Guess the MBB Player....

Submitted by AC1997 on March 8th, 2015 at 5:08 PM

In the coming days (or hopefully weeks) we will wrap up the basketball season and there will be countless posts written about "what if...." or "looking toward next year" or any number of optimistic stories about the growth for next season.  As a prelude to those pieces, I will throw out this question.  

Can you name these three current or former John Beilein players based on their freshmen stats?  

Player FG% 3PT% FT% PTSp40 REBp40 FTp40
#1 46.3% 44.0% 85.1% 14.45 3.90 2.92
#2 47.1% 43.9% 87.0% 13.33 4.16 1.65
#3 43.4% 42.5% 71.4% 17.36 0.63 1.48


I'll post the answer in the comments, so don't look ahead if you want to guess.  I obviously cherry-picked a few stats to tell a story and could have picked some other players as well.  The message, however, is that there have been many examples of a "sophomore leap" under John Beilein and if we consider the huge number of freshmen on this year's team we should have reason to believe in next year.  



March 8th, 2015 at 5:16 PM ^

Player #1 = Nik Stauskas 

Player #2 = Aubrey Dawkins

Player #3 = Zak Irvin


The shooting percentages were all very similar and it still is amazing that Nik and Zak were top 100 players and Dawkins had no interest.  Dawkins isn't able to create his own offense like Stauskas was (as evident by the FTp40), but he was ahead of Irvin in that area and dwarfed him with rebounding.  The stats are even more compelling if you look at the last 12 games when Dawkins was asked to play more minutes.  Dawkins and Irvin played about the exact same minutes as freshmen while Stauskas doubled them.  

It will be interesting next year to see what his role is.  We projected those Irvin stats into him being a borderline-star this year while we're thinking about Dawkins as being a good rotational player next year.  I could see Dawkins starting at the 3 if Levert leaves (while Irvin is at the 2), I could see him keep his spot at the 4, or I could see him come off the bench as a microwave type player who dunks and bombs threes.  

(I considered Burke, Hardaway, and Levert for this comparison too.  Burke and Hardaway both played a ton of minutes and were very successful as freshmen.  Levert's stats were actually pretty lousy as a freshmen and he didn't play much.)


March 9th, 2015 at 12:48 AM ^

So you threw out the guys that didn't fit the narrative, then chose one guy who took an enormous leap, and one guy who (yes he improved but) really didn't actually take the huge leap in his sophomore year that most people expected of a borderline 5 star? 

That's not exactly a well-supported argument.


March 8th, 2015 at 7:52 PM ^

Morris, Burke, Stauskas, and LeVert made a sophomore leap, and justifiably get the bulk of the attention.  The common thread there is that those guys had ball-handling and passing skills and were guards (as opposed to wings) whose roles and responsibilites grew as veterans moved on.

Irvin and Dawkins are moreso wings (though they could evolve into guards, especially Irvin who has moonlighted at the 2 at times already, demonstrating Beilein's faith in him.)  To me, those guys are more like THJ.  He could shoot right away, had a learning/development year as a sophomore, and then broke out with a great all-around season his junior year.  Another example to consider is Robinson, who more or less had the same role and didn't develop much, other than taking a few more jumpers. Douglass evolved from a scorer to a defensive stopper, part-time PG, and overall glue guy.  Novak was a guy who was what he was throughout, but it took him 4 years to become an efficient offensive player and fully formed as a team leader. Similarly Manny Harris was who he was, but by his junior year was far smarter (and/or more wisely utilized) to become a far more efficient player.

McGary improved immensly within his freshman year (a la Dawkins and MAAR).  Morgan took a few  years to play through his limitations. Horford was frail and all but unplayable until he bulked up a bit.

The paths are many.  I think we've seen a variety of storylines but a consistent theme of improvement.

The interesting thing for Zak and Aubrey will be what their roles become if everyone returns AND you add Levert, Walton, and perhaps Wagner to the mix.  Presumably they will need to do less, at least on offense, and buy into a complementary role.  That sort of challenge will be unprecedented for Beilein except in the example of Douglass and Novak -- obviously a different situation from Dawkins/Irvin on many fronts.



March 8th, 2015 at 8:56 PM ^

this goes back to the CJ Lee days, but I remember Beilein in an interview said most guys take about a year to learn the system. some (Lee and Merritt) pick it up a little quicker, while other may need closer to 2 years.


March 9th, 2015 at 12:25 PM ^

There's a math error there.  You have Irvin averaging 0.63 rebounds per 40 minutes (a near- impossibly low number) but he actually averaged 3.38.