Michigan freshman Darius Morris is ready to change positions — slightly. Instead of being simply a point guard, he wants to become the Wolverines’ general on the court.

Who better to tell him how to make that transformation than The General himself?

Gary Grant, a dynamic guard for Michigan from 1985-88 who earned the nicknamed The General and was Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 1985, was in Ann Arbor this weekend for a reunion.

Grant watched the Wolverines struggle through a 62-44 loss to Wisconsin. After the game, he and Morris stood off to the side of the locker room talking about the freshman’s process to become a general, too.

“As soon as we broke up out of the huddle, I wanted to go (talk to) him,” Morris said. “He’s been through this. He’s been in my shoes. He was successful, so I was just trying to get whatever information I could from him. He told me on offense just to be a general, just tell people where to go. He said everything would fall into place.

“No matter what mistakes you make or anything, if you have a bad game, just keep your confidence up. Even though I’m a freshman, don’t be afraid to tell people what to do.”

Saturday’s loss, though the score didn’t indicate it, was a good first step for Morris’s growth.

Michigan coach John Beilein removed redshirt sophomore Laval Lucas-Perry from the starting lineup and inserted Morris. He began the season’s first nine games in the starting lineup but had been coming off the bench in recent weeks.

The decision to start Morris came on Wednesday, the day after Michigan was shellacked by Northwestern 67-52. Morris scored eight points and tallied three assists in 33 minutes of playing time against Wisconsin on Saturday.

“Coach just said that I had to be a solid point guard, it’s what the team needs,” Morris said. “I need to go out there and be an outlet of him on the court.”

It’s been a long season, and the point guard position has been one area where the Wolverines have struggled all year. Sophomore Stu Douglass, naturally a shooting guard, has talked about challenges he’s faced as someone who has never really brought the ball up the court on every possession. Douglass knows how hard the position is, and he appreciates how Morris is naturally comfortable there.

“He’s been a point guard his entire life,” Douglass said. “He knows how to lead a team. … He knows how to win, and he’s a natural leader like that. He’s been a big help this year, the win and loss doesn’t really show it, but he’s helped us a lot.”

Morris echoed the importance of a point guard’s leadership. He emphasized being more vocal on the court, and making his teammates better by improving his own play. Part of that comes from simply gaining more experience.

“Three-fourths of the season is under my belt,” Morris said. “Not really like a freshman no more. I should be playing like more than a freshman. I’ve had an opportunity to get a lot of minutes. You can’t just go out there and keep making freshman mistakes.”

Morris has shown that he’s learned from mistakes and has made a concerted effort to limit turnovers. He gave the ball away just once in Saturday’s game.

But, like Grant told him after the loss, being a point guard — or a general — is about more than just taking care of the ball and setting up open looks for teammates. It’s about having the right state of mind and staying relaxed. With just seven games remaining in the regular season, Michigan desperately desires those qualities in its on-court leader.

“We just need some guy who can get in the lane a little bit and has a point guard mentality to play,” Beilein said. “I thought (Morris) did a good job. He made a couple of nice passes, still has a lot of areas he needs to work on. Just throw him out there and let him play. Let him play, and see what he can do.”

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