Mar 9, 2014, 1:05 PM EST
This time last season, Mitch McGary emerged as a presence inside for Michigan. He became the breakout star in the NCAA tournament, helping the Wolverines reach the national title game.
McGary has appeared in only eight games this season due to a back injury, and hasn’t played since Dec. 14 in a home loss to then-No. 1 Arizona. According to a report from Nick Baumgardner of MLive.com, McGary is still uncertain about a return to the floor this season as he continues his rehab.
The sophomore center is now back to running, though that is not an indication that he will return to the floor soon.
“I really don’t even know, I don’t know the range where I want to be,” McGary said on Saturday.
Michigan has clearly played well despite the absence of McGary, a preseason All-American, winning the Big Ten regular season title outright. Jordan Morgan and Jon Horford have provided production on the frontline, averaging a combined 9.8 points and 9.2 rebounds per game.
Morgan had his best showing of the season on Saturday in a win against Indiana with 15 points and 10 rebounds, his first double-double of the year.
Obviously John Beilein would love a healthy McGary in the middle for No. 12 Michigan, but as Baumgardner points out, McGary has been a positive influence on the sideline while rehabbing his injured back. My personal favorite is his genius coaching strategies.
Michigan is off until next Friday, awaiting the winner of the Nos. 8-9 game in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals. At the moment that would be Illinois and Indiana, the last two teams Michigan faced to close out conference play.
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