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- 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.
- Josh Asselin - Would have been great under Beilein and had an amazing Euro career.
- Laval Blanchard - Was a superstar who stayed home to try and to for Michigan what the likes of Morgan, Morris, and others did and never quite made it. Also would have been a perfect player in a Beilein system.
- Dugan Fife - He probably got the right amount of praise, but he was the glue guy for those fab five years.
- Eric Riley - Someone mentioned him earlier and that's a great name. He was a limited member of the 89 championship team and would have been a solid starter for his upper classmen years if not for the fab five.
- Chris Calloway - Was always overshadowed by Greg McMurtry (who history now forgets as a very good player and wearer of #1) and yet Calloway had a great college career and phenomenal NFL career.
- Jarrod Bunch - Didn't get a lot of publicity in the era of bruising running games with Hoard, Wheatley, and others getting the publicity, but did everything you'd want of a RB/FB tweener and had a solid career.
- RVB or Craig Roh - Never a star but always a starter who was reliable.
|3 weeks 1 day 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.
|3 weeks 1 day 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.
|3 weeks 1 day 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.
|7 weeks 4 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.
|10 weeks 4 days ago||Burke?||
|13 weeks 17 hours 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?
|14 weeks 3 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.
|14 weeks 3 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.
|17 weeks 3 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.
|19 weeks 14 hours 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.
|19 weeks 15 hours 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.
|20 weeks 4 hours 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.
|22 weeks 6 hours 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.
|22 weeks 9 hours 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.
|22 weeks 13 hours 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.
|22 weeks 4 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.
|22 weeks 6 days 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.
|22 weeks 6 days 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.
|23 weeks 6 days ago||Observations:||
|24 weeks 1 day 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.
|26 weeks 3 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.
|26 weeks 3 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.
|26 weeks 5 days ago||WHY isn't Michigan good at defense?||
What we haven't discussed is why this team with very good players, very good coaches, and an elite offense can't perform better on D. I have a couple of theories to throw out there in an 'educated guess' type of manner. But first picture this - in most games, especially on the road, there's a stretch where Michigan's opponent is overplaying everything and right up in the face of their man constantly. The crowd goes nuts, the team has trouble even initiating their offense, passes are contested, etc. Now can you ever remember a Michigan defense doing that? Morgan works his butt off in the post, Stu Douglas used to play great off-ball defense, and we will get a few steals now and then - but you never get that moment when Michigan is playing hyper-aggressive on D. Why? I think part of it is the not-fouling edict. Teams like MSU, OSU, or even the Super Bowl Champion Seahawks clutch and grab constantly knowing that they'll get called for a few fouls but will trade those for finding out just how far they can go. Michigan rarely does that, which sadly penalizes them with the way refs call the game. It may also have the side-effect of letting shooters get more confidence knowing they aren't going to get mugged consistently. If MGoBlog had a Heiko-like relationship with Beilein I would love to hear his take on this. The other thing hurting Michigan is likely their line-up. Having a bunch of 6'6" offensive players is great, but none of them have the lateral quickness to stay in front of most athletic guards. This isn't likely to change in the near future looking at the roster and incoming recruits either.
|27 weeks 16 hours ago||Early season, not mid-season||
I think we first need to establish that the change happened earlier than "mid season" since we went from 6-4 to have a 15-3 run in a tough conference. I honestly think that the McGary thing played a big role. I suspect that the lip service Beilein payed in the fall to making McGary a 4 and GR3 a 3 was fairly accurate and that they were planning to go into the season running a lot of offense through McGary and have LeVert come off the bench. Once McGary's back flared up to the point where they realized he was an unknown, I think Beilein went back to his roots. He starting running the offense mostly through Stauskas, LeVert stepped up and became the secondary scorer, GR3's role gradually went back to being what it was last year, and the centers went back to what they did with the Morris offense. I think it took a while to work out the kinks with everyone's role and once McGary wasn't an option it focused their efforts.
|27 weeks 3 days ago||Several Names.....||
|27 weeks 4 days ago||Rooting interest....||
I realize that we have not rooting interest in the B10 that isn't based on love or hate of other teams, but what about the non-conference teams? Namely, we want Stanford/FSU to win everything, we don't care about Arizona, we're probably indifferent to ISU now that we're clearly ahead of them, and we want Dook to lose to help our seeding and because they're Dook.
|28 weeks 12 hours ago||Critical.||
This is CRITICAL for next year. With McGary's future uncertain we need to know that Horford will be back to provide a consistent presence in the middle. Bielfeldt will probably get more play, but he's woefully undersized for the center position. The only other option is incoming freshman Ricky Doyle, who will be forced to play if McGary leaves. The only other option I could see the coaches trying is to play Bielfeldt alongside Mark Donnal. On D they could switch roles with Donnal guarding the other team's center and on O they can let Bielfeldt set the perimeter screens while Donnal operates as the stretch four.
|28 weeks 6 days ago||Fixing the symptom and not the problem?||
It seems like the coaches are throwing everything they have at maximizing the production of the LB crew both with the coaching changes and the position changes. But the reality is that the true problems were with the DL. We couldn't consistently get pressure and we couldn't keep the LB free. So now we're tinkering with the deepest and most talented position on the field to cover up for the weakest? Seems.....odd. Maybe they see the writing on the wall that help is NOT on the way at DL and they need to try more exotic options. Let's face it - unless we see a huge improvement from someone unexpected on the DL we're treading water there. The other option is that Ross will end up being a dynamic player on the edge where his speed and quickness are more effective and Ryan can blow up releasing guards and still make the tackle. Let's hope......
|29 weeks 15 hours ago||That was pretty great....||
I actually loved that exchange and wish the announcers would have talked about it. The call on Morgan was crap and Izzo telling Beilein "you got it, you got it, we're even" while laughing was pretty great.
|29 weeks 5 days ago||Disagree....||
I don't agree with Ferns at all. He is behind a full two-deep at his position right now and I can't see them blowing his redshirt.
In his place I would have used Lawrence Marshal. This staff has a history of playing WDE guys who are raw in situational pass rushing roles (Mario, Taco). In addition, we're lacking for pass rush and they announced that Taco is moving to SDE. I think Marshal gets a chance at some snaps and maybe a bigger role if he steps up. That seems far more likely than Ferns offering anything more than a cameo.
I'm not sold on Bunting either, but I didn't realize his weight was over 230 now. Last I heard he was a rail thin 220 and still trying to adapt from WR to TE. My guess is that the new OC puts more proven WR on the field and only uses TE when he needs blocking. Between Funchess part-time, Williams, Paskorz, Hill, and maybe even Shallman I think we can survive without asking a position-switch, undersized, true freshman to play. We'll see how long Butt takes to heal I guess....