Mitch McGary “not even close” to 100 percent, questionable for Stanford game

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Michigan 70, Arizona 72-27Michigan may have to play without Mitch McGary on Saturday, when the Wolverines take on Stanford at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Why? The All-American big man is veritably wracked with injuries.

After going on the radio yesterday and speaking of McGary’s “variety” of injuries, Beilein was asked for specifics on Friday. While he wouldn’t provide any specifics on exactly what the injuries are, he did elaborate on his original statement.

“I’m not going to tell you the variety. He’s injured,” Beilein said. “He’s injured in more places than I care to mention. So we tried to put a week in of no contact, no bounce, just cardio and then put him in action. We’ll practice him today. Near 100 percent? He’s not even close.”

Beilein said McGary did not participate meaningfully in the first two practices of this past week, and now his practices are being evaluated in order to determine his status for Michigan’s game against the Cardinal.

Asked whether he’s considered shelving McGary for the game, Beilein responded in the affirmative.

“Could be, yeah,” Beilein said. “We’ll see. If he doesn’t practice well today or if he can’t practice well today, you won’t see him against Stanford.”

McGary’s “variety” of injuries can be reasonably inferred by piecing together various injury reports throughout the season. It obviously begins with his back, which may or may not still be bothering him. Then he sprained his ankle against Houston Baptist and was in noticeable pain on the court before springing up and getting to the bench. Throw in what Beilein called a “great big quad contusion”, and you’ve got a decent idea for what is likely ailing the center.

McGary’s absence would be a tough blow against a team with Stanford’s height — as Dylan noted in the preview, with a starting lineup of 6-foot-2, 6-foot-6, 6-foot-7, 6-foot-10 and 6-foot-11, the Cardinal are ranked 14th in effective height.

Michigan is coming off a game against Arizona that saw them crumble on the defensive glass, an area of strength for McGary. While the sophomore notched only one defensive rebound against the Wildcats, we now have a clue why.

“There were several rebounds in that game (against Arizona) — that wasn’t Mitch McGary going for that rebound, that’s somebody that is hurting,” Beilein said. “We’re going to try to get him healthy, and we’re trying to get him in better shape. When you’re hurt, you can’t burn calories. We got his cardio I think in better condition but getting him healthy is hard.”

The Wolverines know just how important a healthy Mitch McGary is to their team. Nik Stauskas spoke with the media on Friday as well, and mentioned McGary’s ability to rebound and push the ball as attributes they will miss if he’s out.

“Having Mitch out there makes a big difference for us,” Stauskas said. “We need him to be 100 percent healthy to be the Mitch we know he can be. When he’s out there hedging ball screens, rebounding, running the floor, pushing the ball, those are the things we need Mitch to do. When he’s healthy, he’s really good at that.”

For his part, Spike Albrecht also wants to see McGary on the court, though he expressed confidence in other bigs’ abilities to step in for the injured star.

“For us, any Mitch is a good Mitch. He brings a lot of energy to this team, a lot of passion. He always goes out there and plays really hard,” Albrecht said. “Whether or not he plays, that’ll be up to the coaches. but we have other guys who are capable of stepping up and making plays. Guys like Jon Horford, J-Mo (Jordan Morgan), Max (Bielfeldt), we need them to step in and be the next guy up. They’re going to be big in this game.”

  • GregGoBlue

    Max Bielfeldt? Is he still on the tea… oh wait, yes he is.

  • Wayman Britt

    This explains Mitch’s play against AZ, he probably was injuried. We could really be in for some nail biters and even more nervous watching during league play if Mitch is not healthy.

    • AlwaysBlue

      I thought his was the most disappointing performance last week. Knowing that he’s hobbled by several injuries does explain a lot. When you think of what Horford managed (to me his best minutes as a Wolverine) imagine what a healthy Mitch could have done.

  • Zach JOnes

    what channel is the game on saturday?

    • catwomanrx

      fox sports

  • Fab 5 Legends

    oh boy, this is not looking good…this would be a disappointed Lose if we cant leave Brooklyn with a W…don’t think Horford can provide anything but backup role…

  • AADave

    This news is very frustrating. With a completely healthy McGary, this team is either 9-1 or even 10-0. If he’s not 100% though, it’s best not to take any chances and risk further injury. I sincerely hope these are temporary problems for Mitch since I really believe he is a uniquely talented player who can not only start in the NBA but excel at the highest level.

    As for Michigan, the other frontcourt players are talented enough to fill in and win 20 or more games this year. Morgan is still a solid experienced player who will gain confidence again with enough minutes and Horford is also solid defensively and continues to improve in other areas. Add in all the other studs (GR III, Stauskas, Irvin, Levert, Spike, Walton) and this team will be tough to keep out of the tourney.

    • guestavo

      LOL With a healthy McGary, we could easily still have 3 losses.

      • David Remmler

        Yes, a 100% possible lottery pick wouldn’t have made the difference in 3 single digit losses, LOL

        • guestavo

          McGary isn’t the difference in the Iowa St or Duke games.