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December 28, 2013

What To Watch For: U-M vs. Holy Cross

Here are the biggest keys to the Wolverines' machup with Holy Cross Saturday afternoon:

1. The Inside Game

Michigan will be without sophomore forward Mitch McGary for the foreseeable future. McGary, dealing with problems stemming from a back injury sustained this summer, will undergo back surgery next week and will be out indefinitely.

McGary did not play in last week's 68-65 win over Stanford in Brooklyn, N.Y. after having some issues in the Wolverines' home loss to No. 1 Arizona.

Without McGary in the lineup, the Wolverines got some production from a trio of inside players: fifth-year senior Jordan Morgan, redshirt junior Jon Horford and redshirt sophomore Max Bielfeldt.

Morgan played 18 minutes, scoring eight points, grabbing five boards and dishing out one assist.

Bielfeldt tallied three boards in 12 minutes, and Horford went for two points in six minutes.

The biggest problem? All three got in foul trouble - and that will be an issue, moving forward. McGary found a nice balance between playing aggressive and avoiding fouls - and without him in the lineup, the others will have to play more cleanly.

Horford fouled out after just six minutes on the court; Morgan also fouled out. Bielfeldt finished the game against Stanford with four fouls.

The Wolverines will have to stay out of foul trouble, especially with just one game to play before the start of Big Ten season.

2. Glenn Robinson III

Robinson, a sophomore forward, received some criticism early this season for lack of production - but he fought through his slump and has played some very impressive games in the last few weeks.

Since being held to eight points and three rebounds in a 79-69 loss at Duke Dec. 3, Robinson has been highly production.

In a 107-53 win over Houston Baptist, Robinson racked up 17 points, four rebounds and four assists to zero turnovers.

The next time out on the court, Robinson led the team in an upset bid that fell short against No. 1 Arizona, finished with a team-high 20 points and four rebounds. And in last week's win over Stanford, Robinsons added 17 points, six rebounds and two assists in another turnover-free performance.

Not only that, but Robinson is putting in some incredible minutes when the Wolverines need it from him.

In the last two games, he has averaged 36.5 minutes per game.

Especially with McGary out of the lineup, the Wolverines will need Robinson to continue to provide a high level of steady production - his consistency will be important from here on out.

3. Point Guard Play

The point guard spot is still very much in flux right now - and it most likely will not settle down any time soon.

The Wolverines have a lot of options there, and that will probably be the team's M.O. from here on out.

The last time out, freshman Derrick Walton played 21 minute, going 2-of-5 from the field for four points and adding one assist and one turnover.

Sophomore Spike Albrecht chipped in 17 minutes, hit 1-of-3 field goal attempts for five points. He finished with two assists and one turnover. And, of course, LeVert is filling in at point guard in spots. He played 30 minutes against the Cardinal, but he had a tough shooting night, going 0-of-7 from the field. He finished with one point but had five assists and three turnovers.

The game before that, Albrecht got the majority of the playing time, playing 24 minutes. He had 10 points, four assists and two turnovers. Walton played 14 minutes, with one point, one assist and a turnover.

Who will play more Saturday? Only time will tell.


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