Belien says Robinson to move to the 3 and McGary to the 4

Submitted by CaliUMfan on April 18th, 2013 at 6:28 PM

"Rod Beard‏@detnewsRodBeard

Beilein: Plan is to move Glenn Robinson III to small forward and play two big men."



"Chris Balas‏ @ Balas_Wolverine

Glenn Robinson III will play the 3 and Mitch McGary the 4 next year. They're looking to play bigger - and it's best for the kids. "


Let the line-up and minute split speculation begin!



April 18th, 2013 at 7:07 PM ^

That's a good point. I really don't know. There is so much talent with the 3 guys in front of him at the 2 and 3 that it could be hard for him to find minutes next year. I think he knew that could happen for his first couple years  when he committed. 


April 18th, 2013 at 7:47 PM ^

Althought Coach B is saying GRIII to the 3, I'm sure there will be times during almost every game where he plays the 4 to get 2 of those three guys on the floor at once, especially if our bigs get into foul trouble (as they have a tendency to do) or when other teams go small, especially if it looks like LeVert, Irvin and Stauskas are all guys we need on the floor a lot.  


April 18th, 2013 at 9:54 PM ^

I think moving GRIII to the 3 benefits Irvin. The open 4 guard pg centric offense we ran last year opened things up for Stauskas. I don't think Stauskas will be as effective playing the 2 in a bigger, more defensive lineup. I think Irvin will start and Stauskas will back up him and GRIII and during any time we go small next year.


April 18th, 2013 at 6:32 PM ^

if McGary continues to work on that jump shot, I love this idea.  Can Stauskas hold off Zak Irvin for the 2 spot?  They've been praising Irvins D and I think Stauskas may have trouble guarding SGs.  


April 18th, 2013 at 8:15 PM ^

Spike Albrecht is not ready to play the 4 right away. Also, with this, where are you factoring in Spike Albrecht's minutes? And Spike Albrecht?

It will be more like this:

5: Spike Albrecht/Spike Albrecht

4: Spike Albrecht

3: Spike Albrecht/Spike Albrecht

2: Spike Albrecht

1: Spike Albrecht/Spike Albrecht

Bench: Spike Albrecht, Spike Albrecht, Spike Albrecht, Spike Albrecht

Redshirt: Spike Albrecht


April 18th, 2013 at 6:35 PM ^

Good. This makes sense to me, because McGary can shoot the jumper. He can still play center on defense.  I really think both McGary and Morgan need to be on the floor as much as possible.  Pushing Morgan to the bench for the rest of his career would be a bad idea.

True Blue Grit

April 18th, 2013 at 6:45 PM ^

Morgan is going to be a senior leader (hopefully) and having him on the floor will be critical.  I'd love to see Beilein adjust his strategy and go with 2 bigs on the floor next year for a greater percentage of the time.  Next year we'll have more options (Horford, McGary, Bielfeldt, Donnal, and Morgan) so foul trouble or guys getting tired out shouldn't be an issue.  


April 18th, 2013 at 8:07 PM ^

I don't think he wants Morgan considering doing anything other than returning to the team. That and he say how badly we got beat up down low when we had only 1 big man in at a time. With McGary, Morgan, Horford, Bielfeldt, and Donnal at the 4 and 5 spot, we'll have plenty of big men to help out down low.


April 18th, 2013 at 9:48 PM ^

I don't know if Morgan was involved, or if the statement was for GRIII and McGary. Remember, Beilein is consulting with them about their pro decision. They want to play in the NBA. As part of the consultation, it is entirely reasonable for Beilein to tell them, "You will be well-prepared for your NBA career if you stay; in fact, you will be playing your natural NBA positions and have opportunities to demonstrate your skills next year."

Makes total sense.

Plus, keep in mind that the lineup this past season was based on the team's backcourt and wing strength, and that at the beginning of the year GRIII was much more ready to contribute than McGary was. McGary was only capable of producing 10-15 quality minutes at the beginning of the season; running a two-big offense, with Burke, THJ, Stauskas, and GR3 all on the roster, would have been insane.

And when McGary emerged in the tourney there was no reason to change a good thing.

Blue boy johnson

April 18th, 2013 at 6:36 PM ^

I like it I like it but I expect to see Robinson tostill play many minutes at the 4.
The more I see of Robinson the more he reminds me of Glen Rice. GRIII has that pretty repeatable jumper That will only get better with time

Blue boy johnson

April 18th, 2013 at 7:16 PM ^

The best laid plans of mice and men. This is the coaches plan for now but when push comes to show we will see if this is what they are comfortable with. I am hopeful Morgan can have a good senior season but the possibility remains he could be relegated to the bench similar to what happened to Vogrich this season.
I think nights where Morgan gets more than 20 minutes will be rare next season.


April 18th, 2013 at 7:17 PM ^

This will 3rd time now that he has promised two bigs in the upcoming season (this is not a complaint just a fact). Point to injuries and what not, but it still hasn't really happened.

I'm not saying it won't happen, but I imagine we're going to be looking at 25-30 minutes for Irvin, which would be impossible without GRIII still getting run at the 4.

Regardless, we really are starting to have some depth across the board.


April 19th, 2013 at 2:53 AM ^

This is true. Belein has constantly said one thing, while doing the other. So, here are the facts at the table:

1.) We've got the PG pretty well established, and nothing should change there. 
    - Walton/Albrecht

2-3.) At the wings, we might have a log-jam. We've got
    - Irvin
    - Stauskas
    - LeVert
    - Robinson (potentially)

4-5.) But here, we've got the BIGGEST log-jam
   - Robinson (potentially)
   - Horford
   - Morgan
   - McGary
   - Beilfeldt
   - Donnal

It seems obvious, based on numbers, that Robinson moves to the three. That would leave us two-deep at every position. STILL, two-deep isn't necesary when you're playing only 7-8 guys. In that case, you're trying to simply get the best talent out there. 

My point: If Irvin, Stauskas, and LeVert collectively play better than Morgan, Horford, Bielfeldt, and Donnal, we're going to see GRIII at the 4. 

Since we can assume Irvin and Stauskas will be good to go at the 2/3, the only way we play with GRIII at the 4 is if
a.) LeVert is just too good to keep off the court,
b.) GRIII can't play the 3, or
c.) None of the other bigs (esp. Horford, Bielfeldt, and Donnal) step up. I think "c" is still a possibility.

Long/Short: I think we still see GRIII at the 4 a bit early on, and it might become much more common later in the season, especially if Horford/Bielfeldt/Donnal can't match up in production. 


April 18th, 2013 at 6:43 PM ^

McGary showed against Syracuse that he can hang out on top of the key, and facilitate from there or hit a jump shot.  If Morgan is down low, that's a 1-2 combo that'll be hard to stop.  What seemed to ultimately be our problem against Louisville was the lack of size at the 3-4.  Robinson is a better defensive fit at 3, and Morgan obviously is our best defensive big man, so the Robinson/McGary/Morgan 3/4/5 combo is the best defensive alignment plus probably extremely hard to defend.

When the season started, someone asked, who needs to step up the most this year?  I responded not with a player's name, but Coach B. -- because he'd never had a team with this athleticism or talent.  And obv he did step up his game.  I think the same thing now, he needs to reorient what he's typically been used to, and make the McGary/Morgan combo work really well.


April 18th, 2013 at 6:47 PM ^

I think it's a good plan, but it's just that, a plan. I think we learned this year that guard play is really what matters. In the B1G it would likely be helpful to go big, but I think if next year's team is going to maximize its potential, guard play will be more important than having a 2 Big set. That's just my take

Young John Beilein

April 18th, 2013 at 7:11 PM ^

I'm not sure if we did learn that.   Burke had a largely subpar tourney other than the second half of the KU game and the final, but we won the other games on the steady contributions of Mitch (practically won the Cuse game for us), GR3 to a lesser extent, and random contributors (Caris and Spike against Syr, Stauskas against UF, Timmy against SDSU, etc.).  If one thing is certain, it's that Beilein will put his guys in a situation where they will succeed.  Clearly the team will have weapons at 1-4 that can stretch the D a bit, so as long as the PG can break pressure and be a good enough facilitator, guard play shouldn't really matter any more than other positions.

Magnum P.I.

April 18th, 2013 at 6:49 PM ^

This is a no-brainer. You have a sure-fire NBA power forward (McGary) and NBA small forward (Robinson) on your roster. Play them at their positions. If they will play those positions in the NBA, they should play there now, especially since we have completely viable options at the 1, 2, and 5. (Hell, we may even have NBA talent at the point and shooting guard positions depending on how Walton, Irvin, and Stauskus pan out).

Anyway, I hate hearing that Robinson is too slow to guard the 3 in college or that McGary can't guard the 4. B.S. They will play those positions in the pros, no question. All the other 3's and 4's from other teams on our schedule can worry about how they're going to deal with the size and athleticism combo of Robinson and McGary. Good luck with that. There's a reason all those other guys won't be playing in the NBA one day but Robinson and McGary will. 


April 18th, 2013 at 6:50 PM ^

This also helps our back court depth.  With GRIII playing the 3 that most like lt means stauskas/levert/Irvin at the 2 with Irvin also backing up at the 3.  Morgan/Horford at the 5 is pretty good, plus Bielfeldt and Donnal in there. 


April 18th, 2013 at 6:50 PM ^

I think this is more to maximize the amount of experience that they have on the floor. Essentially, you're taking minutes from LeVert/Irvin and giving them to Morgan/Horford. Yes, it will be nice to have a bigger line up, but you're also taking away some 3-point shooting unless McGary shows he can hit those from the corner.


April 18th, 2013 at 6:57 PM ^

These are the positions they will play in the league so both are probably cool with this. I'm not too surprised. There were some serious tradeoffs with rebounding and defense that the typical Beilein lineup tried to offset with ball handling and shooting. But as the talent level rises those compromises become less necessary. It was obvious that physical teams gave our small lineup a lot of problems. If Beilein has proven anything it is that he is able to adapt and be flexible. Showed it in changing assistants and in recruiting and in moving to man to man and now in going bigger. GR3 losing the rebounding battle to Behanon in the 2nd half showed the limitations of this lineup.


Also I think that this recognizes that with the current roster construction without Burke/Hardaway has a lot of bigs. If you play GR3 at the 4 with Donnal you have Beilfeldt, Morgan, Horford and McGary all playing at the 5. We'll still see smaller lineups sometimes when McGary is out of the game.


Winner is clearly Morgan as he now can start at the 5 and get his 20-25 minutes. On the other hand, hard to see where Caris fits in for next year if Irvin is as good as advertised and everyone is healthy.


Bearing in mind that Beilein's starters traditionally avg over 30 minutes I think we will see something like:

Walton 25/Albrecht 15 

Stauskas 30/LeVert 5/Irvin 5

GR3 20/Irvin 20

McGary 30/GR3 10

Morgan 25/Horford 15

I suspect Walton starts at about 20 minutes but will be up to 30 by the end of the season. I think you redshirt Donnal and go small when McGary is out. Can't play of 2 of Morgan/Horford/Bielfeldt simultaneously as there is not enough skill there. But I guess the choice between Donnal at the 4 and sliding GR3 back there in a small lineup all depends on how good Donnal is. I have a sneaking suspicion that you are better off going small and having Stauskas/Irvin on the floor at the same time rather than Donnal on the floor.

Hardware Sushi

April 18th, 2013 at 7:08 PM ^

I agree with most of this, but I think there's a place for McGary at 5 and Robinson at 4 so we can get 2 of Stauskas/Lavert/Irvin in at the same time. Some teams will be smaller and we won't need 2 bigs.

My breakdown is basically the same, minus a couple tweaks:

Walton 25/Albrecht 10

Stauskas 25/Lavert 10/Irvin 5

GR3 20/Irvin 15/Lavert 5

McGary 25/GR3 10 plus a sprinkling of Beifeldt/Donnal

Morgan 20/Horford 15/McGary 5

I think a lot of the season will again be Beilein messing around with his new toys.


April 18th, 2013 at 7:53 PM ^

I think mostly we are in agreement. My guess is that Beilfeldt only gets in during garbage time or if someone is injured or in foul trouble but that will happen. I'd save Donnal's eligibility if he is only going to get a sprinkling of time and redshirt him.


Basically, you are seeing LeVert get more minutes in a smaller type lineup with GR3 at the 4 versus having more minutes with Morgan/Horford on the court at the same time as McGary. I hear you and I think you'll see some of both depending a lot on matchups. You go big against Sparty probably for example so that they don't slaughter us on the boards but against the press that MN will now play you use LeVert more and play with GR3 at the 4. Foul trouble and injuries will affect lineups. And there will also be situational stuff where you go small with a lead at end of game for ball handling and FT shooting or big for defense and rebounding.


April 18th, 2013 at 9:40 PM ^

Big 3 all get 30+ minutes/game.

spike and levert have been proven capable and will be better in season 2.

if the new super rookies earn big minutes it will bode well for the wolverines.

everyone else is complementary at moment-  until proven otherwise.

Maize is not Yellow

April 18th, 2013 at 8:24 PM ^

I really think you are going to see Bielfeldt back-up McGary a decent amount at the 4. Donnal will RS.  This real interesting situation is that of LeVert.  I personally think he plays as the back-up at the 3 and will play more against offensively motivated (i.e.  good) SG's.  Irvin probably gets less minutes than most people are projecting.  Ultimately-match-ups are going to great dictate the rotation.  What a nice problem to have.  All of these highly talented players to get minutes for.


April 18th, 2013 at 6:52 PM ^

Nervous about this idea. 


1. Without having seen Donnal in college yet, there is a clear drop off after McGary/Morgan.  So if one of them gets in foul trouble that hurts and/or we are forced to go small.

2. I think of the 3 as being a good outside shot, which is not GRIII's game.  Also, putting him at the 3 takes him further away from the basket and makes it harder for him to get lobs.  those ARE his game.


I don't know, Beilein knows way more than me, but my first take on this is stomach churning. 


April 18th, 2013 at 7:05 PM ^

1. We still have Max Beifelt to come off the bench for those guys if needed, so I'm not sure that's a huge concern. Also, Donnal was a borderline top-100 recruit, so as a 3rd/4th option he should be just fine. Don't forget that we can always slide GRIII to the 4 if we get in foul trouble.

2. GRII has a pretty jumpshot, he just couldn't hit it consistently. If he works on it a lot over the summer he should be just fine. I trust our coaches to find a way to get him to the basket. Most of the lobs he got were on the fast break anyways, so I think it will have a minimal effect as far as that's concerned.

Don't forget that these are 2 guys with gobs of potential who just finished their first year of college. Never underestimate what an offseason of hard work and experience can do for a player. We saw it just last year with Burke.


April 18th, 2013 at 7:07 PM ^

The reason I wouldn't worry about this is the fact that Beilein is really good at making changes if necessary. If his initial plan isn't working as he'd hoped, he won't just sit on it and hope the team improves individually if better options are available. College basketball is a game where multiple lineups work, particularly situational lineups. Some games might work best with McGary at the 4 while other match ups might ask for more athleticism, and Beilein has proven to understand this (especially this past season). Not worried about it at all.


April 18th, 2013 at 7:10 PM ^

... which fits Robinson well. This also gives him a chance to use his quickness against bigger 3s and his strength against smaller ones, improving his defensive match ups - how many times did we see him disappear against a team that could post him with a strong 4?

We didn't do two-big last year because it would mean sitting one of Robinson, Hardaway or Staukas. Just like a good coach should, we are deploying the talent at hand to get the best players on the floor.