Freshman Darryl Morsell (10) focuses as he takes a layup. (Lila Bromberg/ The Left Bench)

Darryl Morsell is Maryland’s next up and coming guard

When high school athletes pick a college it’s usually because the school is a good fit or for the sake of the name. If the athlete is smart they will choose the program that’s the best fit for them and not because of the name.

When choosing a school some of the deciding factors can be academics, location, playing time, and coaching style. Maryland freshman guard Darryl Morsell made the decision that was best for him and his career, choosing the basketball program he felt he’d fit best in.

By the time Morsell was a senior at Mount Saint Joseph High School in Baltimore, Md. he had over 15 offers, some of which came from top programs in the country like then-No. 1 Villanova, West Virginia and Notre Dame to name a few. So what led Morsell to choose Maryland over these big name schools?

“I built a relationship with the players and coaches. Also, I liked the plan that the coaches had for me,” Morsell said.

Though this is true, any avid basketball enthusiast would know why he really chose Maryland. Unlike the other top-ranking schools listed before, Maryland was losing star guard Melo Trimble and Jaylen Brantley and didn’t have a long line of high performance or incoming guards waiting to play.

If Morsell would have chosen West Virginia or Villanova he would have been taking a back seat to well-seasoned players.

At Maryland, Morsell is not only able to work on his skills, but he was able to debut them. Morsell made the smart decision and choose the program that needed him.

Not only did he find the right program, it also was in the right location.

Morsell is a Baltimore native, which is only 45 minutes away from College Park, allowing family and friends to come see him play.

Coming into college, Morsell quickly had to transition from high school to the collegiate level playing style which he knew could be difficult.

Morsell began starting games mid-way through the season, with sophomore forward Justin Jackson and junior forward Ivan Binder being out for the season due to injuries.

Morsell has started in 10 of the 23 games that Maryland has played, averaging 26.8 minutes per game and 8.7 points per game.

With this increase in minutes, he has transitioned smoothly from non-conference play to conference play.  In conference, he’s averaging 8.5 points and roughly 34 minutes per game.

Against Michigan State on Jan. 28th, Morsell had a great outing, scoring 12 points and adding seven rebounds and two assists. In addition to playing a good game offensively, he had the defensive assignment of guarding Michigan State star forward, Miles Bridges.

According to Morsell, he is “getting better every day as an individual and as an athlete.”

Morsell sees himself maturing and takes practice and film study much more serious then he did in high school.

As for what he believes he brings to the team he simply stated “versatility and toughness,” which he has proven by stepping up with Jackson and Bender out for the season.

Being versatile is not something that is new to Morsell. He played as a guard most of his career but also had to play forward his senior year due to the lack of size on his high school team.

Morsell is a downhill guard who likes to get to the rim and even compared his playing style to NBA all-star guard Dwyane Wade. This is not far-fetched because similar to Wade, Morsell is an extremely athletic slasher.

As for what his role is on the team he is the team clown.

“I can bring light to tough situations,” Morsell said.  

Even though he can make his teammates laugh, he still sees himself maturing throughout this season. His personal goal now is to make Big Ten All-Freshman Team after the season, and as for the team as a whole, he has hopes of winning the school’s first Big Ten Tournament Championship.