Big Ten Offseason Thread


I kinda agree with your premise but I think it’s unfair to say that 20-21 year old kids have hit their ceiling. Both have had injuries that have stopped the process and now they’re healthy. I do think their ceiling is lower than what we expected when they were recruits but I don’t think a jump is that unlikely.


Maar is our best player imo. I’d put him in the top 25 big ten all day.


He’s certainly shown a lot of promise, but his usage rate last year was 16%. I’d like to see him do it at a much higher volume before calling him top 25.


what the NBA would say: if you are a junior or senior and can’t dominate freshmen/sophmores defending you (ie, get your own shot, run an offense to get someone else a good shot, etc), then its rare to see that click so late in college. Not unprecedented, but rare, and probably even more rare without some sort of athleticism advantage to build skills and decision making off of.

Injuries could potentially give them an unfair appraisal at this point, but what i’d anchor to are two things: 1) Zak’s shot selection/decision making is not injury dependent, and 2) DW’s complete inability to score at the rim is not injury dependent. If either of those things improves though, i think a jump can be expected b/c it means the offense is going to flow more easily, better looks, less forcing things, etc.

I still think the team’s ceiling is high, but that’s driven by a lot of returning experience and talent, better/balanced coaching, and hopefully less by Z/D having to do too much.


Well sure, they likely aren’t going to become NBA players and dominate everyone on the court, but that doesn’t mean they won’t have a decent improvement. Your original comment made it sound as though they’ve simply hit their ceiling.


For Zak and Derrick, it’s all about consistency. There have been times where Derrick and Zak seem to disappear and that puts more pressure on the other guys. It’s not about Derrick and Zak making some significant jump like Nik or Caris…although it would be cool if they did…to me, it’s about both providing consistent quality play, in Derrick’s case being consistently aggressive and in Zak’s case picking his spots and not forcing things unnecessarily.

I feel like they both have shown enough instances of quality play so it’s really just eliminating some of the clunkers they’ve had in the past. In accomplishing this, it will make life simpler for MAAR, Duncan and Moritz.


I agree. I have faith Walton is about to have a big year. I think he’s going to put it all together.


Irvin and Walton are and will be Mich best players and in my mind any consistency will depend on how much the bench can provide quality minutes and rest for those two. If JB has to run those two into the ground like last year you won’t see the consistency especially at the end of games with tired legs.

For those who think Maar is the teams best player, if that is the case then we are in trouble.


I couldn’t agree less


I believe both Irvin and Walton are secondary players on a good team. A top 25 is really difficult because of the unknowns going into the season (freshmen, transfers, and who will step up after big losses). I would probably put both of them into the top 25 but not in the top 15. Irvin averaged 11.8ppg on 41%FG and 30%3FG. Walton averaged 11.6ppg on 38%FG and 39%3FG. Those don’t look like All Big Ten numbers (more on that below).

I think their respective shot selection is downright awful. Part of that is they seem to have free reign to take whatever they want with no consequences. And maybe they feel they have to take those shots because of the lack of playmakers on the team. They also play a ton of minutes and their legs aren’t fresh to consistently make those shots, although I’m not sure they can make those shots consistently anyway.

I could easily put Melo Trimble in the same category as these guys as well even though he is perceived to be one of the better point guards in the Big Ten and country. His shooting percentages were actually below both Irvin and Walton in Big Ten play with much better personnel surrounding him. I have to think Nate Mason of Minnesota would be in the discussion as well. His stats are pretty similar to the three guys I’ve talked about.


That doesn’t make much sense. Unless you anticipate regression from a number of solid players on the team, MAAR becoming the best player would mean a significant jump in his performance (probably from improved perimeter shooting and creation for others). That can only be a great thing for UM. In fact, it is close to a best case scenario.


I took the original comment to mean that MAAR is already the best player on the team (which I disagree with). If he becomes the best player, as you suggest, by taking a leap while others don’t regress, then yes that would be a good thing.

I think some see him as the best player because he is the best at one thing, creating his own shot by getting to the hoop. He is not the best at any other skill.


He’s a better defender Imo than either. I think by the end of last year he was surpassing the other two as our best player. That list is supposed to be a top 25 players list for this year. So it’s not just past performances, it’s projecting into this season. In that case I’d make the argument he’s going to be our top guy. I really hope he commands a greater role for himself and I hope coach b starts to give him that role too.

Sometimes especially early last year I felt like maybe he didn’t feel comfortable trying to take over and deferred to Irvin, levert and Walton as it was their roster. I’d like to see it really be all three of their team this year. I’ve said before I think we have a shot to be pretty damn good and that will be due to our balance. I think we have five guys that could lead the team in scoring on any given night. We just need more consistency out of almost all our guys. Very up and down group. That’s another reason I’d choose maar. Even if he’s having an off night shooting he can always play hard/good d and get to the rack. If the other guys aren’t shooting well they are in trouble.

I’m expecting maar to be on some all big ten team. This along with Walton putting it all together and we are gonna have a great back court. I’d still love to see us become more of a fast breaking squad with those two pushing the rock and Wagner running down the middle filling the lane. Toss in Duncan and zach trailing for three or on the kick out and we’d be a tough match up. I’d love to see us pushing that tempo full time with this roster.


MAAR does not have the type of game to be the best player on the team. His game does not make anyone else better at all and unless he takes a significant leap in skill level that won’t happen. Now I like MAAR but what we need is for him to be a good bench player but unfortunately that probably won’t be the case.


We see his game differently. Polar opposite views on him.


I couldn’t agree more. His game is that of a great 6th man. His passing is so sub par at this point that he can’t really be a number one option. If he drastically improved that area of his game, then it could happen. But until then, he is our 3rd or 4th option. Which is a good thing for us, might be the best 4th option in the big ten.


I don’t see him as a bad passer. He’s not dropping dimes left and right but then again he’s our sg and I saw him start to make better lobs and dump offs late in the year. I don’t even want to picture what our offense would have looked like for most of last year without him. It would have been windshield wiper passes back and forth then chuck a three. Brutal bball.

I’d argue he’s the best slasher/ getting to the rim on the team, the best at getting his own shot, the best perimeter defender and probably overall defender on the team and he has the most intAngibles followed by Walton. That will to win/ fight. There’s more but I’m going to the gym


No doubt he’s the best at getting to the rim on our team, that’s no question.


Msu is no longer an option for Andrew white. Would help our team in so many ways this year.


its like everyone forgot that it was MAAR who saved our season last year from
the moment JB gave him the green light he was our best player… I like zak and Walton but their game is underwhelming compared to their hype