McGary Out, Starters Uncertain vs. Concordia

Michigan coach John Beilein discusses the health and rehab process of sophomore big man Mitch McGary, lineups for tomorrow's exhibition opener with Concordia, on Mark Donnal's status, and what he's hoping to see from freshmen Derrick Walton and Zak Irvin (VIDEO included).

ANN ARBOR—Ready. Set. Go.

Michigan’s season tips-off Tuesday night at Crisler Center as the Wolverines play host to crosstown Concordia University for one of two exhibition contests before UMass-Lowell comes to Ann Arbor for the regular season opener on Nov. 8.

Keeping with the same approach from media day last Thursday, Michigan coach John Beilein wasn’t yet ready to reveal a starting lineup or commit to one point guard over another as he met with reporters Monday afternoon.

“I know football gives you a great depth chart of where everybody is and what they do,” Beilein said. “We’re not exact.

“Spike or Derrick will play at the point and Nik or Caris will play at the two and Glenn or Zak will be at the three and at the other three it could be Jordan or Glenn. Who knows? Jon’s played really well too.”

Something Beilein did confirm Monday is that sophomore center Mitch McGary, who has missed a significant amount of practice time with a back injury, will not play Tuesday and still is not competing in team activities.

“We’re just being really cautious,” Beilein said. “He’s a tremendous talent with a tremendous future. We do not want (him) to go too early.”

In McGary’s absence, Jordan Morgan, Jon Horford, and Max Bielfeldt have stepped in.

“We have been able to see so much more time from some of our bigs,” Beilein said. “It’s been good for them to just work without looking over their shoulder.

“Without having another option we’ve been forced to do what we can with our other big guys so, I think it’s been a great opportunity for everyone to show us what they have.”

Elaborating on McGary’s health, Beilein added, “We don’t have a return date. I think that’ll depend a lot on what the doctors do with more check-ups but the progress has been great just for him to go out and work on some little things.”

Other notes

Beilein says he has yet to determine whether or not freshman forward Mark Donnal will be redshirted this season or not.

As for the other two freshmen, Derrick Walton and Zak Irvin, Beilein is going in with pretty limited expectations.

“Just get out there,” he said. “When you wear that Michigan uniform for the first time, in that arena, with a crowd, with noise, there’s a lot of things -- the sounds, the sights, the smells. We just want to get them out there and let them go through it.

“I can’t remember how Tim or Trey’s first games were but I don’t think anybody saw them the first time and said he’s a two year pro or he’s a one year pro.

“The other thing is, game speed, game action, you can’t practice that. Because of the anxieties, you get tired really fast. We need them to get through those first timeouts for them to realize while they’re in such good shape but there’s nothing like game shape.”

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