Big Ten Discussion

They could potentially have the two best shot blockers JB has ever recruited as the big man rotation next year and I love it

Also weren’t Donnal and Smotrycz top 100 “big men” recruits LOL

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Well, Castleton is top 80 on Rivals and everyone at the time said Mo was the equivalent of a top 40-50 guy.

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It’s not just you, but I find the whole “use the composite every time except when it makes one of our recruits look worse” thing funny.

Responding to the point itself, Mo wasn’t heavily recruited at all so I don’t think that changes much of anything with regards to the original point. Same with Castleton for that matter. It’s not really about ratings, but rather who we beat out for them. That’s great that Castleton got a nice bump and is seen as top 100 player by a couple services. I expect him to be a great player. But I mean… when you’re down to Illinois and Michigan its obvious why you’d pick Michigan right now. It’s not similarly obvious to see why Mitch McGary is the only center we’ve gotten who’s even been sniffed at by blue bloods, or second tier teams even. When I said none of those guys were top 100 it was more a reference to the relative lack of competition compared to our guard/wing recruiting.

Again, it’s worked out fine so far so I have no issue with it.

Thanks Dylan…that sheds light on my point.

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Well, as Dylan mentioned, big men want to get the ball in the post and get shots up from there. That’s not really what we do.

In the past, one thing that hurt us was an overall lack of size. We were playing guys like Novak, GR3, and Irvin at the four. That hurt us defensively and from a rebounding standpoint.

We seem to have solved that issue with guys like DJ Wilson, Livers, and Johns.

At center, hopefully we can continue to land guys like Mo, Castleton, and the like - big guys with some inside game, but who can also shoot.

But yeah, we’re probably never going to contend for the straight, back to the basket types. And that seems fine - it doesn’t fit our offense and we have had plenty of success doing it our own way.


I always thought that Michigan could (should) become Stretch Four University. U-M should be super attractive to skilled HS bigs that can play the 4 in college as well as skilled college bigs who project to be stretch fours in the NBA. Michigan does not need space eaters clogging driving lanes.


Three jumbo wing perimeter fours on the roster next year is very intriguing with another (Jalen Wilson) in the pipeline. Sign as many guys like that as you can and figure the rest out later.


Pretty much the only types of 4s that exist in the NBA are stretch 4s now. It’s the college game that is reluctant to move to that point. JJJ played 4 at MSU but should play his entire career in the NBA at C. Same with Bagley. Ayton also got stuck with another post player at times.

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I’m looking forward to the preseason Top 25 players feature you do every year @umhoops. Feels like it could be way more wide open than usual. I bet Carsten Edwards runs away with player of the year in the conference but other than him and Happ its kind of entering a new era.

I could see an argument for anywhere from just 1 to up to 4 Michigan players.

Fun feature, but I feel like we haven’t been very accurate the last few years. Will have to step it up this year.

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I’m sure your one guy is Matthews, which would be my pick too.

I have a hard time seeing 24 guys in the conference who are better than our next guy (probably Poole or Simpson).

In fact, I think it’s more likely Simpson, Poole, and perhaps Iggy are top 25 guys, along with Matthews.

The only other “locks” to make it, IMO, would be Winston, Carsen Edwards, and Happ. I don’t even know, did Cook come back to Iowa? He’s hot and cold but has some game. Ward, Langford, and Bruno Fernando would also be popular picks, and probably the two kids from Nebraska who withdrew from the draft. Also Langford from Indiana, and maybe Juwan Morgan too. Illinois has a top 25 freshman who will probably get a ton of touches for them and put up some numbers too.

Honestly, I really like our chances of winning the conference next year.


Yeah to me Matthews and Poole are guarantees although I think lots of people are more skeptical on JP than us…I’d put Iggy as a top 25 player in the conference along with every other major incoming freshman from other teams and Z would be very very close.

I keep thinking that we are being underrated, but I have to remember that we are used to JB’s player development and the national writers don’t remember or don’t realize how good it is. None of us would be too shocked to see Poole and Matthews combine for 25+ ppg next season, whereas I would expect the conference and national media to write article after article about how his shot against Houston propelled Poole to all conference caliber in just a year.

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Anecdotal on my end–but I have been consistently surprised by the nearly unanimous high praise people have been giving JP even before his heroic buzzer beater. What I mean to say is regardless of whether or not it is a casual fan, UMhoops junkie, or a fan of some different-non-um team–the consensus seemed to be “wow, that kid has talent.”

I remember watching an early in the season game with middle schoolers, who had no familiarity with stats, and they were like “Poole is our best player”.

I guess he shows well…I feel like most have high expectations…It feels like he is going to deliver too, imo…

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I really like Iggy but we haven’t seen him adjust to Beilein’s offense yet. I always think there is a big learning curve for all freshmen. I’m not saying he couldn’t be a top 25 player in the conference but let’s just pump the brakes before we say he’s an all conference player his freshmen year.

FWIW, going purely by 247’s rankings, not the composite, Iggy (39) is the 5th highest incoming frosh behind Langford (6th, Indiana), Jalen Smith (13, Maryland), Ayo Dosunmu (27, Illinois), and Daniel Oturu (35, Minnesota).

So if we think the premiere frosh are likely to be top players in the conference, then Iggy is a decent bet. Granted, Iggy and Smith are both probably likely to start/spend a decent amount of the season coming off the bench, and Langford, Dosunmu, and Oturu are going to start and Langford/Dosunmu will be given the reigns.

This is three of five members of the 2017 Illini recruiting class transferring. Add in Te’Jon Lucas transferring, Finke grad-transferring, Black leaving for the draft, Alstork graduating, Illinois is losing a LOT.

What is going on with Underwood? Is he in over his head?

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