Michigan got 19 points from Nik Stauskas and 17 from Glenn Robinson III as the Wolverines knocked off Stanford 68-65 at the Barclays Center on Saturday night.
It was a win that Michigan needed, as they whiffed on four chances to lock down a marquee victory already this season. That’s not to say that Stanford is a marquee victory for Michigan, but right now it is their second best win and looks a lot better as a close victory than it would as a loss.
There’s more to the story, however, as Robinson played one of his better games of the year. Michigan needs Robinson to be more than just an athlete with a jump shot if they are going to contend for a Big Ten title. Since being a non-factor in a loss to Duke, Robinson is averaging 18.0 points in the last three games.
But that’s not the real story from Saturday.
Mitch McGary is.
He didn’t play against the Cardinal. He was on the bench in a shirt and tie. Before the game, Michigan termed McGary’s issues as a “variety of stuff”. After the game, John Beilein told reporters that McGary is sore head-to-toe and that he will be getting an MRI soon after getting injured running into a basket support.
Michigan needs McGary. When he’s healthy and in shape, he’s such a weapon for the Wolverines. There aren’t many kids his size that play as hard and aggressive as he does. But until he’s healthy and in shape, he’s a liability. Simply put: McGary is not a skill player. He’s as good as he is because of the effort that he can give, and at this point, he can only give that effort for a limited amount of time.
It will be interesting to see just how long he has to miss. Getting him healthy is the first step towards getting him into shape.