But Morris decided Tuesday that he wanted to fulfill his dream of playing in the NBA and was willing to take his chances on his draft status. If he's a first-round pick, he gets a guaranteed contract and becomes an instant millionaire. If he's a second-round pick, he gets no guaranteed money and could have to fight just to make a team roster.
Still, his decision was no real surprise. Remember this is the same player who notified Kentucky coach Tubby Smith by fax that he was putting his name into the draft and sought no advice from Smith during the last six weeks. Both Morris and his father indicated recently that they had questions about the way Smith used Morris last season, another sure indication that Morris was not coming back.
If that wasn't enough to indicate he wasn't coming back, then consider that Morris had as much to say to his teammates the last six weeks as Smith has had to say to the media. Smith has avoided talking about signing two players, losing Kelenna Azubuike to the NBA, Morris and other basketball-related stories. Morris followed that lead and did not talk to any teammates after putting his name into the NBA draft.
Smith didn't get a call from Morris Tuesday telling him that he was sticking with his NBA plans. Instead, the Kentucky coach learned the news when he heard WLAP's Jim Tirey talking with Morris' father Tuesday night.
That lack of communication between Morris and Smith makes one wonder how the player seemed so happy last season when obviously he must have had problems based on his lack of communication with Smith, his staff and the UK players.
While it's also easy to question Morris' decision, remember that Nazr Mohammed took a similar gamble in 1998 and almost fell out of the first round. But he got picked and is still drawing a nice paycheck seven years later.
The bigger question for Kentucky now is what will the Wildcats do without Morris. Losing Azubuike, last year's leading scorer, is a blow that can be softened if Joe Crawford - who left the team for a week last season before returning - plays as well as many think he can. If not, Ravi Moss might be able to make the most of more minutes.
Replacing Morris is going to be harder. Some think a healthy Sheray Thomas could fill that void, but he may be needed at power forward if Bobby Perry or junior college signee Rekalin Sims fail to fill the void left by Chuck Hayes' graduation.
The main candidates to replace Morris are three unproven players - juniors Lukasz Obrzut and Shagari Alleyne and freshman Jared Carter. Obrzut and Alleyne have been consistently inconsistent and almost everyone agrees Carter is not ready for primetime play yet.
Maybe Smith has a plan - and is just keeping it to himself. But with Morris definitely gone, the Cats face a major rebuilding job next season and will have to depend on perimeter players Rajon Rondo, Patrick Sparks, Ramel Bradley, Crawford and Moss to carry a bigger scoring load. However, that still leaves rebounding and no one - and I mean no one - on the UK roster has shown he can be a dependable rebounder.
However, Smith can start making plans for what he's going to do because after weeks of uncertainy, the Kentucky coach now knows for sure that Morris won't be back.