4B - November 18, 201-
in loss, a silver lining: McGary
By SIMON KAUFMAN*
Daily Sports Writer
AMES, Iowa - With 16:17
remaining in the first half, Mich-
igan basketball fans rejoiced
as sophomore forward Mitch
McGary entered the game for the
Wolverines to make his season
At the 14:50 mark, Michigan
coach John Beilein nodded his
head as McGary went up for a
defensive rebound and came
back down with the ball in his
hands - a familiar sight for the
big inan who averaged more than
six rebounds per game last year.
A little more than two min-
utes later, the Wolverines' bench
stood up when McGary put up
an offensive rebound for his first
points of the season, then fol-
lowed it up 18 seconds later with
a steal and finish on the other
With 11:5 on the clock in the
first-half, McGary fell backward
while trying to make a defensive
play. He lay on his back - the
back that until Sunday night had
been injured and kept him side-
lined this year - and for just a
moment, Michigan waited. The
6-foot-10 forward shot up his
hands, but not in pain, and he
reached for the hands of team-
mates who pulled him up.
McGary stood up, and the
maize and blue breathed a collec-
tive sigh of relief- a little longer
this time, a little more stress-
Before the season started,
the country was told to keep its
eyes on McGary. He was one
of five players named to the
AP preseason All-American
team, and on Sunday night in
Michigan's game against Iowa
State, McGary found out that
the country listened to the pre-
season predictions - he was a
target. He endured tough physi-
cal defense, and perhaps an even
,more grueling assault of verbal
abuse thrashed out by the stu-
dent section at Hilton Coliseum
where lowa State (3-0) upset No.
7 Mchigan, 77-70.
"They have great fans. It's a
little shaky when they single out
one person," McGary said.
The insults didn't seem to faze
him, but his presence alone on
the court couldn't propel Michi-
gan toward a win in its first road
gan away down the str
Iowa State forwar
Ejim, just like McG
questionable for the go
like Michigan's star pla
made a big impact. Hec
jump shot to dwindle
State deficit to three
that marked the last
Wolverines would hol
The Canadian scored
on 14 shots.
McGary, too, woul
blend in with the envirt
his return, making his
felt on both ends of.th
his first game back fro
injury. He cleaned up a:
rim, finishing with ni:
and six rebounds. H
hands on defense helper
momentum early in th
half when Michigan gr
lead, and he
He also tol- "
erated chants V
against him t
the game, W
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
orMitch or Spike or Carisor any-
Six minutes into the half,
Stauskas drove on the left side
and gently banked a shot that
-etch. bounced around the rim before
d Melvin dropping in to extend the Wol-
ary, was verine lead. On the opposite
ame. And end, he grabbed a Cyclones miss,
yer, Ejim dribbled the length of the floor
drained a and kicked out to sophomore
the Iowa forward Glenn Robinson III for
- a shot the 3-pointer to put Michigan up
time the 53-45.
d a lead. A few minutes later, with
22 points a hand in his face, he drained
a.3-pointer from the left side.
dn't just Later, with the shot clock wind-
inment in ing down, he flew through the
presence left side of the lane and soared
e floor in from yards away from the rim to
m a back slam it with his right hand.
round the Trouble was, he didn't have a
ne points lot of help. Robinson and LeVert
is active combined to shoot 6-for-23 and
d turn the 2-for-10 behind the arc, and
me second freshman point guard Der-
abbed the rick Walton's jump shot wasn't
I think we're
Ve're a better a better team
eam when making threes,
,1 . but we were
e re making getting really
threes.' today," Staus
kas said. "And
those are shots
Sophomore forward Mitch McGary made his season debut after sitting out the first two games of the year with a back injury,
game of the season. It did, how-
ever, allow for a sneak peek of
what's to come from the Ches-
terton, Ind. native in his second
Michigan (2-1) 'started the
game with the same lineup it had
used in its first two games, but
McGary came in early to replace
redshirt junior forward Jon Hor-
ford who has started at center
in McGary's absence. He made
a quick impact, putting in eight
points in the first'half.
McGary had only one point
in the second half, but still he
brought elements to the game
that Horford and fifth-year
senior forward Jordan Morgan
simply cannot. He scrapped for
tough rebounds, fighting off sev-
eral Cyclones by himself around
the rim, and came up with four
steals, grabbing and clawing at
Iowa State players with the ball.
"It was great to be back,"
McGary said. "(I'm) just trying to
find the chemistry on the court.
It's difficult in the first game."
Some parts of McGary's game
did look rusty. He struggled
at times to keep up with the
Cyclone's fast pace and his tim-
ing on offense appeared delayed
- all byproducts of not having
played at game speed since April.
"Now he's got to get into shape
to be able to play," Beilein said.
"The bigs can't play for more
than three to four minutes any-
how because of the fact of how
busy the game is for bigs right
now. So he'll go in, and he'll go
out, but the timing is the thing
that he's got to work on now."
Certainly, this is a different
Michigan team with McGary
healthy. If he's able to adjust
his timing and show the same
dominance that brought him
the spotlight during his perfor-
mance in the NCAA Tournament
last season, he'll quickly learn to
embrace being the target.
BY THE NUMBERS
MtGary's 2013-14 debut
Minutes played. McGaryentered less
than four minutes into the-first half and
playedforthe mjaority ofthe game.
Rebounds,including two offensive
letter word preceding it.
"It was alittle shakywhen they
single out one person," McGary
said about the crowd. "But they
got a good atmosphere."
Down the stretch, an inability
to secure the ball doomed Michi-
gan. Passes were tipped, dribbles
were interrupted, and even if the
Wolverines retained possession,
their rhythm was thrown off,
and they couldn't get open shots.
Sophomore guard Nik Staus-
kas did what he could to keep the
Wolverines in it. With no clear
option on the team to make the
difficult shot, Stauskas seemed
ready to take the responsibility.
He led the team with 20 points
and six assists.
With sophomore wings Glenn
Robinson III and Caris LeVert
struggling to find the basket,
Michigan coach John Beilein
started to call plays for Stauskas.
"Mitch had just one full prac-
tice under his belt," Beilein said.
"Glenn was not having his best
day. He'll have better days ahead
of him. So Nik had the hot hand,
it made sense. We'd do the same
thing if Glenn had the hot hand
that guys nor-
mally make. So we're not going to
be to worried about it. Hopefully
next game those shots go down
After the Iowa State lead
advanced to 69-63, Stauskas
tried to bring Michigan back
with an off-balance 3-point make
and a nifty bounce pass to assis
a Robinson layup, but the offense
came to ahalt there.
Down five, Robinson missed
a 3-pointer and after a Staus-
kas offensive rebound, LeVert
missed another one. The
Cyclones would close the game
out from the free-throw line, and
then the Cyclone faithful would
spill onto the court.
Fans danced, they held up
signs. Iowa State coach Fred
Hoiberg cracked jokes after-
wards, and the home players left
It was an occasionto celebrate,
and Michigan was unlucky to be
excluded from the afterparty.
"It was an awesome environ-
ment for anyone that loves the
game of basketball," Stauskas
said. "I think both teams had a
lot of fun out there."
THE MICHIGAN DAILY TOP-10 POLL
Each week, Daily sports staffers fill out ballots, with first place votes receiving 10 points, second-place votes receiving nine, and so on.
1. ALABAMA (29): 2. FLORIDA STATE (3): 3. OHIO STATE: Carlos
Alabama beat an The Seminoles were , Hyde had more rushing
unranked Mississippi ruthless. They wouldn't yards than Illinois had
State by only 13 points. , even let Syracuse score as students in attendance.
Nick Saban may be on the many points as letters in
hot seat. its name
4. BAYLOR: The Bears'
raided Texas Tech,
rushing for 340 yards and
scoring over 60 points.
Remember the last time
you saw USC rushing
the field after beating
Stanford? Neither do we.
S. OREGON: Guess
Utahns really don't like
olives, huh? They didn't
even come close to
10. LSU: Les Miles spent
the bye week smiling
because he wasn't
L coaching Michigan.
6. AUBURN: Nothing 7. MISSOURI: Missouri's
special happened. Tigers holder could really learn
win over Georgia. something from Drew
8. CLEMSON: Georgia
was seen leaving with
yellow jackets on to
comfort themselves after..
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