You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Thu, Apr 21, 2011 : 5:58 p.m.

Darius Morris declares for NBA Draft, not hiring agent leaves him eligible to return to Michigan

By Michael Rothstein


Michigan sophomore Darius Morris (4) has declared for the NBA Draft. He will not hire an agent, meaning he can return to Michigan if he withdraws his name by May 8. file photo

Michigan basketball guard Darius Morris went from a role player to a star this season. Now, he’s entering the NBA Draft.

The sophomore from Los Angeles officially put his name in as an early entry candidate on Wednesday, but did not hire an agent leaving the possibility he could return to Michigan for his junior year.

Now, he’ll have to make that decision by May 8, the early-entry withdrawal deadline.

“All my life it has been a goal of mine to play in the NBA,” Morris said in a statement. “I am blessed to have the opportunity to take this step towards that dream.

“I look forward to going through this process with the potential of playing at the next level.”

Morris is projected anywhere from a late first-round pick to a second round pick by various NBA mock drafts in the past month.

He is coming off a season where he broke the Michigan all-time single-season assist record with 235, one more than Gary Grant’s 234 in 1987-88.

He had a triple-double with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists against Iowa. Morris averaged a team-high 15 points a game last year.

The announcement came after a month of speculation about his future after his brother, DeWayne Morris Jr., announced to the Detroit Free Press he’d declare for the draft and not hire an agent last month.

A few days later, Michigan coach John Beilein said he’d submit his name to the NBA Draft advisory committee to find out where he stood.

Apparently, what he heard was enough to push him into at least testing the draft for a few more weeks.

“This is the next step in gathering as much information as possible to assist Darius in making an educated decision,” Beilein said in a statement. “As Darius considers his options we will continue to support him in every way we can throughout the process.”

If Morris leaves, he will be the only defection from a Michigan team that reached the NCAA Tournament round of 32 last season and is projected to contend for the Big Ten title along with Ohio State next season.

Morris, though, has always looked at his professional aspirations as a family venture.

“If I make it, we make it,” Morris told in January. “That’s speaking for my whole family because if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t even be here. If I make it, we make it.

“Anything I do, any success that comes along, not only is it my success but it is my family’s success and also the team’s success. Those people are responsible for any success I receive.”

Michigan said due to studying for finals, Morris would not be available for further comment.

Morris is one of three Big Ten players who have declared early for the draft, joining Northwestern's John Shurna and Illinois' Jereme Richmond. Shurna and Morris have not hired agents. Richmond has.

Will he stay or will he go? Take our poll.

Michael Rothstein covers Michigan basketball for He can be reached at 734-623-2558, by e-mail at or follow along on Twitter @mikerothstein.



Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 11:52 p.m.

If someone is so gifted that they are ready to move on to the next level, the degree is a secondary consideration. If you are good in your profession you want a challenge. However, I don't see that Darius has really demonstrated the mental maturity needed for the next level. His physical skills are close, but even there, he sometimes plays out of control. He makes decisions based on feelings rather than good strategic thinking. I hope he stays around so that we watch him develop. I sure enjoyed watching the growth between last year and this year. Go Blue.

T. hall

Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 4:44 p.m.

Two years down the road... Stranger- 'Hey Darius Hows things shaking,? "- Darius-"Oh, you know"- Stranger " Know what you mean"- Darious- "What do you want?- Whatever it is I can super-size it for just a buck more"


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 3:28 p.m.

Most of the teams that made the ncaa tournament last year had a very dismal record of graduating their kids. If the coaches and school are not committed to them, why should the be committed to the school. Why should a college coach be able to have his contract bought out by one school to coach at another school? Why should some 30 year old become an instance millionaire because they enjoyed one wining season and these kids can't even accept a hamburger from their own family. It seems that Darrius has received some initial good news and I hope that he makes the right decision for himself and his family.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 2:47 p.m.

He's done. Weeks ago it was reported that he was testing the waters by submitting an application to the NBA Draft Undergraduate Advisory committee. Now he moved a step further by entering the draft. That means he liked what he heard from the Advisory Committee. He'll have a agent by Easter.

David Vande Bunte

Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 1:26 p.m.

Why can't they do what they do with baseball and hockey, where a pro team drafts a player, retain rights to that player, and then tells them to stay in school for another year? Provided Morris continues to not have an agent, is there a specific prohibition against returning to Michigan for another year if the team that drafts him thinks he needs another year of seasoning? The NCAA rules on eligibility seem to be completely arbitrary depending on what sport you play, so I have no idea what Morris can or cannot do...


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 1:20 p.m.

Darius Morris is a decent player, but he is not an NBA anything quite yet. Only 14 months ago, he wasn't even averaging double figures. I hope he comes back, both for his sake and for Michigan's. He has a lot to work on, and one more year will do him well. He's obviously going to be gone after next year anyway, but he needs one more year in college where he is playing. Besides, the NBA is far more likely to lose the entire season next year than the NFL. I detest David Stern, but he is by far the most intelligent and aggressive of all the commissioners. This makes him the most dangerous. Stern is very cutthroat, and I am pretty sure he has the owners ready to lock the players out for an entire year to get his way. It would be really bad if Morris stayed in the draft and then didn't have any income next year. If he goes, I hope he is a first-rounder, negotiates a great signing bonus to be paid immediately, and has enough money for himself and his family to live on after the agent gets his cut.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 12:48 p.m.

Darius, is not ready for the NBA. Just because he sit some records last year at Michigan does not make him a NBA player. Darius still needs to work on his jump shot and driving to the hole. At least Darius did one thing one smart in not hiring and agent. If he stays at Michigan he'll be force to improve his game the opposing team will pick his weakness's apart and force him to the left or let him have that midrange jumper that he needs to knock down on a regular bases.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 12:30 p.m.

Who is advising these kids to leave when they have no business being in the draft, basketball or football?! Darius good luck in the nba D league for 4 years. This is similar to Donovan Warren leaving when someone told him he could be a 3-4 round pick when he was barely free agent material! Now lets think about this Darius, if you return for your Junior or even Senior year you have a chance to be big 10 player of the year and a candidate for ncaa player of the year. You will develop a left hand and a better mid range jumper and get drafted in the lottery instead of 33rd in the second round.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 4:19 a.m.

@Engineer I couldn't agree more about leaving early. I can't even begin to think of all the young talent that left college early to go to the pros and never develop into their full potential. I know you risk getting injured when you stay, not to mention missing a signing bonus, but you're athletic ability can always be taken away from you with an injury, a college degree however, cannot.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 3:06 a.m.

Why does it seem Beilien encouraged this? Seems he should be promoting the your man getting his education. He needs to talk to Drew Henson who now realizes thing can wait. You can never go back and play college ball again but if you are good enough the pro teams will wait for you!

Macabre Sunset

Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 2:26 a.m.

This is a bit of a surprise, given the Manny Harris experience. But the NBA is willing to pay kids a lot of money to sit on the bench for a couple of years and learn the trade. Bobby Knight is becoming known for his obnoxious whining about how college basketball is being destroyed by the one-year-and-done pretend students. Maybe he's right. Maybe the pull of being part of an NCAA-tournament challenger is pretty much nothing these days. If that's the case, Morris might as well declare, though I think he, like Harris, has a lot to gain from another year of college experience.