Interview With Darius Morris of the Lakers

  Darius Morris, the Laker’s rookie point guard, is one of the most intriguing players in this year’s draft class.  With fantastic size for a point guard at 6 feet 5 inches, prolific passing skills, and good defense, he could grow into one of the top 15 point guards in the NBA.  Darius was kind enough to do an interview with me through Twitter.  Here’s what I learned.

 

 

     Darius Aaron Morris was born on January 3, 1991 in Hawthorne, California, a suburb of Los Angeles.  His family moved to Redondo Beach, and then Carson, to find a better education for their kids.  In middle and high school Morris played in the inner-city parks of Los Angeles, even though he wasn’t an inner-city kid, to make him tougher.  He went to Windward High School, a small private school, winning the California Division V State Championship in 2009. 

                       

 

                                                                                                       

 Q: What was the recruiting process like coming out of high school?                                                        

                                                                                                                                                    

A: The recruiting process was cool. It felt good to know that multiple schools wanted me to play for their teams.                                                                                                                                                    

     Morris was ranked the 11th, 15th and 20th  best high school basketball point guard in the nation by ESPN, Rivals.com and Scout.com, respectively.  Darius was awarded the John Wooden High School Player of the Year Award in his senior year as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Q: You’re from L.A. Why did you choose to go to Michigan?                                                         

 A: I chose Michigan because of the opportunity to play right away, and help rebuild a program and tradition.  I also loved Coach Beilien and the academics Michigan had to offer.

    

      In his junior year of high school, on September 26, 2008, Morris committed to  play at the University of Michigan, Morris during his sophomore season enrolling after graduation in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts . He won the starting point guard spot midway through his freshman season, averaging 4.4 points and 2.6 assists per game. Morris upped the ante in his second season; some of the highlights were recording the first triple-double in Michigan basketball history with his 12 point, 10 rebound, 11 assist outburst against Iowa, setting the school record for assists in a season with 235, and being named 2nd team All Big Ten by the NABC (National Association of Basketball Coaches).  The Wall Street Journal calculated that Darius was the most valuable player to his team, because his combined field goals and assists accounted for 53 percent of his team’s points.  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 as a sophomore.  In his statement he said, “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.

 

 

Q: How does it feel to be drafted?  

A: I feel blessed to be drafted, it’s the highlight of my career so far.

 

 

    Prior to the draft, most draft experts predicted Morris would be a mid-to-late first round pick, comparing him to players such as Andre Miller, Ramon Sessions and Jrue Holiday.  He was picked 11th in the second round by his hometown Los Angeles Lakers. 

 

 

Q: Who do you model your game most after?

 

A: I model my game after Magic Johnson, as far as passing, and Deron Williams.

 

 

Q: Were you excited to be coming back home to LA when you were drafted?

 

A: I was super excited to come back home, since I was away for two years.

 

 

Q: What are your goals for your rookie season?

 

A: Goals for my rookie season are just to work hard and do the best I can do.

 

        It’s an ideal situation.  Morris returns home and gets to learn from one of the top veteran point guards in the NBA, the Lakers’ Derek Fisher, and then take a larger role when Fisher retires.  The Lakers are certainly hoping Morris turns out to be the steal of the draft. 

            

                       Q & A

 

Q: At 6 foot 5, how much of an advantage do you think it gives you over other point guards?

A: My height definitely gives me an advantage over smaller guards because I’m able to see over them and make plays and passes that shorter guards can’t make. It also helps me with scoring different ways and able to use my length on defense.

 

Q: Who’s the best dunker you’ve ever played with?

A: The best dunker I have ever played with would have to be Blake Griffin during this summer.

 

 

Q: What do you think about this year’s Michigan football and basketball teams?

A: I think both Michigan football and basketball will have their best year in recent years and will be top in the nation in both.

 

 

Q: What is your favorite sport besides basketball?

A: My favorite sport besides basketball is football.

 

 

Q:  Who was your toughest matchup in collegeWho was your toughest matchup in college? 

A: My toughest matchup in college was probably Evan Turner.

 

Q: Why do you wear number 4?

A: I wear number four, because there are three people in my family plus one for God, the reason for my success.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

 

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AL-FAROUQ!!!! AL-FAROUQ!!!!!

Something I’ve noticed while watching the Hornets this year is that Al-Farouq Aminu’s facial expressions never change. A very wise man on a virtual Hornets blog/forum/Twitter said, “Al-Farouq always looks like his dog just died.”

AL-FAROUQ!!! AL-FAROUQ!!! YOU JUST WON THE PUBLISHER’S CLEARING HOUSE SWEEPSTAKES!!!!!

 

AL-FAROUQ!!! AL-FAROUQ!!!! JASON SMITH IS CHASING YOU ON A FASTBREAK!!!!!

 

AL-FAROUQ!!! AL-FAROUQ!!!!! WILLIAM HUNG HAS A SONG FOR YOU!!!!!!!

 

AL-FAROUQ!!! AL-FAROUQ!!!!! TYLER, THE CREATOR WANTS TO DO A REGGAE ALBUM WITH YOU!!!!!!!!

 

AL-FAROUQ!!!!! AL-FAROUQ!!!!!! JULIAN WRIGHT TOLD ME TO TELL YOU TO KEEP REPRESENTING!!!!!!!

 

AL-FAROUQ!!!! AL-FAROUQ!!!!! ANOTHER NAZI BLIMP BLEW UP IN THE SKIES OVER NEW JERSEY!!!!!!!!!!

 

AL-FAROUQ!!!! AL-FAROUQ!!!!!! BABIES DON’T HAPPEN JUST BECAUSE A MOMMY AND DADDY LOVE EACH OTHER!!!!!!!

 

AL-FAROUQ!!!! AL-FAROUQ!!!!!! THE WISCONSIN TIMBER RATTLERS OFFERED YOU A TRY OUT FOR THE TEAM!!!!!!!!!!

 

AL-FAROUQ!!!! AL-FAROUQ!!!!! YOUR UNCLE ALFRED BOUGHT YOU A 1992 BUICK SKYLARK!!!!!!!!!

 

AL-FAROUQ!!!!! AL-FAROUQ!!!!! SOME HIPSTER COMPANY WANTS YOU TO MODEL THEIR GLASSES!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm on it.

 

Lottery Mock Draft 1.0 (the one point zero is supposed to look cool)

The title is self explanatory: The Coolest Titled Lottery Mock Draft You’ve Seen Yet

This is going on what the standings are, and is based on team needs, unlike NBADraftnet/DraftExpress/etc.

1. Charlotte Bobcats: Anthony “I have hair between my eyebrows” Davis

(quote) Analysis: (uquoute)  Easy pick here. Anthony Davis is really, really, really, really, really, really, really, good. And he’s only 19.

2. Washington Wizards: Andre “I scare every single fan who’s team is picking in the top 5” Drummond

“Analysis:” This one was really hard. I could see Washington going Kidd-Gilchrist here, but they also could pick Javale McGee 2.0, seeing as they got rid of the first Javale Mcgee. I might get some criticsm for this pick, but I think the Wiz draft potential, and Andre Dummond is oozing potential.

3. NEW ORLEANS HORNETS: Mike “Umso Umso Perfect” Kidd-Gilchrist

“Analysis:” The Hornets don’t have a glaring need at SF, but they pick the guy Monty Williams and Dell Demps will fall in love with. Since this is a PF heavy draft, and the Hornets have a need at the 4, they’ll probably be able to use the Minnesota pick on a PF.

4. Portland Trailbazers: Harrison “Noble and” Barnes

“Analysis:” I think the Blazers will take Harrison at this spot. They don’t really need a SF, with Batum ready to be unleashed on the usnsuspecting NBA, but they could play one of the two at more of a shooting forward role. Draft the talent!

5.  Toronto Raptors: Thomas “6 foot 8” Robinson

“Analysis:” T-Rob fits well for Toronto. Toronto needs talent, and there’s no denying Robinson’s talent.

6. Sacramento Kings: Jared “I wish I would’ve declared last year” Sullinger

“Analysis:” I don’t know who to pick here. The Kings don’t really need to draft a player, because they have so much young talent. Jimmer, Tyreke, MARCUS THORNTON, Isaiah Thomas, Jason Thompson, DeMarcus, Donte Green, Terrence Williams… buuuuuuuuuut I’m going with Sully because he’s the most matured player that could concievably be picked here.

7. Detroit Pistons: Jeremy “Baby Sheep” Lamb

“Analysis:” The Pistons have a need for a competent shooting guard, and Jeremy Lamb seems to me like he could become a nice starter for them.

8. Cleveland Cavaliers: Bradley “Another Undersized Shooting Guard” Beal

“Analysis:” He has a playing style a lot like Eric Gordon, who the Cavs were going hard after before the deadline this year. Cleveland also has a bit of a hole at the 2, and Beal fills that quite nicely.

9. Utah Jazz: Austin “My Dad Could Beat Your Dad In A Game Of One-On-One” Rivers

“Analysis:” The third shooting guard in a row taken. This is just a perfect fit. The Jazz need a competent shooting guard, and Rivers should be able to contribute early.

10. Milwaukee Bucks: Meyers “Robin Lopez Without The Awesome Hair” Leonard

“Analysis:” After the trade of Andrew Bogut, the Bucks need someone at center to develop for the future. Meyers Leonard is 7 feet, and should make a serviceable starter as his ceiling.

11. Portland Trail Blazers: Tyler “I Hope Cody Doesn’t Declare” Zeller

“Analysis:” This is a little high for Zeller, but I’m sure his 20-20 game last night impressed a lot of scouts. The Blazers have a hole at center, and Zellers is a pretty pure center, in my book.

12. New Orleans Hornets: Perry “People Hate Me Because I’m Immature” Jones III

“Analysis:” Dell Demps has to be happy to see a guy with as much potential as Jones left on the board here. A 6’11 player that can defend all three frountcourt positions, but is too small to play center in the NBA, like Anthony Davis. Jones is athletic, and could pan out big down the road.

13.  Utah Jazz: Damian “Next Eric Maynor” Lillard

“Analysis:” The Jazz could use some help at the guard spots. While Lillard won’t be as good a scorer as he was in college, his basement is an able role player, and his ceiling is a starter.

14. Houston Rockets: Quincy “No, My Last Name Isn’t Acy” Miller

“Analysis:” The Rockets weakest position is center, but since there isn’t a center worth being picked here, I decided to go with Quincy Miller, the athletic small forward with great size. His frame reminds me of Kevin Durant, and the two are the same height.

That rounds out my Lottery Mock Draft, maybe I’ll do the last 16 picks, but I’ll probably forget. This will have quench your knowledge appetite for now. I’M OUT.

Catching Up + Random Thoughts

Sorry for not writing once in over two months. Never fear, I’m back to make some Jeremy Lin jokes. OR as they say in his language: 從來不 我回來做一些傑里米·林笑話.  My thoughts on Jeremy Lin: BASKETBALL TEBOW. Actually, I think he’s done more to deserve the hype than TEBOW. I was having a conversation about Tebow last night over pizza. (ham and pineapple, for those concerned, i.e. Darren Rovell) The person who I was talking to said, “That’s pretty crazy about all those 316’s.” THEN I SAID: “Oh, was that his completion ratio? GET IT 3-16” REALLY REALLY REALLY funny jokes aside, I think that Lin has done so much more that Tebow. Tebow had some 4th quarter comebacks after going 2-19 in the first 3 quarters, and Skip Bayless begins to ride him like a rodeo show, and Stephen A. Smith attributes it to “DIVINE INTERVENTION, THAT’S THE ONLY WAY THIS COULD BE HAPPENING!” Jeremy Lin brings the faltering Knicks on a 5(?) game winning streak without Carmelo Anthony and A’mare Stoudemire. That’s much more impressive to me then having your defense hold the opposing team to 10 points and ending up the hero.

HORNETS WIN 3 IN A ROW!!! I’m actually a proponent of tanking so as to gain a unibrow that plays basketball at Kentucky in the draft, but ending the Knicks win streak feels pretty good. Now, on to the 20-game losing streak.

Lebron plots return to Cleveland: HEADLINE GRABBING. That just shows how insecure and individual Lebron James is. He can’t stand not being wanted, so he talks about going to Cleveland again. If he acually returned, think about how good Cleveland would be, though. Look at the starting lineup now, and insert Lebron James.

PG: Kyrie Irving — BAWSE

SG: Anthony Parker — 3 point shooter, has another great shooter behind him in Booby Gibson

SF: Lebron “LET US BUILD A TEMPLE TO HONOR YOUR RETURN” James

PF: Antawn Jamison or Tristan Thompson, depending on dying of old age (Jamison) or development (Thompson)

C:   That Brazilian guy with the jheri curl.

“I’M GOING TO TAKE MY TALENTS TO THE COLD, LAMEST MAJOR CITY IN AMERICA AFTER SALT LAKE CITY TO PLAY FOR THE CLEVELAND DAN GILBERTS”

If that happened, Pat Riley would murder Delonte West and Gloria James in COLD BLOOD.

 

Hornets season in a meme:

 

NUMBER ONE PICK!!!

 

Hornets Loss(es) Recaps, Eric Gordon Injury, Xavier Henry Trade Reaction

Sorry I haven’t been writing much lately, I guess I just haven’t gotten the chance. I’m going to try to keep this short, so, off we go.

Loss 4: Hornets: 93, Sixers: 101.

Box Score. http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/teams/nor/schedule 

The Hornets lost a winnable game, because their defense fell apart in the 4th Quarter. BULLETZ.

  • Jarrett Jack kept up his strong play with a stat line of 19 points, 11 assists, and 5 rebounds. He shot 7-15 from the field, and made all 5 of his free throws in 38 minutes of play.
  • Eric Gordon made his return and home debut, scoring 22 points. He also had 3 steals, 2 blocks, and 6 rebounds. After a hot start to the game, Philly switched Andre Igoudala onto him, and he had trouble finding open looks.
  • Al-Farouq Aminu reverted back to his horrible play. This is why you can’t trust +/- : Al-Farouq’s stat line: 0-4 shooting, 3 personal fouls, and a turnover (should’ve been more, he got some lucky bounces) his +/- is +4. Jarrett Jack’s after an efficient game: -8.
  • Carl Landry had a bounce-back game, scoring 21 points on 7-14 shooting, 8 rebounds, and he made 7 of his 8 free throw attempts.
  • Jason Smith continued his run of strong play. Last night’s stat line: 3 of 4 shooting, and 9 points.

After a strong start, the Hornets flopped in the second half, That sentence might become too familiar this season.

Loss 5. Hornets: 88, Nuggets: 96.

I actually thought this game would be a LOT less close than it was. I really like the Nuggets. Depth, size, athleticism, shooting, defense. After a strong start, the Hornets flopped in the second half. Heard that before? 

  • MARCO BELINELLI MADE HALF HIS THREE POINTERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! oya. His +/- was -15.
  • Greivis Vasquez played well coming off the bench. Stat line: 6-11, 4-7 from 3, 16 points, and 4 rebounds and assists.
  • Chris Kaman “kame in” (get it? “Came in,” “Kaman”) to start and had 6 points and 4 turnovers. His +/- was -19.
  • Carl Landry had 15 points and 6 rebounds off the bench.
  • Highlight of the game? Carldell Johnson’s  1:30 of play. Squeaky had an assist.

ERIC GORDON INJURED, WILL BE OUT FOR 2-3 WEEKS.

The real bummer about this injury is that he’s only played two of the the team’s 7 games, and he starred in both.

XAVIER HENRY SENT TO NEW ORLEANS IN 3-TEAM DEAL BETWEEN GRIZZLIES, SIXERS, & HORNETS

The trade:

Grizzlies send: 2nd round pick to PHI, Xavier Henry to NOH

Sixers send: Marreese Speights to MEM,

Hornets send: 2nd round pick to PHI

Basically the Hornets flipped a second round pick for a player who was a lottery pick two years ago, and will be able to get minutes and develop in the team’s young frontcourt.

Trade Rating.

6 out of 5 stars.

Happy Dell Demps

Another L: Hornets: 90, Jazz: 94

Aaaaaaaaaaand the Hornets get beat by a sub-par team again. A few bullets, and some pictures to sum it up.

  • I didn’t get to watch this one, but from the score it looks like it was entertaining. I won’t be able to analyze it to deeply, so I’ll just throw some stats out there.
  • Jarrett Jack rebounded from a stinker of a game with a double-double. 27 points, 5 boards, and 11 assists.
  • Trevor Ariza strained his groin on a dunk attempt. Luckily…
  • Al Farouq Aminu looked better than usual, posting a stat line of 3-6 shooting, scoring 11 points.
  • Jason Smith scored the ball well tonight. Stat line: 16 points, 8 rebounds in 25 minutes of play.

Okay, and some pictures to sum it up…

Tagged , ,

Hornets Lose 96-80 To Kings

The Hornets looked terrible for yet another night, getting dropped by the Kings. Eric Gordon’s knee was still bothering him, and he sat for another game, which will probably make Hornets’ fans nauseous this year, and the team shot 40% from the field.  Some bullets.

  • Jarrett Jack was terrible.  3-11, 0-3 from long range, 8 turnovers, and a +/- of -20. All in 31 minutes. I miss you, Chris Paul.
  • Marco Belinelli — 3-12, 0-7 from 3.  He did some nice work on the glass with 6 boards, but besides that there was nothing to cheer about. Oh yeah. +/- of -13.
  • Chris Kaman had a nice day on the glass, with 15 rebounds, but he scored 14 points on 5-13 shooting.
  • Gustavo Ayon was seen for 2 minutes and 3 seconds, and had a +/- of +2 despite doing nothing.
  • Greivis Vasquez looked fairly good passing the ball 8 assists, and only 2 turnovers in 27:20 of play.
  • Emeka Okafor finished with an efficient double-double. 13 points on 5-7 shooting and 12 boards, 5 of them offensive in 33:51 minutes of play.

The Hornets put up a real stinker of a game against a Kings’ team that is in disarray.  Marcus Thornton (who was treated very badly by the Hornets) put up 9-18 25 points, 6 rebounds, and had 5 steals.

Every shot last night.

Hornets Prospects — Perry Jones III

I will be going through a series on some college players that could be a fit with the Hornets.  To start off, I’m going to scout Perry Jones III, the 6-11 power forward from Baylor.

Physical: Jones has fantastic height for the power forward position, at 6 foot 11, as tall as most NBA centers.  He  has long arms, a la Kevin Durant.  He runs the floor well, and has great athleticism.  He has the size and tools to swing between Small Forward, Power Forward, and Center. 

Offensive: Jones is a good scorer now, and has the potential to score in a variety of ways.  He does tend to disappear in games, which shouldn’t happen with a player of his caliber, who is one of the best, if not the best player on the court.  He does a good job of getting to the rim, and can knock down a midrange jumper.  He also has good potential in the pick-and-roll game.  He’s been used increasingly in post-up situations, and he’s been fairly effective for not having the girth of other, heavier forwards.  He can also rebound well on the offensive glass because of his leaping ability. He is also a fantastic dribbler for a big, and beats other big men easily with his nasty first step. Jones’ offensive game needs polish, but he has the potential to have a great offensive arsenal. 

Defensive: Obviously, the weakest part of Jones’ game is his defense. He doesn’t rebound well enough for a player with his size/athleticism. On defense, he doesn’t block enough shots or get enough steals.  He also shies away from contact, and isn’t much of a hustle player.

Overall: Jones is one of the best prospects in this year’s draft. He could have a top flight jump shot for a power forward. In that part of his game he could have a bit  of David West in him. I also see Rudy Gay, in terms of passing and  athleticism. I may be a little too high on him, (I thought about comparing him to Kevin Durant, but recanted) and I think he has the ability to grow into a top 5 power forward in the NBA.

My First Post

Hi and welcome to my blog. I’ve been starting blogs but then forgetting about them lately, but I’ll try to keep up on this one. I guess all I have to say is that I’m a huge New Orleans Hornets and NBA fan, so that’s what I’ll mostly write about, I might mix in some news from other teams or sports once in a while, but for the most part, this will be all Hornets. I guess I’ll say some stuff about myself and hope I don’t look like an idiot. I live in the Upper Penninsula of Michigan, which is a wasteland, by the way, about an hour and a half from Green Bay. Most of the people around me are Packers/Brewers fans (losers), and don’t really care about hoops. I was always a basketball fan, albeit casual, though the New England Patriots and St. Louis Cardinals were my first love. (very similar in location, I know.) I first started paying attention to basketball back when Dee Brown and Deron Williams were killing it at Illinois, but I soon started to cheer for a point guard from Wake Forest named Chris Paul. When he got drafted, I rooted for the Hornets, because I didn’t really have an NBA allegiance at that point. I was more of a “Chris Paul fan” than “New Orleans Hornets fan” I have to admit. I started really getting into basketball about four years ago, and enjoyed every minute of it. And yes, the Chris Paul trade was very traumatic for me. I hope you enjoy this blog. Geaux Hornets!

/trying too hard to sound Cajun

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