After Michigan lost to Duke in the third round of the NCAA tournament, sophomore guard Darius Morris was asked if he was returning to Michigan for another season and his response was “definitely”. Now after some time to think and reflect Morris is testing the NBA waters by filling out an application to have the NBA underclassman advisory panel asses his draft projection. Morris and Michigan will wait for the panel’s findings and then a decision will be made on if he should enter the draft or stay another year at Michigan. It surprised me that head coach John Beilein actually approached Morris about the NBA instead of Morris coming to him first. “Within two days of the season being over I called Darius into the office” Beilein said. “It’s my duty as your coach to gather information for you, let’s get this going now, so he’s hearing from the right people and he’s got his coach behind him.”
The general thought process has to be that if Morris is not projected as a first round pick then he will be back in Ann Arbor next season. So what are the so called experts saying? Various sites online have Morris in a variety of situations. Nbadraft.net, a pretty reputable website has Morris being drafted with the 2nd pick of the 2nd round by the Miami Heat while mynbadraft.com has the guard being selected by the Sacramento Kings with the 10th pick in the 2nd round. Looking at other mock drafts, hoopsworld.com has Morris being taken with the 26th pick in the 2nd round by the Dallas Mavericks while plenty of other sites have him not being selected at all.
Beilein was very careful choosing his words when speaking about Morris, however he did, a couple times repeat that having a career in the NBA is what it’s all about. “You only need to have one team out there that really, really likes you. Having the career is really important, it’s not about getting drafted, it’s about having success in the NBA if you are going to leave college” Beilein said. While the head coach would not let on if he had a gut feeling on if Morris would be back, I would assume he would be. Why take the chance on missing out on your dream? How many times has a player been taken in the 2nd round only to be playing overseas or in the “D” league for the remainder of his career, never getting a chance to sniff the NBA. Playing in Italy, Israel or Greece will always be there, but getting another crack at the NCAA tournament and more importantly a more legit chance at the association will not! I say Darius will come back, what do you think?
Watch the John Beilein video below for the complete conversation about Darius Morris!