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Norris

 Darius Aaron Morris (born January 3, 1991) is an American professional basketball player who last played for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Morris was selected as the 41st pick in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers and plays the point guard position.

Morris had completed his sophomore season with the Michigan Wolverines basketball team for the 2010–11 team. He was the 2010–11 Big Ten assists leader and was the Michigan Wolverines all-time single-season assist record-holder until Trey Burke surpassed him. He earned third team All-Big Ten honors as a sophomore.

Morris led Windward School to the 2009 state championship while earning the Californi Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Southern Section John Wooden High School Player of the Year Award. He was a 2010–11 All-Big Ten 3rd team selection by the coaches and the media. The National Association of Basketball Coaches named him as a 2nd team All-District selection for the district composed of Big Ten schools.

High school

In high school, Morris, the son of Dewayne Sr. and Robin Morris, attended Windward School. Morris was invited to numerous All-star basketball camps hosted by LeBron James, Steve Nash, the National Basketball Players Association and Nike. He was twice selected as a first-team All-State player in California. He was also named the MVP of numerous tournaments and invited to participate in numerous all-star games, including the Academic All-American Classic. Morris led Windward High School to the California Division V state title, posting a game-high 25 points, eight rebounds and four assists in the championship game. Darius Morris was named the MVP of Olympic League, CIF Division 5A Southern Section Player of Year, and CIF Division 5A State Player of Year. Also Darius was awarded a John Wooden High School Player of the Year Award, received by Jrue Holiday the year before. He was ranked as the 11th, 15th and 20th best high school basketball point guard in the nation by ESPN, Rivals.com and Scout.com, respectively. Rivals and ESPN included him on their lists of best overall basketball players at 77th and 100th, respectively.

Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight Commit date
Darius Morris

PG

Los Angeles, California Windward School (CA) 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 190 lb (86 kg) Aug 11, 2008 
Scout:   Rivals:2   ESPN grade: 90
Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 20 (PG)  Rivals: 77, 15 (PG)  ESPN: 100, 11 (PG)
  • Note: In many cases, Scout and Rivals may conflict in their listings of height and weight.
  • In these cases, an average of the two was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.

Sources:

  • "Michigan 2009 Basketball Commitments". Rivals.com. Retrieved 2009-04-07. 
  • "2009 Michigan Basketball Commits". Scout.com. Retrieved 2009-04-07. 
  • "ESPN". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2009-04-07. 
  • "Scout.com Team Recruiting Rankings". Scout.com. Retrieved 2009-04-07. 
  • "2009 Team Ranking". Rivals.com. Retrieved 2009-04-07.

College

As a freshman with the 2009–10 team, Morris averaged 4.4 points and 2.6 assist per game on 24.3 minutes of playing time per game. Three times he scored in double digits, including his first career game. He had a season-high 7 assists against Northwestern on January 10, 2010.

On December 23, 2010, Morris was one of three Wolverines to make 4 three point shots as the team set a school single-game record by making 16 against Bryant University. He also had 12 assists on his way to a double-double. On December 27, 2010, the Big Ten Conference named Morris player of the week. Ann Arbor media felt his omission from the 67-man 2011 Bob Cousy Award watchlist was a surpise. Morris repeated as (co-)player of the week on January 31, 2011 sharing the award with Talor Battle, after becoming the third Michigan Wolverines men's basketball player (following Gary Grant and Manny Harris) to record a triple double. On February 1, 2011, The Wall Street Journal calculated that Morris was by far the most valuable player to his team among major conference players because his combined assists and field goals account for over 53% of his team's points.[17] Michigan Wolverines men's basketball Single-season 200 Assist Club{| cellpadding="4" class="prettytable sortable jquery-tablesorter" style="margin: 1em 0px; font-size: 90%;" |- | align="center" style="background: rgb(240, 240, 240);"|Player | align="center" style="background: rgb(240, 240, 240);"|Season | align="center" style="background: rgb(240, 240, 240);"|Games | align="center" style="background: rgb(240, 240, 240);"|Assists |- |Trey Burke |2012–13 |39 |260 |- |Darius Morris |2010–11 |35 |235 |- |Gary Grant |1987–88 |34 |234 |- |Rumeal Robinson |1988–89 |37 |233 |}

Morris established a new Michigan single-season assists record during the 2011 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament (235 in 35 games). The previous highest single-season assists totals in Michigan history were by Gary Grant (234 in 34 games, 1987–88) and Rumeal Robinson (233 in 37 games, 1988–89). His average of 6.71 assists per game led the Big Ten Conference. For the season, Morris also led the 2010–11 team in points per game and steals per game.

Following the 2010–11 Big Ten Conference men's basketball season, Darius Morris was selected as a third team All-Big Ten selection by both the conference's coaches and the conference's media. Morris was also a National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division I District 7 All‐District second team choice. Since the Big Ten Conference is its own district, this is equivalent to being named second team All-Big Ten by the NABC.

Following the season, Morris sought the advice of the NBA's undergraduate advisory committee to determine his draft prospects. On May 4, Morris announced his final decision not to withdraw his name prior to the May 8 deadline and to enter the June 23, 2011 NBA Draft.

Pro career

2011–12 season

ESPN's Chad Ford described Morris at 6 feet 5 inches (1.96 m) as the biggest true point guard in the draft. Morris was selected by his hometown Los Angeles Lakers in the second round of the 2011 NBA Draft with the 41st overall selection. In the week prior to the beginning of the 2011–12 NBA season, Morris appeared along with teammates Derek Fisher, Steve Blake and Matt Barnes on the December 22 season 1 finale of The X Factor during a performance by 50 Cent. On January 11, he played 13 minutes against Utah in his first game for the Lakers, contributing his first four points, his first two assists and first rebound. The game went to overtime and marked the Laker's first road victory of the season in four attempts. Morris began seeing action as Blake endured a costrochaondral fracture of the cartilage that connects the rib to the sternum in subsequent games. Morris stayed in the main rotation for seven games during Blake's rib injury before returning to a limited role. On March 7, 2012, Morris was assigned to the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA D-League. Morris debuted for the Defenders with 21 points on March 10. He was recalled by the Lakers on March 16, 2012. On April 26, against the Sacramento Kings in the last game of the regular season, Morris tallied 9 points and 5 assists.

2012–13 season

Morris agreed to re-sign with the Lakers on July 2, 2012 and was named to the Lakers team for the July 13–22 Las Vegas NBA Summer League. During the Summer League, Morris led the Lakers in scoring and assists. On November 9, 2012, Darius Morris recorded 10 points, a career-high 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1 steal in a 101–77 Lakers win over the Golden State, backing up Blake, while Steve Nash was injured. On November 13, with both Blake and Nash injured, Morris made his first career start. As a starter, Morris posted career highs of 31 minutes and 6 assists on November 16 against the Phoenix Suns. On December 4, Chris Duhon overtook Morris as the replacement starter. On December 16, Morris posted a career-high 15 points against the Philadelphia 76ers. A few nights later, Kobe Bryant praised him for his defensive effort. When Nash returned to the starting lineup on December 22, Morris started in place of Metta World Peace, who came off the bench. This was part of a common strategy employed by Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni to play players out of position. While a starter, Morris' responsibility was to defend against the opponents' most dangerous perimeter player. On January 4, World Peace returned to the starting lineup in Morris' place. Then in late January, Jodie Meeks replaced Morris in the rotation as Blake also returned to the rotation.

On March 7, 2013, Morris was re-assigned to the Los Angeles D-Fenders. He played for the D-Fenders on March 9, scoring 21 points and adding 6 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal. He was recalled on March 9, 2013. On April 3, 2013, the Lakers sent him to the D-Fenders once again. He was recalled the next day.

On June 28, the Lakers decided that they would not make Morris the $1.2 million qualifying offer prior to the July 1 deadline that would have been necessary to make him a restricted free agent. Although the team expressed interest in re-signing Morris at a lower priced contract and having him represent the team again in the summer league, he would become an unrestricted free agent at the deadline because the qualifying offer was not made

NBA career statistics

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game Bold Career high

Regular season

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2011–12 L.A. Lakers 19 0 8.9 .429 .444 .667 .8 1.1 .1 .0 2.4
2012–13 L.A. Lakers 48 17 14.2 .388 .364 .649 1.2 1.6 .4 .0 4.0
Career 67 17 12.7 .396 .373 .652 1.1 1.4 .3 .0 3.6

Playoffs

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2012 L.A. Lakers 4 0 2.0 1.000 1.000 .750 .0 .8 .0 .0 2.5
2013 L.A. Lakers 4 2 26.3 .457 .333 .778 1.3 3.0 .5 .0 10.5
Career 8 2 14.1 .500 .400 .769 .6 1.9 .3 .0 6.5