to make a run. Team Team Team, just does not apply anymore. It’s all projections and draft status’s. It’s just been a tough road for Michigan Basketball and I.

    I went to Michigan in 2001 for Tommy Amaker’s first year, and we just can’t get any sustained success going. We will probably return a decent team but we cannot even think the tournament is a given. Darius is our best player… he is our inside game. He’s the only player that can create a shot himself. The only one! No offense to Jordan who really developed but he wasn’t our inside game. Darius did that. He created for everyone. If anyone isn’t watching… we don’t bring in big time talent yet. Our class is one of Beilein’s best and its a 4-star, 3-star, and 2-star. Even as a 4-star, Brundidge is a Freshman! He won’t replace Darius… We don’t have top talent on this team and that’s the bottom line — even though we agree Beilein can coach. So when we drop a player who developed into the talent Morris has, it is going to hurt. We are going to have a tough time this year, and it may blossom as nice as 2010-11.

    • Kenny

      Three out of 5 all conference freshman team, THJr, Basabe, Craft, are all 3 star recruits, you worry about rankings too much.

  • Evan

    Can we go after Brandon Wood immediately?

    • Colby

      Agree Evan, mentioned that in an earlier comment today. Would be a perfect situation for us to get an upperclassmen for a year. Looks like he might be heading to MSU though.

  • Kevine

    Here’s to the new Michigan tradition of losing our best players and being twice as good as anybody expected us to be!

    Good luck in the pros Darius, you da man! You’ve got Michigan behind you.

  • redman345

    dont believe everything you read or hear.until its out of darius mouth.just let it play out.stop with the negativity.either way we will be fine.trey and carlton put together will fill his shoes just fine.they will score the ball alot more than darius.believe that.we have a bunch of veterans coming back.if hes leaving now he just open the door for a future wolverine.good luck favorite wolverine since jamal crawford.

  • redman345

    at least hes not doing what manny did…if manny would have left after he led his team to the tournament he would at least have got drafted in the second round.hes doing whats best for him and im proud of him.he was the best pure point guard ive seen at michigan.for one year anyway.if u know another please tell me.he was the best point guard in the country this give him the talent other point guards had.he would have been even stop hating on darius.without darius our team wouldnt have believed.he put that punch in our team.he made them believe.he made everybody better.coaches made him better.

  • bmorant

    Good Luck Darius! This is not a negative! EVERY Major program has kids leave early. This is the new era of College ball and if we plan to continue to attract the top notch kids across the country, then this will generally be the expectation. I am extremely close to an incoming freshman that was coming in with the expectation of not only taking a lot of the PG minutes but starting as a freshman! That’s what we want with our recruits! I hope they all come here with that attitude as it will generate nothing but friendly competition. Not one person had this high of an expectation for Darius last year. His off season workouts and commitment to getting better put him in a good position for HIM.
    From someone who has watched Burke go head to head with the likes of Craft, Corey Joseph (PG @ Texas) and many others in his early career…….. RELAX!!! Michigan Basketball is alive and well.

  • MAS

    It funny that this report came out on the same day Andy Katz said DMO is returning to school.

    Either way good luck to him and I still think there is a good chance he gets drafted in the late first round. DMO is what he is and I’m not sure if he helps his draft stock any by coming back to school.

    Also JB has been here for 4 years, if the program isn’t bigger than one player then he is the right coach. When you recruit better playeers there is always a chance that they will go pro early. Hopfully people will act a little more mature about this next season when Hardaway leaves early.

  • Kenny

    definitely a setback for the program but I wish him a successful pro career and will always support him.

  • Mith

    Wow, this sucks. Some of you are trying to spin it, but I think its horrible news for the program. I’m sure it helps recruiting that we are sending players to the NBA. It would also help the program more to get some nice national exposure with what might have been a top 10 kind of team. Dang it.

    • Tweeter

      I think most people realize that this a setback and the team may not be as good as they could have been with Darius. However, I also think people are just happy for Darius. He is going after his dream and it sounds like it is going to be a reality very soon.

  • I wish him well.

    We’ll miss his play with Morgan. He obviously raised Morgan’s game. I hope there isn’t a substantial fall off in his game next year with his absence (I don’t expect it but you have to wonder).

  • zm

    chad ford’s latest tweet:

    NJ Draft Workout getting shakier by the day. Tyler Honeycutt & Darius Morris out. Looks like Reggie Jackson will pull out as well.

    Does this mean anything?

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      Most likely that he wants to workout more before going in front of NBA teams. There’s no need to test the waters early now. At least that’s my interpretation.

  • alan

    can someone explain to me how we get players like UNC or Ohio State has, that are guarenteed top 5 picks but dont care and come back to school. Yet our second rounders like coming out with no guarentee?

    • Tweeter

      you cant compare the situations of Manny or Darius to Sullinger or Barnes. Those guys are guaranteed to be lottery picks regardless of when they leave college. Neither Manny nor Darius had any shot to be a lottery pick at any point. A lot of guys in their draft situations actually hurt their draft position by returning to school.

  • Sounds like a done deal. I wish him well but it would have been fun if he would have returned for one more season. Time for everyone to step up and fill the void. The Maui invitational just got a lot tougher. Need Novak and Douglas to step up as leaders as well. Gol Blue!!