Michigan's Mitch McGary and Jordan Morgan give John Beilein the most offensive rebounds he's had in 'a century'
ANN ARBOR -- It was just an exhibition, but following last Thursday's win over Northern Michigan, there were two Michigan basketball stats that stood above all the rest.
Following the Wolverines' 83-47 victory, the numbers 50 and 19 rang rather loud.
Michigan recorded 50 rebounds, 19 of them on the offensive end -- the latter being the most impressive part.
When's the last time a John Beilein-coached team recorded 19 offensive rebounds in a game?
"I don't think it was in this century," Beilein joked afterward.
The two main producers on the offensive glass for Michigan were the two most expected -- junior Jordan Morgan and freshman Mitch McGary.
Morgan and McGary combined for 11 of the team's 19 offensive rebounds. And, for stretches, the only two players competing with Morgan and McGary for offensive boards were -- well, each other.
"That's something we take pride in, that's one of the ways to get our teams extra possessions," Morgan said. "It's a possession game."
For years, Beilein's teams were forced to live and die with every, single offensive possession. Because, most of the time, if they missed a shot -- the ball was going the other way.
This season, Beilein's hoping his team will have a bit more freedom to take chances on the offensive end because of Morgan and McGary (and eventually the injured Jon Horford).
Beilein says Morgan has changed his body to become quicker and more explosive inside, while the 6-foot-10 McGary plays with more emotion than perhaps any two players put together.
"He tires himself out with that energy," Beilein said. "He's a high energy guy."
McGary's still trying to get into game shape, as Beilein says he's a bit overweight at the moment, and Morgan's still trying to figure out how to play alongside another big man that can rebound.
But in the end, Beilein's hoping everything pays off -- resulting in extra possessions and extra victories for his club.
"Jordan's not as big as he was, I think he's more agile and jumps a little higher and moves a little quicker," Beilein said. "With Mitch, we have to continue to get him in better shape. We were being very cautious with his foot and his calf, it didn't get him in great shape -- through water workouts, pool workouts, bike riding and now he sprints in practice.
"So that'll help."
No. 5 Michigan plays its second and final exhibition Monday at Crisler Center (7 p.m.) against Saginaw Valley State.