Michigan redshirt junior Jordan Morgan is trying his best to not think about Sunday’s disappointing loss to Indiana, 72-71, that cost the Wolverines’ a chance at winning their second consecutive co-Big Ten championship.
“I guess the easiest thing to do is probably forget about it,” Morgan said at the Tuesday press conference. “I can speak for myself, anytime I think about it; it’s kind of disappointing. If you do your best and kind of put it out of your mind and think about what’s coming ahead of us—that’s the best way you can move on from it--is just think about the future and (not) worry about what happened before.”
But some losses are hard to forget—and for Morgan the last moments of the Indiana game are very vivid in his mind.
“I remember feeling like it was over at one point. And just slowly things weren’t going right. A missed free-throw here, a basket, a missed free-throw there, a foul, another missed free-throw, and it was like a (Indiana forward Cody Zeller) basket and it was like, ‘oh crap, we don’t have any time outs.’ We’re down by a point. And I remember seeing there was 10 seconds left on the clock. I really don’t know if anybody knew or realized what were going to do.”
Then Morgan communicated with 2012-13 Big Ten Player of the Year--sophomore guard Trey Burke—to take the final shot.
“I remember telling Trey, ‘come on, let’s go!’ I’ll set the screen for him, ‘come on, let’s go! We don’t have much time,’” Morgan recalled. “As far as after that, he got the screen and got leverage. The shot went up and I just followed hoping to get a second chance or something like that. I remember the ball sitting on the rim when I tipped it and for a split second I was excited—it looked like it was in.”
At that moment the hopes of another Big Ten Championship were still a glimmer in Morgan’s eye. Then, it all changed.
“Then it fell off and it was like shock almost,” Morgan said. “I stood there and really didn’t know what happened. I really didn’t know what was going on till we got to the locker room.”
Morgan said afterwards he went home and watched ‘Space Jam’ and was sick with emotion.
“I wasn’t really feeling well. I was just kind of sick,” Morgan explained. “It was good to get a little laughter (watching the movie). Something, laughter is the best healer. Anytime I think about it—it hurts.”
Moving towards PSU
The Maize and Blue will take on Penn State in the No. 5/12 matchup in the first round of the Big Ten tournament on Thursday. U-M, suffered its worst loss of the season at PSU last month, 84-78, after leading the Nittnay Lions by 15 points at one point.
“We got a matchup first round that’s a game we probably wish we could’ve had back,” Morgan said. “So I mean, it’s not hard to get motivated to win this. We want to win championships. We fell short on Sunday. So this is our next opportunity.”
The 84 points scored by the PSU offense was the most given up by Michigan defense all season.
“There were some lapse in decisions I might says,” Morgan said. “Or also at times it was maybe like—execution. But I think that we’re going to approach it, look at some of the film of some of things that went wrong, some of the reoccurring things and try to game plan for those things.”
Making Big Ten all-defensive team
“Our coaches have been pushing me all year. (Coach) lavall jordan, Coach Beilein, (Coach Bacari Alexander) and (Coach Jeff) Meyer to be just solid for us defensively. And that’s what I have strived to do is just defend and rebound for this team. And do every little thing that this team needs from me. The more they encourage that, the more they’ve made it easier for me to embrace that role.”