March 1, 2013
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team held a media roundtable on Friday (March 1) prior to hosting Michigan State for the second matchup between the two teams on Sunday (March 3) at Crisler Center.
The Wolverines have lost back-to-back games on just one occasion in the last two seasons. Coming off a disappointing loss at Penn State on Wednesday (Feb. 27), Michigan is hungry for a win against in-state rival Michigan State. The Spartans recorded a lopsided victory over the Wolverines earlier this month in East Lansing, and U-M will look to defend its home court in the same fashion.
One thing missing from the first matchup with Michigan State was the presence of forward Jordan Morgan, who suffered an ankle injury on Jan. 27 at Illinois. Morgan played just nine minutes in the first meeting with the Spartans and was not at 100 percent.
Averaging a little more than 20 minutes per game in the last two outings and returning to the starting lineup at Penn State on Wednesday, Michigan's force in the paint seems to be nearing 100 percent once again. During the stretch from Feb. 2-12 when Michigan lost three of four games, Morgan played just 15 total minutes and continued to try and help his team with his vocal leadership from the bench.
After weeks of rehab and hard work on the court and in the training room, Morgan is ready to make his physical presence felt once again and help the Wolverines rebound from the loss at PSU. With three regular-season games remaining on Michigan's schedule, the team is ready to regroup and get back to their winning ways when the Spartans come to Crisler Center on Sunday.
In addition to Coach Beilein and Tim Hardaway Jr. speaking with the media, Morgan sat down for a brief interview.
U-M Senior/Junior Forward Jordan Morgan
On the team's approach since the loss at Penn State ... "We had an off day yesterday so we haven't had a chance to practice yet, but we went out to dinner as a team, and we talked about moving forward and the short amount of time we have left to play together as this team. We want to make the best of it and regain the passion that we had at the beginning of the season. We have to commit to everyone doing their job."
On corrections to be made on the floor on Sunday ... "We have to be more physical and assert our own will on the game and take control of our game. We can't worry too much about calls or circumstances we're given, we just have to move on and continue to be positive and bring a lot of intensity to every game from here on out."
On being on the court to help the team bounce back after being out with an injury ... "It's a different position to be in. You just have to look at your own performance and see what you could have done differently and find ways to incorporate what I did when I wasn't playing into what I'm doing when I am playing -- being a coach for the team and being a leader while I'm out on the floor."
On what was going well during the team's 20-1 start ... "We just had a lot of confidence and we brought a lot of intensity to all of our games and fought hard for each other. I think we kind of lost a step a little bit and lost the fight that we had at one point. When we get back to being passionate about getting better every single day, the results will show in the games."
On being back in front of a home crowd for the Michigan State game ... "We're definitely looking forward to getting back in front of our home crowd and playing again to be able to rebound from a tough loss. It's a chance to compete again and regain our stride."
Contact: Tom Wywrot, Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423