One of our commenters here, Justin C, made it out to see Darius Morris play Wednesday night. Windward was taking on a very weak Bishop Diego team in the first round of sectionals. Calling them ‘very weak’ is probably being too nice, the final score was 85-21. Darius didn’t have his best night, but when you are beating a team by 64 points, I guess you have to take it. For more on Darius Morris and other Michigan commits, check out the recruiting video collection, as well as other scouting reports. Here is Justin’s recap:
Final Stats for Darius: 15 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals, 5 turnovers, 6-10 fgm/fga, 3-10 ftm/fta
As I was warned by others, Windward’s opponent was not going to keep this game competitive. The final score was 85-21, and for most of the first quarter the only point Bishop Diego put on the board came via a technical foul free throw made before the tip-off, which was somehow attributed to a pregame Stover celebration deemed excessive by the officials. Bishop Diego provided some laughs – their starting point guard looked like he was 10 years old. Honestly, he could not have been over 5 feet tall. A particularly funny moment had Stover (roughly 6’8) guarding this tiny guy off of a defensive switch. I can’t even believe that school is fielding a team with that kind of talent, but that is California for you. It felt like a scene right out of the movie Teen Wolf, but the werewolf never showed up to deliver Bishop Diego.
Darius himself didn’t really get into the flow of the game. As you can see, he was awful from the line. His free throw motion is sometimes a bit hurried and inconsistent. The aspects of his game that impressed me most include his length, ability to create offense on his own, his open court vision (he hit Stover in transition for a few crowd pleasing alley oops) and his confidence. That said, he was noticeably upset towards the end of the game as he sat on the bench. I’m sure he knew he left a lot of points out on the floor.
His ball handling is excellent – he will definitely be a plus for us next year in handling full court pressure and passing out and over double teams. He also is very unselfish – he made a great pass in the half court offense that you rarely see a high school star make.
His weaknesses appear to be an inconsistent stroke at the free throw line and from distance. I think his raw mechanics have promise, but he’s obviously still working out the kinks. This is certainly the part of his game where Beilein is best equipped to help him improve. Honestly, I think the kid is still growing and getting accustomed to his body. I would not be surprised if he’s a legit 6’4 by the time he hits campus next year. He also appears to favor his right a bit too much.
I couldn’t get a good sense of how good a defender he is since the competition was so poor, but he did seem to play hard and didn’t take possessions off.
The bottom line is he will bring three things we are desperate for at the point – 1) size and length at the guard spot, 2) the ability to create his own offense off the dribble and draw defenders and 3) the talent to match Manny’s athleticism in transition. I have no doubt he would start for us TODAY at point guard.
A couple of highlights included a buzzer beater half court shot by Denzel Washington’s boy to end the first half. Darius’ also had an alley oop off the backboard to Stover that he threw down pretty hard (though it was waived off for a foul before the basket). Finally, Darius had a nice one handed dunk in transition in the first half. He’s not a jump out of the gym guy, but he has enough bounce and size to score around the basket.
As a side note, I wasn’t that impressed with Stover. He should have been dunking all over the Bishop Diego front line, but he is a bit slow and doesn’t have very good interior fundamentals. He often drops the ball down to his opponents level in the post, which negates his size advantage. Definitely a project for Ben Howland.
The guy I thought has the most upside on the team is Wesley Saunders. He’s a 6’5 soph with a great body and great fundamentals for someone his age. As we were watching we thought if this kid is a junior he’s a very good player and if he’s a sophomore then he could be a top prospect in the country. Well, it turns out he’s a sophomore. He reminded me a bit of Sam Young from Pitt. He had a finger roll in a half court set that brought us out of our seats.
Finally, Darius’ parents were there and his father was proudly sporting the Block M cap.