Darius Morris draft profile

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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

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.

Comments

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  • Will you be doing a write up of Shelvin Mack? He is a player that i think the Bulls should have an eye on.

  • And what do you think of Ben Hansbough?

  • Ya i like Shelvin Mack as well....same with Justin Harper,Jeremy Tyler,Iman Shumpert,Nikola Vuvecic,Nikola Mirotic,Nolan Smith,Josh Selby and Davis Bertans.

  • I just don't see Darius Morris as an exceptional athlete, or a decent shooter. Just what you want in a SG. Shelvin Mack is slow and unathletic. Personally, two guys I would not want the Bulls to draft.

    It's too bad the uncertain CBA future kept so many talented guys out like Terrence and Perry Jones along with Harrison Barnes. With more big names at the top someone like Reggie Jackson might have fallen to us. In the late 20's it's highly doubtful we will get anyone beyond a modest 11-12th man/minor role player. Of course it's possible, and everyone has that one guy who will be the "steal" of the draft. What the hell it's still fun. At least until draft night's over and the hype machine with it.

    Talk of Monta Ellis, Iguodala etc. aside, I'd be shocked if the Bulls made a dramatic move like that as it's just not their style. They will hold on to what they've got. Likewsie doubtful they move up to get a possibly more impactful/decent quality player(Klay Thompson, Alec Burkes). But again you never know. Nolan Smith, Charles Jenknins, and JuJuan Johnson all work for me at 28-30. As for the Euros I doubt we get lucky twice late in the first round, and I wouldn't know which one to pick unless Motiejunas shockingly dropped to 28. And if Moore's available at 43 despite his sub par athleticism you take a chance due to his three point shooting works for me.

  • One other note: ESPNU, ESPNClassic, etc. are airing college games all involving coincidentally top 15 rated picks. If you're a draft junkie, it's kind of cool taking a second look at guys like Kemba Walker, Alec Burkes, Klay Thompson, the Morris' etc. right before the draft. I have to say I changed my mind on Marcus Morris. His quickness is good, but his athleticism is just so-so at best. And scoring so low his first two years with such high field goal percentages that evidence a lot of put backs and big man against small guy baskets. I no longer have any interest in trading up for him. And Alec Burkes still has question marks too as a driver/left hand dominant. But I would still trade up/draft him in a heartbeat.

  • In reply to MikeKeane:

    Guys,

    I apologize as I am not doing a story on Shelvin Mack; couldn't get to all of them. I will be posting a few more stories and then a draft follow-up. There are some players I really wanted to get to, but could not.

    As for Mack, short version, I don't like him for a guaranteed contract. While he could be a Pargo type player, I don't think he is fast enough to play off the bench consistently. He is a streak player that when he is off, I don't see can make up playing against NBA competition. Even though it was one game, he really struggled getting a decent shot off against UConn.

    Overall, I have to disagree that you can't find more than a 11/12th man. I feel players such as JaJuan Johnson, Charles Jenkins, and Nolan Smith could be key contributors in some fashion right away. Players such as Honeycutt, Reggie Jenkins, Josh Selby could be key players in time.

  • In reply to kevinstates:

    I agree there are players who could be legit contributors as I said it is possible. If Nolan Smith and Charles Jenkins are still there is the question. They along with JuJuan Johnson are all at the top of my list with Reggie Jackson. If we got any of these guys I'd be pleased.

  • Shelvin Mack had a 38inch vertical at the combine i believe...i was shocked

  • In reply to Csharp:

    That is impressive, but everybody says he's slow and he's obviously short for a SG. I hope the Bulls aren't looking to draft him, but I can respect those who likes him as he has been clutch at times.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    Ya word is Marshon Brooks is major ball hog

  • I've seen some guys on here saying Marshon Brooks could be the answer for us. Hollinger's article today pretty much destroys that idea.

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/draft2011/insider/columns/story?columnist=hollinger_john&page=draftrater-110620

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