2017-18 Roster Breakdown

Let’s do a big picture deep dive examining the 2017-18 roster… First the basics:

  • Additions: Charles Matthews (2/3), Jordan Poole (2/3), Eli Brooks (1)
  • Subtractions: Zak Irvin (3/4), Derrick Walton (1), Mark Donnal (5)
  • There are two scholarships to give remaining in the class of 2017.

Xavier Simpson (So.)
Eli Brooks (Fr.)

Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman (Sr.)
Charles Matthews (RS So.)
Jordan Poole (Fr.)

Duncan Robinson (RS Sr.)
Ibi Watson (So.)

Combo Forward:
DJ Wilson (RS Jr.)

Moritz Wagner (Jr.)
Jon Teske (So.)
Austin Davis (So.)

A few questions that I find interesting… What young players play and how do they fit around Duncan Robinson and MAAR? Who would your starting lineup be? Does anyone disagree that finding some options at the four is absolutely critical?

I think it is very possible that Poole/Matthews play a significant chunk of their minutes at the three. Poole could be like Stauskas as a freshman in that sense, or Matthews could be more of a slasher from the wing.

Let’s just see where this thread goes.

Obvious sore spot here is the 4, which goes along with my thoughts in the other thread. The PF spot is the only necessity in 17. From a talent standpoint, the 3 & 4 are the biggest concerns for 17.


Are we even still recruiting many serious options for a true “guard” spot?
The easy part of the answer is that the 1 and 5 spots are completely full.
I think a true 4 (Livers, Jackson, Tillman, Young) and a 3/4 (Bowen, Cain, Smith) would be ideal.
Though I’m fine with any 2 from the list below.

It seems like we have some good choices for the 3/4 spot (primarily 4):


The 4 is the only remaining necessity. Without Brooks, the PG would also be a necessity.


Not true IMO. Don’t need a PG

Yup. If those final two scholarships don’t bring in a 4, then we can complain. You can’t force those targets to commit early so as long as those scholarships aren’t filled I trust Beilein has the same chart we have.

That roster looks really good to me. It should not be that hard to land a 4 when you show him the minutes available and the surrounding talent. Our future looks good.

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Yeah, I think maybe the approach is offer Livers in August – I think Cain is more versatile, but Livers more ready to play the four – and if he commits you can be more choosy and push hard for Kyle Young (fall), Wilkes (spring) decisions.

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I think they’re obviously looking for another recruit at the four and it would be a perfect opportunity for a big time guy to step right in. But I also think there are some options for '17. They’ve talked about Robinson guarding the 4, and we’ll see how that pans out this year. If the roster were to look that way, I don’t think that MAAR, Matthews, and Poole would split 40 minutes, meaning at least one of them would be seeing time at the three. I could see Wagner playing along side Teske or Davis, depending on their development. And we’ll have to see how DJ does this year.

I would guess with that roster the starting lineup would be Simpson, MAAR, Matthews, Robinson, and Wagner. A little small but a pretty nice balance of shooting/slashing and mostly two-way players. A lot of flexible pieces and depth in positions 1-3 and 5.

Do you think they would take both Livers and Young? Neither can play the 3 much.

I agree that they’re both fours, but I’m not even sold on DJ Wilson as a four – this roster needs fours.

Poole/Matthews are capable of playing the three.

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It really cool to see how many directions we can go from here with her the people who have and the targets on our board. A lot of different play styles and skill sets.

Staff will not take Livers and Young.

I’d rather have Young, mostly because we need the signature Beilein floppy haired white guy.

W/r/t Brooks, I’m also trying to see how Xavier Simpson fits into all of this … He’s a quicker guard and smaller than Brooks. I wonder if there’s some fear about having to rely on a small PG (ala Walton) that hasn’t always worked out in the PNR game.

I’ve been watching a lot of Simpson film for a freshman focus post, and a lot of his EYBL production was in transition or from three. His numbers around the rim are good, but a big chunk of that production came on the break. Common consensus seems to be that he’s an average shooter, but when he played well he usually was knocking them in. Also likes the little 9-footer in the lane.

Part of it is just the style of play in EYBL, but it’s hard to project how he’ll play in the PNR game.

Honestly that lineup is pretty close but here is my guess:

PG: X, Brooks
SG: MAAR, Poole
SF: Matthews, Watson
PF: Duncan, DJ Wilson
C: Wagner, Teske, Davis

I don’t think Matthews will be a SG in JB’s system. He usually likes his SGs to be able to handle well enough to bring the ball up and typically they’re plus shooters from 3. I don’t love Duncan at the 4, but I think Matthews O-rebounding and athleticism will offset a smaller lineup. I agree with others though, ideally need one pure 4 (Livers, Young, tillman) and one 3/4 would be great.

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This is my exact scouting report on X when he initially committed. People looked at the EYBL assist numbers and thought he was a true PG - I don’t think that’s the case. I watched a ton of X last year in person and he’s not a traditional PG that creates easy opportunities for bugs. A lot of his production is transition based, and he’s very similar to Walton in that regard. I think he is better equipped to score in a half court in relation to Derrick because he’s excellent at changing speeds in PnR once he identifies whether the big is hedging or sagging, and has a great midrange jumper and floater to go along with it. However, he’s not going to be the same level of shooter in relation to Derrick and certainly not as good on the glass.

Overall, about the same on court impact as Derrick, just in a different way. This is why I say you ideally want a player with more potential than X rather than Brooks. X is going to be a fine role player much like Derrick, but we need an NBA level/triple threat type of player to let these type of guys maximize their talents

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Right, we don’t need a second point guard…that’s why we saw Dakich on the court so much this year. :unamused:

I think Simpson could be a lot like Walton early in their careers. Good shooter, especially in catch and shoot situations with his toes on the line, runs the break well but takes a secondary role in terms of running the offense in the half-court. With Poole, MAAR, Wagner, Matthews on the court that could work out pretty well. I think having a mid-range jumper and working on initiating contact combined with a floater in the lane could let him be more offensively.

Perhaps you don’t understand, a primary ball handler doesn’t have to be a PG technically.

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