Michigan forward Tim Hardaway Jr. breaks out of his funk and Jordan Morgan's foul trouble
CLEMSON, S.C. -- For two games, Tim Hardaway Jr. was in a funk.
He looked sullen after a 3 of 12 shooting night against Syracuse last Friday. He was frustrated a night later when he made 1 of 18 shots against UTEP.
Then on Tuesday, in his first true college road game, the Michigan basketball team's freshman forward rediscovered himself. He felt comfortable.
Hardaway still didn’t have a great night during Tuesday's 69-61 win at Clemson. He shot 3 of 8 from the field and 2 of 6 from the 3-point line, but he was productive. The Miami native scored 15 points, grabbed four rebounds and, most importantly, made 5 of 6 free throws down the stretch to help Michigan seal the win.
“It’s experience,” Hardaway Jr. said. “I had to get the butterflies out. We all did, all the freshmen. We were shocked at how many people were at the Syracuse game and how loud everything was, how everybody is into the game and saying ‘You suck.’
“You just have to take it and move on and you’ll get used to it and block it out.”
With the Clemson student section sitting on both end lines, Hardaway Jr. could hear the crowd chatter early. While it may not have messed with him completely, he did miss his first two shots.
Then he made a 3-pointer from the left baseline. And then another. All of a sudden, he had six of his 15 points and Michigan led 16-7.
“I got shots up earlier today in shootaround and saw them going in,” Hardaway Jr. said. “Everybody was encouraging me and that was the outcome.
“It was for everybody.”
Life in foul trouble When Jordan Morgan heard the whistle with 9:29 left in the first half, he knew his role was going to change. For the rest of the half, he’d revert to his role of cheerleader from a year ago.
Morgan picked up his second foul on Clemson guard Demontez Stitt and it sent him to the bench for the rest of the half.
“Foul trouble is pretty frustrating,” Morgan said. “I knew when I got my second foul I’d probably sit until halftime, so I tried to just keep energizing the team off the bench.
“When I got back in the game, I played hard because I knew I had a lot of rest in the first half.”
It had been Morgan’s least productive half of the year -- two points and one rebound -- but he rebounded well to finish with eight points and six boards.
Michigan's other big men, Blake McLimans and Jon Horford, also picked up two fouls in the first half.
This and that The Clemson baseball team, including Tigers starting quarterback Kyle Parker, received its College World Series championship rings in a pre-game ceremony. When Parker was introduced, there were a smattering of boos in the Littlejohn Coliseum crowd. The Clemson Tigers’ mascot performed the national anthem in sign language. Michigan coach John Beilein picked up his first win in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge after dropping games his first three years. Michigan beat Clemson for the fourth straight time. The last win was a 65-63 decision in the first round of the 2009 NCAA tournament.