The Michigan Wolverines beat Illinois on Sunday to continue their impressive 2012-2013 season. The win gave the Wolverines a school best 19-1 start, and also has the team poised to become the number one team in the nation for the first time since the “Fab Five” was playing in Ann Arbor.
Despite the impressive win, Wolverine fans got some bad news. Starter Jordan Morgan was injured in the game and is now questionable going forward with a high ankle sprain. Head coach John Beilein had this to say after the win, “I know that he has a sprained ankle, that’s all I know so far.” Beilein also told reporters the injury was bad enough to not put any weight on it. Morgan was hurt in the first two minutes of the game and did not re-enter, but was on the sidelines in warm-ups after seeking medical attention in the locker room.
One of the reasons I picked the Michigan Wolverines to win the NCAA Championship is their depth. This is why Michigan fans shouldn’t panic from this injury. In Morgan’s absence, Beilein utilized Jon Horford, Max Bielfeldt and Mitch McGary. The trio combined for 17 points and 15 rebounds. Horford started the second half and could be the one going in Morgan’s place this week.
Morgan averages 20.8 minutes per game, which is fifth highest on the team. Morgan also contributes 6.7 points and 5.4 rebounds. In his absence, the other big men will get more playing time and have to step up. However, as proven today the trio is more than capable of putting up numbers in his absence.
The Wolverines face Northwestern at home before facing Big Ten co-leader Indiana on the road. Indiana ranks 12th in the nation in rebounds, compared to Michigan’s 91st rating. This is one game that the team would miss Morgan if he is unable to go. At the beginning of conference play, I picked the Wolverines to lose to Indiana on the road and finish with two losses in conference play.