Thank you for this. It's amazing how quickly people lose perspective.
to play football, not to play trumpet
Thank you for this. It's amazing how quickly people lose perspective.
Who would you put in? Sorry he didn't recruit a guy who can come in as a freshman and be a shut-down defender AND Stauskas on offense
Interesting how you don't talk about the defense.
Theses kids don't "owe" any of us a goddamn thing. They're not loafing on defense because they're lazy and think its fun to screw with fans, it's just that the college game is still moving pretty fast for them and they're clearly not fully understanding all of the concepts, assignments and switches being thrown at them on D, but their offense is coming along. Ripping them like they're an insult to the sport is as asinine as it is counter productive.
the kids are playing a sport they're really fucking good at. They play it better than almost anyone their age. Not only that, but they do so in the best conference in the world.
And you imply "well, we're fans. And we're irrational. So like, they owe us."
Although I will agree with your last sentence. It's just....we claim to be the "rational" fans because we're from Michigan. More than that, guys, we read sports blogs. As in, we know how good these guys are (or at least, should). come on.
Yeah, but some fans are that impressionable. Bandwagoners will latch on to whatever they perceive to be the prevailing opinion. So in that sense, authoring a well-thought counter-point may actually cause some people to chill the f-out. I don't think the OP was expected that everyone would agree with him/stop complaining. But I also don't think you can argue that it's completely futile, at least to people who act based what others have to say. It's probably better to have more than just negative opinions out there, yes?
Here's your "dynamic:" One of the main things that keeps MgoBlog from being like RCMB is the fact that "good fan behavior" is encouraged, and whining about college freshmen who are giving it their all is largely discouraged.
Defense? That's not important in basketball!
[flashes back to last night, vomits]
Oh. Well... maybe a little bit important.
They're preparing their game for the next level.
Is there anyone on the staff that is considered a defensive specialst? I know Bacari works with the bigs and Lavall Jordan works with the guards.
I'm not exactly sure if Jeff Meyer has a specific role.
Edit: Meyer works with the forwards.
Look at the team a couple seasons ago. The ONLY reason they got to the NCAA tournament was because of good defense. They certainly weren't loaded with talented scorers or athletic big men. Freshmen can't and won't learn good defense overnight.
Anthony Davis would disagree with you.
Also, no one is asking them to be the 2nd coming Scottie Pippen, Kevin Garnett or even Aaron Craft.
But with all the constant "Game Stauskas" chatter and thrill over GRIII's sweet dunks, it can't go unremarked that they are bad (not just needing some work - Stauskas is legimately bad) at defense. Still glad they're both on the team and hope they both improve at D, but there's no use sweeping it under the rug. It's part of their game along with the 3pt bombs and 360 dunks.
Meyer actually works with the wings. Think Hardaway, Robinson III, Stauskas, etc. He also happens to be the Beyonce of the staff.
saying that the team's play last night was a "slap in the face" to fans. People are completely comfortable demanding things from young athletes who are giving it their all that they could never do themselves; it's freakin' weird.
Thanks much for this.
that's the big question. i can't speak for off the court, but the past several games, especially on D, makes me question that remark.
that they don't want to succeed? When people imply that kids who had to work extraordinarily hard just to GET here (see Stauskas and 1 million jump shots, etc.) I really think it's inappropriate to infer they're lazy. Yet the charge of laziness is flung around by fans routinely.
i'm talking about being outhustled by opponents during games, especially on D. the effort has not been there recently for whatever reason. it's been obvious the past several games (illinois excluded). they may work their butts off in practice, but those aren't televised; hence my comment about not knowing how hard they work off the court.
I think when people assume a kid is a one-and-done they start to get impatient. Maybe we shouldn't assume GRIII is a one-and-done.
GRIII is not, and never was, a one and done kid. He came out strong in mock drafts because he has a high-profile name, played for a high-profile team, and had a massive surplus of highlight reel plays. That's all a lot of these people making mock drafts see: stat lines and highlights. But any judge of horseflesh could tell you he didn't have the skill set yet. He doesn't generate offense on his own, doesn't play defense, doesn't rebound the ball...
And none of this should be interpreted as malice to Little Dog. He's a god kid and he'll be a good player. I just always laugh when I see people crediting mock drafts as anything other than a source of entertainment. GRII has a big future if he can grow as a player, but if he went out now? 2nd Round at best, based on athleticism alone.
-1, because don't tell me what to do.
I will fix that if it means a plus one vote
I noticed you didn't put anything in about defense. That's pretty cool if our freshman can score a lot of points, but doesn't come in use when those freshman are giving up more than they are scoring.
I do agree about the impatience/entitlement/whathaveyou about Michigan fans regarding basketball. I think we lost sight that just a few short years ago we were bursting with excitement about making the NCAA tournament, now we're talking Big Ten championships and one seeds. Remember last year we won our first Big Ten championship since 1986?
I suppose I'm agreeing and disagreeing with you.
At the end of the day, we've got to realize our 5 guys on the floor consist of 60-80% freshmen. Last year they were in high school -- not the Big Ten -- and their season was significantly shorter. They are a talented group -- nobody would deny that -- but we are asking alot of them.
That it hasn't even been 1 yr since they went to their highschool prom.
I loved the players we had last yr that graduated, but this is a better team with freshmen on it. Freshman have room to improve too seeing that they have up to 3 more yrs in school..........just incase some think they have reached their ceiling after a few months of college b-ball.
Both are works in progress and I'm not defending Stauskas' D. However, did you see Stauskas getting rebounds and starting the break with a quick outlet pass? That was a new and improved facet of Stauskas' game last night that will largely go unmentioned but I thought it was noticeable and encouraging.
I think that is why Levert is getting more time.
One minor thing about Stauskas is that he leaves his feet too many times on drives. I'm sure that is something that can easily be fixed.
This seems to be rampant in today's game. There aren't a lot of players who instinctively know how to drive to the basket under complete control. In most cases, taking an extra dribble to slide around a defender, stopping under control and executing a pump fake, or just pulling up for a jump shot over a stationary defender trying to take a charge will eliminate the charging.
Relatedly, I almost pooped my pants when Trey pulled up for a mid-range jumper on a fast break last evening. Attacking the rim is good, but players are leaving a lot of high percentage offensive opporunties on the floor by not opting for a 10-15 foot jumper.
Pretendng defense doesn't exist? that's nice but it's half of basketball.
When you are bitching about Stauskas' D do you point out the historically good year he is having offensively as a freshman?
I think the point is that one without the other is an equally invalid argument. You have to take the good with the bad and visa versa.
I don't think he, or anyone, is denying that Stauskas is having a good offensive year. That doesn't mean you ignore the other half of the game, though. I commend him on offense, but question his defense. Good thing is he's a freshman and should see improvement.
Oh, that's like saying the quarterback had a great game because he threw 5 TDs and ignoring the fact that he also threw 5 interceptions. That's some Big 12 football mentality right there folks.
Historically good over the course of the whole season sure. I don't think his numbers over the last 2 months are anywhere near histoically great for a B1G freshman. He has disappeared in conference. Yes he did great against a bunch of nobodies, but don't act like he has been "great" when it actually matters, he hasn't.
...they are going to make mistakes on defense because they are young. The main problem is the fact that Beilein replaces them with LeVert and Albrect instead of going big with Horford and McGary/Morgan. Mich is getting smoked down low more often than not, small ball doesn't work against the B1G's elite teams...If Beilein keeps this up we will have another early exit from the dance.
bitch about any of the players, but if you are suggesting that we should all be happy with the performance last night, your crazy. Just because they have a good FT % and 3PT % compared to other freshmen, really has nothing to do with playing defense to protect a 11 pt lead with 8 minutes to go against a team that is a the bottom of the conference. And winless in the conference. Thats what I'm bitchin' about!!
you + are = you're
protect an 11 pt lead
Ok, on with the bitching...
This team's issues, other than relying on Burke too much, has little to do with offense. It has everything to do with team defense, especially in the interior, and toughness.
Stauskas and Robinson, like most freshmen, are poster children for these weaknesses. Is it fair to single them out? Probably not. Are they ofensive players with great upside? Absolutely.
I don't like to single out players but am actually more disappointed in the defensive play of Hardaway, Horford and yes even Burke (who would get torched on defense in the NBA).
Defense and toughness wins championships in all sports, so don't concentrate on all those offense stats and let's look at steals, rebounds, charges taken, blocked shots, forced turnovers. Morgan had only 1 point the other night and Dakich correctly said he was the difference in the game.
Beilein is a fine coach and I'm sure knows all this and then some.
how often do GRIII and stauskus take a charge? hardaway, morgan and mcgary do. even levert tries to take more charges and he hardly plays.
i give burke a bit of a pass on D, since he has to shoulder so much of the load on offense. that said, he turns it up a notch every now and then and generally makes a few good plays on D each game.
if the idea is that GRIII and stauskus are wearing down, especially late in games, then i say bench them more. especially GRIII. why does he play the most minutes? imo, he's the least effective starter we have.
But who is GRIII's back up? He's really the only 4 on the team. McGary, Horford and Morgan are all 5s, especially in our offense. And outside of those guys, no one else can guard another team's 4.
That said, we have been playing 2 bigs more often than we were before, but remember that for probably 75% of the games this season, Horford or Morgan were out with injuries, so for most of our games GRIII has really been our only option at the 4.
played 40 min last nite. perhaps even 4-5 min of bielfeldt each half could have made GRIII better or fresher during the minutes he played, if it was a fatigue issue. but he obviously "wasn't getting after it".
But Stauskas turns the ball over way too much, in the worst ways.
He's not the primary ball handler, 5 turnovers in a game is unacceptable.
By 22 freshman, I think you mean 19. Three of the players on the list don't exist.
If you think that is what I was trying to tell you, you are dumber than my dog
Usually Gordy is a bitterman, I don't appreciate this balanced hopeful post at all Gordy. I might begrudingly upvote it it is so solid.
Also WTF is Webber doing jacking all those 3's Come on Fischer !!!
Maurice Taylor should have expanded his game. Come on Fischer!!!
Also, I know I spelled Gordy's name wrong. I'm channeling my inner Hoke and going Ohio on Gordy.
Over anything Ellerbe or Amaker put on the floor. Not long ago it was hard to watch Michigan Basketball. Things have changed. Unfortunately entitled, whining fans will always remain.
places like this are for--to share your pain, however irrational. Beating up on the kids, on the other hand. . .
Does this mean we can cry publicly about LeVert, McGary and Albrecht??
Gordie you might want to make sure Coach Beilein sees this as well. Cause from the looks of his face when Stauskas walked off the floor with about 2 minutes left in the game I don't think he was thinking about his free throw percentage.
I don't know about you but I don't think I've ever seen Beilein get that pissed before.
I was an above-average player in the IM B league. Not close to the physical specimen I am today (i.e. more chest hair).
These are kids and they're getting baptized by fire. Too bad Burke won't stick around to grow with him (he shouldn't) but by most standards GRIII and Nik have exceeded expectations.
before february, hell yes. since then, not so much.
Nik and GRIII are great Michigan men and talented bball players. We should all be very thankful they're on our team. Based on their freshman year performances I can't wait to watch them throughout their careers.
They disappointed me! And I'm the most important person in the world!
I haven't seen it mentioned yet, but it is worth noting here that, without the contributions of Stauskas and Robinson, Michigan loses 30% of its 2,129 points scored to date, and among other things, 246 rebounds (74 offensive, 172 defensive) would not happen. We would also get 65 fewer turnovers and 73 fewer assists, as well as 40 fewer steals and 11 less blocks (significant numbers, some of these, considering the defense overall). Compared to overall stats for the whole team, their value cannot be underestimated, freshmen or not.
The problem is not really the freshman. Its that they don't have any senior leadership to rely on. I know I know, kentucky won NC with freshman. Our freshman are not that talented. They are very solid freshman and contributing in a big way to a pretty good team. I think more of the problem is why a coach in his 6th year at a program has no upper classmen except for Morgan in the rotation.
Uptick in recruiting is a major reason why there are no seniors in the rotation. Vogrich and McLimans are seniors but get very little PT, because younger more talented players have taken their spot in the rotation. Vogrich did start the first 6 games of the season before being usurped by Stauskas
Darius Morris would be a senior this season, had he stuck around.
THJ is a junior and 3 year starter, but there is a good chance he won't be around for his senior season.
M just finished a season with 2 great senior leaders, and won the BIG, so Coach B did have senior leadership in his 5th season, it's not like he's gone 6 years without any senior leadership.
we don't have many upperclassmen because cronin had a career ending injury, douglas and novak had to play as true freshmen, smotrycz transferred and DMo left early. that leaves hardaway, morgan, mclimans and vogrich. vogrich is another story, i really thought he would become a better version of stu douglas. not so much.
I really have never understood how a former football player can make a negative comment about the previous regime and get blasted here but blasting current players is acceptable. Maybe most of this comes from the same voices that had little good to say about Stu last year, or were exceedingly anxious to bench Morgan in favor of McGary. Where was all the expertise about defense when all of this was going on?
Agreed - what's the point of picking on any one player? They've all had their ups and downs, it's how they play as a team that's the problem.
or perceived lack thereof. did you watch the way THJ and Levert shadowed Paul all during the illini game? that takes huge effort to clamp that guy down.
then there's the msu game when the team quit. it's one thing to lose, and even lose badly, but don't quit, especially against msu.
then there is both psu games. their less-talented bigs out worked our bigs in both games. that is unacceptable. it comes down to hustle and desire. we all know it's there. we saw it against bigger teams like kansas state and pittsburgh. i think the frustration is now showing on beilein, because he knows it's there too, but for some reason it's gone now.
My theory is they didn't face enough adversity in the beginning of the season to develop that ethic and drive over time, to know how to get out of the hole when they needed to. There was so much over-the-top media attention, and I can't imagine trying to keep it all in perspective as an 18 year-old.
While we're at it, I would add that we shouldn't be throwing Beilein under the bus just yet. The man has brought Michigan back and is widely considered to be a great coach, irrespective of a bad loss to PSU. All of you fans that would turn on him so quickly don't deserve him.
Just curious, how are you so sure they're giving it their all? I'm not saying they're not but how are you so sure?
And here's a hypothetical: what if you knew GRIII or Stauskas weren't giving it their all? What if you knew they loafed on certain plays for one reason or another? Would you criticize them or would they get a pass because they're freshmen/college students?
to not watch the game last night ! But this team is really built around an up-tempo pace and the refs in the B1G have simply ignored all the hand checks and body blows that are by Rule Definition .... FOULS.
Michigan doesn't foul people because we are NOT a physical basketball team. We are athletic and talented ... but "macho" rule about basketball in the B1G actually hurts us precisely for the same reasons that make us good. Yes an oximoron ....
I'll be the first to admit that the recent struggles have crushed my short sighted expectations of an undefeated season and a national championship, and I have focused that unfettered rage at the handful of freshmen who show less than "best ever" qualities on the court.
Gordie is right and I'm glad he posted this thread. We should be enjoying Trey Burke and his POY caliber season.
Now back to my regularly scheduled miserable evening.
are the people who were claiming earlier in the season that he had already established himself as A: as good a shooter as Glen Rice; or B: a better shooter than Glen Rice; or C: the best shooter in Michigan history. I heard and read all three statements more than once.
It wasn't Nik making these wild claims, or Beilein, or anybody on the team. It was passionate fans letting their enthusiasm run completely amok over a kid who hadn't even played a single full season yet. Stauskas is going to have a fine career at UM, but he's got a lot of games to play yet before anybody should be comparing him to Michigan's all-time leading scorer and the holder of the NCAA tournament scoring record for the last 23 years.
Good stats & info anyhow Gordie.
Heh, I'd forgotten how many three's Webber took.