"It was fun to start the game off like that," Jordan Morgan said, eyes still welled from an emotional night. "I'd done enough reminiscing and getting all soft."
Morgan had tears in his eyes when he held his jersey aloft in the pregame Senior Day ceremony. The "soft" stuff then took a hiatus until postgame. Michigan's lone senior scored the team's first three baskets en route to his fifth career double-double and first of the season.
Morgan's hard work kept the Wolverines in the game while their man-to-man defense faltered, allowing Indiana to hit their first nine shots from the field. He took advantage of Indiana switching picks early, attacking guards on the block and keeping possessions alive with his rebounding. He set the tone for the team's eventual comeback.
"Nobody puts in more time in the gym than Jordan Morgan," John Beilein said during the postgame ceremony, with confetti streaming down on his head and two-thirds of a Crisler net in his hand. "He deserved everything he got tonight."
The elephant in the room, however, is that two of Michigan's other stars may have also just played their last game in the Crisler Center. Nik Stauskas scored 14 of his 21 points in the second half, getting to the rim at will against Yogi Ferrell and his Hoosier cohorts. When he cut down his piece of the net, Stauskas paused for a moment, then saluted the crowd; if it wasn't a goodbye, it sure felt like one.
Glenn Robinson III may also make the leap to the NBA next season. If so, he went out in style, capping off a 20-point night with a corner three—off a drive-and-dish from Stauskas—that gave Michigan a three-point lead with 1:08 remaining. He'd missed 15 of his previous 17 three-point attempts; when it came down to crunch time, however, he didn't hesitate to rise and fire.
While Michigan couldn't prevent Indiana from getting quality looks, a switch to the 1-3-1 in the second half provided them just enough defense to come away with the win. The turnover-prone Hoosiers coughed up the rock just three times in the first half. After Beilein's adjustment, they committed 12 turnovers in the second half alone. That proved critical in conjunction with Michigan's six total turnovers and 11-6 edge in offensive rebounds; they needed every last extra possession to squeeze out this victory.
Caris LeVert played a huge role in that as the disruptive force at the top of the zone, coming away with two steals in addition to his 13 points and four rebounds. The rest of the team had a relatively quiet night—Derrick Walton, Zak Irvin, Jon Horford, and Spike Albrecht combined for 15 points, with none scoring more than four apiece.
In the end, it was just enough for Michigan to secure a 15-3 Big Ten record, as well as defeating every Big Ten squad for the first time since 1992. After the game, Morgan's emotions were apparent as he discussed what tonight meant to him.
"You talk about five years worth of emotions wrapped up into one day. So much work, sweat, and adversity that went into putting this program where it is, just years and years of battling, just a constant battle for five years—no matter what it is, whether it's on the court or off the court. It's the culmination of all that."
"I love playing with these guys, they're some of the best teammates..."
Morgan trailed off.
"It's been an amazing year."
He caught himself.
That Stauskas/GR3 pic....
I'm thinking JMo was just one of three to finish their Crisler Career tonight.
And if that's the case, good for them! Lot's of work to do before that happens, but either or both go, I thank them for their contributions and hard work and wish them well.
If they come back - wonderful. I'll thoroughly enjoy watching them don the Maize and Blue some more!
Every fan wants a 4 yr all American guy, and every fan wants the good enough to be a one and done player. Every fan gets disappointed some how or some way. The only thing a fan can do is cheer on their team today.
Thank you for a 100% surprise B1G season. At 6-4, I would have bet my house any team other than UM would win the regular season title. And the road wins!! And the breaking the streak at OSU!! And can anyone believe the SWEEP of Sparty?!!?!!?
Go Blue and thank you JB and coaches and players. Thank you Wolverines for a great and amazing and successful season!!!!
Can't wait to see how this ride ends!!
It wasn't all easy, but it was all enjoyable and I don't remember seeing a team that evolved so much in the course of a season.
They are night and day from where they were in December, both individually and as a cohesive team.
Tonight was a great sendoff for Morgan. I loved it when McGary pumped his arms to get the crowd going when Morgan came out before the game and when the students started the "double double" chant when he got his 10th rebound. And I was happy to get this photo (not very good -- Iphone zoom) of him as as the confetti/streamers came down from the rafters. Wonderful evening -- hope you have some more wins to celebrate in B10/NCAA tournaments before you're done JMo.
and did so with impressive road wins. We should be primed for a good tourney run.
up the onions in here?
B1G refs start calling technicals on Crean and Izzo?
What a great night Morgan had to close out at Crisler, and just when we needed it as IU once again hit capricious and improbable numbers on FG and FT. Nice to beat them in spite of this wierdness, and at least in part on the back of an outstanding showing on the part of Morgan, a foundation of the Belein transition era.
Ace should do a compilation gif of Crean on the court. It's ridiculous how much time he's on the floor. I really wih Staukas had plowed into him at some point in the first half.
What are you, Dakich?
That was such a turd in the punch bowl when he got into that.
A turd than The Bon voyage to Nik and GRIII
I don't know why a team would take Mitch in the first two rounds without even seeing if he can play a game after his back surgery, let alone a full season. He would do well to come back and prove it, unless he really can't recover, in which case he should cash in while he can. Stauskas and even GR3 we can make up for, but all three would be very tough.
so why not take a guy with the upside of McGary? (Having said that, I obviously want him to stay for another year.)
Well even so they're not gonna give him a big contract until they see if he can play, so might as well play that audition at Michigan and dominate his way to the big money.
If Mitch could sneak into the end of the 1st round he'd have a guaranteed contract, but that's probably a stretch with the back. For his sake, I hope he gets some good advice. For our sake, I hope that he stays, dominates, then moves up well into the 1st round!
Jordan Morgan epitomizes what it means to say "the Leaders and Best". He is a B1G champion on the court, an outstanding scholar off the court, a leader who devotes his time in the community, someone who undoubtedly will achieve great things after his time on campus no matter whether that involves playing basketball. Hail, Jordan!
What it means to say, those who stay, will be champions!
his season and final game at Crisler with a win AND a great individual game. He was on from the very beginning and didn't let up.
Nik and Glenn had big games as well. Nik took over in the second half and there wasn't a bigger shot than the Robinson 3 at 1:08.
Great win. Great season. Great team.
I remember thinking it would be great if these guys could get 10 wins and sneak into the tourney, back when McGary went down.
15-3 and outright champs is just unfathomable.
As to the guys who may go, I just hope they get the most accurate evals they can get and make the best decisions possible.
For my part, I still can't fathom how McGary doesn't have to show a little more than he's been able to because of injury.
It's really good to have fifth year seniors, even in basketball.
I wonder how different college basketball would be if you had to stay all four years. I think we would see a lot better play in college and the NBA.
I really wish we could see the full post-game on the BTN or something, but I hope that at least they put it up online.
thank you mr morgan. it has been a pleasure. wish you could stay 10 more years.
Morgan is a true Michigan Man. His Blue career shows what a great coach Beilein is! Hopefully Morgan can end his career here on a 6 game winning streak!!!!!
Does the 6-gm win streak wish pre-suppose a loss in the B1G tourney?
Cuz otherwise we're looking at more like a 12-game streak, aren't we?!
In the end, it was just enough for Michigan to secure a 15-3 Big Ten record, as well as defeating every Big Ten squad for the first time since 1992.
With the added note that there were only 10 teams in the Big Ten back then, so Michigan had two shots at each. This year's team had single-plays with four teams, making the defeating of every conference squad that much more impressive.
Also, we needed a third crack at Ohio (in the NCAA tournament) to complete the sweep of everyone in 1992.
Sad to not see Morgan playing or even on the bench next season. Dude has done a lot for the program and I couldn't be happier for him to end his playing career at Crisler with a great game, essentially being the reason we stayed in the game early.
Love watching this team.
I really don't think people should even speculate on whether underclassmen will leave early. No one really knows and judging post-game celebrations as final send offs seems like a reach. We should just enjoy the ride and wait for the decisions to be made when the time comes.
What a great game to watch. Terrific effort from both teams. Crisler looked and sounded great. Congrats and thanks Morgan.
Btw, do others think that Beilein got t'd up intentionally?
I thought that he still felt the team needed a little more urgency, even though they had tightened the game up.
Also, Crean. That jackass jumping around on the actual court all the time would piss anyone off.
I still don't understand how him physically moving his player in the right direction was not a technical foul.
He got a stern warning which was bullshit.
My voice is hoarse from yelling "Get off the court!" so many times, from the other end of the court. At 48, I really should grow up.
That's what I was doing from row 30 in sec 213, and I am 44. It is good to know that I can do it for another 4 years.
What a guy. What a team what a year (so far).
Congrats to Jordan Morgan. As he said the season isn't over yet but what he's done for our program is remarkable and laudable.
Thank you JMo for all of your hard work and dedication. I wish you and yours much success.
Nice summary Ace. Magical season thus far.
Enjoying every minute of it.
in the big dance! It will be interesting to see if this team can beat MSU and/or WI in the B1G tournament. However, the season they had were much higher than my expectations after losing McGary. I thought we finish 3rd or 4th in the B1G and be a 5th or 6th seed.
GRIII could use another year in college. I think his NBA stock will go way up after the '14-15 season. Nik is NBA ready! McGary stock would also go up in the NBA draft if he returns and has a complete and stellar next season.
If we lose all three then it will simply be time for the coach to reload!
A fitting celebration tune from Eddie Levert for the end of this incredible season:
Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain!
'Cause we're going to sing 'Glory Hallelujah'
So the whole, wide world can hear!
Put your hands together!
Put your hands together!
Put your hands together!
Get the rights and do it!
Audience participation trigger if I've ever heard one.
I hope we don't get IU in the BTT, they seem to throw all kinds of shit in the bucket whever they play UM.
It is very likely we will. And I feel the same way.
I think we'd kill them if we play again. The 1-3-1 was extremely effective against them. We spent the entire first half trying to figure out how to stay in front of Yogi, and we can't stay in front of him. However, the 1-3-1 takes away his ability to simply burn our guards 1v1. It forces the ball to the wings, and makes IU's small guards try to throw over Caris. We also have to get back on defense after made baskets. IU was getting "fast break" points on us after made baskets ... which is a combination of mental lapses and lack of hustle. These are all things that can be fixed pretty easily after some embarrassing film study. In the first matchup, Yogi simply went nuts. Caris did a better job of getting a hand up this game. A couple threes Yogi hit were basically uncontested. Nobody picked him up even though he was bringing the ball up (which is inexcusable) and he simply ran to the 3pt line and pulled up. It was a combination of mental lapses, and that weird situation where the guy you are guarding isn't the guy guarding you on the other end (which makes transition defense hectic at times).
If this was truly the last game in Crisler for Stauskas and GR3, it was a tremendous swan song. What a fantatistc regular season, and to be able to get some payback on IU/Crean for our Soph's is perfect.
This may sound greedy, but I really want them to win the BTT. I know it means nothing, but I would love to beat either MSU or Wisc in the Championship game. Of course I would sacrifice winning the BTT for a deeper run in the NCAAT though.
I saw Tom Crean cry a little bit.