shouldn't the Horford fathead also be blacked out of that photo?
Replacing Horford: Fifth-Year Options Limited
[Original photo: Bryan Fuller]
Jon Horford's unexpected decision to transfer will hurt Michigan's frontcourt depth regardless of the NBA Draft decisions of Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III. Senior big men with significant playing experience don't grow on trees, and even though Horford struggled down the stretch he posted very impressive rebounding rates while shooting 57% from the field and easily recording the highest block rate on the team.
John Beilein's made multiple mentions of his willingness to look to transfers as a means to improve the team, and—perhaps knowing what we didn't at the time—he reiterated his stance this week:
Beilein expressed a ready willingness to accept transfer players, depending on NBA attrition in this offseason and anticipating more after next season.
“I would be open to transfers,” the coach said. “At Canisius and Richmond and West Virginia, transfers were really important to us. If we have openings and there are transfers who fit who we are, we would be open to that.”
ESPN's Jeff Goodman compiled a master list of all currently available transfers. The list is quite long and not particularly useful for this exercise; if Michigan wants to fill the gap Horford leaves, they'll be looking at a grad-year transfer who'll be eligible to play right away—the only potential exception would be a player with a case for a hardship waiver.
Villanova blog VU Hoops helpfully narrowed Goodman's list to the available grad-year transfers, and I've further cut down their table to frontcourt players. The list is short, and not particularly distinguished:
|M.J. Rhett||Tennessee State||F||6'9"||10.9||9.1||0.8|
|Malik Thomas||Boston University||F||6'7"||5.8||4.0||1.2|
Unfortunately for Michigan, none of these players seems to fit the criteria needed to be worth offering, which would be...
- The ability to come in and play more effectively than the current options on the roster. If McGary goes pro, U-M would need someone who could at least compete for a starting spot.
- Any interest in Michigan whatsoever.
None of these players is a true center, which is a tough break. Jordan Allen (88 ORtg for a bad Hofstra squad), Austin Etherington, and Sommy Ogukwe can be eliminated with one look at their respective stat sheets.
Jeylani Dublin could potentially provide depth—he shot 55% from the field with a top-100 OReb rate last season—but the fact that he played less than half of the available minutes for Longwood, KenPom's 343rd-ranked team with a bottom-ten defense, raises some red flags. Malik Thomas is intruiging given his impressive defensive rebounding (18.0 DR%). However, he's just 6'7, 190 pounds, struggles with his shot, and turns the ball over at what I'd expect to be an unacceptably high rate for Beilein's system.
That leaves Tennessee State's M.J. Rhett, and there's no question he'd be a good fit—he's 6'9", 235 pounds, rebounds very well on both ends, blocks a decent number of shots, and finishes efficiently with a knack for getting to the line. As you'd expect, though, he's the most hotly-pursued player on this list, and his list of schools under consideration—Oklahoma State, Tulane, ASU, Miami, Tennessee, and Mississippi, per Goodman—doesn't include Michigan or any team remotely close to the Midwest. He plans to make a decision two weekends from now, and it appears Tennessee and Miami are the two most likely destinations.
A couple other players on Goodman's list of top available transfers($) fit the bill, but one is already ticketed for Ohio State (ex-Temple F Anthony Lee) and the other, Virginia Tech center Trevor Thompson, has already narrowed his list to three Big Ten schools:
Transferring Virginia Tech basketball player Trevor Thompson announced on Twitter Monday morning that, in no order, Big Ten rivals Indiana, Ohio State and Purdue are his top three options with a decision planned in the next couple weeks.
Thompson will be just a sophomore next year, but Goodman mentions the potential for a waiver, presumably due to VT's coaching change. For Michigan's purposes, however, that's a moot point—he's going elsewhere unless the Wolverines come out of nowhere to make a late push, and that would surprise given there's no guarantee Thompson could even play next season.
Unless another fifth-year senior makes a surprise transfer decision like Horford, it appears Michigan will have to go another route to replace him for next season.
Didn't all of these guys narrow down their lists without knowing that Michigan would be in need of a stopgap center? I wonder if Michigan would show up immediately on anyone's list now that they know we need a guy.
Seriously. If I was a recruit, Michigan would be more appealing to me than any of the schools on those lists.
We've been on a sweet ride the last 3 years. Everybody knows about it. We no longer have to beg and explain why we're worth a long hard look. To the winner go the spoils.
You mention that Michigan would have to "go another route" to replace Horford...
What exactly would that route be? Just throwing the Freshmen into the rotation or adding another recruit? Because I feel like its reletively easy to pick up an Albrecht or LeVert late in the process, there no 6'10" sleeper recruit out there Michigan can just pick up and inject into the starting lineup?
Are there overseas options? Or is the other route a combination of Bielfeldt, Donnal, and the two freshman? (Saying that Mitch leaves. Hope for the best, prepare for the wost).
What other options does Michigan have? Could we converty Funchess to a Power Forward? /s
...but in the words of J-Mo, he ain't gon get punked by nobody.
especially ones ready to play right away. 6'10" guys are usually well scouted and often offered based on potential.
Isn't Funchess shorter than GRIII?
What's the word on Max Bielfeldt's development? Anyone who knows more about basketball have any thoughts as to what role he's ready to play next year?
I wouldn't be relying on him to play too much more than last year. I think he can give us a consistent 5 mpg, but I don't think he gives us what Horford would've given us.
Hopefully we can find a 5th year guy who can come give us 10mpg (and REAL minutes, not BS minutes) and he, McGary, Donnal, and Max B can give us a solid post. Then GRIII, Irvin and one of the two freshman can give us solid PF play (with all of those guys playing some SF as well).
compare their last minutes on the court I'd give the nod to Max over Horford. The latter was horrible against Kentucky on the defensive end and couldn't even seem to set a pick on the other end. I'm not all certain that Max can't emerge to become a solid contributor. Ideally that would be behind Mitch but that doesn't seem likely to me.
A game where Max B's size clearly helped him over Horford's length.
What about the first 2/3's of the year when you couldn't tell Horford and J-Mo apart?
When Horford was starting because Morgan was picking up his 1st foul too quickly. What about then?
A lot more of those games than the one we played versus a bunch of bulldogs down low that just lowered their shoulders and tried to run everything over like the Hulk.
Morgan and Max B were both build much better for that game, even before it was played.
But the B1G has more Cody Zeller's than it does Julius Randle or Jarnell Stokes...
Look at those guys from Wisconsin, look at MSU, look at pretty much everyone in the league. That's part of the reason J-Mo was so effective, there weren't too many guys like him.
as being a much more important player next season. I hope he can really work on his game and fundamentals during the off season. Other than him and Donnal, at least one or possibly both of the freshmen are going to be pressed into service. I'd guess before Horford's decision, they were hoping to redshirt one or both Wilson and Doyle. Now it looks much harder to do. We'll see in the next week.
I hope his outside shooting improves, otherwise, he reminds me of a shorter Blake McLimans.
Houston's top 2 leading scorers are looking to transfer as well. I think hardship waivers may apply here but last I read the school blocked them from transferring and they are appealing.
If TaShawn Thomas gets his release and a waiver, he'd be an ideal fit. Solid rebounding numbers and a top-100 block rate, plus 60% shooting on a high volume of attempts. Yes, please.
I'd love to see Beilein jump all over this guy if his appeal goes in his favor.
Can you transfer within the conference? (Re: the IU transfer)
But I don't think Michigan would take Etherington—don't think he'd provide the level of impact they'd want. He's not looking at any Big Ten schools at the moment, either.
Moving closer to school closer to home due to a medical issue with a family member
Just announced he would not return and is graduating. Would definitely fill the shot-blocking need discussed this week.
Might be a stretch to get him in academically, though.
Horford to UCF to play for Al's old coach Donnie Jones.
Donnie knows Michigan as their best player Isaiah Sykes is from Detroit and was named after Isiah Thomas. UCF is about 2 hours from Gainesville I believe. UCF is the 2nd largest school in the country so they'll have no problem finding him a major.
Jones took Tom Herzog from MSU a few years back and he had a solid year.
UCF runs Horford's style of offense...and most importantly. UCF has plenty of PT to offer.
In my random prediction based off of nothing other than what I've put together...Horford to UCF. Book it.
But if Horford is looking for a top-notch place to study, that ain't it.
No offense to Horford, but I can't wait to see an offense that features Jon Horford as a post scoring option -- that'll be worth a watch.
Do you actually think it would be possible for Horford to read that and not take offense to it? Just because you say "no offense" it doesn't excuse you from deliberately causing offense.
Nice write-up. I never expected Horford to be replaced by a grad-year transfer. Hopefully Donal and the rest of the young kids can step up a little. The defense will take a step back next year unless guys like GRIII and Mitch come back and become forces on the defensive side of the ball, but this team will likely find a way to compensate.
I think Irvin, Walton, and LeVert get better defensively which may improve the defense. We'll have to see the final makeup of the team but I hope they improve defensively next year.
Sean Obi is transferring from Rice. Maybe gets a waiver due to the coaching change there. On the C-USA all-Freshman team. 6' 9", 265 pounds. Grabbed 31% of opponents misses. Shot 60% from the floor. Averaged 11 points and 9 rebounds a game as a Freshman.
Originally chose to go to Rice because of their strong engineering and business schools. I would think we could satisfy him in those areas as well at UM.
I thought earlier this year he said he was coming back for his final year. What went south?
It sounds like his family has been pushing him to transfer to a system that utilizes more traditional post ups down low. If his goal is to play professionally, then you can't blame him for wanting to go to a system that better utilizes what he feels are his strengths.
How does a Tricaptain and guy who was looking at a lot of playing time just transfer? I don't get it. There has to be more.
Horford's replacement will be the Riddler.
. . . Isn't from Butler
I don't give a damn.
No 5th year that's any good wants to transfer to be a backup.
JB wants to see me workout and then if all goes well he said he will give me a scholarship. I have to show him that I can replace Jon. he wants to see me foul my guy every time he touches the ball and even when he doesn't. He said he also wants to see me fumble pocket passes and miss layups. He also says he wants to see me make one Wow play every great while that makes you think where did that come from and that I have promise.
Try to show a little class.
The comment I responded to got deleted.
To any posters taking cheap shots at one of our former student athletes, please move along. This thread is for discussing options to bring in a new player, not to cut down a previous one. Horford played hard and represented the university with class. He will soon receive his degree and move on to a new opportunity. I am happy for him and wish him the best wherever he ends up.
hand slap always gets me. I see plenty of cheap shots here on game and post game threads about kids who actually are active players. And these kids have not gone to the press or otherwise teed themselves up beyond their play. That brothers me a hell of a lot more. Do you police that too?