Jordan Morgan spoke with the media on Friday to talk about Michigan’s game on Saturday against Arkansas, what has surprised him most about his team thus far and more. You can watch using the embedded media player below or read selected notes an quotes after the jump.
- On last year’s contest against Arkansas, a 66-64 loss in Fayetteville: “They had a lot of energy coming into that game, so we’ve got to be ready for that same type of energy tomorrow.
- “They had a great crowd there, and it definitely helps to have Crisler behind us, so we’re looking forward to that.”
- It’s important to establish the pace of the game early against Arkansas. “They force, I think, 18 turnovers a game, so it’s important for us not to lose our poise. … they really thrive off of that, generating momentum. We have to be able to control our tempo throughout the game.”
- On the biggest surprise about Michigan so far: “We’re unselfish. I guess that’s not surprising (to us), but it’s surprising to a lot of people. That’s just the nature of this team. We all enjoy being around each other, we all like each other, and it’s fun to play together.”
- “We played close with some smaller schools last year. We didn’t necessarily do that this year. That’s been the most surprising thing to me — we’ve kind of had that killer mentality to put these teams away.”
- On the biggest difference between Tim Hardaway Jr. last season and this season: “I think he’s just doing a great job of letting the game come to him, not forcing anything, and just being a team guy. He’s doing whatever it takes to win.”
- “(Hardaway) has definitely responded better to adversity, and I think we all are as a team. … There was a lot of mental progress we needed to make. So I think he’s made a lot of strides in that area.”
- When Nik Stauskas shoots, the team expects it to go in. “His field goal percentage is a little crazy, especially his 3-point percentage. It’s pretty much expected.”
- Said the team has taken a more group-like approach to leadership since the departure of Zack Novak and Stu Douglass, and everyone is contributing. “We have a group mentality for leadership where we have five seniors, we’ve got other guys who aren’t seniors who’ve played a lot of minutes, and even the freshmen are leaders in their own right.”