Nevermind I'm an idiot.
A recurring theme I've heard put forward over the past month or two is that this is THE year for Michigan basketball. Go for broke, because after this year, Burke leaves, THJ leaves, and even Little Dog may leave. Beilein has pulled out the redshirts this year because it is a year to win it all.
I don't disagree that it is a year to win it all for Michigan basketball, and it's worth putting everything into it. However, I'm wondering if it's true that this is THE year. In that spirit, I thought we could take an early look at 2013 Michigan basketball and what the odds are that next year could be "The Year" too.
First off, lets set a prospective depth chart for 2013. This depth chart will assume that we lose the following players for 2013:
|Trey Burke||Draft||Point Guard|
|Tim Hardaway Jr||Draft||Shooting Guard|
|Glen Robinson III||Draft||Shooting Foreward|
That makes our returning curren depth chart as follows:
|Spike Albrecht||Sophomore||Point Guard|
|Nick Stauskas||Sophomore||Shooting Guard|
|Jon Horford||RS Junior||Center|
|Caris LeVert||Sophomore||Shooting Guard|
|Max Bielfeldt||RS Sophomore||Foreward|
|Jordan Morgan||RS Senior||Center|
To these players, Michigan is adding the following freshmen for 2013 (others may be added, but these are sure things):
|Derrick Walton||Point Guard||4|
|Austin Hatch||Shooting Guard||3|
Ed: No Hatch. He reclassified. Blame Bourbon
This Gives us a 2013 depth chart that looks something like the following:
|Point Guard||Spike Albrecht||Derrick Walton|
|Guard||Nick Stauskas, Caris Levert|
|Foreward||Max Bielfeldt||Zak Irvin|
|Center||Mitch McGary||Jordan Morgan||Jon Horford, Mark Donnal|
First of all, lets just come out and say it. That's a damn good depth chart. A little light, but damn good. At any rate, to figure out where we're at for 2013, we should look at lost production and minutes first. Per ESPN:
|Tim Hardaway Jr.||33.7||16.2||2.6|
|Glenn Robinson III||32.2||12.1||1.3|
I am going to discount the top five guys in that list because all put together they average less than 18 minutes per game. That's garbage time that you fill with those guys to reduce the chance of injury to your starters and primary backups and so that they get a chance to play.
PG - 33.7 MPG, 17.8 PPG, 7.2 APG
SG - 33.7 MPG, 16.2 PPG, 2.6 APG
F - 32.2 MPG, 12.1 PPG, 1.3 APG
I know that doesn't cover everything these guys are doing for the team, or even close to it. But if similar production can be put up, it can be assumed that production in other areas, defense, rebounding and general intangibles will be close.
The question is, between the improvement of Freshmen to Sophomore players and the addition of high rated freshemen, do we have it? There is no good math for just how players will perform when their minutes skyrocket (Spike?) or how freshmen will perform (Irvin?), because it varies so much. Therefore, I ask you. Do we have it?
Nevermind I'm an idiot.
If THJ and Trey leave and GRIII stays, which might be a possible scenario, the returning production alone, at least right now, has an average FG percentage of 54%, an average 3-point percentage of 45.7% and they are shooting a combined 70% for free throws.
Even though this includes the stats of players with limited time, that would hint at the baseline productivity as a unit, and those aren't really bad numbers at all. Assuming that more playing at least leads to marginal increases in overall accuracy (and therefore increases in their combined average of about 7 PPG), then even if we do lose Burke and THJ to the draft, we're still looking pretty good, I would think.
Whether or not we win it all, we're setting up to compete and perhaps be in the discussion for deep runs potentially for a while - if Hardaway stays another year, the outlook is ever nicer, I think, and it is pretty good as it is.
Only four positions listed on that depth chart so it's unclear what is projected as a starting lineup. I believe I follow, but...
Also, I don't know what a foreward is in basketball.
Comment on topic: I believe this team is more talented and complete compared to our absolute best next year. It begins with the PG and we have the best one now.
I appreciate the insight, but in response to the original question: YES. THIS IS THE YEAR!
are all gone this year. They are all lottery pick caliber. THJ may not project that high right now but that would be a mistake by NBA scouts. He's improved his handle significantly and will continue to do so. He's a great pure shooter, a great slasher, rebounder and defender. He's very athletic. If he slips beyond the lottery, whoever gets him will be getting a steal.
Even with losing all three, Michigan should be very very good next year. Derrick Walton is very similar to Burke and by tourney time, may be an extremely capable replacement. Zak Irvin is also very talented and should do a nice job filling THJ's and/or GR III's shoes. Donnal will add another skilled big man to the front court ... and another shooter. So they will have similar depth but will be a bit younger. Both Levert and Horford have great potential and will contribute more. And McGary, if he stays, will be a beast! Although likely not as good as this year's team, they could also easily be Final Four caliber.
Regardless of who stays or goes I think we will have an equal shot both this year and next. Talent obviously wins games but there is so much more to winning a Championship. The most important part of the team that is staying (hopefully) intact is the coaching.
Recruiting the right kids, putting them in positions to succeed, practicing accountability, having team chemistry, etc. - these are the elements that all of our coaches have done and will continue to do a good job on. The mutual respect the players and coaches have will pay dividends and if lucky will lead to another banner.
this only feels like THE YEAR because we aren't used to what Belien can do... I expect a solid ten year run with a couple real opportunities to win it all (this is obviously one)...
But regardless of what happens with people leaving and staying, Spike most likely won't be starting over D. Walton and Irvin will certainly be starting over Max B. I don't think GRIII is going anywhere, he still needs to develop one on one game, I think Timmy might even come back. With Trey we have the best chance since 94 when we lost in the elite 8 to eventual champion Arkansas and big nasty. All the other hoopla..I don't know but I think we are set to have some serious squads for the next several years.
This year is Trey Burke's team and next year Hardaway's team as a senior and hopefully the year after it is GRIII's team. One can dream, right!?
This is definitely the year of years. Trey Burke is getting serious consideration for POY, and is almost certain to leave. Trey will be very difficult to replace.
Michigan has 6 players with legit NBA potential, so yeah, this is the year to make a serious run.
Trey Burke: gone after this season and likely first round pick
Tim Hardaway Jr.: probably gone after this season and a possible first round pick
GRIII: Most talent on the team, future NBA Lottery pick; hope he sticks for one more year
Mitch McGary; have to see how he develops, but I suspect he will be a first rounder
Nik Stauskas: really high skill level. If he does due diligence in weight room, Nik will have a long NBA career
Caris LeVert: NBA potential in a junior high school body. If his body develops physically in college he has a chance to play in the NBA. Reminds me of Gary Grant
Yes... This is the year. We will lose only once more (Indiana at Assembly Hall), and we will run the tables on everybody else in the tourney and win the Big Ten Tournament Championship. After the first round loss last year to Ohio, Burke and THJ will only come back with more poise and composure in the tournament, and will electrify the first two opponents offensively. After we will face steeper tests but will find a way to win it all. May be wishful thinking for some, but I think it is realistic for this team... GO BLUE!!!
GR3 is projected high by NBA scouts because they see his NBA size and athleticism. WIth that combined with his shooting ability and the NBA worrying more about potential than accomplishment you can see why he's ranked high. But the fact remains that he doesn't have a great handle and is a mediocre defender right now. He can't beat his man off the dribble and they never run any plays for him. He's the perfect fit for this team right now and should explode with another year in college.....but he's a benchwarmer at best in the NBA right now when you consider who else plays small forward in the league. So I'm really hoping he stays another year.
Burke is gone for sure. I think THJ still has flaws in his game and probably is an end-of-the-bench guy on an NBA roster, but I think he'll leave early. Because the NBA loves "potential" they are biased against seniors. This is probably his best chance to get a good draft spot.
Walton will start, though I think you'll see Spike play a larger role early in the season as Walton learns the offense.
The PF spot is going to be interesting. I like Bielfeldt and think he's the one big that fits on the floor at that spot, but is he ready? I don't think you'll see the two-big starting lineup otherwise because Horford/Morgan/McGary are too similar for this offense.
I think Donnal is an interesting case. I left him out here because I think they'd like to redshirt him given how deep they are with big guys (a statement I've NEVER said before about UM Bball). But he could end up playing a major role like Lavert this year. He fits at PF better than most of the other big guys for sure.
I think you are underselling GRIII. Coach B has indicated on more than one occasion, regarding GRIII, that he can in fact do the things you claim he can't: such as create off the dribble, play solid D, and they do in fact run plays for him, despite fans claiming they don't.
Like his daddy, I think GRIII can create his own shot against college competition any time he wants, and there is not much denying GRIII has a very nice outside shot, and he isn't afraid to take a big shot.
Basically, this is Trey's team, with THJ as the second option. GRIII knows his role and plays it willingly. GRIII seems to get better and more assertive with each passing week of the season.
Sure, we're going to lose a lot. And I'll also allow the assumption that GRIII leaves (which I think is a 50-50 shot, at best. Personally think he'll come back for one more). BUT
Walton starts, Irvin is a wing. Two of the three (Mitch, Morgan, and Horford) start together -- most likely Mitch at the 4 and the upperclassmen at the 5. Beilein has shown over the past few years that he'll adjust his system to fit his best players. I think McGary with a year of refinement is a psycho 4 who can stretch to hit the occassional 3 pointer.
Don't sleep on Irvin, he's going to shock and awe. But to stay near the top of the rankings we need one of THJ/GRIII to stay. The question for both is where their priorities lean. Do they want to get the nice draft spot or have more successful NBA careers. If it's about the spot both are probably gone but both could benefit greatly from another season of college to be NBA ready. Whatever is best for them we should support.
it all depends on how many of the big 3 leave. Burke will be a big hole to fill, since he makes the team go. We will be fine at the point, but there will be a considerable drop off. If Tim & GRIII both return, they along with the 3 news guys may off-set the loss of Burke. If only Robinson returns, we will still be pretty damn good. I think Nik, Carris and Zak can cover the 2 & 3 spots to make up for Tim. But, if all 3 of those guys go (which I don't think will happen), we will be pretty thin and very young and not a final four threat.
It's probably the best team we'll have in a little while, because of Burke. Even if the others stay, we're going to regress a bit. You don't lose a potential NPOY and close the gap with freshmen, unless they're really special. I think they're awfully good, but they won't bridge the gap.
It would set this team back if GR III jumps to the Association but my gut tells me he stays, Hardaway may stay, and JB "coaches 'em up. " All that plus another strong Freshman class makes me feel good about the future. But yeah, this is THE year.
It's all good, I'm enjoying the ride right now and not thinking about where it will end. I'm stunned at the amount of success when so many left the program early. To just flip this team around like this is amazing.