The Relatively Unsung Importance of Horgan Morford

Submitted by Generic MGoBlogger on March 16th, 2014 at 6:15 PM

Well, since this last game got out of hand, I turned it off with about eight minutes left to focus on a different project.  The tourney really showed some weaknesses in this team that I think are displayed very distinctly in the play of Morgan and Horford both.  Both got in foul trouble this weekend in every game which left us vulnerable underneath the basket.  

I compiled and compared the statistics of the two-headed monster Horgan Morford and averaged their wins and losses.

 

Their impact may not be overtly present in rebounding and fouls per game, but it is most definitely evident in their scoring.  Especially in games like today and the Indiana game in February where the offense felt stagnant and ball movement was at a minimum, Morford does not have a strong influence.  A lot of this is due to Nik's inability to drive and dish as well.  

With all of the talk about Nik, Caris, and GR3's importances, I just thought it would be something to think about and remember that this is indeed a team that needs to operate in just about every aspect in order to excel.

Edit: Sorry if the pic is hard to read.

Comments

UMxWolverines

March 16th, 2014 at 6:18 PM ^

We won't have to deal with Adrian Payne and not being able to be within a foot of him otherwise it's a foul in the tournament. 

We would have lost anyway if Morgan and Horford weren't called for that BS, but it didn't help that Morgan got taken out a minute in. 

LSAClassOf2000

March 16th, 2014 at 6:27 PM ^

One thing that should be noted, however, is that the rebounding of Horford and Morgan across the season accounts for 28% of all rebounds on the team. Indeed, they are 2nd and 4th for defensive rebounds on the season actually. They do not account for many assists or, in the grand scheme, that many points (about 10% of Michigan's points between both of them), but they help in a lot of ways that do not necessarily show up in a box score. 

TheNema

March 16th, 2014 at 7:01 PM ^

Lumping Morgan in with Horford isn't fair to him. He's a superior player. I felt the same way about Novak, who did far more for Michigan than Douglass but was always part of a short-sighted "Zack & Stu" association.

Blue Durham

March 16th, 2014 at 7:10 PM ^

I agree with your assessment on the importance of Morgan and Horford, and the importance of keeping them out of foul trouble. And I think this can be done without decreasing their minutes (i.e., playing Biefeld)

I think the problem is that they are under too much pressure defensively. Look at the fouls of all of the other players, particularly the guards and Stauskus.

Incredibly, this game against Michigan State, Stauskas' first foul was an intentional one at the end of the game.

I think the problem is that their is too much penetration from the opponents guards and small forwards, and that Michigan is not playing near aggressive enough with the players guarding them in order to prevent these drives. Too many "ole's."

This keeps Stauskas, LeVert et al out of foul trouble, but it continually puts pressure (preventing all of the drives, the subsequent problem of rebounding missed shots, and ultimately the mounting foul trouble) on Morgan and Horford.

The other players have got to start taking a little more risk preventing drives. They may pick up a few more fouls, but will result in more opponent turnovers and fewer fouls for Morgan and Horford.