2018 - Wing - Ignas Brazdeikis (Commit)


It would be nice if he could float around like that, but it’s probably more “versatility” and responsibility than Beilein will give to a true freshman. He likes to have them concentrate on one position to start. Which position that will be will depend on who leaves early, and how far along Poole and Livers are at the start of next season.


Going from never having enough depth at the four position to having 3 guys who are really good 4s in Livers, Johns, Iggy. Good problem to have.


I’d be surprised if Johns isn’t on that four best players list.


Immediately his first year? I like Johns a lot and I think he’s one of our bigger recruiting wins ever stealing him from Izzo. But I’m not expecting him to be much more than Livers is his first year impact-wise. Hopefully more of a knock down shooter though, but maybe less defensively and on the boards.


Has JB ever mentioned that left handed 4’s are something he seeks? It would make sense to me if it was true but I don’t remember if he mentioned it around either the Iggy or Chatman recruitment? Just wondering if that might be a clue to how it will play out because I don’t think Livers or Johns would have any problem playing 3. (Like others have suggested I don’t think any of those guys are necessarily limited to strictly playing 3 or 4 either.)


Yes, due to the side of the floor they generally play on. He talked about this a lot with Kam.

The thing that Matthews gives you at the 3 that I’m not sure who else does at that spot is playmaking ability in ball screens, etc. Iggy probably brings the most of that versatility with the ball of the ‘4s’.


I think Johns is a much better bet to be an immediate contributor than Livers was - and I’ve always been bullish on Livers. He’s a better shooter, used to shooting with a man in his face, and has much more game off the dribble. Livers is still learning how to attack the basket off the dribble. I like them both but I think Johns will be really good from day one.


I certainly hope that assessment is true. Wow. Lots of indicators that we are going to be very good. People mentioning the possibilities of small ball 5, if Wagner leaves, is starting to gain more traction in my mind.


I’ve been touting the small ball five thing for a while. Dunno if it will happen, but for my money would be the best way to get more of these guys coming in on the floor in positions where they could make an impact.


I am bullish on Johns also. I think he will be the most athletic player (underrated in my opinion) on the team next year besides Matthews. What I like about the 2018 group is most of them seem to have a strong base (Johns, Iggy, DeJulius). I even like Casleltons base just needs upper body strength. I expect Mich to make some noise next year as they will have close to if not the most combination of skill and athletic ability a JB team has had.


I’ll bet my life this never happens but a DEATH LINEUP of Poole, Matthews, Iggy, Johns, Livers would be so incredibly fun. They might even be able to switch everything depending on the opponent.


If you lose the bet and you are dead you won’t be able to see the death lineup. :slight_smile:

I was just jotting down different lineup possibilities and I wrote down your death lineup. It wasn’t the first one I came up with but that sure would be an interesting lineup.


I was thinking the same thing! No point guard, BUT it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Poole was able to handle the point, especially if and when he becomes a player Beilein trusts with the ball in his hands. Of course he’s have to guard the other team’s PG, but wow, it could be a REALLY dynamic lineup!


If it does, you’d sort of expect Livers to be the 5, right? Johns and Brazdeikis will need to learn a primary position before they can pick up a secondary one, so they’ll both be getting reps on the wings. With his head start, Livers will presumably be better able to man the 5.

Watching Livers, Poole, Johns, Brazdeikis and, say, DeJulius attempt to play a switching defense could be painfully comedic, though. We’ll be much more content with the defense when Simpson, Teske, and Matthews are on the floor…


I mean, Smotrycz got some time at the 5, so you don’t necessarily need someone huge there. On the other hand, DJ Wilson was a successful “small ball 5” as a 6’10.5" (in shoes), 7’3" wingspan RS Sophomore. Livers is 6’7" and Johns will be a freshman with less height/length than Wilson. Even assuming Wagner is gone, Teske will be the starter and then the small ball option has to be better than Davis and Castleton, who will have a few inches. And freshman do tend to start with one position. Down the road I could see Johns as a small ball 5. There’s some time to see how the roster shakes out for next year.


I do really like the idea of a Livers/Johns at the 5 lineup, but I also think Teske has the potential to be awesome next year so I don’t know how much I’d really want that lineup to play. If it was like a 25 and 15 split I’d be happy.


J-Mo was more like 6’6. Livers can certainly play 5 now, and even more once add strength and improve athletism during the offseason.


Although he is skinny, I think a lot of people are underestimating Castleton too. He has some real talent and at the very least provides additional shot blocking. Could provide some of what Purdue is getting out of Haarms as a freshman


The Dude can score as well.


Damn I hope Teske gets some explosiveness over the “Sanderson Summer”. Misses multiple chances to finish with the play right in front of him.