Midwest notes: Michigan’s McGary won’t play against Kentucky

Posted Sunday, Mar. 30, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

Michigan coach John Beilein was succinct when asked if power forward Mitch McGary would, or could, play Sunday against Kentucky.

“No,” he said.

McGary, a 6-foot-10 sophomore who thrived in last year’s regional in Arlington against Kansas and Florida, has been out since mid-December with a back injury.

On Friday night, before Michigan played Tennessee, McGary surprised everyone when he walked out wearing not a suit but U of M warm-ups. He participated in the layup drill in warm-ups, but never played in the game.

It wasn’t a ruse, but he is not ready.

He’s not playing, which ultimately could be a major problem for Michigan against the height of Kentucky.

McGary has played in only eight games this season, and averaged 9.5 points and 8.3 rebounds. His interior play last season was crucial for Michigan’s run to the title game.

Without McGary, Michigan still thrived all season but has never faced a lineup as tall, and active, as Kentucky.

“We had a plan in place because his injury happened early enough in late August, early September, that we virtually did all of our individuals without him,” Beilein said.

“We had a month of practice without him. When he came back, then we started to work the other plan that we had over the summer. Then he went down again, and we went back to Plan A. So it was a fairly seamless change.”

The Wildcats can throw multiple 6-foot-9, or taller, players at Michigan, which will rely on 6-8 Jordan Morgan and 6-10 Jon Horford.

“[Morgan] is really, really good,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said.

In way of history

The last time a team reached the Final Four with five freshmen starting was Michigan in 1991.

If Kentucky, which starts five freshmen, can defeat the school that owns that distinction, it would merely be a neat coincidence that doesn’t mean much to these players.

Kentucky’s starting five were not even born when the Fab Five played, but they are aware of that group’s impact on the game.

“They had a bigger impact on the world other than basketball,” Kentucky freshman Aaron Harrison said. “No one else does that — start five freshmen.”

Mac Engel, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @macengelprof

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?

Wednesday, September 17Full Scoreboard
Los Angeles2Final | Box
Colorado «16
San Francisco «4Final | Box
Toronto1Top 9th | Box
Baltimore6@theBallpark | TV: SNET, MASN 2
Boston1Final | Box
Pittsburgh «9
Washington1Final | Box
Atlanta «3
Miami4Bottom 9th | Box
NY Mets3@theBallpark | TV: FSN-FL, SNY
NY Yankees «3Final | Box
Tampa Bay2
Cincinnati1Top 8th | Box
Chicago Cubs2@theBallpark | TV: FSN-OH, CSN-CHI
Cleveland2Top 9th | Box
Houston0@theBallpark | TV: STO, CSN-HOU
Chicago WSox1Top 7th | Box
Kansas City5@theBallpark | TV: WCIU, FSN-KC
Detroit4Bottom 6th | Box
Minnesota3@theBallpark | TV: FSN-DET, FSN-N
Milwaukee0Bottom 7th | Box
St. Louis0@theBallpark | TV: FSN-WI, FSN-MW
Seattle0Bottom 1st | Box
LA Angels0@theBallpark | TV: ROOT-NW, FSN-W, ESPN
Texas0Bottom 1st | Box
Oakland0@theBallpark | TV: FSN-SW
Philadelphia0Top 1st | Box
San Diego0@theBallpark | TV: CSN-PHI, FSN-SD
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, September 17Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Week 3Full Scoreboard
Tampa Bay 8:25 PM ET
Atlanta TV: CBS, NFL Network
San Diego 1:00 PM ET
Buffalo TV: CBS
Tennessee 1:00 PM ET
Cincinnati TV: CBS
Baltimore 1:00 PM ET
Cleveland TV: CBS
Green Bay 1:00 PM ET
Detroit TV: FOX
Indianapolis 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville TV: CBS
Oakland 1:00 PM ET
New England TV: CBS
Minnesota 1:00 PM ET
New Orleans TV: FOX
Houston 1:00 PM ET
NY Giants TV: CBS
Washington 1:00 PM ET
Philadelphia TV: FOX
Dallas 1:00 PM ET
St. Louis TV: FOX
San Francisco 4:05 PM ET
Arizona TV: FOX
Kansas City 4:25 PM ET
Miami TV: CBS
Denver 4:25 PM ET
Seattle TV: CBS
Pittsburgh 8:30 PM ET
Carolina TV: NBC
Chicago 8:30 PM ET
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, September 17Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard