Darius Morris took his lumps last year, playing in every game as a freshman for Michigan's underachieving team. Morris has gotten much better. The Wolverines have, too.
Morris had 19 points, 10 assists, one turnover and four steals to lead Michigan in a 75-64 win over visiting Utah last night.
"He's been very receptive to his self-improvement in every way," coach John Beilein said. "He's made major steps."
Tim Hardaway Jr. added 17 points for the Wolverines.
Morris leads the team in scoring, 14.9 points a game on 55 percent shooting.
Michigan finished 15-17 last season, falling way short of expectations. The Wolverines (7-2) are earning some respect this season - with wins at Clemson and over Utah (6-3), along with a three-point loss to No. 8 Syracuse.
Jay Watkins led the Utes with 17 points.
In other games:
* At Mercer, Jeff Smith scored 22 points to lead the Bears (3-7) to a 73-68 victory over Navy (4-8), which was led by Jordan Sugars' 23 points and seven rebounds.
* At Marist, C.J. McCollum scored 35 points to lead Lehigh (5-5) to a 91-78 win.
* At Wichita, Toure Murry's 13 points led teh Shockers (6-2) over Nicholls State, 68-50.
* At Iowa, Scott Christopherson scored a career-high 30 points as Iowa State (8-2) downed the Hawkeyes, 75-72.
* At Siena, Warren Edney scored 16 points and Fairfield (6-3, 2-0 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) won, 72-55.
* At Canisius, Akeem Johnson scored a career-high 21 points, leading St. Francis, N.Y., (5-3) to its fourth straight victory, 76-58.
* At Campbell, Marvelle Harris had 10 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks to lead the Camels (5-3), 73-50, over Western Carolina.
In women's games:
* At Western Michigan, Taylor Alton scored 15 points and No. 15 Michigan State (9-1) won, 62-50.
* At Maryland, Tianna Hawkins had 16 points and the No. 22 Terrapins (9-1) beat UMBC, 71-45.
* Officials at La Roche College in Pittsburgh said basketball coach Scott Lang died after collapsing at practice. He was in his early 40s and had coached at the Division III school for 18 years.
* Freshman guard Matt Carlino will transfer from UCLA without ever playing in a regular-season game. He was sidelined in preseason with a concussion, but never played after he was cleared.
* Duke freshman Kyrie Irving had his right foot placed in a hard cast, so that his injured toe can heal more quickly. He was hurt Dec. 4 in a victory over Butler. *