Michigan point guard Darius Morris will remain in the NBA draft, U-M announced Wednesday.
The deadline to withdraw without hiring an agent is Sunday, but Morris made his intentions clear today."There have been long discussions with my family, friends and my Michigan coaches," Morris said in a statement. "After gathering all the information possible, I have decided to stay in the NBA draft and pursue my dream of playing professional basketball.
"This was a difficult decision; however, in the end I decided to go with my heart. Playing professional basketball has always been a dream for me. I feel this is the right time for me to pursue that goal. It will be hard to leave the University of Michigan; however, I truly believe the basketball program is moving in a very positive direction.
"First of all I want to thank everyone at the University of Michigan and all its great fans. I would not be in the position I am today without the guidance of Coach (John) Beilein and his staff. I appreciate all the support I have received from all my teammates and everyone involved with the program. I will forever be a Michigan Wolverine. Lastly, and most importantly, I must thank God for blessing me with this opportunity."
Morris, who stands 6-foot-4 and attended Los Angeles Windward High School, is projected in many mock drafts near the top of the second round.
He is the second player in as many years to leave U-M early for the NBA. Manny Harris left after his junior season, went undrafted but signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers and played extensively this past season.
"We, as a staff, have watched Darius grow as a person and as a player these past two years," U-M coach John Beilein said. "His improvement on the court has been the result of his God-given talent and his intense desire to become the best player he can be. His work habits, especially in our individual skill development time, have been outstanding, and we all witnessed the results of his efforts this season.
"Over the past month, we have worked with the NBA advisory committee and several NBA teams by gathering information to assist Darius and his family in exploring his options. We know they put a lot of thought into this important decision.
"Darius has been a catalyst in the continued growth of our program and we wish him nothing but the best in his professional basketball career and beyond. He will always be a Michigan Wolverine."
Morris was U-M's leading scorer and assist man as a sophomore last season, making a massive leap from his freshman year, going from 4.4 points per game as a freshman to 15 this past year.
He also set U-M's single season record for assists with 235.