2020 Recruits - Michigan in Short List

Sure, I never meant to suggest those teams didn’t also have strong surrounding talent.

But I do think there’s something really hard to replicate when you find a college big man who is a dominant player and also very efficient. I look at teams like Wisconsin with Kaminsky and Indiana with Zeller, and those two teams were at their best in the Big Ten and nationally with those guys, because they were just so hard to stop.

Occasionally, you see a freshman guard or wing who is that dominant - Derrick Rose, John Wall, Zion this year. But I feel like the list of super highly touted guards and wings whose teams flamed out early in the tourney is long - Durant, Wiggins, Josh Jackson, Lonzo Ball, Austin Rivers, and that’s just off the top of my head.

I guess, for me, I’d rather get a Walker Kessler and a Micah Peavy in the same class than a Josh Christopher and Zach Loveday. But I see the arguments on both sides, and it’s not like I’d turn down the second group if they wanted to come.


Also obvs, FF/NC is a really high standard. UK’s 2010 team had Boogie, John Wall, and Eric Bledsoe and didn’t get past the Elite 8. They were definitely a good team.

Yeah, I prefer to really evaluate how good teams are based on the regular season. How well did you rank in KenPom, how did you perform in your league (efficiency margin), etc.

Tournament success is more random than any sort of meaningful diagnosis of how a team was built.

If you have a top ten KenPom team every year, eventually you will start making Final Fours.


I do think it’s a guard dominated game still, I just think the best guards are the guys who stay 2-3 years, like the Burke’s, and Brunson’s, and Winston’s, over the one and done guys who will get drafted higher but aren’t stars yet.

For example, Sexton and Darius Garland were high draft picks, both mainly on potential. Neither was nearly as good (IMO) as Burke as a sophomore or Winston this year. Conversely, I think some of the freshmen bigs (Okafor, Towns, etc) are just better than other guys at their position from day one.

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Arizona had Deandre Ayton, the consensus #1 recruit and 1st pick of the NBA draft in 2018. They had a so so year, seeded 4th in the West Region of the tournament and lost in 1st round to a bunch of no name players from 13th seeded Buffalo.

With 3 pointers being such a bigger part of the college and NBA game today, I would rather take a dominant guard or wing who can drive or bang down 3’s than a dominant center.

Feel like you can do that with any position. There are more guards and wings that flamed out because there are more guards and wings on a basketball court. Ayton, Bamba, JJJ all lost early in the tournament, and that was one recruiting class.

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Bamba, Hayes, Ayton, there are plenty of examples in every direction. They all just have more to do with the situation, individual player, coach, etc.

But my point is that one and done guards are rarely as dominant as a guy like Ayton. So I don’t see too many championship teams constructed around one and done guards and wings.

Plus, that Arizona season was just weird. They had no real point guard, and there was a big cloud hanging over the team as the Ayton allegations surfaced in the middle of the season. I believe Miller even missed a few games.

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Sure, but Bamba is not the type of big man I’m talking about. His offense was a total work in progress.

Give me a guy like Kessler with experienced and talented guards and wings, and I think you win a TON of games.

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I’ll just say this - Duke, Kentucky and to a lesser extent Kansas are the schools that have truly embraced the one and done model.

Between them, they have two titles with that approach, and both championship teams had a dominant big man.

Alternatively, we have seen a lot of teams win with a more experienced roster of wings and guards - Louisville, UConn, Nova (twice), UNC, and Virginia this year.


That’s just because Walker Kessler is really good, though. It isn’t because of some rule about which kind of prospects can make an impact.

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I get what you’re saying, but I think it’s more about having a mix of young talent and experience, and I don’t think the positions matter as much. AD was on another level talent wise and could carry a team. And even his team also had the 2nd pick of the draft (MKG) who was a dominant two way player. Okafor needed other really good young guys like Jones and Winslow, then had a Senior that has stuck in the NBA in Quinn Cook. Both those teams had freshman starting at PG.

So all that 2 team sample size proves is that you need several talented players.

I would also add that Miller has yet to make a Final Four while annually having one of the most talented rosters in the country, so putting it at Ayton’s feet seems off regardless.

All fair points. I just feel like really highly rated big men are more likely to dominate early than freshmen wings and guards. It will be interesting to see Vernon Carey versus Cole Anthony this year in the ACC to see if that holds true (obviously, it’s just one comparison, not determinative of anything).

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Probably also worth noting that the most successful Michigan teams this decade featured dominant centers in McGary and Wagner.


Holy anecdotes Batman.

There are plenty of examples of guards and wings being instant impact freshmen as well as there being plenty examples of bigs needing time to develop. I think forming a conclusion either way would be hard.

Two of the past three seasons (2016 and 2018), the top Guards/Wings have been ridicuously more impactful than the bigs have been.


If you’d rather take an elite big, fine. Pushing the narrative that elite guards and wings need more time to develop just seems weird to me, though. It goes both ways.


Worth noting on that note is that McGary’s team had elite guards and wings and Moe took time to develop.

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How loaded those two teams were don’t prove that big men are inherently more likely to be instant impact freshmen. Correlation does not equal causation.

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It is often said that big men are more suited to the NBA than college… who says that?

Well, unless I’m overlooking something, I can only think of one example where a team won a national championship with a true freshman wing or guard as its star, and that was Syracuse and Carmelo Anthony in 2003.