The wait is finally over. After months of speculation Los Angeles Windward PG Darius Morris has officially pledged to Michigan. Coach John Beilein and assistant coach John Mahoney worked tirelessly to let the young man know just how he was wanted in Ann Arbor, and after thinking long and hard, it was clear the feeling was mutual.
“I had a check list and Michigan met everything that I was looking for,” Morris said.
“Michigan separated themselves from the rest,” Morris explained. “They have a great coach in John Beilein who in the beginning of my recruitment let it be known that he was personally going to recruit me. Then Coach Mahoney came on strong. It was a nice one-two punch that they coaching staff had going. Both coaches talked about how important I was to the program and it helps that they have a system that I fit very well in. Plus the academics are outstanding”.
The significance of academics in the decision cannot be overstated. That’s why when discussing the topic, his attention quickly turned to Michigan’s strong business school.
“Michigan has an outstanding business school,” remarked Morris. “My parents and I had a chance to meet with Rob Koonce (the Stephen M. Ross director of undergraduate studies and one of the academic advisors for the Fab Five) and he talked to us about how well regarded the business school is. I also noticed how interested Mr. Koonce was in my interest in the business school. That part of my visit really impressed me. I also like the fact that Michigan has the largest living alumni base, so when I graduate it should help with finding a job with Michigan’s network”.
As far as basketball goes, Morris sees Michigan making a big comeback.
“They are up and coming and I feel like this is a new beginning,” he said. “It is not like they are not use to winning. They have won in the past with good teams and it is time to get that started again. The fans are itching to have a good team to support. There are diehards from coast to coast and I want to help get that moving in the right direction.”
Now that the decision is out of the way, Morris did reveal that the Wolverines had a little bit of an advantage of the competition.
“Secretly my parents really liked Michigan from the beginning,” he admitted. “They felt like it was a great school academically. They always told me it was my decision and they didn’t push me to go there, but it did feel good to know that they liked it as much as I did.”
For the past few months the question wasn’t whether Morris would commit to Michigan. It was when. The answer finally came a few days ago.
“I had to ask myself what am I waiting for as far as committing,” he said. “I just said let’s get this done. Now I can focus on my senior year and my basketball season and just relax. My dad is relieved that it is over with too.”
So too are scores of Michigan fans.
Darius is the second commitment in Michigan’s 2009 class, joining U of D Jesuit center Jordan Morgan.