Signing Day Capsule: Darius Morris

LA Windward Coach Miguel Villegas: "First off, (Darius) is a leader. He is a versatile point guard who can run the team and if you need him to score, he can do that as well. He has great size so you can put him in the post to make a mismatch to score. He can also guard inside so go up against the better offensive players if needed because of his versatility." ***Video Included.***

Darius Morris
Point Guard 6'3 170lbs
Windward School (Los Angeles, CA)
National Rank: *** Position Rank: 15th Player Videos
2007 Cactus Classic -
Michigan Camp Part 1-
Michigan Camp Part 2 -

His Recruiting Story
Darius Morris was recognized early in the process by a number of high major schools including Arizona State, Washington State and Stanford. Michigan and its coaching staff weren't too far behind though offering the talented guard early November of 2007. It made Morris take notice stating he loved the "history" behind Michigan. It also helped that Coach Beilein was recruiting Darius himself.

"I thought that it was very important that Coach Beilein is recruiting me," said Morris. "An assistant can say anything. To hear it from the head coach too… that meant a lot. You can trust Coach Beilein," Darius added. "He is all about the rules. He tells me he would love to call more but the rules will not allow him to. Coach Mahoney is a cool person too. He is a reflection of what Coach Beilein stands for."

With high majors such as Kentucky, Texas, Cal and Tennessee starting to really come after the L.A. product, Morris remained strict and consistent about the criteria programs had to meet if they wanted his services.

"I am looking to play right away," Morris said. "If not start, at least play quality minutes. I would like to know who is ahead of me. I'm looking at a system where the point guard has a little freedom to create and take shots," Morris explained. "I also want the school to have good fan support. Academics are important too, and you have to realize that there is life after basketball. So I am looking for a school that is strong in that area."

Early spring 2008 the 'Michigan Package' available to Morris really started to emerge as a leader in his pack of schools. Showing that his interest was sincere, Morris was also looking to set up a visit to Ann Arbor to get a better feel for what the campus and community had to offer. That visit took place this past summer during Michigan's Team Camp. Darius and his family had a great time.

"The coaches set up everything nicely, and even on Sunday gave me the opportunity to meet some important people at admissions and athletics. I got to see the beautiful campus Michigan has to offer, and got to feel the love. To top it off, I got to play and interact with some of current players like Manny Harris. (The visit spilled over through Monday as well). All in all, my trip to Michigan was great."

While on his visit, Darius was also able to play with Michigan freshman Stu Douglass, foreseeing what kind of one-two punch could inhabit Ann Arbor as soon as next year. Time and time again, Morris penetrated the opposing defense at will kicking it back out to Douglass for multiple triples. Coach Beilein broke down his system, pointing out what Morris' niche could be over the next few years.

"I like the system that they run. It's a guard-oriented offense and for me, it is a good fit. The way that Michigan runs their offense, it opens up the court to make plays."

Some were expecting a commitment from Darius either while he was on campus or shortly thereafter. Some concern arose among Michigan fans that a commit hadn't taken place yet. But the Morris' were sticking to their timeline, 'When it feels right'.

That 'when' was finally answered on August 1st 2008. The wait was over. Coach Beilein received Darius' verbal commitment and he couldn't have been any happier.

"I had a check list and Michigan met everything that I was looking for. 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."

Darius also had a sneaky suspicion his parents felt the same.

"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."

GoBlueWolverine Commentary
A slithery athleticism is what you'll find when you watch Morris. With good ball handling skills, his vision and ability to push the ball up court is what will get him on the court early. His size is also in his favor. Expect many different guard rotations, especially with Morris and Lucas-Perry able to play point or two guard.  He possesses a good outside shot and can create his own shot when need be.

Darius must put on some needed weight to really be successful, but after seeing what Coach Beilein and new strength and conditioning coach Mike Curtis have done with freshman Zack Novak and to a lesser extent Zach Gibson, have no doubt that will happen.

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