ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan coach John Beilein said it best in his post game press conference Saturday night.
Following the Wolverines’ 84-80 win over Indiana and a special on court celebration for the 2014 Big Ten regular season title, Beilein said that when his team wins this season, regardless of who scores the most or plays the most minutes, there are no hanging heads, no moping, lamenting about the missed time or missed opportunities, solely focused on winning.
After missing all of Big Ten play since undergoing a back procedure at the end of December, Michigan sophomore center Mitch McGary is as supportive as ever from the bench in his collection of suits, but also knows it’s not easy being forced to just watch on the sideline.
“You know it’s pretty tough, I’m not going to lie,” McGary said following the win over Indiana. “But I’m a team guy, I don’t really care about personal accolades.
“If the teams winning I’m happy and the teams winning so I’m just blessed to be in this situation.”
Morgan especially, who will end his career playing the most games of any player in Michigan history, averaging 6.9 points and 5.6 rebounds per game in conference play. Morgan scored 15 point and pulled in 10 rebounds against the Hoosiers Saturday.
“With all that’s happened for our team and the adversity we faced throughout this whole season, I think we prevailed,” McGary said. “We never let down.
“And that’s the biggest key to this team, whenever somebody went down somebody stepped up and that was big for this team.”
Quietly behind the scenes McGary has been stepping up himself in his rehab and individual workout sessions, in an effort to make a comeback for Michigan in the postseason, something that hasn’t been ruled out just yet.
Regardless of when McGary is back at full strength or if he’ll be able to go the rest of this season, progress is being made.
“I’m back to running,” McGary said with a smile. “Write that down cause I’m back to running.”
As far as a timeline for his return to practice and any on the court teamwork with the Wolverines, McGary remains unsure.
“I really don’t even know,” McGary said. “I don’t know the range that I want to be.”
Either way, Beilein is happy to have a guy like McGary in the program, breeding enthusiasm and energy in everything he does.
“This is what we need,” Beilein said. “This is what we had from Corey, from Eso, from guys like that, they were great leaders off the court; Josh Bartelstein. So he has picked that up and that’s why we love having him on the bench.”