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|1 day 4 hours ago||Ryan/Bieniemy||
The good thing about it is I'll be able to compare them on a level playing field, as Ryan will be playing EYBL this summer as well. Hopefully the two will actually match up against one another. Either way, both will play vs. the best competition in the world for their respective age group.
|1 day 4 hours ago||Think It Would be Tough||
to play DeJulius and Brooks together. Very difficult to play 2 small guards together when neither are great defenders. Definitely think you want one of your guards on the floor to be at least adequate on the defensive end if your roster allows for it.
|1 day 4 hours ago||Simpson/Brooks||
I preface this by saying I haven't seen Brooks play live, so my opinion isn't very informed and is obviously subject to critique.
That said, I'm not a huge fan of Brooks based on what I've seen on film. He doesn't handle the ball particularly well, and he's only a legit 5'11-6. Based on what I've seen on film, Eli appears to be a small shooting guard with limited athleticism. I think he'll be best served as a catch and shoot guy that has some ability to hit the midrange jumper off the dribble after a ball screen.
However, I do see Brooks getting some minutes next year out of necessity if Simpson cannot make big strides offensively. I have concerns about Xavier in that regard, so I do expect Brooks to get some time in the early going at least. It will sort itself out on the court.
If I had to compare the two, X has a better handle, moves better laterally, and is more aggressive going to the rim as a creator. Brooks has a much better shot, not as good athletically, not as good of a defender.
|1 day 10 hours ago||Distance Is Not a Factor||
at all with Jamal. I talked to him today and there's definitely some interest.
Trust me when I tell you this kid is very underrated. He will likely be a universal 4star at the end of summer, as he's going to get tons of exposure this year playing with Houston Hoops on the EYBL circuit. Last year he played with a non-shoe circuit club, and didn't get a ton of exposure.
|3 days 10 hours ago||Don't Believe JB Practice Hype||
as a general rule. He's notorious for giving 'coach speak' quotes like that.
Through the years Jordan Morgan was one the best athletes in the B10. Mark Donnal was going to have a breakout season. Johnny Dawkins was the most improved player on the team. Duncan Robinson was more than a shooter. Xavier Simpson had similarities to Trey Burke.
If Coach Beilein really thought Davis was that good in January he would've played him IMO. Coach has never backed away from giving freshman playing time when warranted.
|3 days 14 hours ago||Disagree on Not Needing Ibi||
There was a very large stretch where Zak Irvin was just downright awful this year, and we most certainly needed someone to step in and produce during that period. As bad as Zak was during that stretch, I'm inclined to believe Watson would've been a healthy downgrade based on what I've seen in practice and when he was in high school.
I'm not going to write Ibi off either, but I'm just not terribly optimistic that he'll be a major contributor any time soon. Ibi is best utilized as a catch and shoot guy in my opinion, as his handle needs a lot of work. Problem is that he isn't a very good shooter, and wasn't a very good shooter in high school either. MAAR is a guy that can get to the rim off the dribble and finish, but has developed a nice shot from distance in college.
For what its worth, I generally think ballhandling/playmaking skills are much harder to develop in relation to shooting.
|3 days 14 hours ago||Agreed! Trying to Be Diplomatic||
I was never a huge fan of Ibi Watson at the time we offered, but I'm hopeful he can develop at some point, but I'm not overly optimistic that he'll ever be a major contributor for the team.
I think Isaiah has more long term upside and is a better shooter as soon as next year.
|3 days 14 hours ago||Don't Think Livers will RS||
Ideally, I think we'd all like Isaiah to RS to give him a year to develop both his skillset and physically. But we only have 6 known commodities that will no doubt receive significant time in X, MAAR, Matthews, DJ, Wagner and Duncan off the bench. One of Teske/Davis will get PT by default, and my bet is on Teske. Depth is really thin, and I think Livers gets some spot minutes early on to see what he can do. I definitely think he'll have a better freshman campaign in relation to Ibi Watson.
|4 days 8 hours ago||Clarification||
Irvin had much better creating skills at the same stage of development. In other words, I think Zak was a better ballhandler and creator as a senior in high school. I definitely think Livers will spend more time at the 4, but only time will tell.
|4 days 9 hours ago||My Apologies as Well||
poorly conveyed on my behalf in retrospect. You are absolutely correct, I should've made the more general statement about shooters as I meant too.
To be fair though, there really is no funcational difference between a guy like McLimans/Donnal and Vogrich in the context of a Michigan offense. All 3 simply spot up and wait for the ball to be delivered. The only subtle difference is the bigs set a screen to free up the passer.
|4 days 9 hours ago||Have to Disagree||
I didn't say the above menitoned players were *wings*, I expressly stated they were *shooters*. There is a distinction.
|4 days 10 hours ago||Not Necessarilly||
I liked the pickup at the time, and I still like the addition of Livers now. Although, I can see where your impression of my analysis is justified as well.
Livers is an uprgrade in our recruiting profile from an athletic standpoint, and provides the shooting prowess that Coach Beilien loves. Over the years, we've generally had shooters with little to no athleticism on the wing ala Duncan Robinson, Matt Vogrich, Stu Douglass, Zack Novak, Blake McLimans, Mark Donnal, etc.
That distinction between athletic shooter and non-athletic shooter is HUGE in my opinion, because a prospect of that nature has a chance to be an above average TWO WAY player as opposed to a 'just a shooter' type.
On top of it all, Livers has some tools in terms of passing and ballhandling that can be developed. Perhaps it will take a few years, but there's definitely some attributes to work with.
Other than top 20-40 types, most players take at least a year to develop into major contributors. The more athletic and skilled a player is coming in, the less development is needed. Much like Mo and DJ, it may take Livers a few years to reach his potential, but with DJ around for another year at least (hopefully anyway), the staff can afford that developmental time. Although I readily admit that ideally you'd like him ready to be at least a solid contributor as a sophomore.
To sum things up - is Livers likely to be the #1 option for Michigan at any point in his career? No. Will he be an All American at any point in his career? Probably not. Is it possible for him to be an upper-tier B10 player in the running for all conference honors - I think that's possible with some development.
I think the best case scenario is a smaller version of Tobias Harris. A fully maxed out Isaiah Livers has that sort of potential.
|4 days 10 hours ago||Haven't Seen Brooks||
live so I'm not in a position to truly evaluate him in great detail. Based on the limited highlights I've seen though, I'm not a huge fan of his game.
I've seen Poole play live extensively during EYBL last summer, but my film is deleted from that time period, so I won't be able to provide a scouting report/film.
|4 days 10 hours ago||Closer to 6'6||
He's an inch or two shorter than Xavier Tillman who is 6'7-6'8, and at least an inch shorter than Brandon Johns (a legit 6'8), that was very clear to me.
Early in his career, I think we'll see Livers at the 4 mostly. In part based on Michigan's offense, and in part based on his skillset and areas that need to be developed.
Later in his career I think he has the potential to be more of an on-ball playmaker at the 3, but it's going to take some development.............much like DJ.
|4 days 10 hours ago||I'd Say DJ is the Better Comparison||
if we're restricting the conversation to either current, or former, M players. Zak had more creating ability in the halfcourt in terms of ballhandling and passing. Livers is certainly a better athlete, but can't get to the rim yet because his head is often down when dribbling so he doesn't see the floor.
Functionally, DJ is mostly a catch and shoot guy that displays good vision from the top of the key. He did show a bit of ability to create his own offense off the dribble this year, but much like Livers, he often settled for fadeaway jumpshots and definitely does not embrace contact in the paint. DJ had more size/length, but I think Livers has more fluidity and lateral movement.
|4 days 10 hours ago||Watched CM in Practice||
in preparation for Iowa right around New Years day, as I took Steve Pearson (2020 guard) on a visit.
That was my first, and only time, viewing Matthews live, so my opinion isn't necessarily what I would label as being informed.
Matthews was playing the Peter Jok role against the first team defense, and that compelled Charles to be the primary ballhandler. CM had good enough athletic ability and ballhandling skills to create his own shot out of pick and rolls sets. He knocked down a few midrange shots and scored at the rim a few times as well. However, there was no creating for teammates ala Trey Burke, Nik Stauskas, Caris Levert and recently Derrick Walton. Based on my limited live evaluation, I'd say CM has a decent shot at being a farily efficient creator of his own offense, but certainly not one to create for others. Caveats apply though because our defense downright awful during that period.
Overall, I think you're looking at a guy that can replace Zak Irvin's production from a 2 way standpoint. I don't think he's going to be a knockdown shooter from distance, but will certainly be an upgrade in terms of finishing at the rim both as a baseline finisher (GR3) and as a ballhandler. I think Charles is best suited as being a 2nd or 3rd option on a good team. Don't think he has the skillset to be the primary option on offense at this point.
|4 days 13 hours ago||Spot Minutes||
likely as a backup to DJ. Can't envision him playing more than 5-8 minutes per game against real competition with DJ expected to play 30+ per night. Ideally you'd like him to RS, but don't think our depth (or lack of) will allow it.
|4 days 14 hours ago||Can't Disclose Subscribing Schools||
for obvious reasons, but I'm not exclusive to any one college. That said, I'm a UM alum, and obviously I have an intense interest in prospects of interest to the Wolverines.
|5 days 8 hours ago||Much bigger difference||
Obviously, I'm trying to be diplomatic with Williams, but the difference is likely low 40s (Duncan) to low/mid teens (Williams) in terms of 3 point percentage. Williams is a scoring guard as opposed to a PG, just don't know that he can be effective with that poor a shot, while not being athletic enough to create separation off the dribble.
|5 days 13 hours ago||Don't Know if He Actually Signed||
and if so, I'm not educated enough on D2 provisions to speak with intelligence.
|5 days 13 hours ago||Williams Recently De-Committed from Davis & Elkins||
while I think he's a nice player with good size at a legit 6'4-6'5, I don't think he's high major material. He's one of the best midrange shooters off the bounce in the state, but unfortunately his range doesn't extend out to 3 consistently at this point. His handle isn't horrible, but not good enough to create separation at the high major level. He's below average in terms of lateral movement and straight line speed, with above average verticality.
I think we're probably dealing with a high upside (based on size for a guard) low-major/mid-majory player rather than Michigan material.
|1 week 14 hours ago||That's the Benefit of Having Livers||
the natural athletic tools to develop into a guy quick enough to defend a 3 and working on his motor and S/C to get him in par to defend the 4.
I anticipate he'll be used primarily as a 4 on offense, but I think his position on D is a bit more fluid depending on his development moving forward.
He definitely shows some abiity as a perimeter defender. My detailed scouting report will definitely dive deeper into this topic.
|1 week 14 hours ago||Have No Intel on Bamba||
I haven't spoken to Mo or anyone in his camp. The national pundits expect he'll go with Kentucky (surprise). Have to think that our recent post play with Mo at least intrigues Mo, although he's not your typical back to the basket player, but perhaps he envisions developing into one at some point, so it can't hurt.
|1 week 15 hours ago||Has Some Tools on Perimeter D||
is average/above average in terms of lateral movement at that size. Can stay with guards/wings for a dribble or 2 off the bounce. Rebounding will be an area of concern in my opinion. His motor leaves a bit to be desired in that regard, both in terms of boxing out and ball pursuit. That will be his biggest issue as a 4.
|1 week 15 hours ago||Projection||
I don't see Livers getting very much time next year since DJ will presumably get 30+ minutes at the 4. He may be able to scratch out 5-8 mins per game, especially in the early going though. Don't think he'll see much time at the 3 spot, just doesn't have the handle at this point to man that spot within the context of a Michigan offense.
Wouldn't say I've been noticeably absent around here at all, just hasn't been any recruiting information/updates with the focal point being the B10 tourney and Big Dance.
Love the turnaround, much better initial defense, but rebounding is still a huge issue. Fortunately for us, the offense has been able to compensate for that. Derrick Walton's play during the second half of the year has taken the team to another level. Absolutely love seeing JB be flexible and go to a post-oriented offense with Wagner when the matchup/game calls for it.
|1 week 15 hours ago||Entire MSU Team Was Present||
don't think we can take that as a sign Bridges is staying.
Don't necessarily think Tillman>Livers right now. Tillman is 6'7 and likely 280+.........not many kids in HS can deal with that when coupled with skill.
In terms of college projection, definitely think Livers has the higher upside, but Tillman will be more college ready as a freshman. He's just much more physical and has a higher motor at this point.
|1 week 15 hours ago||Closer to Just Shooter Than Stauskas/Levert Type||
Not nearly the shooter that Duncan is, but Isaiah is more athletic, especially in terms of lateral movement. He has some ballhandling ability, but just isn't comfortable creating his own offense in tight spaces in half court settings.
|1 week 15 hours ago||Smaller Than Ward||
Seeing Ward at the game yesterday standing next to Bridges, I'd estimate Ward to be a legit 6'10, perhaps 6'11. He was clearly 3 inches or so taller than Bridges. Tillman is likely a legit 6'7, maybe 6'8.
Also, less fluid and athletic in relation to Ward.
|1 week 15 hours ago||No||
He was nominated initially, but not selected for the final team.
|1 week 17 hours ago||Perhaps Down the Road||
but at this point, I can't see Livers taking on a Zak-like role in terms of being the ballhandler on pick and roll sets any time soon. Perhaps with a year or two of development he can, because he has some tools in that regard.