When Jordan Morgan went down with what looked a serious ankle injury in Sunday’s 74-60 win over Illinois. Although it looked a lot worse than it turned out to be. No break, only a sprain for the Michigan junior. After missing the win against Northwestern, the 6-foot-8 forward could be available for Saturday’s marquee matchup against Indiana.
According to reports, Michigan head coach John Beilein has not ruled out Morgan, at least not yet.
“I want to do what’s best for the team and best for him,” Beilein said before Friday’s practice. “You’re looking long-range — at the same time, you never know if he can give us a few minutes. We don’t want to experiment with him. Let’s see what he does. I don’t hold this high regard for who starts.”
Michigan was waiting to see how Morgan he looked six days after suffering the sprain. If Morgan can’t go with the injury, Jon Horford is slated to start in his role, like he did on Wednesday, with freshman Mitch McGary coming off the bench. Even if he doesn’t start, Beilein could still use Morgan off the bench.
In Wednesday’s win against Northwestern, Horford and McGary combined for 16 points and 18 rebounds. Whether Morgan can go or not, Michigan will obviously need strong play from its bigs on the road in one of the toughest places to play against one of the best big men in the country, Cody Zeller.
“We have more length when Jon or Mitch is in there,” said Beilein. “Cody’s a load no matter who you have in there.”
Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne
Ohio State has capitalized on its close relationship with NBA superstar LeBron James over the years and now has a new shoe display that should come in handy during recruiting.
The Buckeyes put out a tweet late this week with the display, calling themselves “THE LeBron school.” While this is something small, recruits like that the Buckeyes are tied into the best player in the world and it’s cool to them that Ohio State gets some exclusive gear.
Rutgers has struggled to achieve success on the floor the last few years and head coach Eddie Jordan is hoping that some talented newcomers can help start a turnaround. With the start of practice, local media saw some of the Scarlet Knights’ early practice and Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press noted that the duo of freshman point guard Corey Sanders and junior college forward Deshawn Freeman were getting a lot of burn together.
With both incoming players being four-star prospects, it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan would see what the two were capable of. According to Carino, it meant a lot of Sanders driving and forcing the defense to collapse before finding Freeman.
“It seems like coach always has us on the same team,” Freeman said to Carino. “Ever since we’ve gotten here, he’s trying to get us to play together.”
Carino also notes that since Rutgers is deeper, longer and more athletic in general this season, the team could do more with a pressing defense to help create turnovers.
While Rutgers still faces an uphill climb in the Big Ten, they at least have some exciting pieces that will be in place for a few seasons.