MGoPodcast 10.9: John B's Defensive Juggernaut

MGoPodcast 10.9: John B's Defensive Juggernaut Comment Count

Seth October 29th, 2018 at 7:47 AM

Special Guest: Ace Anbender returns to the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown.

The Sponsors

he show is presented by UGP & The Bo Store, and if it wasn’t for Rishi and Ryan nobody would get our jokes. Our other sponsors are also key to all of this: HomeSure Lending, Peak Wealth Management, Ann Arbor Elder Law, the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown, the University of Michigan Alumni Association, Michigan Law Grad,Human Element, and Lantana Hummus

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1. The Backcourt

starts at 1:00

Optimistic about the defense: The two most important defensive positions are point guard and center, and everyone else is lanky. PG: Zavier Simpson was excluded from the All-B1G team so let’s revenge tour. Z’s shooting has to get better because can’t hide him as much. More defined role for Eli Brooks. DeJulius to come on later? SG: Poole is our shot at a lethal scorer on this team—can be average defender; no more getting back-cut. Nunez has a defined role. SF: Charles Matthews is still the Kentucky transfer, i.e. the least Beilein player ever, but he goes left sometimes now. More effective as a Beta dog. Can he get more Beilein-y?

The Frontcourt

starts at 29:53

PF: Iggy Buckets is a 40%+ spot-up shooter who took a lot of bad AAU shots. Could be a 1-and-done. Livers is a glue guy, but at 12% usage last year doesn’t bode well—lose the passivity or make an impact as a rebounder. Johns needs a year—do they push him at the 4 or 5? C: Teske is significantly more 1990s big man than Mo but if he can elbow-jump a bit he’s an excellent P&R guy, especially on the re-screen. Adds huge defensive value, including steals. What is Austin Davis? Gotta foul less but MSU went at him and it didn’t work. More on Johns, and some Mr. Basketball chip-on-the-shoulder games with MSU. Castleton is Mo 2.0 with shotblocking, but expecting a redshirt unless Davis is disappointing.

The Rest of the Conference

starts at 53:20

Not great. The unanimous conference favorite from everyone but us is Michigan State, who’s starting Nick Ward and Tillman, and they’re going to be playing Goens 20% of the time, plus McQuaid in a bigger role sans Bridges. Langford’s inefficient deep two game makes you wonder what Beilein would have made that guy. Leaning on Winston, and “Mr. Basketball” Foster Loyer. Then Michigan. Then the morass: IU brings in the biggest impact freshman in the conference in Lankford but making the dance is the goal. OSU lost most everybody from last year. Want to like Iowa—they’re like a parody of MSU; why is their defense so bad? Nebraska: Roby & Palmer & Copeland and experience—should have been a 9-seed last year. UW: what was that? Trying to remember who’s on the rest.

A moment to talk with Ace about what he’s doing now. The GoFundMe might’ve saved his life.

4. Around the Big Ten with Jamie Mac

Starts at 1:25:29

Marcus Ray now believes the best team in the Big Ten is Michigan State with Rocky Lombardi at quarterback. The Iowa 14, and Frames Janklin’s timeouts, attempted timeouts, and icing his own kicker. McSorley’s degradation. Maryland averaged a first down per play vs Lovie’s Lini. Go bowling Terps. Cats for the West! Jonathan Taylor (11 carries for 46 yards) is now a fumbler, Turtle punted on 4th and 2 again and invented the fullback two-minute drill. Northwestern could win the West or not go to a bowl game, or both? David Blough and Purdue got by the MSU ghosts and MSU rain—shoulda given D.J. Knox more carries. A very on-brand IU performance, even when they were down 31-9 Jamie never lost faith that the Hoosiers could come back to tie it then lose in heartbreaking fashion. Angry Minnesota Running Back Hating God. Daniel Faaele making an impact.

MUSIC

  • "None Shall Pass"—Aesop Rock
  • "I'm Slowly Turning Into You"—The White Stripes
  • "Play It Right"—Sylvan Esso
  • “Across 110th Street”

THE USUAL LINKS

Thank you for sharing your voice and your nipples with us.

Comments

Unverified Voracity is Rested, Fresh, Healthy

Unverified Voracity is Rested, Fresh, Healthy Comment Count

Brian October 24th, 2018 at 1:14 PM

Yes sir I will subscribe to this newsletter. This Week In Schadenfreude spends all its time with Ohio State:

not gonna watch till mich

I need a break from this noncents. Gonna hang with my 2 boys or take the broad out for mini golf. I need to repriotoeoeize my life.

… I…

Okay. Thank you.

Gary details. Rashan Gary's mom decided to put all the cards on the table in re: Gary's injury. Executive summary: he got hurt before Notre Dame, aggravated it by falling on the shoulder in the Northwestern game, and was told that he needed 4-6 weeks for the injury to heal. Penn State is 5 weeks, Rutgers 6. He is not pulling a Bosa. The end.

A terrifying glimpse inside the program. Stephen Spanellis reveals Ben Herbert's mantra:

They seem to like the guy, at least? Enough to photoshop him into things?

No lies detected. Sterile giant fields surrounded by empty buildings and Buffalo Wild Wings, is what Jordan Poole just saw:

“I had never been to Michigan State before, and their campus was awful – it’s trash,” Poole said. “It was just dry.

There's actually a giant, interesting thread on the RCMB about this very thing dating back a couple years. Folks are openly envious of Ann Arbor's ability to put up new buildings, which… hoo boy, that says something about East Lansing NIMBYs.

Okay, here's a hype video. Needs more Metellus skipping but otherwise I will allow it.

Metellus grade. Michigan's safeties are one of only two spots on the defense that seem even a little permeable—DT is the other—but even there Michigan has a guy grading out very well per PFF:

S Josh Metellus, 76.7 Overall Grade

While coverage metrics aren’t typically the best to look at when discussing safety play, Metellus’ play in coverage is certainly deserving of highlighting here. He holds an absurd 5.7 passer rating allowed to opposing receivers, which leads all defensive backs with at least 135 snaps in coverage. He has not allowed a single touchdown this season to go with three interceptions and is allowing just 31.6% of passes thrown his way to be hauled in. In coverage from the slot, he’s allowed just a 13.8 passer rating and has two of his three picks.

That rating has to be giving Metellus credit for all his INTs like he was in coverage on those throws. He was not on two, which were deflected by David Long and Lawrence Marshall. So don't focus on the passer rating, focus on the grade, which is All Big Ten-level.

In other PFF stuff, Gary has dropped out of their first round and Devin Bush has slid to #32 on their draft board. The first is pretty obvious. The second… uh?

[After the JUMP: glacing owlishly]

Comments

Unverified Voracity Has Feet You Can See

Unverified Voracity Has Feet You Can See Comment Count

Brian September 25th, 2018 at 1:00 PM

[Patrick Barron]

Sponsor note. I can say whatever I want in this one since Hoeg is probably knee-deep in spathi right now. This will make for a marked departure from earlier Hoeglaw-related sponsor notes, which were dictated verbatim from the sponsor. Soooo... let's get crazy.

hoeglaw_thumb[1]_thumb

Richard Hoeg has his own small business, which is in the business of helping other small businesses get off the ground and keep running through the maze of contracts that many small companies must navigate before becoming a success. If you've got a small business or are thinking bout starting one he can help you with all the legal niceties.

Woo!

Vitally important. Jordan Poole straps his cat to his chest like he has a newborn.

To go to Target? I think? I don't know.

Injury updates. Harbaugh just told the weekly teleconference that Benjamin St-Juste is out for the year and Luiji Vilain had surgery a couple days ago. Both guys are in that early Mike McCray zone where folks are getting a little nervous. Both guys have spent most of their first two years in AA on the shelf.

Recruit 'em all and let God sort 'em out. This tweet started out interesting and then got real depressing:

This shouldn't be interpreted as a shot at recruiting services. When your All-Pros include a walk-on, an Iowa State alum, and two guys so obscure they didn't have recruiting profiles it should be clear that the problem isn't with rankings relative to actual CFB scouting but rather the danged OL themselves.

And then you get into the top recruits, which are an "oh nooooo" if there ever was one: David Dawson. Ethan Pocic, the guy Michigan passed on only to go get a sixth OL later in the class, was a second-round pick. Patrick Kugler. Logan Tuley-Tillman. Chris Fox. All on one chart. Woof.

[After the JUMP: feet, as promised]

Comments

Unverified Voracity Has Good Feelings That Make It Feel Bad

Unverified Voracity Has Good Feelings That Make It Feel Bad Comment Count

Brian August 24th, 2018 at 12:40 PM

I am too optimistic about this game. This QB situation is about to meet a Don Brown defense that returns nine starters:

Brian Kelly is going to run a spread 'n' shred against Don Brown. Where have I seen that before?

I hate myself for thinking the things I think about this game, which will be insanity like all ND games are.

Two and done, a love story. Former DX and current ESPN draft analyst Mike Schmitz on basketball's breakout star:

It's happened before and will happen again. Maaaaybe Michigan gets a third year out of Poole, but they should be keeping that third slot in the 2019 class warm.

The Bentley, profiled. Michigan's history—all of it—is meticulously documented at the Bentley Library, which has been an invaluable resource for Seth, Craig Ross, Greg Dooley, and anyone else who wants to delve into the rich history of Michigan football. So it's good to see that the Athletic profiled Greg Kinney:

“This must be the ’98 team,” Kinney says. He is holding a black-and-white picture of men wearing funny clothes. He is not talking about the Lloyd Carr football team that went 10-3. He is talking about a team that went 10-0 and beat Chicago in front of a record crowd of 12,000, the original Champions of the West.

He is talking about 1898.

Standing just beside him, Brian Williams, a coworker, shoots over a knowing stare. “He can tell you that just by looking at it.”

[After THE JUMP: post takes a turn for the negative.]

Comments

Unverified Voracity Provides Unsolicited Cat Name Advice

Unverified Voracity Provides Unsolicited Cat Name Advice Comment Count

Brian July 30th, 2018 at 1:21 PM

[Bryan Fuller]

Jordan Poole's cat should be named "Splash" tho. For so many reasons! Anyway here's what Ace has been watching on repeat for the last couple days:

Been a while since we've had a good Harbaugh quote. But this one from Wilton Speight is a doozy:

Early in his Michigan tenure, Harbaugh pulled Speight aside and told him not to eat chicken, a protein that is considered fairly safe by nutritionists. When Speight asked why, Harbaugh said, "because it's a nervous bird."

"He thinks some type of sickness injected its way into the human population when people began eating white meats instead of beef and pork," Speight says. "And he believes it, 100 percent."

The Pork Advisory Council just spiked its glove into the dirt and walked away, fading into oblivion before it exited the outfield.

But what's even better is Matt Hayes's attempt to pivot from Harbaugh's crypto-Lamarckian theory of nutrition to his banal-to-the-point-of-narcolepsy response to questions about his starting QB:

That wasn't any less strange than the way Harbaugh responded to questions about Patterson during Big Ten media days. How he insisted the best quarterback on his roster—and the one guy who can save the program—is just one of four quarterbacks available.

That's right, he said available.

Well, folks. I'm baffled. I have no way to connect the dots between Jim Harbaugh Thinks Eating Lobster Makes You Grow Claws and Jim Harbaugh Said "Available" In A Press Conference being equally odd. I mean, I get that Patterson is a lock to start, but surely Hayes has been around the block enough to know that coaches play coy about their starters about 90% of the time they don't have a returning player.

[After the JUMP: bad math! OL weight news!]

Comments

Unverified Voracity Enters The Cone Of Solitude

Unverified Voracity Enters The Cone Of Solitude Comment Count

Brian June 27th, 2018 at 4:02 PM

[Bryan Fuller]

Carton on campus. In addition to the wave of football commits, Michigan's top remaining basketball target is also in the house:

Carton's previously said he intends to take trips to all of his six finalists before deciding in late summer, so this is not a commit watch situation. Still, given his stated decision criteria...

“The most significant factors in the choice are just… getting me to my future,” he said. “Who can develop me the most (to) become NBA ready, winning, and just the relationships. I want a team that I can call my brothers and stuff like that… that I can go back in like 60 years from now and still know those guys and still talk to them. So, I want my team to feel family-like, and get me to my dream.”

...and Michigan's unmatched ability to put recruits ranked significantly lower than Carton into the NBA, Beilein and company have to feel pretty good here. Also of note: Carton credits Yaklich for initiating his relationship with him while he was at Illinois State; Yaklich is also Jalen Wilson's primary recruiter. Pay that man his money.

ESPN has scouts that avoided the axe. At least in basketball. ESPN's released a new 2019 top 100 featuring Carton at #28; their accompanying article mentions him and a couple other targets. Carton is one of the "fastest risers":

Carton didn't make the final cut of USA Basketball U-18 national team, but he nonetheless opened eyes over the first four days of trials. That, followed by a solid showing at the NBPA Top 100 Camp, helped him go from unranked to top 30.

The southpaw lead guard plays at multiple speeds and navigates well in ball screens by creating separation between defenders. He is a high assist maker both in the open floor with the advance pass or in tight spaces as he reads the defense.

Potential 2020 one-and-done RJ Hampton, Jalen Wilson's best bro, is super super highly touted:

R.J. Hampton, No. 3 in 2020
PG, 6-4, 180, Little Elm (Texas)

Hampton is a big point guard with speed and scoring ability. He is more comfortable putting points on the board at this stage in his development, but he continues to show the vision and the ability to read the game.

The NBA covets big point guards and Hampton checks a ton of boxes. Strength and a consistent jump shot are what he needs most.

Camp Sanderson and John Beilein SEEM LIKE A GOOD IDEA SIR. FWIW, Michigan is in on #3 Cole Anthony (sort of) and #4 Jaden McDaniels, though those guys are in a stratosphere Michigan's recruiting rarely touches. Jalen Wilson is #68.

Also I have just discovered that Fran McCaffrey's kid Patrick is #50. Naturally, he is a 6'9" guy.

[After THE JUMP: American ninja Avant.]

Comments

One Frame At A Time: Houston and Texas A&M

One Frame At A Time: Houston and Texas A&M Comment Count

Ace May 1st, 2018 at 4:07 PM

I think I've waited long enough that I can post this now.

It's taken me a while to get around to tournament GIFs for a number of reasons, some NCAA-related and some not, but I finally made it through the Houston and Texas A&M games. (As per blog policy, there was no Montana game. It's just a figment of your imagination.) It'll take me a bit longer to get around to Florida State and Loyola Chicago, but I'll get to those too.

One thing I apparently won't get to: a supercut of three-pointers against Texas A&M, as this is what happened when I attempted to put that together with my normally unfailing GIF software:

In the words of the Texas twitter account: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

[Hit THE JUMP for every conceivable angle of the Poole Party, CJ Baird Tha Gawd, and much more.]

Comments

Let's Start Again: Shooting Guard

Let's Start Again: Shooting Guard Comment Count

Brian April 11th, 2018 at 5:01 PM

An irregular series about next year's basketball team. Previously: Point guard.

39031292270_725020abba_z


bench mob no more [JD Scott]

ROSTER

Jordan Poole (So): [cartoonish SUPER VILLAIN] Oh no! An OVERDOSE of SWAG. [/dies]

(108 ORTG on high-ish usage, 52/36 shooting, 82% from line, needs work on defense, breakout candidate)

Adrien Nunez (Fr): Just a shooter?

Ibi Watson (Jr): played about 3 MPG, shot 46/32, other numbers useless due to sample size.

Mystery Man (???): He's either pirated from other spots on the roster or a mid-major who thought they really had something.

I HAVE SOME QUESTIONS

Didn't Ace already write this post?

Sort of! Kind of! Mostly, yeah.

Questions one through five at this spot are "what happens to Jordan Poole?!," and Ace just posted one of those one-Q mailbags about Poole and his recent Michigan comparables:

I've used Bart Torvik's invaluable site to pull the statistics of Poole and his comparables against top-50 (venue-adjusted) competition. When you ignore minutes and usage for a moment—two factors with clear explanations I'll get to momentarily—there's a clear match for Poole: Stauskas.

image

Trey Burke, mostly thrown in as an extra data point, had far different usage as a pure point guard. The rest are wings and therefore more comparable. The numbers that give me optimism regarding Poole are his two-pointers—taken with relative frequency, finished with efficiency—and his combination of high usage, extant assist rate, and low turnover rate.

Stylistically, Poole is absolutely more Stauskas than any other Beilein-era SG/SF. Both are archetypically Not Just A Shooter. The freshman versions of both attacked closeouts relatively well, hit free throws, sniped from the outside, rarely turned it over, and had a healthy-for-a-freshman-NJAS assist rate. Their FT rates are nearly identical; their 3PA/FGA rates are nearly identical.

There's obviously a big gap in minutes, but roster composition explains all of that. The only vaguely guard-shaped objects on the bench in 2012-13 roster were fellow freshmen Spike Albrecht (short) and Caris Levert (willowy). Poole was on the same roster as the senior version of Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman and Charles Matthews, The Kentucky Transfer.

25844423068_592504375f_z

[Marc-Gregor Campredon]

If we overlook minutes, the main differences between the two are efficiency and usage. Stauskas hit 44% of his threes as a freshman versus Poole's 36%. Stauskas was a fourth banana with 17% usage; Poole got more shots up per 40 than anyone on the team not named Moritz Wagner. Stauskas was surrounded by Trey Burke, Naismith Edition, and a junior Tim Hardaway Jr. Poole was surrounded by Zavier Simpson and Charles Matthews—good players but nowhere near that level.

This is part problem and part promise. Problem: Poole was a walking heat check as a freshman, which depressed his efficiency and upped his usage. Hopefully he'll play a little bit more within himself once he's on the floor for most of the game. Promise: Michigan needs someone to create shots. They need someone with some lip curl on offense. They need a guy who unbalances defenses. Poole can be that guy.

Ace suggests that a Stauskas leap is optimistic but achievable…

The Stauskas leap remains spectacular. He significantly upped his usage, improved his efficiency while taking on a much greater role as a distributor, and even improved significantly as a three-point shooter despite taking way more of his shots off the bounce.

I still think Poole can do something quite similar. He may not have played the early minutes Stauskas did, but he played a lot of important minutes and took on a bigger role when he saw the floor. Meanwhile, a lot of what he did on the court looked downright Stauskas-esque. Both are known for their unabashed three-point gunning, but what really separates the two is their ability to score from all three levels (rim, midrange, three).

…and yeah, it is. Ace didn't mention the other really encouraging thing about Poole: his age. He won't turn 19 for a couple more months, which makes him more Caris Levert (who turned 19 the August after his freshman year) than Stauskas (who turned 19 a month into his). Levert made an even bigger jump than Stauskas in year two, going from the overwhelmed guy in the table above to a 112 ORTG, 21% usage guy playing 34 MPG.

Poole will blow up. The question is "how much?"

[After THE JUMP: D though? Backups though?]

Comments

The 2017-18 Basketball Season In Photos

The 2017-18 Basketball Season In Photos Comment Count

Ace April 10th, 2018 at 11:26 AM

Ed-Ace: Our primary basketball photographer and #1 MGoFrenchman Marc-Gregor Campredon put together this look back at the season in photos. I've made some minor edits but left it in MG's voice—he has a way with words that I don't want to disrupt. Without further ado...

Part 1

Et voila: The first month of 2018 seasons in photos with some dull opponent (I did not say boring) and some very good ones!

Oh, I took the liberty to illustrate the away game with others games images because I will never pass on the op’ to showcase our work.

If not precise with another’s name photographs are by Marc-Gregor Campredon! Quotes are from the game recap mostly by Ace but also by many other talented guys.

Exhibition vs Grand Valley State victory 82-50

Teske’d !

vs North Florida victory 86-66

Robinson is elated while dunking.

vs Central Michigan victory 72-65

“It's me again, the guy who tells you not to pay too close attention to the final score”.

Charles Matthews is already a solid starter for Michigan.

vs Southern Mississippi victory 61-47

“Michigan's coaches and players started calling sophomore Jon Teske "Big Nasty." They hoped that would replace "Big Sleep".”

Teske’d again – It will never gets old.

The tourney in Hawaii

vs LSU defeat 75-77

“It took the team most of the first half to find this offense, however, and they strayed from it at times in the second; I'm excited about the future of a team that makes this their identity.”

Already, a lot’s of John Beilein is emerging in Yaklich.

vs Chaminade victory 102-64

“Poole looked good in his first extended action, doing what he's supposed to do: get buckets (…) He should cut into Ibi Watson's minutes if he keeps hitting jumpers.”

Toat's m'goats

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the season in photos.]

Comments

Hoops Mailbag: What To Expect From Jordan Poole

Hoops Mailbag: What To Expect From Jordan Poole Comment Count

Ace April 9th, 2018 at 4:06 PM


On the rise, but where's the ceiling? [Marc-Gregor Campredon]

I was going to do a longer mailbag on next year's team today. You'll be shocked to see which question I decided had to broken off into its own post instead:

Poole is clearly going to be the focus of the offense and hinted at his talent this year.  But how much can we really expect from him considering how little he played this season?

Everyone wants to compare him to Stauskas, but Nik was playing starters minutes as a freshman and was very efficient.  Poole played limited bench minutes and saw his efficiency fluctuate a lot and struggled on defense.  Would sophomore Levert or Irvin be better comparisons?

Adam
Chicago, IL
AC1997

Ask me to talk about Jordan Poole, you say? Let me warm up for a sec.

Alright. Let's go.

I am, as you probably expect, a Jordan Poole optimist. This isn't without reason, however, and said reason goes well beyond his personality. Setting the expectation at sophomore Nik Stauskas, when Stauskas won Big Ten Player of the Year, may be a bit lofty—I still lean closer to that than sophomore Caris LeVert, who played a very promising but less effective second banana to Stauskas for that 2013-14 season.

I've used Bart Torvik's invaluable site to pull the statistics of Poole and his comparables against top-50 (venue-adjusted) competition. When you ignore minutes and usage for a moment—two factors with clear explanations I'll get to momentarily—there's a clear match for Poole: Stauskas.

  G %Min ORtg USG eFG% AST% TO% FTM-FTA (%) 2PM-2PA (%) 3PM-3PA (%)
Burke '12 17 91.2 95.9 27.8 48.8 27.7 21.6 33-55 (60.0%) 62-126 (49.2%) 26.-81 (32.1%)
Stauskas '13 21 72.9 118.0 15.0 54.5 6.6 11.4 38-44 (86.4%) 31-58 (53.4%) 32-87 (36.8%)
LeVert '13 18 21.1 87.9 16.8 41.5 7.8 14.5 5-10 (50.0%) 9-25 (36.0%) 7-22 (31.8%)
Irvin '14 21 37.4 119.3 18.2 61.1 2.1 8.9 8-10 (80.0%) 11-28 (39.3%) 35-76 (46.1%)
Poole '18 18 29.9 118.8 22.4 56.2 7.7 9.0 27-34 (79.4%) 17-32 (53.1%) 16-41 (39.0%)

Trey Burke, mostly thrown in as an extra data point, had far different usage as a pure point guard. The rest are wings and therefore more comparable. The numbers that give me optimism regarding Poole are his two-pointers—taken with relative frequency, finished with efficiency—and his combination of high usage, extant assist rate, and low turnover rate.

The former is what separates Poole from LeVert, whose finishing took a long time to come along. Poole is already an impressive finisher at the rim for a guard; according to hoop-math, he made 25-of-36 (69.4%) shots at the basket with only eight assisted makes. That's almost exactly on pace, albeit on lower volume, with freshman Stauskas—38-of-55 (69.1%), 13 assisted—and way ahead of LeVert, who needed assists on four of his five makes at the rim as a freshman. Poole has already produced as a pick-and-roll ballhandler, and while he's not quite on Stauskas's level there yet, he was better as an isolation scorer—and Poole usually drew more of the defense's attention when he was out there than Stauskas did when surrounded by Burke, Hardaway, GRIII, et al.


Expect more of this next season. [Campredon]

The latter is what separates Poole from Irvin, who jacked threes and did little else as a freshman. Poole not only took two-pointers with much greater regularity, he actually passed the ball and displayed some tantalizing potential in that department. Irvin got exposed in his sophomore year when LeVert when down and he took on a lead role before he was ready; Poole looks ready (and certainly eager) to have the ball in his hands as much as possible.

As a refresher, here's how this group of players fared as sophomores against top-50 venue-adjusted competition: 

  G %Min ORtg USG eFG% AST% TO% FTM-FTA (%) 2PM-2PA (%) 3PM-3PA (%)
Burke '13 21 89.9 113.1 30.3 49.1 37.3 13.9 82-104 (78.8%) 91-204 (44.6%) 43-113 (38.1%)
Stauskas '14 21 90.9 120.8 23.5 56.8 18.6 13.6 89-108 (82.4%) 52-111 (46.8%) 55-126 (43.7%)
LeVert '14 21 87.7 101.2 22.9 48.2 17.0 17.5 52-71 (73.2%) 59-139 (42.4%) 33-86 (38.4%)
Irvin '15 15 88.9 95.2 24.6 48.5 10.2 12.5 19-33 (57.6%) 45-98 (45.9%) 33-97 (34.0%)

The Stauskas leap remains spectacular. He significantly upped his usage, improved his efficiency while taking on a much greater role as a distributor, and even improved significantly as a three-point shooter despite taking way more of his shots off the bounce.

I still think Poole can do something quite similar. He may not have played the early minutes Stauskas did, but he played a lot of important minutes and took on a bigger role when he saw the floor. Meanwhile, a lot of what he did on the court looked downright Stauskas-esque. Both are known for their unabashed three-point gunning, but what really separates the two is their ability to score from all three levels (rim, midrange, three).

Stauskas was a solid midrange shooter, especially when he could step into one off a screen. Poole was downright great from midrange in a small sample, going 12-for-24 on jumpers inside the arc, per Synergy. If you give him space, he's going to rise and fire.

Stauskas and Poole both learned early that the threat of a pull-up three combined with a quick first step poses serious problems to defenders. Stauskas had a ton of success on baseline drives—like his first Game, Blouses dunk—because defenses had to worry so much about keeping him out of the middle of the floor, where he was most likely to pull up for a jumper. Poole provides that same threat with, I'd argue, a quicker first step.

While Poole won't put up Burke-like assist numbers—and won't need to with Zavier Simpson likely manning the point—he could approach a Stauskas-level rate. He's shown the ability to find the open man off the drive, he keeps the ball moving in the offense despite his gunner reputation, and he's got some flashy dimes in his arsenal.

As for defense, I'm actually quite optimistic about Poole's ability on that end of the floor. While his freshman mistakes were numerous, they were notable in part because they were such an exception compared to the rest of the defense; they were also almost entirely mental. Poole, much more than Stauskas, has the lateral athleticism and defensive instincts to be an impact player on that end. He's already displayed potential as a ball-hawk, posting a 2.5% steal rate that wasn't far behind Zavier Simpson and Jon Teske for best on the squad. He'll challenge shots. He needs to focus more on that end of the court; an added year of experience and more consistent minutes should help.

I'm not saying Poole is going to be the Big Ten's best player next year. Not necessarily, at least. But I believe, barring a Wagner return, he's going to be the centerpiece of the offense, and I fully expect him to contend for first-team all-conference honors if that's the case. Poole after a summer of Camp Sanderson, immersing himself in Beilein's offense, and practicing pull-up threes off the high screen is going to be a boatload of fun.

Comments