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- Morgan - 24mpg
- Smotrycz - 18mpg
- Horford - 7mpg
- McLimans - 5mpg
- PG: Burke 2011 > Walton 2014
- SG: Levert 2014 >> Douglas 2011
- SF: Irvin 2014 > Hardaway 2011 (close one)
- PF: Novak 2011 > Wilson/Chatman 2014 (height and raw talent favor 2014)
- C: Morgan 2011 > Donnal 2014 (at least until we see him play)
- BN: 2014 >>> 2011 (Smotrycz might have been better than anyone in 2014, but the depth alone with 5-6 guys able to contribute trumps 2011)
- Beilein has always stuck to a pretty short rotation of about 8 primary guys with 1-2 more getting spot minutes as needed. He's never had this deep of a bench with scholarship players, however.
- Hatch is obviously either redshirting, taking a medical scholarship, or playing with the scout team given his situation.
- Had McGary and/or Horford returned they would have certainly wanted to redshirt Doyle and possibly even Williams - now that isn't happening.
- The MAAR/Dawkins role is going to be very interesting. They're different players and both of them could fill a need on this team.....yet there likely won't be more than a few minutes for either of them so does one red-shirt?
- What is up with Max? I'm frankly surprised that so many people think he's going to play major minutes. I just don't see it. He's a man without a position on this team and remains an enigma. He's a solid effort and rebounding guy, but he's a liability on both ends of the floor barring a major improvement. I see him and Doyle fighting for the back-up center spot with one of them fading into the "emergency foul trouble guy" by the conference season.
- I don't think you see Donnal playing any minutes at PF now. He's a center unless/until someone else steps up and I think that's fine in this offense.
- Walton (28), Spike (12)
- Levert (30), Spike (5), Irvin (5)
- Irvin (25), Chatman (5), Dawkins (10)
- Chatman (20), Wilson (20)
- Donnal (20), Doyle (10), Bielfeldt (10)
- Levert is your SG running the ball screen offense most of the time while Irvin is your SF who spends more time off the ball shooting jumpers. Minor distinction in this offense, but worth commenting on.
- I'd love to get a more in depth scouting report on the new faces as I'm not sure what type of player to expect from any of the four new faces. How good is Chatman? Can he shoot and dribble or is he more of a secondary player like GR3?
- WIth McGary this team could contend for the conference title again. They're also HUGE as Wilson/Chatman/Doyle/Donnal are all taller than the three likely departures.
- I can see why McGary might want to leave, but doesn't he just seem like a college player? His enthusiasm, his energy, his hustle - that stuff plays great in college. And he seems to love it. A lot of the NBA prospects seem to be sleep walking through college waiting for a paycheck - not Mitch. I also think that Beilein could turn him into a monster with a full season of playing 25-30 minutes. He should look at Adrian Payne and see what staying in school did for him. Or Kaminski for that matter.
- I think they're missing a back-up wing player who can play 10-15 minutes, handle the ball reliabily, and shoot open jumpers. Sadly, I wish that could still be Austin Hatch but I think he'll instead be the #2 cheerleader with Dackich.
- As much as I like the guy and think he's a good kid, Max Bielfeldt's roster spot is the most confusing one ever under Beilein. He's too small to be a post defender, he's too unathletic to be a good defender like Morgan, and he doesn't have any offense to be a stretch four. I wish he were 3 inches taller or had a jump shot. As it is he seems about to get passed for his 10-th man role by all four incoming freshmen unless they redshirt Doyle or Williams. I didn't understand why they didn't sign a guy like Larry Nance Jr. (now at Wyoming) instead of Max.
- Will be excited to see what Walton and Irvin bring to the table next year.
|1 day 22 hours ago||Eh.....not sure.||
I think Mario & Taco played okay, but they weren't dominant. And when the QB runs for that many yards I think everyone in the front-seven needs to be down-graded. Sure, the offense and special teams lost us the game, but the D gave up two fourth quarter touchdowns and allowed their QB to run for 80+ yards. If they're supposed to be an elite run-stopping defense, the entire front seven is an issue. The comments about the WR are also very accurate. Chesson has vanished, Darboh is solid but unspectacular, Norfleet doesn't get any chances, Canteen has barely played and dropped a great TD pass on Saturday. Even Jake Butt is rarely used and we know that the RB always stay in to block rather than run routes.
|4 days 18 hours ago||Ball screen.....where art thou?||
The last few years we've been an offense built around the ball screen. I feel like we've barely seen it in these initial games. Is that because the 4/5 spots are freshmen? Is that just an early season thing? Is it because Caris is better in isolation? The offense felt clunky for long stretches last night, even with the 5 upper-classmen out there. (Though it went unsaid that we missed at least two threes that were in and out during the first half and the game looks a lot different if those went in.)
|4 days 18 hours ago||Donnal||
I was a little surprised that Donnal got yanked. The play where he missed the layup was a pretty good play by him and I thought he fit well within the offense and had a couple blocks. I understood Wilson because he looked totally lost and Doyle wasn't a good fit against a 5-guard lineup. But I wanted to see Donnal get more PT since he's our starter and someone we will need. When Max had to play any 1-on-1 D he was a liability. Kam was frustrating at times, but I still think he's getting decent shots that just aren't falling.
|6 days 17 hours ago||Parallel to 2010-2011||
Either on this site or UMHoops someone mentioned the parallel at the Center position between this season and the 2010-2011 season. Both years we had a glut of young and unproven big-men. Here are how the minutes played out:
There's a decent parallel to this year. Morgan was a solid clog in the machine as a RS-Fr (Donnal) and got most of the minutes despite not doing any one thing great but several things well enough (5.4rpg, 63%, 9.2ppg). Smotrycz was the most skilled of the options and spent some time at the four and five spots slightly out of position (38% from 3pt, 2.3rpg) and compares to Wilson. Horford played a surprisingly small amount considering his size and ability to rebound/block shots - which either means my analogy to Doyle breaks down or we may see Wilson pass him if he can hit open shots. Then there's McLimans, who was unable to hold his own in the post but could hit a few open shots (aka Bielfeldt).
|2 weeks 19 hours ago||Not too worried....||
I'm not sure if you're on to something or not, but I persoally am not too worried. We will definitely see some growing pains with SEVEN freshmen, but that is part of the benefit too. We need to cover two positions with freshmen - PF and C. We can try any combination of the deep bench to fill those spots and aren't forced to give 30+ minutes to any one guy who isn't ready or is having a bad night.
|2 weeks 19 hours ago||Defensive improvements||
I don't ever expect a Beilein team to excel at defense given the complex offense they have to learn and the early turnover to the NBA we will now see apparently. Teams that make defense their hallmark are more often full of upper-classmen (WI, MSU, VCU, etc.). But you did touch on an interesting point that Stauskas and GR3 were poor defenders. On top of that I don't think that McGary or Horford were particularly great either, though each had their moments. In addition to the potential upgrade from Irvin/Chatman/Wilson you could also mention the advantage of having Rahk and Dawkins as athletes off the bench who could become effective defenders based purely on their athleticism and desire to earn minutes. Finally, it is refreshing to have a bench deep enough to afford some fouls unlike the past few years. We go 2-deep at every position and 4-deep at center if needed.
|7 weeks 20 hours ago||Desmond Morgan is missed too....||
You mentioned how the injury to Peppers has affected Michigan because it now asks Countess to do things he's not as qualified to do (as did the health issues with Taylor). But you could also mention what Desmond Morgan's loss has meant to this team. They basically aren't taking Ryan or Bolden off the field anymore after a heavy rotation last year of multiple LB. When Ryan biffs a play and needs to be talked to (or Bolden for that matter) there isn't a Morgan to put in the game. Add to the pile of injuries the chaos at safety with Wilson and Hill both having various injuries and the continuity plus depth have been sapped while learning to adapt in a new defense. This play felt like the offense at times - the theory was okay, the execution by one guy blew it up.
|8 weeks 6 days ago||Good D vs. Great D||
I still can't figure out the ND game as it was so random. When your offense doesn't get you into the redzone and has a lot of negative plays it makes it really tough on the D. It is fair to say they aren't elite, but I don't put a lot of the ND game on them.
In that game they lost Taylor and Peppers so ND attacked Countess and Holowell. Holowell didn't play against Utah and Countess barely registered. I think Lewis/Taylor/Peppers on the outside with Countess at slot corner is very strong. They missed Wilson in the last couple games too.
I am not worried about Countess at slot corner because he did well last year and we suck at corner blitzes no matter who's in there. With that roster, plus Morgan, we're a very good or even great D.
If only we could figure out what's wrong on the O. Unlike with RichRod where we had a lack of depth/talent, this O should be decent at least. There are too many good players to suck as bad as they are. What's wrong???
|13 weeks 2 days ago||Centers||
I agree that there is a LONG way to go before we know how good the Double D's are at center. But without taking ANYTHING away from Morgan, did he ever have three double double games in a season? Donnal had one and Doyle had two in Italy. Even against a pick up team in the CCRB that's a promising start.
They won't have the defensive abilities that Morgan did, but they may be able to offset that by being better offensively and blocking a shot or two.
|13 weeks 2 days ago||Chart? Charts wrong....||
In your tables at the end you show a +3.5 for both Lewan and Fitz without any negatives, but I think that's got to be wrong since I saw them both highlighted as negative multiple times. It almost seems like Borges had a decent day here as he tried more screens, tried some reverses, countered a few things, etc. It wasn't "good", but it showed signs of recognizing their weaknesses and trying to hide them. Some Funchess drops and a Gardner fumble or maybe we steal this game.
|13 weeks 3 days ago||Only minor disagreements||
Marshall is probably 50% because they love to rotate at DE and have limited depth.
I don't understand the logic behind wanting to redshirt Morris this year. Sure, they blew it by not having the luxury of giving him a RS last year due to Bellamy's injury and ineptitude along with not recruiting a QB in the previous class. But now you need Morris to be ready to play both if Gardner gets hurt and for the following year. He will still have two years to be a starter and now you have QB recruits lined up in the three classes after him with all likely to RS.
|17 weeks 5 days ago||OL @ 299||
This OL chart reminds me of the late 80s and early 90s when they basically refused to list anyone over 300 pounds a if that was a bad omen.
|20 weeks 5 days ago||Burke?||
|23 weeks 2 days ago||Small story....||
A close family member of mine got to attend an event with a few of the parents of the players last year. Gant's dad was there, who is a former player himself, and said that there were some bad influences in the locker room that he was looking forward to being gone this year. That's all he said and obviously it is unconfirmed third-hand information, but it adds to this speculation. I also believe that Leadership-vs-Winning is a Chicken-vs-Egg debate that is impossible to figure out. Winning teams supposedly have great leaders and losing teams don't, but which comes first?
|24 weeks 4 days ago||The mystery of the 2013 DL||
What confuses me as much as anything (and I wish we had Heiko-like access to Mattison) is the strategy of the DL for 2013. When we had a dynamic duo of Martin and RVB on the DL it made sense to let them slash into the backfield while the LB cleaned up. But we seemed to have success in 2012 when Washington and Campbell ate double-teams and allowed the talent at LB to make the plays. But what happened in 2013? It seemed like we played a small DL with players somewhat out of position and put more of a burden on the LB than any season preview predicted. Washington barely played, Black and Beyer played at positions where they were undersized, there was a ton of rotation from play to play unlike the steady usage of guys like Campbell, Roh, RVB, and Martin in previous seasons..... It doesn't add up. So maybe the coaches realized this but also realized that they don't have two space eating monsters at DT right now and thus feel the 4-3 Over is the best way to free up the LB to make plays. Just one random and mostly uneducated opinion on the topic. I would love to hear what Mattison had to say about the 2013 DL rotation.
|24 weeks 4 days ago||Ross....||
What people often neglect in this type of discussion is James Ross. Last year we had hoped he would be the dynamic and elusive tackle machine his profile suggested. Yet we saw almost zero in the way of big play from him. It wasn't that he was bad, but he wasn't dynamic. Now we have two big burly linebackers in the middle and the smaller/quicker Ross will deal with TEs and Slot types on the edge while occassionally blitzing and using his athleticism and quickness. I admit to being totally naive with regard to the details of this defense, but it seems to suit Ross more than people mention.
|27 weeks 4 days ago||Optimism is good, but there's more to the story....||
I generally like this post because Beilein has earned trust and optimism no matter who's on the court. With a stunning FIVE players leaving for next year it is natural to be worried. It would also be wise to set proper expectations, but look forward to improvement and good offense no matter what.
But I think we should emphasize the best attribute of next year's roster - depth and versatility. What limited the Novak team was that we only had two viable guys off the bench and Vogrich added little. Next year we have 12 scholarship players and go 2+ deep at every position. If one of the freshman isn't quite ready or has an off night - there's someone waiting to step up. That's going to be a fun new wrinkle to Beilein's story - what does he do with 12 scholarship players and a full 2-deep roster after years of playing a short bench?
With all of that being said, let's not sell the 2011-2012 team too short. Two of those players are successful in the NBA, two others had success in Europe, and Smotrycz is a solid starter for a good program. While lacking depth and forcing two guys to play out of position, this was a good team with experience and talent. Quick comparison:
If you assume natural improvement from Walton/Irvin and a star season from Levert it really comes down to finding 2 of the 6 freshman who can hold their own as starters. Seems like pretty good odds that some combination of them will be just fine.
|29 weeks 1 day ago||Basketball minutes||
Those minutes are almost exactly what I expect. I don't think Donnal plays the 4 spot this year and probably not next year either. I think he's a 5 until/unless Doyle or someone else shows they can play it. And with Chatman/Wilson both being 6'8" I don't see a strong need to move him either. At this point the spots up for grabs are MAAR/Dawkins for the back-up wing and Doyle/redshirt depending on how well Donnal and Bielfeldt play. I doubt we can afford to redshirt Doyle given the foul trouble and height issues.
|29 weeks 1 day ago||Uh...there are a few puzzlers out there....||
Most of the ones I've seen are pretty good. But Sean Higgins, Rumeal Robinson, Jamal Crawford, and Zack Novak can't appear on this list in any way. They were very, very good players but if you're picking 5 guys they're far down the list. You're really picking from the best of the best of all time and I"m sure we're missing some old guys. Grant, Burke, Cazzie, Rice, Webber, and a short list of others are where you start.
|30 weeks 1 day ago||My minute breakdown||
I was just working on this last night and thinking of posting something similar. Thanks for starting this thread - fun for rampant speculation. First, you have to think about a few circumstances that will affect next season:
So here's my best guess at minutes:
Redshirt - MAAR, Hatch.
I think they are more likely to need size and shooting (Dawkins) than they are ball handling and creation (MAAR) so that's why I picked what I did. However I could easily see that reversed and Levert playing more minutes at SF so MAAR can play SG.
Chatman will join the returning wing players in playing roughly 25-30mpg. All of the bigger guys (Wilson, Doyle, Donnal, Max) will be thrown in a blender and play anywhere from 5-20mpg.
Considering that Chatman has the second highest Rivals ranking of any Beilein recruit I think that team will be able to score and ride some ups and downs (and horrific defense) into the tournament but won't contend for the conference title. Wisconsin seems to have that locked up with Kaminski inexplicably staying another year.
|32 weeks 1 day ago||Height||
While McGary is critical for the potential of next year's team, the height comment isn't quite as dire as you suggest. This season we only had two players 6'8" or taller and next year the number is three without Mitch.
Also, while this doesn't help the center position, Michigan will have 8 players on scholarship who are 6'6" or taller if none of the three NBA prospects return. That creates some flexibility and matchup advantages at most other positions.
|32 weeks 1 day ago||In JB we trust....but.....||
I see this roster as a "right side of the bubble team" that starts poorly and makes a run late in the year to get in as a middling seed. Walton/Levert/Irvin could be a nice trio, but the massive holes everywhere else are going to be an issue. I don't think anyone red-shirts in this scenario as I suspect Williams has to play a lot of PF and Doyle has to play 10+ minutes backing up the 5. Asking four freshmen and Bielfeldt to replace Morgan/Horford/McGary/GR3/Stauskas is just too tall of a task. It will be a streaky team that hopefully is well coached enough and hits enough threes to get into the tournament and then anything can happen. Ideally McGary returns and we can consider redshirts for Williams and/or Doyle.
|32 weeks 1 day ago||Thoughts....||
Donnal sounds great at the PF position if McGary returns and Doyle or Bielfeldt can play a back-up role. If McGary leaves, there is no way Donnal plays the PF spot. Also keep in mind that other than a cameo by Smotrycz a few years ago we have had all of this success with under-sized PF like Novak and GR3. A stretch PF is a nice to have, but isn't mandatory if we need help at center. ALso, I'm still curious about the shot-blocker comment that was taken from a Beilein quote. I'm sure he'd like a better back-line defensive presence, but I don't think he'd trade that for being someone who can manage the ball-screen offense. Try to picture Amir Williams in our offense when he wanders around lost on offense and tries to block every shot and gives up easy plays on the back side.
|32 weeks 5 days ago||Prediction....||
As of right now there's a roster spot for him next year so he doesn't have to take a medical hardship scholarship. My feeling is that he'll get in a game or two during garbage time, hit a couple of threes as the crowd explodes. As he enters his sophomore year they'll take a look at his physical capabilities and the status of the roster. Most likely, he takes the medical at that point and becomes a student staff assistant like Ben Cronin.
|33 weeks 21 hours ago||OL.....||
I still can't figure out how we got to where we are on this OL. There isn't a single position.....not ONE of the five that is settled. The only one with some experience that has even decent performance to go with it is Glasgow and he's suspended and without a true position. He should be a guard, but that's the one spot we have the most depth. Kalis has seen his star fade, Bosch and Magnuson have some promise still but are both coming off injury, Braden has yet to crack the two-deep going into his third season, and the rest are raw. Scary. Who cares about the RB and QB depth charts if the OL isn't able to be competent.
|33 weeks 21 hours ago||DL||
Why is it odd that Taco is moved to SDE? That position has provided nothing of significant impact since RVB left - just bodies. With Clark and Mario at WDE and Beyer someone who can rotate between the two positions based on situation, why not put the large and athletic Taco at SDE? I love the move. He is big enough to be decent against the run and athletic enough to maybe provide the pass rush that no one else has. Also, I would love for Pipkins or Mone to develop enough to play a fair amount of NT with Henry playing DT. I think Henry is a monster against single team blocking but will be a non-factor against double teams. Right now we need someone on the line to demand a double team so we get good match-ups elsewhere.
|34 weeks 19 hours ago||Observations:||
|34 weeks 2 days ago||Last Shot||
Hard to complain about that shot. Bad look from a bad shooter with a hand in his face. Only twice this year did we really desperately need McGary....today and the last MSU game.
Thanks for everything JMo, Nik, and GR3. I hope McGary says since we could be a killer team next year with him.
|36 weeks 4 days ago||Expectations||
I knew we'd get a far better game from Illinois as they were fighting for their life and weren't going to let us go bonkers from 3 point land. However, it was concerning that we struggled so much against the 2-3 zone and settled for long and contested threes.
|36 weeks 4 days ago||MMB Travels||
While I respect your thoughts on not sending the band somewhere they may get booed off the field, it is hard to say that and the OSU comment in the same paragraph. The OSU environment got slightly better when former instructors from the MMB went to OSU, but having been there with the MMB three times I can say that it is borderline unsafe. I still want them there and at as many games as possible, but don't assume that OSU's respect for old-timey traditions means that the MMB gets treated as anything other than lousy. I have many, many colorful stories from my three trips there and don't have any interest in ever going back.