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May 09, 2011 - Image 11

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2011-05-09

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Monday-, May 9, 2011
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

11

FOOT ALL
Stonum suspended indefinitely for drunk driving

By TIM ROHAN On Saturday, Hoke announced
Daily Sports Editor Stonum's punishment through a
statement.
For the second time in his four "Darryl made a poor decision
years at Michigan, senior wide that is unacceptable and won't be
receiver Darryl Stonum was arrest- tolerated," Hoke said. "He will be
ed over the weekend for operating a disciplined for behavior that is
vehicle while intoxicated, resulting unbecoming of a Michigan football
in Michigan coach Brady Hoke sus- player.
pending him indefinitely. "This is a serious situation, we
According to Diane Brown, a are disappointed and any athletic
spokesperson for the University's department discipline will be han-
Department of Public Safety, the dled internally. We will provide the
traffic stop occurred at 2:25 a.m. on appropriate support and counseling
Friday at the corner of Maynard and in order for him to learn and grow
William streets in Ann Arbor. Sto- from this mistake."
num was pulled over by University Stonum's first drunken driving
Police and subsequently arrested arrest came on Sept. 28, 2008, less
and taken to Washtenaw County than a month into his freshman
Jail. year. He was driving more than 60

miles per hour down State Street,
and nearly hit other cars before he
was arrested. As a result, Stonum
could have faced up to 93 days in jail,
$300 in fines and up to 360 hours
of community service. Instead, he
was placed on 12 months probation
among other minor penalties.
Then-coach Rich Rodriguez sus-
pended Stonum for only one game,
for a "violation of team rules."
Earlier this season, Rodriguez
talked about how Stonum had
matured since the incident.
"When a guy messes up and
everyone wants to throw him out
to the wolves ... it's pleasing to fans
and certainly for coaches when you
see a guy grow and mature and he
gets it," Rodriguez said on Sept.

21, 2010, a few days after Stonum
grabbed two touchdowns against
Massachusetts. "You see that matu-
rity kind of kick in. Sometimes they
grow up and they get it. "
Stonum's Michigan career was
supposed to have followed a dif-
ferent trajectory, having entered
the program as the No. 41 overall
player, and a four-star recruit out
of high school, according to Rivals.
com. But Stonum posted modest
numbers during his freshman and
sophomore seasons - failing to
catch 15 passes or more than 200
yards receiving in either year.
But in 2010, as quarterback
Denard Robinson came into his
own on offense, so did a few of the
other receivers, Stonum included.

He finished the year with 49 catches
for 633 yards and four touchdowns.
And he averaged seven catches for
92 yards in three games against the
cream of the crop of the Big Ten, in
Ohio State, Wisconsin and Iowa.
Stonum was expected to be a
member of a deep receiver group,
all returning in2011, featuring red-
shirt junior Roy Roundtree, red-
shirt senior Junior Hemingway and
senior Martavious Odoms.
Hoke did leave room for Stonum
to return at some point during the
Stafford, Texas native's senior year.
"If he fulfills all of the commit-
ments he has to the legal system
and our program, we will make a
determination regarding his return
to the team," Hoke added.

What does Darius Morris's departure mean for Michigan?

or Michigan fans, the end-
ing to the 2010-11 men's bas-
ketball campaign was the
definition of bittersweet.
Minutes after Darius Morris
missed the
game-tying
shot in the final
seconds of the
tournament
matchup with
Duke, the then-
sophomore
point guard LUKE
walked back PASCH
onto the court
to relive the
moment. He used an invisible
ball to re-enact the floater that he
missed - the same floater that he
sunk nine times out of 10 during
the regular season.
Wolverine fans who hadn't yet
emptied out of Time Warner Cable
Arena watched on, not knowing
how to react. Such a narrow loss to
the top-seeded Blue Devils stung,
and watching Morris cling to that
moment made it harder to forget.
But the future was bright - so
bright that it seemed as though
Morris was practicing that shot for
next year.
There's always next season, right?
There wasn't a single fourth-
year player on the team, after all,
and Morris would be back with
a chip on his shoulder. Incoming
freshman guard Trey Burke, wide-
ly regarded as the top player in
Ohio, would back up Morris. And
that meant Stu Douglass would
finally be able to stick to his natu-

ral shooting guard position for his
senior year.
Jon Horford would nurse his
knee this offseason and develop
into a viable back-up for Jordan
Morgan at center, which meant
that the relatively undersized
Evan Smotrycz could revert to his
natural position at forward. There
would be no more Jared Sullinger-
Smotrycz mismatches in the post.
Tim Hardaway Jr. would work
on his ball-handling. Morgan
would work on avoiding fouls.
Matt Vogrich would try to grow a
few inches. And Morris would lead
the charge to the 2012 NCAA Final
Four in New Orleans.
Well, as we now know, that
probably wasn't what Morris was
thinking when he took the court
again after that heartbreaking
loss against Duke. As he relived
those final seconds, maybe he was
wondering if that was his last shot
in a Michigan uniform. Maybe he
needed closure because he knew
he wouldn't get that shot again.
Maybe Morris knew then that
he'd never make it to the Final
Four.
On Wednesday, he made it offi-
cial - he's keeping his name in
the 2011 NBA Draft to fulfill his
life-long dream of playing at the
professional level. And in all hon-
esty, Darius Morris made the best
decision for Darius Morris.
It's easy to say that another year
with the Wolverines would have
improved his draft stock, but it's
a lot harder to actually come back
and perform better than 15 points

and 6.7 assists per game (his soph-
omore-year numbers).
Morris was simply selling him-
self high, and he'll likely be picked
in the first round because of it.
But it was more personal for
Michigan fans who, on Wednes-
day, said goodbye to the 2011-12
season that could have been.
Although Morris's announcement
was not apocalyptic, there's no
doubt it was a significant blow to
the team's postseason expecta-
tions. Michigan still has talent, but
last season, the Wolverines were
only as good as their floor general.
My look into the crystal ball
has next year's squad making it
back to the NCAA Tournament.
But after Morris's announcement,
Michigan dropped from Final
Four potential to an early-round
exit. Burke will probably earn
the starting job at point guard,
having to fill in some very large
shoes. And although there's no
doubt that the Columbus-native
has talent (he averaged 24 points
and seven assists in his senior sea-
son), it's hard to rely on a fresh-
man running the point in such
a guard-heavy offense. Just ask
Morris how his rookie year went,
when he averaged 4.4 points per
game while starting much of the
2009-10 season.
If you're searching for a real sil-
ver lining from the announcement,
you have to look past next season.
You have to look at the coaching
staff that built a mediocre point
guard into one of the top playmak-
ers in the nation. And you have to

CHRIS DZOMBAK/Daily
Sophomore guard Darius Morris announced this week that he would remain in the
NBA Draft, where he is projected to be a first-round pick.

look at the high school stars that
raised their eyebrows when Mor-
ris made his decision official.
As much as we'd like to think
that players come to Michigan for
the school's tradition and winning
attitude, the top recruits want to
play at programs that will help
them become NBA-ready. And
on Wednesday, Beilein became a
coach that does just that - after
two seasons inAnn Arbor, Morris
may become the program's first
first-round draft pick since Jamal
Crawford was taken eighth overall
11 years ago.
Maybe that's why the Wolver-

Ines' roster features three sons
of former NBA players - and a
fourth committed for two seasons
from now in Glenn Robinson III.
Maybe their fathers genuinely
believed that Beilein could turn
their boys into men - the same
kind of men they became in their
college years.
So, maybe Michigan effectively
traded next year's expectations
for long-term recruiting success,
and it maytake time for usto see
if it actually pans out. But for now,
fans can only hope that eventually,
the sweetness will outweigh the
bitterness.

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