Blog Entry

Making the Leap: UM's Morris not returning

Posted on: May 4, 2011 10:34 am

Posted by Jeff Borzello

According to Jonathan Givony of, Michigan sophomore Darius Morris has decided to keep his name in the NBA draft and will not return to the Wolverines for his junior campaign.

Morris announced on April 21 he was testing the waters, but received enough positive feedback to remain in the draft pool. Most mock drafts project Morris to be drafted in the late first round or early second round.

The 6-foot-4 point guard from Los Angeles averaged 15.0 points and 6.7 assists last season for John Beilein and the Wolverines. Morris was one of the top breakout performers in the country, improving drastically from his freshman season.

There were no seniors on last year’s Michigan team, which lost to Duke in the round of 32 after defeating Tennessee in the second round of the NCAA tournament. The Wolverines’ performance against the Blue Devils led many to believe they could be primed for a top-10 season next year.

Without Morris, the expectations will fall – but don’t write off Michigan.

NBA Draft

Tim Hardaway Jr. will become the team’s go-to scorer after averaging 13.9 points during his freshman season. He could be poised for a monster year. Zack Novak, Stu Douglass and Matt Vogrich give Beilein a host of solid perimeter shooters to team with Hardaway Jr. on the wings.

Up front, Jordan Morgan will look to build off a very good freshman campaign in which he shot nearly 63 percent from the field and averaged 9.2 points and 5.4 rebounds. Evan Smotrycz didn’t post gaudy numbers last season, but he showed flashes of his potential at various points. He is an inside-outside player who creates match-up problems with his skill set. Jon Horford and recruit Max Bieflfeldt will need to step up and provide depth.

Obviously, the key to Michigan’s success will be the point guard position – who will replace Morris? Two freshmen will be welcomed into the program next season, Carlton Brundidge and Trey Burke. Brundidge is an undersized scorer with unlimited range and the ability to create his own shot. Burke is more of a pure point guard who can facilitate the offense and find teammates.

If one of the newcomers can step in and run the show, the Wolverines are capable of hanging with anyone in the country.

Photo: US Presswire

Category: NCAAB

Since: Aug 26, 2006
Posted on: May 5, 2011 3:37 pm

Making the Leap: UM's Morris not returning

With the pending labor dispute with basketball and Morris going late first rd /early second rd, not sure why he wants to stay in and not play another year.  Another season under his belt at U of M could have helped his draft position not hurt it.  The kid wants his money now and can't wait.  Having some writers saying U of M Basketball team with Morris was a top 20 team was a joke.  You live by the 3pointer you die by the 3 pointer.  That team without Morris will have a big fall.  And for all those Spartan /Izzo Haters,  the team will regroup, have some all-state players coming back and should make it back in the national spotlight.

Since: Jan 13, 2011
Posted on: May 5, 2011 1:35 pm

Making the Leap: UM's Morris not returning

I'm not too sure about this move but, I am sure that John Beilein is a winner and knows how to win with the kids he has. Well, at least one of West Virginia's ex coaches is working out for us ....

Since: Apr 19, 2008
Posted on: May 5, 2011 12:58 pm

Making the Leap: UM's Morris not returning

He's leaving Michigan prematurely. Simple as that. He would've been an automatic First-Teamer this coming season.

Without him, Michigan will be led by a sophmore in Tim Hardaway Jr., who'll have much on his shoulders. Novac and Douglass will have to step it up, as well. 

Disappointing news for the Big Ten.

Since: Mar 21, 2009
Posted on: May 4, 2011 10:15 pm

Making the Leap: UM's Morris not returning

He is not good enough to be a pro he cant make a 10 foot jump shot. He will end up in the D-league for about 3 years and then will find out he is no good and will be wishing he stayed and got an education.

Since: Jan 10, 2011
Posted on: May 4, 2011 9:04 pm

Making the Leap: UM's Morris not returning

I wish him the best of luck, but wish he would have stayed. I think it is kind of stupid timing with all the uncertainty surrounding pro basketball. I still think Michigan will be good next year, but this sucks to say the least.

Since: Nov 24, 2009
Posted on: May 4, 2011 2:41 pm

Making the Leap: UM's Morris not returning

Bad move...Must have the same agent as my buddy Donavon Warren...Either way big blow for us!

Since: Apr 22, 2008
Posted on: May 4, 2011 2:20 pm

Making the Leap: UM's Morris not returning

This right here folks is what keeps college basketball from being the best sport out there.
Umich just went from a Big Ten contender to probably a NIT team.
It seems like every time Michigan is about to turn the corner something derails them.
This is a devistating loss for Beilin. Morris was as good as anyone in the big ten last year at PG.

If players were forced to stay for at least three year then college bball would be so much more fun to follow.

Since: Sep 2, 2006
Posted on: May 4, 2011 1:07 pm

Making the Leap: UM's Morris not returning

First thing I thought was Marcus Taylo. Hopefully it's more Jamaal Crawford. If he can improve year over year as much as he did from Fresh to Soph, he will do well. Needs to work on his outside game.

Since: Aug 17, 2009
Posted on: May 4, 2011 11:38 am

Making the Leap: UM's Morris not returning

I hope it works out for Morris in the pros, but I believe he's going at least one year too early.  This smells like another Marcus Taylor situation to me. 

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