Jordan Morgan will be missed more than Michigan fans would care to believe.
Prior to Mitch McGary's decision to have back surgery, Jordan Morgan still struggled with the fact he would have to contribute as a reserve instead of being a starter. Eight games later, the light came on for Morgan, who returned to his old self and had an NCAA tournament showing not even his greatest supporters could have predicted.
Through it all, he continuously did the things no one ever sees in the final box score. He spearheaded Michigan's defense, however porous it was. He led with emotion. And above all else, he showed resolve, grit and perseverance as he reclaimed the starting job he lost toward the end of last season.
The Detroit native played 10 minutes or less in six of Michigan's first 10 games of the season. Keep in mind, this was the same guy who, at one point, made 53 consecutive starts.
In McGary's absence and the NCAA tournament, both instances when the Wolverines needed him the most, he was spectacular.
There was his 15-point game at Nebraska, a 12-point, seven-rebound night against Iowa and a 13-point, nine-rebound performance at Purdue. Michigan won all of those games, two of them by single digits. On senior night against Indiana, Morgan went out with a bang. The fifth-year senior posted a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
The NCAA tournament was his best work of all, though. He went up against the likes of Cameron Ridley, Jeronne Maymon, Jarnell Stokes and Dakari Johnson, all of whom were expected to get the better of him. Instead, Morgan averaged 14 points and 7.8 rebounds.
Without his efforts, Michigan would not have won the Big Ten title and very well could have been sent home early in the NCAA tournament.
Morgan will be missed more than Wolverines fans think. It is hard to find someone willing to do some of the little things it takes to win, let alone all of them.