Darius Morris (Michigan)
6'5, PG, 190 lbs.
Ultra-skilled point guard that blossomed this year for Michigan, Darius Morris was one of the leading assist men in the nation at 6.7 per game and did so at 6'5.
Offensively, Darius Morris played for a Michigan team that used a spread offense. Usually, the offense would consist of the creator either driving into midrange paint and passing out to one of 3 or 4 shooters. Darius shields off defenders using his large frame while maintaining his dribble to get into the paint.
If he gets into the paint, Darius uses a variety of spin moves with either hand and either sets up teammates with a jump pass or gets a quality look in the paint. He plays well in the pick and roll setting himself up for mid range jumpers or finding the pick setter for a jumper or the way to the basket.
He also has a nice post game for a guard, backing down defenders and using spin moves to the hoop or going to a turn around fadeaway jumper.
I love his unselfishness and high basketball IQ. He makes passes that many others wouldn't think about, and It doesn't hurt that he can see over most guards at 6'5. He generates plenty of hockey assists as well, making the pass that leads to the swing pass for teh shot. While not a blazer in terms of speed, he still plays well in transition by either taking it to the rack or setting up others.
However, Darius has major flaws that opponents will exploit at the NBA level unless he improves considerably. First off, his biggest weakness at the point guard position is his shooting ability from range as he shot a paltry 25% from college three attempting nearly two a game.
Next, while a heady point guard, he lacks the explosion most players have at the position. While he had gaudy, but legit, assist numbers, he benefited from the wide open system and the style of shooters he had available to him.
How will his shot creation for teammates translate on the next level? Will he adjust to playing without a group of stretch players around him? Will he be able to get into the paint still?
Defensively, Darius should be a solid defender in time. He has a solid wingspan, but at 6'5 will create problems for certain point guards at his size. He is tall enough and provides decent quickness and speed to defend either guard spot.
However, he is going to struggle against quick point guards that can get into the lane. While he has the wing-span, his lateral quickness is average and sometimes he takes awkward angles.
Overall, Darius is a very skilled player that will probably be drafted in late first, early second. He would do well playing with quality shooters with high basketball IQ. Teams such as Detroit Pistons, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Clippers, Houston Rockets are the type of teams that would seem ideal. Also, because of his size, players such as Ben Gordon, Jason Terry, Eric Gordon, etc... would have some weaknesses hidden.
While very skilled as a 6'5 point guard, it will likely take time for Darius to adjust to the NBA level of physicality and speed. He is still somewhat skinny despite his wiry strong frame. His longevity at the next level will likely depend on the type of offense he goes too and what adjustments, particularly in terms of shooting, he makes to his game.
How does he fit with the Bulls?
While I like his game and think he will eventually be very serviceable at the next level while providing mismatches, I would rather the Bulls go after someone that can make a quicker impact. Even though he has great court vision and has the ability to play solid defense, the Bulls need a creator or shot-maker. At this time, I think the Bulls could find someone that fits their needs while providing a more immediate impact.