|NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Michigan G Darius Morris||06.20.11 at 11:03 am ET|
WEEI.com continues to provide daily insight and analysis on the 2011 NBA draft. This is one in a series of profiles of players who might be available for the Celtics to select with one of their two picks (25th and 55th overall).
Weight: 190 pounds
Stats: 15.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 6.7 rpg
What he brings: Morris was one of the nation’s most improved players last season, leading a young team to within three points of knocking off top-seeded Duke in the third round of the NCAA tournament. The long, athletic point guard averaged over 10 points more than he did his freshman year and nearly tripled his assist total. Scouts have compared Morris to Tyreke Evans because of his ability to overpower defenders and get to the rim. Others say he has the potential to become a more athletic Andre Miller, though doubts have arisen over his quickness and whether or not he’ll be able to stay in front of NBA guards. Morris also had 103 turnovers last year, which led the Wolverines by far.
Like fellow prospect Iman Shumpert, Morris benefits from his size at the point guard position. Unlike Shumpert, however, Morris is more of a pure point guard with a pass-first, playmaking mentality. His jump shot and range could use some work, but if Morris’ decision-making improves as much as it did last year, the Los Angeles native could step into a backup role as early as next season.
Where the Celtics could get him: First or second round
What they’re saying: “He can go into a crowd and see over everybody, and a lot of guards can’t do that. He’s seeing corner-to-corner when he comes up the floor, and he’s got great quickness and handle.” — Michigan coach John Beilein
Notes: Morris’ decision to declare for the NBA draft after his sophomore season may have been influenced by the “Manny Harris example.” Harris, a former Michigan guard, stayed for his junior year in 2010 and watched his draft stock plummet as he injured his hamstring and gave scouts another season to critique his skill set. As a sophomore last season, Morris recorded the third triple-double in program history with 12 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists in a win against Iowa on Jan. 31. The game is featured in the video below.