When John Beilein took over the reins of Michigan Basketball one of his key early recruits was point guard Darius Morris. Morris started 19 games as a freshman and averaged 4.4 points and 2.6 assists per game. He was handed the keys to the team as a sophomore and responded with a great season in which he set the school’s single season assist record (235), averaged 16.7 points, 6.7 assists and 4 rebounds per game. It was Morris who nearly sent Michigan’s NCAA Tournament game against Duke into OT. Instead, his shot at the buzzer bounced off the back of the rim and the Blue Devils advanced to the Sweet 16.
Morris decided to make the jump to the NBA after that season. When the Lakers selected Morris in the second round (41st overall) he became the first Wolverine to be drafted since 2004 (Bernard Robinson Jr). Morris has had mis moments for Los Angeles this season, including a 24 point 6 assist performance in game 3 against the Spurs during the first round of the playoffs.
When Morris made the decision to leave early, some Michigan fans were worried about who would run the show in his absence. The answer was incoming freshman Trey Burke. He might not have been the highest ranked recruit entering the NCAA that fall, but by the time he left Michigan he was a unanimous National Player of the Year and Michigan’s fifth consensus All-American. Burke’s sophomore season was one for the ages. He shattered Morris’ single season assist record by dishing out 260 helpers.
The Wolverines were 55-18 in Burke’s two seasons. They won their first Big Ten Championship in 26 years and advanced to the Final Four for the first time in 20 years. On June 27th, Burke will become the first Michigan player selected in the first round of the NBA Draft since Jamal Crawford (2000).
The future is bright
Michigan has another highly touted point guard set to begin his collegiate career this fall. Derrick Walton is ranked as the #8 point guard in the nation and #30 overall by EPSNU. He averaged 26.2 points, 10.1 assists, 7.7 rebounds and 5.4 steals while shooting 80.7 percent from the free throw line this past season, leading the Eagles (20-4) to the Class B regional semifinals
Walton is walking into a point guard’s dream offense. One where he has the freedom to create and run in the open court. He will be surrounded by elite athletes and one of the nation’s premier three-point shooters.
Michigan has another point guard, you might remember him. Spike Albrecht became a household name when he dropped 17 points on Louisville in the first half of the national championship game.
Point guards all across the country have taken notice of Point Guard U. Michigan is zeroing in on some of the nation’s best point guards in the 2015 class, players like Sedrick Barefield, Jalen Brunson, Jalen Coleman, and Hyron Edwards. If one of those players were to jump at an offer from John Beilein, they would be the next in line of what is becoming a very impressive point guard lineage. They would also be on a path that leads to the NBA.
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