ANN ARBOR—No Nik Stauskas, no problem for Michigan as the Wolverines buried Coppin State 87-45 Friday afternoon at Crisler Center.
Making his first start of the season in place of Stauskas was sophomore forward Mitch McGary as Michigan coach John Beilein elected to go with a big lineup alongside senior Jordan Morgan in the frontcourt.
Morgan finished with six points and five rebounds while McGary, who continues to work his way back into game shape, finished the day with six points, eight rebounds and two blocks.
Replacing Stauskas’ scoring production was freshman Zak Irvin pumping in a career high 24-points on 9-of-13 shooting, including 6-for-10 from three-point range, also tallying five rebounds and three assists.
“For him to come off the bench, to have that coming off the bench as a reserve for Nik or for Caris or whatever is huge for us,” Beilein said afterward. “When he came into the game the floor expanded.
“When we were playing with the two big guys we did ok but we couldn’t expand against that zone and he was great.”
After missing most of Michigan’s loss to Charlotte in the final of the Puerto Rico Tip-off Sunday night sophomore Glenn Robinson III showed no effects from a minor back injury.
Robinson III finished with 14-points on 5-of-11 shooting to go with six rebounds as well.
“It’s fine,” Robinson III said of his back. “I still felt it at times but these next couple days and tomorrow will be great.
“Everyday I’m making great progress.”
The No. 22 ranked Wolverines improve to 5-2 on the short season and will now face their biggest test of the season as they head to Durham, North Carolina to tee it up with No. 6 Duke Tuesday night (9:15 p.m.) as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
Duke super freshman Jabari Parker is averaging 23.6 points and 8.7 rebounds in his first seven games for Coach Mike Krzyzewski.
Beilein says Stauskas’ status for Duke is uncertain.
“Until he’s practicing 100-percent he won’t go in there,” Beilein said. “He’s got to be pretty close to 100-percent to be able to go in there. So, it’ll be a big focus to get him ready and he’ll be rehabbing like crazy the next few days.”