2017-18 Game Thread Drinking Game


To be fair, Livers turns the ball over more and the threat of Duncan’s three-point shooting still affects the defense more than Livers’s. Duncan is also the guy I want shooting FTs.

But it’s true that Duncan can’t shoot 32% from 3 and be a long-term high-minutes contributor. Hopefully he breaks out of his slump soon. While he may have benefited from Walton’s (and Irvin’s) passing the last couple years, he’s much better than he’s shown lately.

The longer he slumps, however, (and the more he fouls people while letting them still make baskets), the more he may see his minutes decline.


I’d be curious to see what Duncan’s historical player comparisons are for his stats this season so far. Since the LSU game (9 game sample size), he’s averaging 26 minutes per game, shooting 10 for 39 from three (25.6%). In that 9 game stretch, the only 2 games he has made better than 33% of his threes are against Chaminade and UC Riverside. In the other 7 games, all against quality high major opponents he is shooting 8 for 38 from deep, (21%).

He has always projected to be a Jon Diebler-type to me but Diebler shot 50% from three his senior year after ranging in the 40s before that. I can’t imagine many “just a shooters” have played close to 30 minutes per game making the percentage he is right now. I’ll probably take some heat for this, and I know he’s a phenomenal set shooter, but I do believe the combination of an increased role + lack of playmaking around him has led to his lower percentages and its more than just a slump


Duncan has the potential to give a hell of a lot more too. He’s not the 30% 3pt shooter that he’s showing right now. If Duncan continues to shoot at this clip, then I will concede that Livers is more valuable. But Livers D is not much better, he got beat in back to back plays yesterday when Duncan picked up his 4th, and he’s absolutely lost on O.

The best version of this team involves Duncan playing 25+ minutes and being a threat to shoot. I’m going to keep rooting for that because I want this team to be successful. You can keep rooting for a Michigan player to foul out though. If a light switches on for Livers that’d be great too, but I think Duncan’s percentages improving has a greater likelihood.


from kenpom


Interesting…quick searched the stats on those guys for 3FG%, rebounds/assists per game and defensive win shares (the only defensive advanced stat I could find on all these guys)

Korver: 48% 6 rebounds 3 assists, 2.6 DWS
Broehkoff: 41% 7 rebounds 2 assists, 2.0 DWS
Hull: 38% 5 rebounds 2 assists, 1.3 DWS
Loving: 38% 5 rebounds 2 assists, 1.3 DWS
Carter: 40% 4 rebounds 2 assists, 1.3 DWS

Duncan: 32% 3 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.6 DWS


I don’t think that’s controversial.


I’m not sure I’d agree that he has an increased role. His usage is probably about the same as it was his first year. I know his FGA and MPG are almost identical. The playmaking surely could have an effect, but on a purely anecdotal level it does not seem like his 3p attempts are any more difficult than previous seasons.


Good point on the similar attempts to his first year. What’s interesting about that year is that Duncan shot 55% from three in the non-conference that year (when he had Levert, Walton and Irvin all as plus creators). After Levert went down, he shot only 35% although he still got the same number of looks, just poorer quality.

I don’t think that bodes well that he will snap out of this at any point until he gets a plus creator which this team just doesn’t have.


JB definitely thinks, rightfully so, that this team’s ceiling is much higher with Sniper-Duncan. If 2017-18 Duncan was still the most lethal transition weapon in the conference, and still a 60/40 bet to can every mostly-wide-open 3, then we probably aren’t having this conversation, especially since the rest of the team is also shooting poorly.

I also wonder if JB ‘likes how the offense flows’ better with Duncan on the floor. Id guess JB likes Duncan’s passing angle/depth/height, pivots, reads, etc. more than the freshmen, who are still learning the basics.

For the record, I’m also in the camp that thinks giving duncan 15-20 minutes per game as a sub, favorable matchups, and a green light is the best way to let him sort out his demons, while also giving minutes to Poole/Livers/Brooks who have more room to grow and will probably produce better, on both ends.


That’s why I would love to see Matthews play more 4 with Poole at 3. That is a lineup worth reducing Duncan’s minutes for. But if the only options are Livers and Duncan at 4, then Duncan will have to play 25+.


I’d like to see this too. And not just because I think that Poole/Livers/Eli >> Duncan’s production, but I also have nightmares about Duncan guarding Jaren Jackson, Justin Jackson, Vince Edwards, Jordan Murphy, Vic Law, and so on. Duncan has gotten bossed by the burlier 4s (Luke Maye, Ostenkowski), but i can see it going even worse against the athletic 4s that I listed. Seems like Matthews and Livers matchup so much better with them, and basically all of those opposing 4s are capable of chasing Duncan around the perimeter, so the theoretical offensive advantage isn’t really there.

I wonder if JB just doesn’t really want to play Matthews at the 4.


Couldn’t agree more, Livers is no where near the offensive threat Duncan is, even with him slumping. Honestly, defensively as well I don’t see Livers as a huge upgrade of any sorts over Robinson, both have not been good defensively and with Duncan on the floor opposing teams are still gonna respect Duncan’s shooting ability. At this point the only way Livers should cut into the minutes of Robinson is rebounding purposes but if the team (specifically Matthews and MAAR) are going to keep rebounding well I don’t see the need to prioritize rebounding at this point at least.


I was wondering if the shots Robinson is taking are more difficult now too. Like Buckets suggested I have been wondering if maybe he is an excellent set-shot shooter and just an average shooter otherwise.

I can’t say for sure but for the last two years I was frustrated that Duncan did not look to shoot more. I have said it before but it in the past it has always seemed like he needed the stars aligned before he would pull the trigger. Mostly, my impression was that Robinson loved to shoot when he was squared-up and receiving the ball from a favorable angle (like from the paint area) AND HE SEEMED TO LIKE TO SHOOT FROM NOT TOO FAR BEHIND THE 3 pt line. This year however he seems to have improved in that he is actually hunting his shot more: willing to shoot a little off balance, a little deeper, with a little less time, and with a less favorable receiving angle…This is my impression… And his percentage has plummeted big time, unfortunately. Is it conclusive evidence? No. It is something to keep an eye on however…


It’s weird to me that GRIII played the 4 spot so much but JB refuses to try Matthews there so far. I know GRIII was a little bulkier but they share a lot of the same strengths.

Hypothetical here: but if Smotrycz had never transferred, would we have seen Burke, Hardaway, GRIII, Smotrycz and Morgan as starters with Stauskas reduced to a bench role? That’s sort of what the Duncan situation feels like right now.


This is the bigger problem IMO. I mean it’s statistically improbable for him to continue shooting like this, but him having the highest foul rate on our entire team is a big issue.


Just out of curiosity, how do you know he doesn’t think the floor is higher? That would make much more sense with the other guy being a raw freshman and not an non-developing senior.


That’s a fair distinction. Since we are assuming JB wants Duncan to get back to shooting as well as he already has, and not necessarily expecting big improvement in his overall game, then it probably is more of chasing a higher “floor.” And, by that logic, he is prioritizing raising the team’s floor (Duncan), rather than exploring its ceiling (freshmen).


Three of four of my points have happened on this team and the pitchforks and torches act by the fans have died down, so I’ll need to either update my list or get myself on the list for a new liver. (Speaking of Livers, I consider point #1 to mean Moe at the 4, not Livers in the lineup.) I’m glad that #2 happened after Livers ripped PT from Duncan. That’s far better for Livers in the long term than to just be awarded time on the court before he proved himself worthy of it. #3 and #4 are related and have more to do with Poole learning the 2 and earning trust on the court than anything, imo.

One of my all-time favorites that I’ll add to my list is the vaunted Recruiting Full-Court Press / All In. I should ask folks more often what they mean by that, but being a disagreeable Richard takes effort.


Bump! …