Multiple players on the Michigan Wolverines contributed to the team’s overtime victory over Big Ten rival Ohio State. However, freshman Mitch McGary stood out and continues to increase his production with increased playing time. Coach Beilein should reward him with some starts and more playing time to help the team stay competitive in conference games.
McGary came to Michigan as a highly touted freshman. At one point during recruiting he was the number two prospect by ESPN and Scout.com and the number three prospect by Rivals.com. McGary was a Parade All-American and was considered the top “Big Man” in the nation.
McGary has been relegated to the bench most of the 2012-2013 NCAA season. McGary came into the game against Ohio State averaging only 16.6 minutes. During his playing time, McGary averages 5.8 points and 6.0 rebounds a contest.
An injury to Jordan Morgan and the struggling play of Jon Horford should now place McGary as the starting four or five man on Michigan’s team. McGary started the second half of Tuesday’s game. In the 76-74 overtime win, McGary posted new career highs in minutes and points. McGary played 29 minutes, marking the second straight game of 28+ minutes. McGary’s 14 points was his fourth double digit points game of the season.
McGary’s most important contributions go unnoticed on the stat sheet. He was a constant solid defender forcing turnovers on defense. On offense he set the important screens that allowed Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. to hit open three point shots. Horford played 13 minutes in the game, while Morgan saw only four minutes of action. Look for McGary to get the start in Michigan’s next game. If the team is going to win the NCAA Championship, strong contributions from role players like McGary will help their chances.