Michigan Wolverines: Jordan Morgan

WolverineNation mailbag 

May, 8, 2013
5/08/13
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Replacements and leadership are topics which come up during every offseason for every sport.

We'll examine those topics in this week’s WolverineNation Mailbag, featuring your questions. Have questions for next week? Send them to @chanteljennings on Twitter or at jenningsespn@gmail.com.

Now, on to this week’s queries.

M2go4blue from The Den asks: How well can we expect Michigan basketball to continue the success from the last two years, with the lack of upperclassman leadership this coming season? From last year, five seniors and a three-year starter in Tim Hardaway Jr. are gone. That's a lot of leadership missing.

WolverineNation Mailbag 

April, 24, 2013
4/24/13
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan’s potentially early entrants have made their decisions -- Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. in the draft, Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary out -- and now, the Wolverines roster for next season is starting to take shape.

Also, the most intriguing position battle on Michigan’s football team still has little definition entering the summer.

We address these issues in this week’s WolverineNation Mailbag. Send your questions for next week to @chanteljennings on Twitter or jenningsespn@gmail.com.

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan started the week with the expected defections of its starting backcourt to the NBA. It’ll end it by likely remaining in the preseason top 10 for 2013-14 anyway.

More than Trey Burke or Tim Hardaway Jr., the returns of Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III were the pieces Michigan needed to come back to avoid a potential major slide next season. And now, they have them.

The return of the two close friends from Indiana gives Michigan depth and top-end talent at every position next season, as they will likely join freshman point guard Derrick Walton Jr., sophomore guard Nik Stauskas and either freshman winger Zak Irvin or sophomore wing Caris LeVert in the starting lineup.

[+] EnlargeMitch McGary
AP Photo/Morry GashMitch McGary now needs to prove he can post numbers for a whole season.
Those five -- seven, really, if you include the loser of the Irvin/LeVert battle and the return of three-year starter Jordan Morgan -- could end up as the most talented top seven in the country, non-Kentucky division.

Both guys coming back also signifies a piece of what Michigan coach John Beilein has often preached -- sometimes oddly: that he wants the Ann Arbor school to be a place guys want to stay instead of being a quick stop to the NBA. In reality, college -- and big-time programs -- will always be more of a pit stop than a destination to elite talent, but for McGary and Robinson to turn down being potential lottery selections for one more year at Michigan is significant for Beilein and his program.

It shows those two believe in the development prowess of big man coach Bacari Alexander and wing coach Jeff Meyer to turn them into stronger players. It also reinforces a template Burke set last season of returning and seeing your projected stock improve.

Robinson and McGary have areas in which they need to get better. Robinson needs to add muscle, a reliable outside shot and better defense. McGary still can get in better shape and show he can do what he did during the NCAA tournament for an entire season.

“They are smart kids, have grown a lot this year,” said Wayne Brumm, their former AAU coach with SYF Players. “I think they are really scratching the surface in terms of their game. I think they think that. I think the coaches here know that.

“It’s a real delicate balance between providing for your family and providing for yourself and being a teammate at the University of Michigan.”

The balance has been decided. Robinson and McGary are returning to Michigan. The Wolverines should be a top team again, and with the two of them, they will have a chance at another Final Four run.

Much like Burke a season ago, Thursday likely starts a clock where the decisions for these two players will be different a year from now.

WolverineNation Mailbag 

April, 10, 2013
4/10/13
10:20
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Michigan FreshmanAP Photo/Carlos OsorioMichigan's basketball fortunes next season depend heavily on the offseason decisions of Mitch McGary (left) and Glenn Robinson III (middle).
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan reached its first national championship game in two decades on Monday night and while losing to Louisville, one thing became fairly clear in the first hours of the Wolverines’ postseason.

There is a chance this was not a one-off thing at all.

Depending who leaves and who returns to Michigan’s roster, it could be in a similar position next season. But that is over a summer away. There’s still a football season -- and a spring game Saturday -- to go.

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AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Michigan's coaches emphasized something like this all season long, and occasionally they would see it.

A glimpse in practice here. A stretch during a game there. During portions of scrimmages in which they sat point guard Trey Burke to give him rest. But for the past two months, Michigan had not seen something like this in a game.

Michigan played with the offensive flow and precision it was fully capable of Thursday night in a 71-56 victory over South Dakota State in the round of 64 of the NCAA tournament, but something was very, very different.

For the first time this season, Burke was in the single digits, a non-scoring factor with six points. A team that had appeared so reliant on its Wooden Award-candidate guard suddenly needed to find someone else to score for it.

“A lot of people say that this is a one-man offense,” Burke said. “But I practice with these guys every single day and I know what they can do. They showed it tonight.”

[+] EnlargeGlenn Robinson III
Gregory Shamus/Getty ImagesMichigan's Glenn Robinson III hit three 3-pointers -- his first game with more than one in two months -- on his way to 21 points.
Freshman forward Glenn Robinson III, who had not hit more than one 3-pointer in a game since Jan. 24, made three and scored 21 points on nine shots against the No. 13-seeded Jackrabbits (25-10). Junior guard Tim Hardaway Jr. hit five 3-pointers and scored 21 points. Freshman Mitch McGary, in the starting lineup in place of Jordan Morgan, had 13 points and nine rebounds.

And all of a sudden, fourth-seeded Michigan looked more like the top-ranked team it had been at one point this season instead of one that struggled over the past month.

“It’s nice for everybody to get to see that we don’t have to rely on Trey night in, night out to score baskets for us to win,” redshirt sophomore forward Jon Horford said. “We do need his defense, which is excellent, and we need his passing and all that stuff he does so well.

“But it’s nice that we got to see we don’t need him to score 20 points a game to be successful.”

For a little while, it became a concern for Michigan. The Wolverines (27-7) knew they had talent, but too often Burke came in to bail them out when they needed it. He would make a big play on defense or score points in a quick spurt when the offense started to stagnate.

Even Michigan coach John Beilein, when he saw Burke had gone 0-for-7 in the first half, said he figured he’d go 7-for-7 in the second. But for the first time this season, he didn’t.

“We need Trey to take a lot of shots and we need Trey to carry the offensive load for us, but yeah, sometimes we do rely on him a little bit too much,” freshman guard Nik Stauskas said. “Everyone kind of stands around and watches him play.

“Today, everyone got in the flow of the offense and not forcing it. And it was great.”

Around Michigan, it was indeed great for everyone involved. Burke still had seven assists and helped defend South Dakota State guard Nate Wolters along with Hardaway and Robinson, holding him to 10 points on 3-of-14 shooting.

But offensively, Michigan might have found itself at its most crucial time.

WolverineNation Mailbag 

March, 20, 2013
3/20/13
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The NCAA tournament is here, but what does that mean for Michigan when the Wolverines start playing Thursday?

We discuss that and more in this week’s WolverineNation mailbag, filled with your questions. Send those queries for next week to Chantel at jenningsespn@gmail.com or @chanteljennings on Twitter.

Now, to this week’s questions.


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WolverineNation Roundtable 

March, 7, 2013
3/07/13
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Every Thursday, our writers sit down to throw around some ideas about a few issues surrounding Michigan sports. This week, Tom, Mike and Chantel take a crack at some spring football storylines, some underrated basketball players and younger prospects who have the opportunity to blow up on the recruiting scene this summer.

1) Spring football is right around the corner, what storyline are you most interested to follow as the Wolverines get their 15 spring practices?


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WolverineNation Mailbag 

March, 6, 2013
3/06/13
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Welcome to March and with it, one of the greatest tournaments and spectacles in sport, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

While there aren’t questions -- yet -- in this week’s mailbag about Michigan’s NCAA future, we discuss basketball and a little bit of college football recruiting in this week’s edition.

Have questions for next week’s Mailbag? Send them to jenningsespn@espn.com or @chanteljennings on Twitter.

On to your questions.


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WolverineNation Mailbag 

February, 27, 2013
2/27/13
10:22
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The NFL combine has come and gone and wide receiver Denard Robinson (still, so weird to write that) performed how most thought he would perform -- inconsistently. And because of Robinson’s appearance at the combine, that meant he was not at the Michigan basketball game this past weekend, but it didn’t matter because there were plenty of other football faces in the crowd that people wanted to know about. Overall, it has been a pretty good week for Michigan sports, so let’s chat about it.

Next week Mike will take care of the mailbag so send your questions to him (@MikeRothstein, michaelrothsteinespn@gmail.com). And now, on to this week’s questions:


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Mailbag: Did Michigan peak too soon? 

February, 20, 2013
2/20/13
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Jordan MorganAP Photo/Carlos OsorioMichigan's defense and rebounding should improve as Jordan Morgan (52) gets back to form.

March Madness is about a month away and the world is starting to turn its full attention to college basketball.

So, too, does this week’s WolverineNation mailbag. Have questions for next week? Send them to jenningsespn@gmail.com or @chanteljennings on Twitter.

On to your questions.


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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Quick thoughts from No. 3 Michigan’s 76-74 overtime victory over No. 10 Ohio State at Crisler Center on Tuesday night:

Overview: Last season, with the game on the line, Michigan looked to then-freshman point guard Trey Burke to carry it. The Columbus, Ohio, native did, making two crucial, tough layups to give the Wolverines a victory over Ohio State in Ann Arbor with "College GameDay" looking on.

A year later, and Burke is now one of the best players in the country. Yet in a different season, it turned into the same situation for Michigan. At the end of the game, turn to Burke. After Burke missed an attempt at a game-winning 3-pointer in regulation, Burke hit Michigan’s only field goal in overtime.

Then, with less than a minute left, he stripped the ball from Ohio State point guard Aaron Craft, then blocked a Craft shot to help seal the win for Michigan in what had become one of the best basketball games of the season.

Turning point: Craft pulled up at the free-throw line with 10 seconds left and a shot to give the Buckeyes (17-5, 7-3 Big Ten) the lead. Out of nowhere, Burke came across the lane and blocked Craft’s shot -- preserving the Michigan lead and, eventually, the game after Glenn Robinson III made one free throw and Tim Hardaway Jr. blocked Craft on a drive at the buzzer.

Key player: Hardaway, with a team-high 23 points, might have been the one doing the majority of the scoring for the Wolverines (21-2, 8-2) on Tuesday night, but it was freshman forward Mitch McGary who made the biggest difference for Michigan. Playing 29 minutes, McGary had 14 points -- both career highs -- but performed the majority of his work dealing with the game's smaller things. He was doing a little bit of everything, also finishing with four steals and a block.

Key stat: Though it took overtime, Michigan's 76 points was the most allowed by Ohio State this season. Michigan allowed 70-plus points for the fifth time and the second consecutive game. The Wolverines gave up 81 points to Indiana on Saturday, then followed it up with 74 points against Ohio State.

Miscellaneous: Michigan redshirt sophomore center Jon Horford made his third consecutive start in place of Jordan Morgan, who played sparingly as he nurses an injured right ankle. ... Burke continued to move up Michigan’s career assist list, passing his predecessor, Darius Morris, to move into 12th place. He now has 322. ... Ohio State was led by Deshaun Thomas, who had 17 points, and LaQuinton Ross, who had 16 off the bench. ... Tuesday was Michigan coach John Beilein’s 60th birthday.

Next game: Michigan travels to Wisconsin to face the Badgers at noon on Saturday. Ohio State continues a tough stretch as No. 1 Indiana visits Columbus on Sunday for a 1 p.m. ET tip.

WolverineNation roundtable 

January, 31, 2013
1/31/13
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan has its first No. 1 ranking in two decades, its biggest regular-season basketball game in years and football signing day a week away.

And Denard Robinson played his final game in a Michigan helmet last weekend, too. All of this is covered in this week’s WolverineNation roundtable.

1) With signing day less than a week away, does Michigan pull a last-second recruit out of this class to finish it up or does it stick with what it has?

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WolverineNation Roundtable 

December, 27, 2012
12/27/12
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- We’ve reached the end of Michigan’s season, as the Wolverines have one game to play and just a few more days of preparation for the Outback Bowl against South Carolina.

Then there’s recruiting, Signing Day and the No. 2 basketball team in the country to chat about. Our staff takes a look at the Outback Bowl -- and a little bit of basketball -- in the final Roundtable of 2012.

1. So, who wins the Outback Bowl and why?

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WolverineNation Roundtable 

December, 20, 2012
12/20/12
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Jalen Rose, Glenn Robinson IIIUSA TODAY Sports, Icon SMICould this year's Wolverines have held up against Jalen Rose and the Fab Five?
Every Thursday, the WolverineNation staff gets together to discuss three important issues facing Michigan sports. This week, the writers discuss football suspensions, an interesting basketball matchup and the Detroit Cass Tech pipeline.

1) With the three suspensions from the football team, is two weeks enough to pick up the slack left in the secondary and the kicking game?

Michael Rothstein: Replacing Will Hagerup shouldn't be much of an issue since sophomore Matt Wile did some punting this season and had the job for portions of last season. While Hagerup has a really strong leg, Wile is good enough to be a serviceable replacement. Michigan should be more concerned in the secondary. Courtney Avery is replacing J.T. Floyd, and Avery has been inconsistent. He has had times in his career where he has been quite good -- and other times where he has been burned and eventually passed by Raymon Taylor on the depth chart. Plus, Avery's move to outside corner from the nickel shifts the entire secondary. Michigan should have enough time to adjust without Floyd.

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WolverineNation Mailbag 

December, 19, 2012
12/19/12
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- I kind of felt like Santa Claus with all the questions/mail in my inbox. Only, instead of an iPod, everyone wants info. And I'm not expecting anyone to send me cookies if I answer your questions, but in case you do, feel free to just send them straight to Tom since he is our site's sweets connoisseur.

Next week Mike is taking care of the mailbag, so send your questions to michaelrothsteinespn@gmail.com or tweet them to @mikerothstein. Now, let's get to this week's questions.

1) Kevin Ujvary via Twitter: Do you think Michigan will be able to get Derrick Green with David Dawson in the fold?

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