The Return of the (PG) Hook Shot - Michigan BBall 2018-2019

Zososoxfan

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So, uh, this team is GOOD! It's a strictly 6-man rotation which worries me, Poole has been off since starting red hot, but this team 1-6 matches up with any other team in the nation. They're currently in a 2-dog fight for the Big10 title with MSU with both games occurring at the very end of the season. This team is super fun to watch and currently has the #1 defense in the country.

Teske has been just outstanding. He's an incredibly good post defender with elite size who doesn't foul. On offense, he has some of the best hands for a big man I've seen in some time. He can finish at the rim, and has a jumper that's effective from midrange and occasionally from 3.

At the 1, ZXavier Simpson is the leader and heart of the team. He's possibly the least talented offensive player in the starting lineup, but he is an elite defender, knows what Beilein is trying to do on O, and his hook shot may save his offensive utility.

Matthews is the glue guy on the team right now. Along with ZX and Teske, he is an elite defender who has the look of an NBA player. He can lead the offense at times and his shooting percentages, while not great, have all improved this year. He gathers loose balls, plays well above the rim, and I've learned to appreciate what he brings to the team.

20-year old Freshman Iggy is a total mug and I'd hate him if he was on any other team. But he's not, so I love him. Dude has no problem playing the heel and is probably UM's most talented offensive player. When the offense bogs down, getting Iggy the ball going to the cup is the best play. His defense is good enough and while he's had some freshman growing pains, Iggy is a very good player.

Jordan Poole likely determines just how high this team can fly. When he's on his game, he has NBA 3PT range and can get to the rim at will. He's a good enough defender, but he has been in a funk since starting the season on fire against solid competition.

6th man Livers is a dude. Big man can spell Teske at the 5 for short periods when UM goes smallball, but also has 3PT range. I have an irrational adoration of this player.
 

Dick Pole Upside

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I agree. This team is fun.

Only six deep for sure, but Beilein has also squeezed some occasional contributions from Eli Brooks as well.

It was hoped that Brandon Johns could be brought along, but that's been choppy at best. Austin Davis has 5 fouls to give, and Nunez/DeJulius have flashed in blowouts. But other than Brooks, I wouldn't expect to see any of these kids (barring foul trouble for starters/Livers) as we approach the B1G tournament and NCAAs.

Simpson is a junkyard dog, pure and simple. Hard to say they've had a PG with his type of attitude since Gary Grant.

Iggy may win Mr. Hateable, but Poole ain't far behind... ;)
 

Zososoxfan

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I think DDJ is going to start seeing some minutes. This team can probably get by with 2 subs, Livers for wings/bigs and the better of Brooks/DDJ for Guards. Sprinkle in just a little Big Country and Johns at 2 MPG and it might be enough. Good teams in the tourney will definitely try to get UM in foul trouble and test this, but I think UM is among the best in the country at avoiding fouls.
 

Zososoxfan

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That was...not fun. No one came to play on offense except Iggy. I love Matthews and I think he has a role to play in the NBA, but having him and Simpson on the floor at the same time really limited the offense. Teske was not good enough to be shooting 3s this year (30% on 77 attempts). I want to be hard on Poole, but he did improve this year just not as much as I had hoped. Nevertheless, he wasn't great yesterday. Livers is by far our best 3PT shooter and he couldn't hit yesterday.

Still, coming off a trip to the finals and losing Moe, this season was fun and a resounding success. If the starting lineup next year is: Simpson-Poole-Iggy-Livers-Teske with 2nd year Castleton and DDJ off the bench, I like the offense-defense balance of that lineup much better. Brooks seems like he has a sweet stroke, but something is holding him back psychologically. Hopefully the Freshmen can contribute something, and maybe Nunez or Johns also develops into something. However, Beilein needs to think about how to improve this offense given the limitations of some of his stalwart defensive guys (namely Simpson).
 
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Dick Pole Upside

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This is going to be a tough row to hoe if all three of Matthews, Iggy, and Poole leave. Hope either Iggy or Poole return (Matthews is gone, imho).

Will be tough to see where the buckets will come from next year if Livers doesn’t stay healthy.
 

Zososoxfan

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From what I've heard and read, sounds like Iggy is definitely gone and Poole is probably gone. I wont ever begrudge a player for making a decision that gets them paid, but yeah it changes the outlook by about 7 wins.
 

Average Reds

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This is going to be a tough row to hoe if all three of Matthews, Iggy, and Poole leave. Hope either Iggy or Poole return (Matthews is gone, imho).

Will be tough to see where the buckets will come from next year if Livers doesn’t stay healthy.
Matthews was always gone, but I am surprised by Iggy and Poole declaring for the draft. Honestly, I think both could use another year, but Iggy's game is the more advanced of the two, and I'd expect (hope?) that Poole comes back.

Regardless, it's very much of a different team next year.
 

Zososoxfan

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Rather than start the 19-20 thread, I'll post here and confirm what I'm sure is already in the coaching carousel thread that Michigan has signed Juwan Howard to be the successor to Beilein.

While Juwan is a fine hire considering the circumstances, I feel like Warde Manuel really blew it here. He did not have a buyout clause for Beilein and seemed very unprepared for his departure even though Beilein was flirting with the Pistons last year. It doesn't seem like anyone I would've preferred over Juwan was really available, Billy D., Brad Stevens (not a real option but his name was floated), Nate Oats, and Beard, but UM wasn't even close with any of these guys. It would've been nice to see Mark Few and other experienced NCAA coaches get interviewed instead of Warde's friend Cooley.

All that said, Juwan should be a good recruiter due to his connections on the AAU circuit. We will see how good his Xs and Os are quickly. Retaining 2/3 assistants is key, while allowing him to bring someone of his choice to round it out.
 

Soxfan in Fla

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Considering Beeline has flirted with the Pistons last year Warde Manuel was poorly prepared for this.

You just went from arguably your best coach ever to someone who has no coaching experience in college and was the last assistant on the Miami bench. The AAU connections are nothing more than one of his kids playing AAU ball. In other words, he has none.

Considering the mess that roster is in you are quite likely looking at s completely loss season next year. It is too late to really bring anything of any significance for the freshman class or for transfers.