Snow Sucks

April 11th, 2014 at 2:27 PM ^

If it's because he knows McGary's decision, then clearly Mitch will return to school for at least one more season. Still though...Mitch can't play the entire game, so Jon would still get a good amount of playing time. I can't imagine Jon's believing that he is a starter. He is a very good backup. It's going to be tough losing his experience.


April 11th, 2014 at 7:51 PM ^

Even so, my impression is he's telling the truth. To me, Horford didn't really seem into it when he was playing towards the end of the season, which is probably why his playing time became increasingly more limited down the stretch. I think he really felt it wasn't a good fit, especially having seen so teammates pass through over the years and him lingering as the only veteran with a bunch of new young guys and an entirely different vibe, and was leaving regardless of McGary's decision. I'm guessing he felt a little left behind in the world and needed something that felt fresh at this point.

Also, McGary may have made a decision at the time he spoke to Horford, but I'd assume it's something he'll be mulling over and could change his mind about until he makes an official announcement. Still, I can't imagine he'd leave to a be picked in the 30s if he feels like he can play at the same level after the injury and have a big year. NBA teams pretty much have to invest a good amount of PT over multiple seasons for top 15 picks, whereas they typically won't have a role set aside for later picks (those guys typically have to wait for injuries to happen to the pegged ahead of them during the season to get a chance).

Blue in Seattle

April 11th, 2014 at 2:59 PM ^

in the next few paragraphs the quotes from Horford talk about it being a good system IF the Big player gets a lot of minutes.  Then following that he states he wasn't given sufficient minutes to get the experience to apply what he was learning in a game experience.  So either he is just skewing the truth a bit so that it doesn't label Beilien's system as "bad for big men", or in reality he is upset about not getting playing time up to now, and doesn't think it will change in the future despite the fact that he has the most experience.

I think that he's not confident he would be given the majority of minutes, whatever the situation is with Mitch and the other recruited 5's and 4's, and with his degree complete, this is the perfect time to make a change.  To me the biggest factor is that he has his degree and can go anywhere without waiting out a year.

It does make me wonder what happened with Beilein's attempt at putting in to "bigs" at the same time.  Did the coach just not think it would work?  That seems to have been something they were trying to do to make Glenn happy, so Glenn could go to the 3.

I don't really expect a clear answer, I wouldn't give one either.  This is a good message of "I learned great things at Michigan, thus I'm as good as anybody on that team, but I want the prime minutes for my last year.  Everyone wishes me well."  doesn't leave Michigan in a bad way, and puts it out there for what he's looking for and what he could do for a school looking for his talent.


April 11th, 2014 at 3:08 PM ^

I wonder if we're missing part of the issue here--he talks about minutes, which it is true he had trouble getting. But Beilein's system doesn't exactly feed post guys for low block iso plays, either, and that appears to have been one of is strengths. He just never had time to show it. If he really thinks that's a strength that he wants to explore, I understand this choice a lot better.

Because Mitch or not, Michigan is not going to spend a lot of time pounding the ball to the block and clearing out.


April 11th, 2014 at 3:19 PM ^

system is not prohibitive of anything.  True, he does not typically recruit bigs that rely on post isos because his system does not run through the block, but Mitch and Jordan have shown that you can get what you want in the offense if you are patient and stay within yourself.  The ball finds the most effective scorers in any offense.  I like Horford but I don't think he has shown anything really that tells me that he would be an efficient post option even if he got 15 touches per game.

I think this is simpler than it is being made to look.  I think Mitch is coming back and he is going to be the centerpeice.  I expect that Horford will transfer to a lower D1 type of school where he can star for a year.  And good for him.  I just had not seen any indication that Horford was unhappy with his role.  It is a surprise to me.  Guess it shouldn't be.


April 11th, 2014 at 3:30 PM ^

I think Mitch and JMo move a lot better too (or anticipate a lot better) than Jon.  I couldn't really characterize what Jon's game is from an offensive persepective. Not a low block post up power game type player.  Seemed like a lot of face up mid-range jumpers when he got the ball.


April 11th, 2014 at 6:30 PM ^

That doesn't mean it isn't a good system for a different type of center.  Beilein's system requires the center to be mobile--preferrably on offense and certainly on defense.  Mitch fits that model--as did under-sized Morgan.  They can play off of the high pick and  run the pick-and-role.  Mitch catching the ball at the foul line creates numerous options for him. These are not Jon's best skills.  Similarly,  the defense relies on hedges, switches and angles.  Jon just isn't very quick and, as a result, the defense struggled when he played.

That said, Jon does have skills---skills that I believe can translate in a different system.  On offense, he does have a solid (albeit mechanical)  jumper that he didn't get much of a chance to show.  He has a couple of post moves that might be effective in iso. He improved his vision under Beilein and will likely pass decently out of the post.  On defense, he will be better both in a zone and in one-on-one situations in the post.  And, Jon is smart--that will count for something as well.

My initial reaction was one of mild surprise--but after reading his explanation, I think it makes alot of sense for him.

The Shredder

April 11th, 2014 at 5:50 PM ^

I've said it before and I'llsay it again. If I were a Big I would not come to Michigan to play center. Mitch would have his man seeled and the Michigan wings would never throw it down low(I could see at times that Mitch would even look frustrated) and I don't think it was them not making the right basketball play but how the offense runs or taught. 

If you want to be a great low post player coming to Michigan wouldn't be the right choice. Now I love John B and what his offense does but for back to the basket big men.. Its not a good fit.


April 12th, 2014 at 11:27 AM ^

Mitch did have position at times, but beilein talked about this during the season. He said guys needed to be comfortable on the block for them to work the ball through them. He indicated Mitch wasn't there yet. I think beilein would certainly work the ball through the post if he had the option. He may not recruit it, but he would use it. There were times they isolated Nik on the block when they were guarding him with small quick's.
I specifically remember horford having the ball on the block on more than one occasion with a smaller man on him and not even shooting. He lacked confidence; game experience certainly could have helped. A manager told a friend of mine Horford is a beast in practice. A lot of run may have helped, but to me there were just too many times he looked uncomfortable on the court.


April 11th, 2014 at 3:04 PM ^

While he does talk about how the system is a "paradise for guards," he also talks about how he thinks he could've had success if he was given more opportunities. It's tough to argue with him there. One of Morgan's main scoring plays were wide open dunks off of ball screens. Horford can no doubt perform some of those same plays in this system (and he did throughout the season when he played), I just don't think he has quite the same speed and overall skill that Morgan has. I can't really blame Horford for wanting to transfer. Best of luck to him.

Blue Since B.C.

April 11th, 2014 at 3:27 PM ^

Agreed.  Can't blame him for transferring, but I also agree that he didn't/doesn't have a comparable skill-set to Morgan or McGary.  He never really showed us that he was the guy that was going to get you 10+ pts per game with his back to the basket.  He struggled with offensive/defensive post position as well.

I hope he goes somewhere where he can get a ton of touches, and has a great season.


April 11th, 2014 at 4:58 PM ^

I'm probably piggy backing on some earlier comments, but the "bad system for big guys" piece of this seems to be a red herring. That's what he leads with, but then goes on to discuss at length the lack of opportunity he was provided and how big guys CAN flourish in Beilein's offense. This all came down to minutes it seems, and although Jon says this has nothing to do with Mcgary's decision, he would've been given a lot of minutes next year if mcgary was in the nba. It may just be my optimism but I'll read between the lines and say that's a good sign.


April 11th, 2014 at 2:30 PM ^

Lots of interesting stuff there. Must have been hard to stick around for 4 years when your family is telling you to transfer. Good for him for sticking around. I agree he probably needed more minutes to get into a groove and gain confidence. I'm glad the coaches treated him with respect with this decision. I don't know what this means regarding Mitch but my gut says he's coming back.


April 11th, 2014 at 5:17 PM ^

Donford replacing Morford wouldn't be too appealing if he was looking for scoring minutes and to assert himself as an NBA talent.

To be honest, I don't know enough to know whether Jon is an NBA guy or not.  But the reason I'm (selfishly) sad about Horford leaving is not because I bemoan the loss of his offense; it is because we need his defensive size and experience.

The article goes a long way to helping to understand the decision.  I wish him all the best and success in whatever he does.


April 11th, 2014 at 7:36 PM ^

With no disrespect to Jon Horford in the least - he's not an NBA player, plain and simple.  He's tall, but not elite tall.  There are plenty of 6'10" guys that come out every year.  He's a good but not great finished, shot blocker, and rebounder.  He's not much of a shooter at all.  I am upset he's leaving because I think he can be a solid to quite good college player next fall, but an NBA player he is not.  


April 11th, 2014 at 5:43 PM ^

Sure he says that, but apply some common sense.  How would it sound if he said "I am transferring because I fear competition"?  Whether or not he knows may or not be true, but to say it doesn't factor in his decision is nonsense.


April 11th, 2014 at 7:38 PM ^

Agreed.  You see this a lot in recruiting.  Michigan takes a big recruit at position X, and the other guys who play that same position say that doesn't affect their decision, but then it does. Which is fine, because no one is going to admit that.  But it's a factor.


April 11th, 2014 at 2:30 PM ^

Apparently he says that MM's decision has no bearing on his. Could be troubling, but then it could just mean that he knows he's not stabbing his teammates in the back and that freed him to decide based on other factors.

Also, if he said that MM's decision DID have an effect, it's a dead giveaway, so he has to deny regardless.


April 11th, 2014 at 2:40 PM ^

I think he ends up at Central Michigan. Close to home and a chance to dominate the MAC.


I thought McGary was the most likely to stay out of all three of the sophmores.  I really want to know what GRIII is doing.


April 11th, 2014 at 3:15 PM ^

I think if GRIII believes he will get the vast majority of his minutes at the 3 and not the 4, he'll be back.

Regarding Horford, I'll always be rooting for that kid. Can't blame him for his decision nor the way he has conducted himself. An untimely exit that went as well as these things can.

Mr. Yost

April 11th, 2014 at 2:31 PM ^

Pissed that he was benched at the end of last year...

...he should've talked to J-Mo before making his decision, but whatever. Best of luck.

Mr. Yost

April 11th, 2014 at 2:45 PM ^

...especially when for 4 years they're telling you that your coach isn't using you correctly and you're a better player.

I understand and I wish him the best. I think the minutes and the offense argument are a little bogus, but that's just me.

I think GRIII has to sacrifice his game more than Horford does/would. But hopefully he gets a shot to play somewhere and play his game like he wants to. Maybe a school like UCF, Donnie Jones coaches his brother at Florida I believe and they're a growing program.


April 12th, 2014 at 10:54 AM ^

I don't have any problem with Jon deciding to do what's best for him, but the family putting pressure on him for four years and finally getting him to transfer when he was going to start at center and be Captain.  It just feels like they wanted a win and may not actually be considering what was best for him.  This article frustrates the heck out of me.  

I am still thankful for everything Jon did for the program and glad he graduated.  Best of luck to him wherever he goes.


April 11th, 2014 at 2:34 PM ^

His reference to not getting enough post touches explains why he would put up a shot every time he was fed the ball down low. I can't remember one pass when he was backing down a defender.


April 11th, 2014 at 7:15 PM ^

I remember a few where he tried and threw up a brick or got stripped. It may sound like sour grapes, but in the limited opportunities he was given, Horford didn't look all that amazing.

I understand he has to look out for his future in the NBA and transfer in is probably the best move. I just think it's kind of selfish for him to rip on the coaches for not giving him time. Hal his career was injuries and Michigan never yanked his scholarship or anything. They had faith in Jon and built him up. He was given all the same opportunities as Mitch and Morgan and he just didn't take advantage of the opportunities as much.

I don't know...I really liked Jon but this interview runs me the wrong way and makes him seem selfish in my opinion.

Leaving was the best choice and I wish him luck. I just hope this is the only statement he makes on the matter.


April 11th, 2014 at 2:40 PM ^

I don't like how Jon is handling this.

Horford has no business spouting out "I know what Mitch is going to do, he already told me." It smacks of an uncouthness I didn't think Jon possessed. He just sounds really angry and bitter - and you don't typically serve yourself well by doing a lot of talking when you're upset.

And then the real truth: "Transferring is something that my family has been trying to persuade me to do for four years"

Lucky Socks

April 11th, 2014 at 2:45 PM ^

I disagree.  Although it's unfortunate that his handlers were pushing him one way, they'd been doing it for FOUR years.  Him transferring as a post-grad says more about Horford's desire to be a good teammate and get his degree than it does him giving in to external pressure.

And as for McGary; he was probably explicitly asked that question.  He answered it without giving any indication of his direction.  What's Mitch gonna do?  You tell me based on Horford's comments or decision.  


April 11th, 2014 at 2:51 PM ^

The correct way to answer it is to not answer it at all and deflect... the same manner in which Nik Stauskas deflected similar questions in his radio interviews the last week or so.

For all the talk of Jon's zen-masterism, it's not on display here, the guy is clearly upset a lot right now.


April 11th, 2014 at 3:41 PM ^

I think you missed my point. It's not that he can't be open about he wants more minutes for himself, he shouldn't be dragging Mitch / Mitch's decision into his answers.

Now reporters come to Mitch and say, hey Mitch your teammates say you've made up your mind, what is it? Or worse yet, ESPN pens an article "SOURCE CLOSE TO MICHIGAN SAYS MCGARY TO BE ASTRONAUT"


April 11th, 2014 at 4:41 PM ^

Jon said he knows Mitch's decision, but it had no bearing on his decision. That's pretty close to a non-answer. Sure, he probably should've said he doesn't know, but I think you're nit-picking here. He said a lot of things in the graceful and pointed manner we're accustomed to, and "slipped up" on one thing (and he didn't even give away the important information). 

To say he's bitter based on that statement is jumping from point A directly to point D. I wish Jon nothing but the best. I hope he finds what he's looking for.


April 11th, 2014 at 2:57 PM ^

All he was saying is that it doesn't matter what Mitch was/is going to do.  He was transfering, he thinks he knows what Mitch is planning to do, and they're completely unrelated.  Maybe Mitch is going pro and he was going to have trouble getting minutes behind Donnal.  Maybe Mitch is staying and he was going to have trouble getting minutes behind Mitch.  Maybe he was going to start, but wasn't going to get the touches in the paint that he felt would show him off to NBA scouts.

Mitch's decision might be "if the draft advisory council tells me I'm likely in the first round, I'm going pro, and if not, I'm staying."  That's knowing what Mitch is planning to do, and is in essence a decision, even though the results of that decision won't be known until after he hears back from the Advisory Council.

Chill out about "uncouthness."


April 11th, 2014 at 3:17 PM ^

If Mitch's decision has no bearing, why not answer "Whatever Mitch decides has/had no bearing on my decision."

He could still effectively make his point without saying he knows Mitch's decision.

Not saying he is lying about anything, but I also felt quite a few of his quotes sounded bitter. Particularly the one about finding a coach who will play him through his mistakes.

I don't know Jon Horford and its awesome that he stayed, but it kind of sounds like he wants his next coach to look out for Jon Horford instead of the team.

Go Blue in MN

April 11th, 2014 at 3:29 PM ^

It does sound to me like he's mad at Beilein for not giving him 20 mpg down the stretch.  It was obvious to everyone on this board that Morgan proved himself the superior player, especially on defense.  What did he expect Beilein to do?  That said I appreciate his four years here and wish him the best of luck next year and with his life's work.