WTKA Roundtable 3/29/2018: Return of the Mid-Range Assassins Comment Count

Seth March 30th, 2018 at 6:05 AM


Things discussed:

  • Sam is on a plane to San Antonio and Ed is not here so we’ve got Ira, Brian, and Craig today.
  • People should be nicer to Craig on our message boards.
  • Texas A&M: Show me two guys on the floor who can’t shoot and I’ll show you a Beilein win. Their zone didn’t matter because Michigan was hitting their shots, even if they weren’t as good of looks.
  • Nobody practices midrange twos anymore—back when Craig was playing routinely day everyone liked that shot—Moses was 80% from that spot.
  • Will see Michigan State play some 2-3 next year we bet. JJJ is 80% to come back via people in Lansing.
  • In the past when Michigan didn’t shoot well they just lost—being able to win these types of games is. Mindblowing stat: Michigan is 7-3 this year shooting under 1 PPP when historically they were 12-84.
  • Impressive that FSU didn’t get any transition points until that missed goaltend/awful call on Moe.
  • The story of Yacklich: guy wanted to stay a high school teacher!
  • Only elite defending PG you can put with Z in Michigan’s history with Z is Gary Grant. Yacklich has some weirdly defensive guys for Michigan: Z, Matthews.
  • The recruitment of Z and Winston: Z’s dad got frustrated with being State’s 2nd fiddle.
  • Leonard Hamilton and that relaxing 10 seconds. Two or three open looks all game! Their 7’4 guy only played 7 minutes?
  • Those coaches comments were pretty salty.
  • Loyola-Chicago: MVC Purdue. No rise-up shooters so their threes have to be assisted, but they can get efficient midrange shots to go regularly. Been winning games close. Will stretch Michigan’s defense.
  • If they get to the championship: Villanova terrifies us. Brunson postups might be Zavier Simpson kryptonite. Like a super Michigan. Much rather play Kansas: more of a Purdue with a true 7 footer who gets in foul trouble.
  • Frozen Four: Mel playing with house money. Very due for one of these Ohio State games when Michigan’s been winning 5-on-5 by a big margin. Hockey is plinko is the crux of the argument against this tournament format—Michigan got some luck against BU.
  • When Quinn Hughes is off the ice you’re asking when does Quinn Hughes go back on the ice? Nice that they’re no longer on top of basketball.

You can catch the entire episode on Michigan Insider's podcast stream on Podbean.

Segment two is here. Segment three is here.


Ben Carter’s gone so Jackson should have a chance to get starter’s minutes now.



March 30th, 2018 at 6:55 AM ^

Is absolutely in the conversation, if the conversation has to do with elite point defenders.

He was built to play D, with loooooong arms and legs, hardly any torso. He was ridiculous quick. I'd go with iverson quick, but then you'd roll your eyes. So ... almost Iverson quick ... ish.

Johnson get's overlooked because he was in an ensemble and was not a great scorer. But of the points he did get, lots of them were off steals on which he would just pick guys clean and be gone to the hoop before they even really got turned around.

He absolutely ruined guys taking charges. They'd get so frustrated with Johson beating them to the spot, they'd just quit and start looking around for help. Then, it would usually go to Grote's guy, which was no good either.

Ricky Green was a stud defender too, although he was less commtted to it than was Johnson. Green had a lot more to do at the other end.

Orr's teams, particularly when they had Dutcher were very much committed to D.


March 30th, 2018 at 10:51 AM ^

Joe Johnson needs to be in the conversation, and your description is apt. Green was a good defender, too, but not quite at the level of JJ, Grant or Simpson. No one was ever faster than Green.  I always seem to forget about JJ since I was in grad school in Boston for much of his career. So, thanks for the addition/correction.

Orr was absolutely committed to D (and JIm Dutcher was a major part of that) and was a terrific coach (and person). The best coach we had until JB, though I never saw Ozzie Cowles' slow break.


March 30th, 2018 at 6:50 AM ^

Not sure it's good (for anyone) to have the main pic be of a player with his hand down his pants while on the court (or anywhere else)


March 30th, 2018 at 8:02 AM ^

Absolutely love how Simpson has progressed since the first of the year. Grant was terrific.

Joe Johnson was also a helluva defender at PG. I remember Wisconsin trying to go "big" on Michigan...it was hilarious...he dared them to put the ball on the floor-and it usually worked out very poorly for them when they tried to...Michigan beat them soundly. Loved watching those Johnny Orr teams...hmm, that was a few years ago :)



March 30th, 2018 at 8:10 AM ^

We want Luke around for a few more seasons -- let's spell his name correctly!

(I know it was early when you posted this, Seth. You are forgiven!)

Maison Bleue

March 30th, 2018 at 8:38 AM ^

What could Izzo possibly be telling the Jackson's that would make them want to return? They won't be as good next year with or without more minutes from JJJ. He hasn't developed a 5 star since Draymond Green and even he didn't seem to truly blossom until the NBA. I get that the Jackson's "don't need the money," but millions of dollars is something you always need and you don't get better at basketball by going to class 15 hours a week(yeah right), while being coached by Tom Izzo.


March 30th, 2018 at 9:29 AM ^

I am 100% convinced that Izzo has no idea how to coach one and dones. There is absolutely no reason why Bridges and JJJ shouldn't have been top 10 picks. JJJ in my mind, with the right development, is a top 5 pick. His size and skillset is incredible. If he comes back then there is no reason why another high profile recruit would want to go to MSU. You don't develop, you don't play, and you have an angry little man scream at you constantly.


March 30th, 2018 at 10:13 AM ^

JJJ would be insane to come back, so of course he will. And while I agree he can't really coach one and done, he doesn't seem all that good coaching guys who aren't a very specific type of mucker. And even then, it's a bit of a stretch if they don't also have some pure physical growth so that they can physically dominate some matchups.

He was once a great coach, but even during their FF year it felt like a team yanked from a bygone era. I don't know if he'll ever figure it out again. And I am still waiting for the persistent recruiting rumors to catch up to him.