There's been scattered discussion in a number of threads regarding GRIII and Horford and their concerns about playing out of position or in a system that doesn't fit their style/strengths.
I've been thinking about this issue a bit and wanted to make it its own topic.
Does the player's position and/or the system in which they play dramatically affect their ability to display their skills?
Did playing the PF in Beilein's system really hamper GRIII's ability to showcase what he can do? Did the lack of post-up touches really do the same to Horford?
I've attended/watched about 90% of Michigan's games over the past four years, and it appears as though players under Beilein that have the ability to impact the game are given the opportunity to do so...regardless of position played.
There's ample evidence of this. McGary is but one example. As a center, he often times led the break, handled the ball down the court and dished it off or drove to the hole. How many times did he get the ball at the top of the key and either drive to the hole or pass it off to someone on the perimeter or cutting to the basket? He also displayed some post-up moves as well as the ability to hit 15-foot fade-aways.
Novak is another player who played every position other than center and was still able to showcase his skills, impact the game and thrive.
Beilein has also adjusted his "system" mutiple times over the past five years because of the strengths of his players. The offensive system ran by Morris was adjusted for Burke...and then it evolved siginificantly again this year for Stauskas and Caris. Not to mention the major overhaul for last year's Syracuse game....when everything ran thru Mitch.
There is no doubt that GRIII contributed significantly the the team's success, but there were countless times where he'd get the ball around the perimeter, take one or two awkward dribbles, and then just give the ball up. He had many opportunities to show that he had the skills needed to be an effective SF. If GRIII had those skills, Beilein wouldn've done things to take advantage of them. Contrast that with Nik, Caris, Tim, and Mitch...who would get the ball in similar circumstances and then make something happen.
Horford also contributed to the team, but he also had more than ample opportunity to get the ball in the post and do something with it...but often times wasn't able to do so And his defense really seemed to deteriorate as the season went along.
Again, I'm not saying GRIII or Horford are without skills or didn't contribute to the team's success. What I am saying is that I think both overplayed the importance of their position and/or the team's system when evaluating their own talents and when making their respective decisions to leave the team.
Thoughts on this?
TL;DR: Does the position/system really matter? Are GRIII and Horford maybe not being honest about their skills/abilities and thus somewhat blaming Beilein's decisions/system for not allowing them to showcase skills that they maybe do not possess?