McGary vs Morgan (revisited) + Horford, who do you start?

Submitted by robbyt003 on February 7th, 2013 at 6:54 PM

A couple of weeks ago I posted the : McGary vs Morgan who do you start?

Well, the consensus was to start Morgan and continue to play McGary off the bench.  Now, with Morgan being limited by an injury, do you give McGary the start?  Now I do understand that McGary did start the second half last game, but should/will he be the full time starter now?  I haven't seen enough out of Horford to put him over McGary.  

McGarys stats for last 5 games:

01/24 vs Purdue

21 MIN. 3/6 FG. 0/2 FT. 6 PTS. 3 REB. 1 BLK. 1 STL. 0 PF. 0 TO.

01/27 @ Illinois

16 MIN. 3/7 FG. 0/0 FT. 6 PTS. 8 REB. 0 BLK. 0 STL. 4 PF. 2 TO.

01/30 vs Northwestern

15 MIN. 2/4 FG. 2/2 FT. 6 PTS. 11 REB. 0 BLK. 0 STL. 2 PF. 1 TO.

02/02 @ Indiana

28 MIN. 5/7 FG. 0/0 FT. 10 PTS. 7 REB. 1 BLK. 2 STL. 4 PF. 0 TO.

02/05 vs Ohio. 

29 MIN. 7/13 FG. 0/1 FT. 14 PTS. 6 REB. 1 BLK. 4 STL. 1 PF. 0 TO.


I like what I've seen out of him on the floor lately and I think it would definitely help boost his confidence to put him in the starting lineup.  SIX STEALS in the past two games and 0 TO, those are pretty impressive stats.  My vote, until Morgan is 100% and maybe even when he is, is to give McGary the start.

*OH and can we please leave Reon Dawson alone?  He is committed to Michigan, so lets just leave it at that*



February 7th, 2013 at 6:59 PM ^

25-30 min per game... and starting.  I think he brings a lot of energy off the bench, but I think that energy is just as useful at the start of a game as it is later. 


February 7th, 2013 at 7:14 PM ^

I think 25 is about the limit of what he can play right now with his fitness. He was grabbing his shorts and asking out several times last game. His energy is great, but he only has so much to expend. He played 29 against OSU including the OT.

I don't understand why people are so hung up on the starting question. It doesn't seem to bother him and who finishes far more important. It's not like we're talking about who starts at QB.


February 7th, 2013 at 8:58 PM ^

I think people are underestimating the defensive liability of McGary.  He has the ability to take people 1 on 1 b/c he's so athletic, but he is getting caught either out of position or getting confused on help D (which is normal of a Freshman learning to fit in of course).  For instance, Indiana ran the same play twice with Oladipo streaking in on the wing, misses the lay-up, and Zeller slamming it home.  Yes, he didn't try to miss the lay-up, but they knew he would draw McGary out of position and open up the lane for the rebound if there was a miss.  I think Morgan is way ahead of McGary in terms of savyness on D.   


February 7th, 2013 at 11:04 PM ^

I think this was discussed in the game recap, but those putbacks are just as much the fault of the on-ball defender as McGary - if they didn't get beat to the basket, McGary wouldn't have to come over and help. Generally speaking, your choices are: Oladipo throwing a dunk down or getting a routine lay-in, or forcing a tough shot and hoping someone can block out on the backside.

It's a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't situation.


February 7th, 2013 at 7:04 PM ^

Back when OKC had James Harden, he accepted, even embraced his role as running with the 2nd team offense, and regularly was a double digit scorer.

My opinion is this. The move evenly scorers are spread out over both units, the better the sustained play. Let Stauskas and McGary run the second team. 

Morgans skillset is badly needed to defend. Did you see what OSU did to us in the paint? It was getting ugly.

Morgan can be counted on as a decent scoring option when the PG (Morris and Burke) feeds him. McGary can create his own baskets...he's more independent


February 7th, 2013 at 7:04 PM ^

McGary has been able to provide a spark off the bench for this team, and not very many players can do that. Many players need to start and play lots of minutes to get into a groove.

Until we know that Morgan or Horford can consistently give us that boost off the bench, I say steady as she goes.


February 7th, 2013 at 7:04 PM ^

I still like McGary off the bench. Horford has played pretty well with Morgan being out. McGary still has some freshman tendencies, but is so valuable coming off the bench.


February 7th, 2013 at 7:06 PM ^

I think there's no doubt that McGary's got much more upside and might even be better right now, but I think there's also some real value in starting Morgan if he's healthy. He provides savy and defense and after all, McGary will get the same minutes whether he starts or not. Let the young pup keep growing and learning. I'm sure we'll be seeing him starting next year if not sooner.

Naked Bootlegger

February 7th, 2013 at 7:16 PM ^

I want this team to go far in the tourney.  One thing that always worries me about freshmen is hitting the proverbial wall by mid-season.   I like that McGary is relatively fresh at this point, so I don't mind seeing his minutes kept at 20-25 max.   He played more against OSU and absolutely deserved it - and we frankly needed it -  although he was huffing and puffing a little bit.  

McGary starting?  It doesn't matter to me.  He seems happy with his role and is an absolute joy to watch.   I've never seen a big cause so many turnovers away from the basket.


February 7th, 2013 at 7:34 PM ^

It seems like Coach B is pulling the starting 5 right away after their first foul anyways. 

Ohio State game:

Horford got his first foul at 18:07 to go in the 1st half.  So I guess in this game the starting center got less than 2 min before getting subbed. 

Pulling the 5 after their first foul has been the MO ever since Morgan got injured. 

Indiana game:

Horford got this first foul at 19:27 to go in the 1st half.  McGary came in right away for Horford.


February 8th, 2013 at 1:04 AM ^

It seems to me that it doesn't really matter who starts, this being part of the reasoning.  Also, I'm confident in any of the three, really.  

Obviously, McGary is a spark off the bench, but the three rotate very well.  I just hope Morgan is able to use his experience to guide our play in the paint along with Horford's wingspan and McGary's guts.


February 7th, 2013 at 7:36 PM ^

with either of them starting, they both good enough D and rebound well enough to be out on the floor at any time... i just want morgan to be able to play more then 3 mins in a game again, so horford can go back to playing his 5 mins a game....

horford is such a liablity out on the floor right now, he thinks to much and is not sure of himself when he does make a move to the basket... he needs to grow a set and just take the ball to the basket and not worry about the shot getting blocked or not making it... i do love his rebounding though...


February 7th, 2013 at 8:18 PM ^

I like Mitch's energy coming off the bench this year.  Generally other teams don't have someone to match what he brings.  He still (to my knowledge) hasnt started yet this year and I dont see a need to do that now.  Total amount of minutes and who finishes the game is more important to me than who starts.  Having quality big men who each deserve minutes is a great problem to have. Go Blue!

Mr. Yost

February 7th, 2013 at 11:11 PM ^

Always start Morgan or Horford...McGary gets the most minutes and starts the 2nd half.


Really it doesn't matter, (when healthy) play all 3 and ride the hot hand, they each bring something unique. All 3 are underrated and solid players.


One thing I will say...they need to play together more than they do. We need to play 2 bigs at least 5-7 more minutes than we do now. I've said this 4 times now...we started Horford and McGary in OT vs. Ohio and I don't think they scored in the first 3:00 of OT.


February 7th, 2013 at 11:35 PM ^

Of course, the only time we scored during that time was a late shot clock stepback by Burke. Small sample size for both o and d apply.

I do agree we need to play 2 bigs about that amount of time, if for nothing else than to rest GRIII.


February 8th, 2013 at 8:07 AM ^

I personally think Morgan should never touch the ball again. Beilein should start Horford because like you all have said, McGary really does have that spark off the bench


February 8th, 2013 at 8:31 AM ^

Morgan starts. Simple as that. Upperclassman and one of the best pick setters in the Big Ten. That's vital when we run a pick and roll-based offense. McGary's energy off the bench is a great game changer. I wouldn't mind seeing a lineup with McGary at the 4 and Morgan at the 5 for a few minutes per game. 

Steve in PA

February 8th, 2013 at 9:19 AM ^

They all have a different style to their game.  McGary is a definite low post player with the enthusiasm of the Energizer Bunny.  But, going 100% all the tme wears him down and then he starts to make mistakes.

Horford is a highpost player who can score and has a light touch on his shot.  He's too "brittle"for the low post and will get muscled out of the way by more physical players.  His game is finesse and athleticism.

Morgan is a hybrid of the two.  While he doesn't excel at either, he can be more than adequate at both.  Right now his greatest asset is experience.


February 8th, 2013 at 11:38 AM ^

Horford - start

McGary - off the bench.  20-25 minutes a game

Morgan - to the hyperbaric chamber, or voodoo doctor, or massage parlor - whatever it takes to get the ankle healed.

Ron Utah

February 8th, 2013 at 11:45 AM ^

The Reon Dawson comment at the end of the OP, is, IMO, spot on.  The kid is a Wolverine now, and we should support him.

I like that we have two good options, though neither are currently great.  McGary has lots to learn still, but his energy and passion make things happen.  Horford seems more than adequate.  I guess I'd like to see Horford starting, but McGary playing the lion's share of the game (25-30 min).  This gives McGary time to watch the game and get a feel for what he needs to do, and, hopefully, the coaches are explaining what he needs to focus on when he gets in the game.

That said, what is this post doing in the football thread?

Blue boy johnson

February 8th, 2013 at 3:10 PM ^

I am pleased with how Coach B is divvying up the minutes, but  like many of you, I wouldn't mind seeing more of two Bigs playing together. I think this will happen against MSU and Wisco.

Basically Michigan has a 4 headed monster at Center. Here are the stats of Morgan, Horford, Bielfeldt, and McGary. at the bottom I shaved a little off the totals to compensate for the rare time Coach B plays them together. All in all, great stats from the 5 position, especially in such a perimeter, spread the floor, based scheme. 14 point 12 boards out of the Center position is pretty damn good and probably only going to get better.

name points rebounds assists steals blocks
Mitch McGary 6.1 6.1 0.4 0.9 0.7
Jordan Morgan 5.8 4.8 0.4 0.5 0.1
Jon Horford 2.7 2.6 0.4 0.3 0.7
Max Bielfeldt 1.6 1.9 0.2 0.2 0.1
totals 16.2 15.4 1.4 1.9 1.6
my adjusted totals per game 14 12 1 2 1