In the absence of junior center Jordan Morgan, Michigan spread the rebounding statistics around in Saturday's heartbreaking overtime loss to Wisconsin as six guys got their hands on three boards or more, including Mitch McGary's team high eight. Now staring at a long, lean, talented front court from Michigan State Tuesday night, Michigan coach John Beilein said holding out Morgan against the Badgers left the Wolverines hopeful the veteran could return in time to face the No. 8 Spartans.
"I expected him to be able to give us some pretty good minutes," Beilein said referring to a strong practice Thursday. "After Friday's practice, I said, this is only going to get worse if we don't give him time to rehab. I didn't want it to continue to linger, thinking about the Michigan State game. If it were possible for him to play there was only one way and it was if he didn't play at Wisconsin."
Now just 24 hours from tip-off at the Breslin Center, Morgan's status remains unclear.
"We went very light yesterday and he did hours and hours of rehab yesterday -- maybe a triple session," said Beilein. "He's already been in once today. He's going to practice today and he had only been half court going into the last practice."
Whether Morgan can go against Michigan State or not, Beilein will make a decision on the starter based on performance, leaving open the possibility of freshman Mitch McGary, who picked up his second Big Ten freshman of the week honor, getting his first career start.
"The day after a game we usually have a very light shoot around because of the compressed schedule and then the day (before) the game we go after it for 90 minutes," said Beilein. "It's like the day of the game. And many times in situations with an injury, whoever we feel had the best flow, really felt good, looked good -- that would be the starter. And that's probably how I'll make this decision."
To watch video of Beilein from Monday's press conference, press play below.
Beilein: Morgan Status Unclear; MSU (w/video)
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