Michigan junior center Jordan Morgan has never been one to be overly talkative. Normally reserving his leadership behind his work ethic and lead by example ways, Morgan brought his communication skills to the forefront at a recent team only meeting the Wolverines felt they needed to have.
And Morgan stole the show, hitting the proverbial nail right on the head.
"My message for the team in that meeting was a little different," said Morgan. "It was more about the passion we played with. When we started the season, before we were even playing games, we were in practice and we were passionate everyday about getting better and it was fun for us to get better.
"I just felt like after losing some tough games, close games, games that weren't close -- I didn't feel that same passion from this team -- the passion to win, the passion to have fun, to get better. It was starting to get like, ‘We're back in the gym again' instead of just ‘we're back doing what we love to do'."
Only able to contribute minutes here and there in recent weeks until Michigan's win over Illinois, Morgan's insertion back into the starting lineup has worked out very favorably for the Wolverines. Defensive communication, rotations, and play in general taking a hit with Morgan not out there, the same can be said for Michigan's offense in the paint.
Against Michigan State, and even in the loss at Penn State, Morgan has been a big plus finishing inside, nice chemistry with the guards in pick and roll action, and allowing the Wolverines the opportunity to play two post players at the same time.
"We're able to command more of a presence defensively when it comes to cleaning up the rebounds," said Morgan. "Offensively just getting people open and I think it kind of helps us to attack the paint a little more when you've got two big screeners out there and two guys going at the offensive glass."
Though Morgan's contributions are and will continue to be huge in March, a clean bill of health might not come for some time.
"He's almost there," said coach John Beilein. "I don't think he's where he was. I still see a problem sometimes when he limps around a little bit and he's still in rehab an hour a day. He probably will not be at 100 percent all season long given our schedule. When the season is over, within a couple weeks, he'll probably be back."
To watch video of Morgan, press play below.
Jordan Morgan speaks up about passion(w/video
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