I think you will get your wish.
- Member for
- 5 years 41 weeks
- View recent blog entries
|10 hours 46 min ago||Bielfeldt will be OK||
He's entering his 4th year on campus and, while his minutes have been few, he's been practicing against/with Horford, Morgan, and McGary for a few years. Plus he's been to a lot of tournament games, played against Kentucky, etc. He's ready for a bigger role.
Rather he not start, but he can certainly play 15-20 minutes a night and be an asset.
|10 hours 55 min ago||Bench in that scenario w/McGary back||
6th man: Chatman - may be raw, but this is a kid offered by UCLA, Arizona, UConn. He should do some good things as a backup wing or 4. At the very least, a long athletic defender. He should bring a mix of what GR3 and Irvin did as freshman.
7th man: Spike - pretty awesome as a backup guard / shooter/ sparkplug
8th man: Bielfeldt - will bang bang at least. capable of developing a nice mid range shot too.
9th man: imminent '14 recruit - a when-there's-foul-trouble role is available for a wing that can play some defense
10th man: Doyle or Wilson - whoever doesn't redshirt can be the 4th big (probably Doyle) and maybe compete with Bielfeldt for more
Considering the borderline elite starting group with McGary, I'd call that a very nice bench, with some excellent change of pace potential. Not many teams in the Big 10 will be able to bring that blend of know-your-role seasoned contributors (Spike/Max) with talent (Chatman).
|11 hours 17 min ago||Sometimes you play better WHEN you get more time||
I think Horford's decision is completely justifiable, even if McGary goes pro. He's shown very nice skills - impressive rebounding ability, decent shot-blocking, potential on offense to do much more. Clearly he was never totally comfortable in Beilein's system. It's a bummer for Michigan, but Horford contributed for 4 good years and never grumbled.
|14 hours 15 min ago||Struggles with a small 5?||
It wasn't that bad. Beilein did it regularly and we didn't die, at times we even thrived. We got killed on the boards, but gave it good on the other end with Smotrycz's 3-threat clearing out space inside. It's really no different than playing a wing at the 4 spot - you lose something but gain something on the other end. At the very least it's a 1-3-1-style change of pace that can put teams in an awkward place for a few minutes a half.
If McGary goes pro, I definitely think you'll see some Donnal at the 5. There just aren't too many reliable options unless Doyle shocks everyone.
The issue is that Michigan can't play a 3 at the 4 spot AND a 4 at the 5 spot without really waving the white flag on rebounding. To play Donnal at the 5 they need some rebounding and strength from the wings. I suspect that eventually Beilein would love to have a frontline of Wilson-Donnal, where both bigs can spread the floor and hold up just enough to not get dominated on the glass.
|1 day 3 hours ago||Smotrycz||
JB had his stretch 4 it with him.
Otherwise, I agree with you. With Mitch back the team looks very nice and the roles are pretty clear. Without Mitch, the team is scrambling to fill the void at 5 and may have to play small (as they did at times when Smotrycz played center).
|1 day 4 hours ago||Those seem like reasons to be pessimistic||
I think you're intending to insinuate that the issues are behind the team (?) but we can't know.
-Funk doesn't know the system he is coaching very well -- one offseason won't change that.
-Wasting/losing time compared to teams that are familiar with their offensive system -- we can hope this is in the past.
-Injuries are hindering development on an already young OL -- who knows.
|1 day 6 hours ago||Projecting Roles/Minutes||
I'd think Irvin takes most of Nik's minutes and shots. I don't think his game is that well-suited for the Beilein 4.
LeVert and especially Walton will get more play-making responsibilities, but Caris was already option 1B. He'll get more defensive attention but his role won't change that much - he was already the guy who got the ball when the team was struggling. Spike will get a minutes bump, but mostly I expect Chatman to reprise Irvin's role at the 6th man/ multi-position wing backup. I'd suggest people keep their expectations of Chatman in check because he's playing at a VERY low level of competition out in Oregon right now.
Unclear who will replace Robinson/Morgan/Horford up front. We can all guess, but Bielfeldt/Donnal/Doyle/Wilson is a scrum no one can predict the outcome of, but Bielfeldt and Donnal would probably start to begin the year. Donnal will be like Smotrycz - anytime he plays the 5 the matchup problems will go both ways.
That said, McGary should come back (unlike Nik and GR, who have little to gain and lots to lose by returning). It's in Mitch's interest to do so and (obviously) would make the team dramatically better, much more so than this year.
If McGary does return it's Muppets-worthy.
|1 week 1 day ago||Right||
I'm not intending to be negative about Thomas in anything other than the expectations fans have for him to change positions and immediately start in 2014. Clark is a year older, has been practicing the position for two seasons, is bigger, and has some physical ability also. Hill also has an edge in practicing at safety all of last year.
I wish Thomas had red-shirted and been assigned to Safety from the outset, but that's hindsight. His special teams contributions were significant but his upside is such that it'd be nice to have that extra year available.
I'm actually guessing that Taylor or Countess drop back to safety (like Avery did last year) to free up playing time for the underclassmen CBs.
|1 week 1 day ago||"unable to get mentioned"||
I would blame the lack of mention on the author moreso than the player, but you can't discuss every guy...
As for his role, it's struck me as curious that everyone penciled Thomas in to start (before last year at nickel and before this year at safety). The guy lacks experience, even compared to Clark and didn't do much more than Hill last year. I know his recruiting profile was stellar, but those are often wrong.
Thomas could be a great player, but before we make him a starter, it'd be nice to see him do something other than special teams.
|1 week 1 day ago||Fire Rich Rod!||
That's what I think about Fab 5 - related conversations on MGOBLOG.com
|1 week 1 day ago||PHRASING!||
If you had just said "puts up nice stats", no one would be arguing with you, but instead you said "had a great game", which is hard to back up when you get blown out and your opposing matchups puts up even better stats than you (even if he's an All-Star and you're a rookie).
|1 week 5 days ago||For starters||
Because there were more (other) players available, like Demarcus Cousins for example in the Monroe draft. Dumars has mostly made the obvious (consensus) picks. Where he's shined in the past was in getting value out of late picks and 2nd rounders.
|1 week 5 days ago||Goes both ways||
99% of GMs also would have taken Drummond, Monroe, and Knight where Joe got them.
|1 week 5 days ago||You're correct in spirit||
The KCP vs Trey debate is far from decided. Both are complementary players at best. Anyone acting like they can tell you a Derek Fisher is more or less valuable than a Bruce Bowen is full of it. It just depends on the surrounding talent. If your star player is Shaq, Tim Duncan, or Dirk nowitzki - you probably want a guy like Trey. If your star is Lebron or Derrick Rose, you want KCP.
The bigger issue is that the Pistons have been generally mismanged for nearly a decade now and a flat-out train-wreck for the last 5 or so. The defensible KCP selection doesn't even make the top 50 of bad Dumars decisions. It's just a lightning rod for Michigan fans who, understandably, love Trey.
A more interesting debate IMO is Trey vs Tim. It'll be interesting to see who has the better NBA career. Ditto for GR3 vs Nik.
|4 weeks 2 days ago||Novak is Michigan's Craft||
"the never-ending hagiography for a guy who is merely a pretty good player."
The could well describe what Zack Novak is to a large portion of the UM hoops fanbase. He was a great role player - a fun guy to root for, etc. but Michigan doesn't win half the games they did without Harris, Morris, and Burke carrying the offense around him.
Same old-white-guy stuff applies too. Look at GR3's stats and Novak through 2 years -- very very similar. Yet, because of expectations (recruiting profile, name), you get two totally different narratives for similarly productive undersized small-ball 4s.
|5 weeks 4 days ago||Fister was a bargain||
If the goal was to save money there were far better ways to do it.
|6 weeks 11 hours ago||Ian Ingeler||
I remember when Brandon Inge grumbled about keeping his infield position. He didn't want to help his team by moving, despite being badly overpaid.
Since Kinsler's lifetime average outside of Arlington is an Ingeian .242, I'm starting to see a scary parallel.
|6 weeks 4 days ago||So why not change 'Slot' to WR3?||
Or, if you absolutely need to differentiate, how about combinging it into H-Back/Slot.
We already ran into problems with this when everyone wanted to classify Gallon as a Slot WR even though he had been lining up outside for a while. Meanwhile no one wanted to classify Hemingway as a slot even though he lined up there as often as anyone else. Even when Rich Rod was coach Martevious Odoms lined up outside frequently but was labeled as a slot because he is short. This year, Funchess may be the guy who lines up in the slot more often than anyone else, especially if he can motion over from H-back.
The whole slot label is a pet pieve of mine. We don't need to give a guy a different position name just because he's not 6'2. Desmond Howard wasn't a 'slot' and neither was Jeremy Gallon.
Maybe we can just call them WRs and acknowledge that they sometimes line up between the OL and another WR.
Anyway...if you used the WR1 and WR2 tag for conventional/prototypical receivers and dump everyone else into the Slot/H-back spot your depth chart might look a little more clear...
Though really, I'd just include Canteen as a WR. Assuming he'll go into the slot spot is pure conjecture. It's not like route running is less important on the outside.
When it comes to depth charts, less specificity means more accuracy and believability.
|7 weeks 4 days ago||Because tackle numbers really tell you||
everything you need to know about CB play
|7 weeks 5 days ago||OL is hard to predict||
coaching is part of it, but even when we had proven/established OL coaches we whiffed on recruits, even 4-star ones
|7 weeks 5 days ago||Winovich?||
If it weren't for the EE I would agree more strongly, but I do hope Ferns can red-shirt. RJS wasn't mentioned, but he's on the depth chart too and if Ferns passes him by he may not stick around.
Meanwhile, SAM is still very open and Winovich seems like he may fit there.
Marshall may play but sounds similar to Ojemudia, plus the other returners...
|7 weeks 5 days ago||It's still mostly duct tape and hope||
Yeah, guys #7-9 are now on scholarship, but that description remains appropriate. It is a distinct possibility that a freshman is needed "the best of the bunch" if injuries hit. The depth argument was made last year and it didn't go well, because the guys weren't proven and that remains this year.
|7 weeks 5 days ago||I remember that argument||
from last year
|7 weeks 5 days ago||The better comp for Bunting is Funchess.||
He couldn't block either, but there was a while where teams didn't know that and there matchups to be exploited.
Bunting shouldn't start, but will probably get some time and may make some "surprise, this guy lining up at TE can fly, guess we should cover him" opportunities. Like Funchess in his true freshman year, he'll get shut down once scouted, but can make some big plays.
|7 weeks 5 days ago||We probably shouldn't be talking about:||
ways to improve the offense so much...
|7 weeks 6 days ago||Nik Stauskas' funk||
The point guard strategy is obviously working, but throwing a lot of defensive attention at Nik has worked before too. Nik was also in a funk against Arizona, Duke, and Stanford...and last year too, when defenses made him a priority, he couln't score -- but we still won.
Against good teams, Caris has carried a heavier load and been at least as productive as Nik (all while guarding the best offensive player on the other side). The how-do-we-get-Nik going argument is not unlike the should-we-start-Spike argument. It's a weirdly focused position to take built on some dubious assumptions.
The defense is far more concerning. That's been the problem all year and remains so, but fixes are hard to come by.
Offensively, getting GR3's efficiency up and/or getting LeVert or Walton to produce consistently are just as important as getting Nik scoring 20 plus. Even as a decoy drawing the opponents top defender (or one of them) he's valuable to this team.
The strength of this team is that it can be a three-headed monster that few teams can handle. We need all three heads capable of shooting fire, not one big monster-head.
|9 weeks 5 days ago||Comparing Just-a-Shooters||
We wouldn't know if Irvin has the skillset to be more than a shooter because there are three really good ball-handlers ahead of him (Stauskas, Walton, LeVert - plus GR3 soaking up some possessions). It's not what the team needs from him. Comparing him to Nik is unfair, since a)Nik played a lot more and b) he was only contending with Trey and Tim (who wasn't great off the dribble anyway) for ball-handling duties. I wouldn't categorize him as just-a-shooter just yet, no matter how thirsty for evidence to upend the race/role-narrative one might be.
But yeah...the 8 FTA is very Stu Douglass. Tim Hardaway's freshman year he had .11 FTA/minute. Zak is at .02.
Footnote: While Bruce Bowen ended up beign the quintessential 3&D guy in the NBA, he had a surprisingly high FT rate in college. 5 FTA/game on average and 7.4 FTA/game his senior year. I found that surprising.
|9 weeks 6 days ago||Keep the original format!||
I think you should have stuck with the chart without normalizing, or at least shown then both.
I love the work and think it's the best evaluation out there but this tweak is a (minor) step back.
While average rank is certainly far better than the algorithms heavily based on quantity, I think it's still worth acknowledging that bigger classes are more productive. In a vacum, having a class of 25 guys averaging 3.9 stars is better than a class of 18 averaging the same - there is no question Alabama is well-served by oversigning and cutting players. Getting five 5-stars in a class of 25 is better than getting four 5-stars in a class of 20...and so on. Normalizing at the top end skews the comparison of classes. At the bottom end, it doesn't matter if you land five 3-stars or two - that's just a function of attrition, demand for kickers and other irrata. I'd rather just ignore the tail and focus on the left half of the graph...but now that it's normalized that's harder.
|10 weeks 11 hours ago||That's a good point||
Some things can be proven with more college playing like shooting, play-making, strength. Other things like height, quickness, athleticism aren't going to change much.
If Nik plays like an all-conference caliber player this year the only reason for him to return would be to show a more well-rounded game (rebounding, smart defense). It's likely his draft stock wouldn't improve dramatically.
That said, his draft POSITION might be. Depending on who comes out the '14 draft may be much deeper than 15.
|10 weeks 1 day ago||Big difference||
between not being good and not meeting the hype of a mid-1st round NBA pick.
I realize some people expected more - there was offseason talk about him moving to the 3 spot and going with McGary at the 4, but that obviously didn't happen. I don't see that "disappointment" as a huge problem as much as I see it as misguided expectations. Is it really a shock that his percentages have dropped without Trey Burke? Does that really mean he's not playing well? I don't think so.
I don't need GR3 to create off the dribble. We have Stauskas, Walton, and Irvin to do that. Not all good players have to be high utilization scorers. GR3 relies on others offensively - so what? Nik relies on others defensively. There's a reason people like Robert Horry have long NBA careers and people like Adam Morrison fade into oblivion. It's a team game not a battle of one-on-one players.
This Robinson is bad because he doesn't score enough argument is the equivalent of saying Denard Robinson is a bad quarterback.