Starting 5 Next Year? Bench?

Submitted by BILG on March 17th, 2012 at 5:32 AM

Losing in the first round is brutal, sucks balls, etc.  But so goes the tournament and a 1 loss elimination format.  Same thing that makes it great, makes it suck when you are the higher seed that falls early.  Expectations are the mother of disappointment.

Anyways, what do we look like next year.  Starting 5?

PG Burke

SG Hardaway

C Horford / Morgan / McGary?

SF Robinson / Smot

PF Smot / McGary / Morgan?


Obviously this latest recruiting class gives Beilein a lot more depth and flexibility....We may actually be able to "go small" now as a strategy or change of pace instead of it being the defining characteristic or our team.  What does our starting 5 look like though?  Will Beilein stay small to start the year or will he throw out the big bodies.  I know he loves bigs that can shoot the 3, so I see Smot getting a lot of minutes.  The only positions that seem set in stone are Burke at the point and Hardaway at the shooting guard.





March 17th, 2012 at 9:04 AM ^

...will have to think about which five to have on the floor makes me giddy. How long has it been? I'm no expert, but if there's any expertise displayed above, we'll have at least 11 D-1 caliber basketball players, 8 with at least a year in the system, and at least 2 capable at each position. I would think that helps us a ton, if only because it raises the level of talent the guys play against every day in practice.


March 17th, 2012 at 9:08 AM ^

To early to predict. However the starting five doesn't really matter at this point. With beileins strategy of chuck and run. I feel we are destined for the same ending. We will hear about how great this team is and what young players they are. However if the coach doesn't do his job to prepare for ALL aspects of the game you can have the greatest players on the planet. nd still end up chasing the stars, which is what I fear with this coach. He has never coached a national champ and never will with his current strategy. And yes, dammit belien it is ok to single out or call your players out for slacking not performing or whatever. These are young men that want to be on the center stage treat them that way. Hold them accountable for there poor performances.


March 17th, 2012 at 9:20 AM ^

Beilien is going to have some tough decisions next year, but the one thing I know for sure is that everyone will over estimate how much the freshmen will play.   A freshmen is like the back up qb, no one has seen them play yet so they must be awesome!!!

Remember when Brundige was going to be starting right away so we could get Douglas off the floor?

This class looks amazing coming in, but to assume a freshmen like Stauskas is going to just come in and jump Vogrich and that veteran starters are just going to be moved to the bench is a little early.

The biggest question is that the makeup of the team has changed.  We have more bigs than ball handlers so does Beilien play more bigs and just leave the ball in Burkes hands or does he stay more conventional and have a bunch of bigs unhappy on the bench?






March 17th, 2012 at 9:28 AM ^

TH is bound to work on his handle in the offseason, a move to the 2 makes sense if he has intentions of going pro. The clips I have seen Robinson handles the ball in open court well. To get size, athleticism, shooting on the court our lineup will eventually be


March 17th, 2012 at 9:50 AM ^

my gosh...just as you all completely overlooked denard with forcier, youre doing the same with stauskas... stauskas is gonna assauge losing novak.


March 17th, 2012 at 9:53 AM ^

Im starting to wonder coach B is the right coach. Michigan has the resources and facilities to be a top 10 program annually. Coach B has proved that he can take over programs that were outside the top 64 and build them into a little better than average programs. That's wonderful for schools like Richmond. Is he capable of taking a team to elite status? Michigan can't rebound or play defense . Is coach B going to address this or think his offense will overcome every weakness.. Michigan needs big, strong, and physical players if their going win a championship. Michigan didnt improve as the season progressed and that's alarming. A WVU friend of mine said that they were upset when coach B left, but they now realize he took WVU as far as he could and that they never would have went to a final 4 with him at the helm. He also said he doesn't like how coach B teams don't crash the boards. Izzo and Huggins send all five guys to the boards and their defenses still find a way to get back. Michigan only sends two guys to the glass and they still get burnt.

Doctor Wolverine

March 17th, 2012 at 10:28 AM ^

Put the knife down big fella. Beilein is a great coach, and the program is moving in the right direction. It has been a long time since we have been a consistent top 25 team, let alone top 10. We won a share of the Big Ten title, received a good seed in the tourney, and have excellent recruiting classes lined up for the next couple of years. Don't be one of those fans who calls for the coach's head because of one bad loss. We are better than that.


March 17th, 2012 at 9:54 AM ^

pg burke

sg thj

sf vogrich

pf smotz

c morgan


then go athletic with

sf bd2

pf mcgary

c horford


sprinkle in

pg brundidge

sg stauskas


CT Wolverine

March 17th, 2012 at 10:06 AM ^

Instead of everyone complaining about how they think Beilein screwed up, just remember that with the squad that we have (and losing darius) we still can put up another banner.


March 17th, 2012 at 11:07 AM ^

Next year's going to be interesting to see how the lineup shakes up.  I feel like someone is going to get left out of the mix.  We have Burke, THJr, Smot, Morgan, Horford, Brundidge, Vogrich, McGary, Stauskas, Robinson III, and maybe even Beilfeldt if he's really improving as much as Beilein said.  I might've forgotten someone, but that's 10 people. 

My best guess is that McGary and Robinson start to begin the season, and Stuaskas comes off the bench for the whole season.

PG: Burke
SG: Hardaway






March 17th, 2012 at 11:34 AM ^

This is how I see the lineup too. I think there is a chance that Vogrich still gets some playing time off of the bench, though. I think having three 6-9+ guys on the floor is going to be huge next year, especially since Smot can focus on shooting 3s and he shouldn't be picking up nearly as many fouls as he would at the 4 or 5. Hardaway can start working on cutting to the basket from the 2, which is something that you don't see too often from Douglass. Then, there's the ability to go small with Burke, Hardaway/Stauskas, Robinson/Hardaway, Vogrich, McGary/Smot. The perimiter shooting on that lineup would be amazing.


March 17th, 2012 at 11:32 AM ^

1. Burke  (Brundidge/Akunne)

2. Hardaway (Vogrich/Staukas)

3.  GRIII (Hardaway/Staukas)

4. Smotz (Beilfeldt/Christian)

5. Morgan/McGary (Hortford/McLimans)

**The 5 is tricky. Curious what Beilein will do with the 4 and 5**

Predictions: 27-4 (Season) w/B1G Outright Conference Champions. BTT Champions. Final Four. **Football team finishes 14-0 same year (My honest opinion for this up coming season for both sports)***


March 17th, 2012 at 11:42 AM ^

I think a lineup with, Burke, THJ, Robinson, McGary, and Morgan. I know JB like shooters but that's not a receipe to win a championship. I also see Evan getting starter minutes


March 17th, 2012 at 12:54 PM ^

Starters: Burke, Hardaway, Jr., Morgan or Horford, Robinson III, Smotrycz

Reserves: Horford or Morgan, McGary, Stauskas, Brundidge, Vogrich, Bielfeldt

Scout Team: Christian, Akunne, McLimans, Bartelstein, Tummala 

McGary's regression and Robinson III's improvement since last summer suggests that Robinson might have the edge is getting the start. Wouldn't expect Morgan and Horford to see much time together if Robinson proves he can rebound well and play strong defense.  If Stauskas proves he can shoot and defend at least as well as, if not better than, Smotrycz, then he could become a starter too.

Biggest concerns:  Keeping Burke healthy; restoring Hardaway's confidence and hoping he'll improve his dribbling, passing and defense; having a steady backup point guard; replacing the leadership and tenacity of Novak and Douglass.

Expect Michigan to be ranked between 18 and 22 before the season and to be in the NCAA tournament field at season's end.



March 17th, 2012 at 12:54 PM ^

Smot can't do much besides shoot. He's slow, can't dribble, but can shoot well and rebound adequately. He's a good sixth man.

McGary brings something we've been needing--size and athleticism--and will start. You can't teach motor and he has a decent midrange shot.

Beilein isn't going to bench him because he doesn't fit the offense. You build an offense around the players you have.


Burke / Brundidge / Akunne

Stauskas / Vogrich

THJ / Robinson / Vogrich

McGary / Smot / Horford

Morgan / McGary / Horford


March 17th, 2012 at 1:11 PM ^

recruits players to fit HIS system. Not to work around/mold offense around them. Lay off Smotz dick. Smotz made many dribbling moves to drive to the basket and score (during the season).  He's not as slow like most are claiming.  He is "rebounding adequately" as you said. He does lack motor but Smotz will be just fine.  He can make some bone-head decisions that makes you scream, but he's a starter next year. Give hime time.

Wolverine Devotee

March 17th, 2012 at 1:19 PM ^

I'm gonna enjoy wearing my B1G Champions t-shirt & hat and think about next season when the athletic season is over.

More important things going on right now than thinking about next year. Hockey in the CCHA Playoff Championship Game and Selection Sunday tomorrow. Hopefully a solid run in the NCAA Tournament.

Baseball & Softball are about to start B1G play next weekend.

Womens Basketball is playing their first NCAA Tournament game in 11 years tomorrow.

Lacrosse season is still underway with a huge game following the Spring Game.

And Spring Football practice starts today.


March 17th, 2012 at 1:26 PM ^

The starting 5 will probably evolve through the season next year, mostly because we have a lot of talent coming in who will need to learn the offense. I think the coaches will start the more experienced guys initially, but i expect the freshmen will crack the starting line-up eventually. We've seen several freshmen come right in and start recently (Burke, Hardaway, Morris, Morgan, even Douglass and Novak). But they did so because there was no one else competing with them for the starting roles. Next year there will be a lot of competition at every position except PG, so I expect a lot of movement in the first part of the season. Still, here's a guess:

1 - Burke (obviously)
2 - Hardaway (not great ball handling, but he's pretty much just a shooter at this point)
3 - Robinson (we need a new focal point for the offense, GR3 has the most weapons)
4 - Smotrycz (for the offensive "fit" only, probably won't be the starter later into the season)
5 - Horford (he started the first game or two this year, has more potential upside than Morgan)


March 17th, 2012 at 1:44 PM ^

Tim Hardaway Jr. at the 2. I don't see his dribbling as solid enough. And I know that John Bielin's runs his offenes through the 3 a lot (although to be fair Burke made that different this year).

I'm thinking the lineup looks like:


SG-Vogrich or Stauskus/loser between that battle (I know everybody is automatically going to assume Stauskus would win that battle but I'm not so sure. Vogrich's defense has gotten better every year and he may be able to provide some leadership.)


PF-Smot/McGary Maybe even Robinson gets some minutes at the 4


I know that you would probably like to find a way to get some more minutes from Robinson if he is as good as I think he is, but this is a lineup where you don't need to manipulate anyone into another position (ie Hardaway to two).

There is a few things you have to like about next year's lineup whatever it is. The obvious being the added athleticism from the freshman. But you also have a lot of players with potential for growth. Hardaway could add some consistently, Smot could establish his shooting touch throughout the entire season. Brundidge who I thought had a lot of talent coming in could took a step foward. And I also don't see a way where we don't have less depth.

I think bottom line for next season is that there are a lot of things that can happen to make us a better team. Of course not of all them will, but it's hard to see a way where we won't be a better team despite the loss of leadership.


March 17th, 2012 at 1:49 PM ^

What is the role for a 2 for Beilein system?? I was under the impression 2 is a shooting guard/slasher. Not responsible for ball handling. That would be more of a Point Guard (Burke in this case).  I know for sure he will not be a 3 in the pro's. Which has me more incline for him to play the 2 for Beilein. But this is when and where someone fills me in that's knowledgeable with Beilein system. Please


March 17th, 2012 at 2:06 PM ^

you sorta answered your own question as far as Hardaway at the 2 goes. To be a slasher you're gonna need a dribble-drive and man just not Tim's game.

I sure there are people who know the specifics of Beilin's more than I do. Dylan at umhoops is pretty convinced that Tim won't be able to play the 2 next season but we'll see.

snarling wolverine

March 17th, 2012 at 2:12 PM ^

Beilein's system has historically not been PG-centric, with both guards sharing ballhandling roles.  We've moved more into a PG-dominated offense, but the 2 is still expected to be a secondary ballhandler.  Hardaway will have to significantly improve his handle this summer if he wants to play that role.

Blue boy johnson

March 17th, 2012 at 1:52 PM ^

I will wait and see on the starters, but the one thing I am confident of is McGary making everyone better with his presence on the court. My god, there was so much open and available in the lane against Ohio, but M had nobody who could take advantage of it. When McGary sets a screen for Burke at the top of the key, it is going to be an entirely different animal to defend, as opposed to Smot or Morgan setting the screen. Now Beilein will have a highly skilled, aggressive, physically gifted Big to crash the boards, make good passes, create his own shot. I can't wait to see it.

I can see Belien spreading the floor with Burke, Vogrich, Smot and Hardaway, leaving McGary to roam the paint creating nightmare scenarios for opposing coaches.


March 17th, 2012 at 1:58 PM ^

but my preference would be:

1. Burke

2. Stauskas

3. Hardaway

4. McGary

5. Morgan

If Smotrycz doesn't improve his shooting, he doesn't help us that much at the 4.  McGary would be a better rebounder, shot blocker and defensive presence.  Plus I would really like to see him and Morgan banging in the paint together.  Stauskas is a great outside shooter and has the height to shoot over any 2 out there, plus he can handle the ball and pass it.

I think our lack of depth wore us down and caused the 6 game season ending fade.  I would like to see the starters average about 30 minutes next year and give the bench more PT.  We should have the depth to do that.


March 17th, 2012 at 2:07 PM ^

Burke, hardaway, Robinson, mcgary, and Morgan. I leave smot as the 6th man only because I would like to see more athleticism on the court, which was lacking this year and got exposed.


March 17th, 2012 at 2:12 PM ^

Beilein is a smart guy. Yes, his offense so far in his career has been predicated on shooting the 3, especially with a 4 man who can shoot the 3 (Novak), but he is going to quickly realize when camp starts that the personnel he has is best suited to not rely so much on the 3. We will use more of a conventional offense that you see the majority of college teams running that employs 2 big men instead of just one. This is how I see our line up looking next season, with starters listed first and the next most likely person to see playing time at that position next.

1 - Burke                Reserves: Stauskas, Brundidge

2 - Hardaway        Reserves: Vogrich, Brundidge, Stauskas, Robinson

3 - Robinson         Reserves: Hardaway, Vogrich, Smotrycz

4 - McGary              Reserves: Smotrycz, Horford

5 - Morgan             Reserves: Horford, McGary


Biggest concern would seem to be at back up PG - can either Stauskas or Brundidge actually play the 1? It's not like Burke will be out for any more than 10 minutes a game at the most but still questionable.

McGary and Morgan are my best bets on who will be starting at the posts next year, but really I wouldn't be even a little shocked to see any combination of McGary, Morgan, Smotrycz, and Horford starting. It really is a toss up at this point.


Regardless, this will be by far the deepest and most talented team we have seen at Michigan in a good long while. A top 10 pre season ranking wouldn't surprise me in the least, and I would think another run at a Big Ten Title should be in the works. Already can't wait. Go Blue!!!


March 17th, 2012 at 3:37 PM ^

There is no way 5 star talent sits next year. We need this talent infusion coming in too much to start Smotrycz and vogrich. Both of those players will be better served coming off the bench.
Burke......hardaway Jr......Robinson.....mcgary.....Morgan.
This lineup allows us to play inside and outside and allows us to rebound. Smotrycz and vogrich provide quality depth. We must put our best talent on the floor or we will get exposed again against top competition a.d tournament play. Our offense cannot be so reliant on the 3 ball. That style never wins big. We have to be more well rounded and this talent coming in can do that for us. I for one couldn't wait for next season to get here. We will be Much more talented next season. Go blue!

Lucky Socks

March 17th, 2012 at 3:40 PM ^

PG-  Burke

SG-  Vogrich

SF- Hardaway

PF- McGary

C- Morgan


6. Robinson - SG/SF/PF

7.  Horford - C/PF

8.  Smotrycz - PF/C/SF

9.  Brundidge - PG/SG

10.  Stauskas - SF/SG/PG


Now, I don't see us going 10 deep often.  But we can.  I think Vogrich starts, but doesn't necessarily earn the most minutes.  We have a lot of talent coming back and many possible lineup combinations because most of the guys are have the size and skill to play multiple spots.


March 17th, 2012 at 3:49 PM ^

Reading this thread makes me wonder if those jibes about Michigan being a football school aren't true after all.

Freshman can't/won't start because other player's have more time in the system? This isn't football - don't think about the freshman QB analogy. The whole reason the NBA (succesfully) used to draft18 yos is that increased age and experience doesn't make basketball players better nearly as much as it reveals their limitations. The average incoming 5-star is BETTER than the senior who's been toiling away for 4 seasons, and therefore SHOULD start.


March 17th, 2012 at 4:17 PM ^

I think we'll have two lineups as usual: the big and small




Stauskas/Some THJ


Smotz/Some McGary





Stauskas/Some THJ