Big Ten Offseason Thread


That’s because you’re trying to debate something that I wasn’t talking about in the original comment. I wasn’t comparing the two’s assist rates, you brought get that up. Sly’s excuse for MAAR’s low assist rate was that he wasn’t asked to do that. I’m saying you don’t need to be asked to feed others, it happens if you’re good at it.

Your comment didn’t really have anything to do with that discussion, but I still disagreed with it. You said he got quite a few assists on those kick outs but I think he got very few compared to what we need. Unless I’m missing something, that really doesn’t relate to MAAR at all, but you mentioned it and I thought I’d comment on it…

The gist of it is that I think MAAR should have a better assist rate if we’re gonna heap these praises on him like Sly is doing.


I have spoken about this on several other threads regarding the value of players on the team. I like MAAR and think he is a good player but would be better served if he was a sixth man on a good team. His game does not make anyone better at all. Also it seems that according to last years awards he was not the best player If he were he would be asked to carry. a significant load which for this team now falls on Zak and Walton.


You are arguing against the idea that MAAR is the best player on our team and using MAAR’s low number of assists as a peice of evidence for your argument. In doing so you are comparing (implicitly) MAAR’s assists to his teammates. When sly said MAAR is not asked to assist I think he meant that MAAR is not in the same luxurious position, in terms of assist opportunities, as Waltonand Irvin so his numbers are less padded. Having the ball in transition and hitting the trailer is an easy assist. Receiving a ball screen at the top of the key and curling around toward the basket and kicking out to a 3 point specialist is an easy assist. MAAR did not receive those easy opportunities as much because it was never the game plan to use MAAR in that way. Receiving the ball late in the shot clock after your teammates passed the ball around the perimeter for 18 seconds is not an ideal situation for picking up a ton of assists either…MAAR displayed abilities that his teammates lacked and that every team needs. I have to wonder if JB will prepare MAAR to take some of the responsibilities that Levert, Walton, and Irvin had–I think it would improve MAAR’s assist stats and help the team.

Your point about the correlation between being good at attacking the rim and having assist opportunities is a valid point in my mind. But the opposite is true too-- it easier to get to the rim and score if defenders recognize that a player is good at driving and dishing. It splits the defenders attention. The two skills help each other. The fact that MAAR is good at scoring near the rim despite being weak at assisting teammates near the rim on drives makes his ability to drive and score even more impressive. If the coaching staff builds off MAAR’s strengths and work on his weaknesses the guy could be lethal…


Actually, I do think he made players better. I remember many instances of him attaching the rim, missing, and teammates grabbing the rebound and scoring. When anyone else shot, the majority of the time the rest of the team was running back on defense.


Great point.


No… I’m really not. I’m sorry, I don’t have any simpler way to put it. I’m comparing him to what I think someone who is considered the best player on a team should be. With his skill set and how he plays I think he should get more assists. I don’t know why you’re trying so hard to argue against an opinion. Thanks for helping not my main point though. You’re right, he’s not in a luxurious situation to get assists, mostly because we don’t run the pick and roll for him much. Now I wonder why Beilein would do such a thing. Do you think it may be because he’s not very good at it? In this offense I would say if you can’t run the pick and roll as a guard it’s nearly impossible to be the best player on the team.


If you look at MAAR’s Ken Pom numbers for February and March he is head and shoulders above Derrick and Zak. It’s not even close. So if MAAR is a nice beta-male on a good team, then what are Derrick and Zach? Gamma-males?


Well sure, if you look solely at offensive rating he is better. Unfortunately, Things like assist rate, rebound rate, and steal rate matter, of which Walton is “head and shoulders” above MAAR. In big ten play Walton’s true shooting percentage was only 5 percentage points lower but on a a higher volume. If the only thing you value in a player is the ability to be efficient for himself then sure, I guess MAAR is better than Walton. However, I think the ability to do anything else on offense is kinda important too.


It seems like you are trying to measure MAAR’s worth against an ideal best player on a ficticious"good" team and based upon those measurements you are concluding that MAAR couldn’t possibly the best player on this actual team. I think everyone will concede that MAAR is not the ideal player–he has weaknesses–but Walton, Irvin and Robinson have weaknesses too. His value to the team is gauged by his value relative to his actual teammates–not some madeup ideal.

Regarding the idea that MAAR was probably not given the opportunities to run pick and roll because he is not good at it–I think this is true–but I think Levert going down gave the job to players that were not particularly good at it either. The plan was to have Levert run pick and roll. Allowing Walton and Irvin to run pick and roll primarily, was an experiment that was forced because of Levert’s absence. How did that experiment go? Mixed results, I think.


As I said, I don’t think you can be the best player as a guard in Beilein’s system without being able to run the pick and roll unless you really make up for it with something else. I don’t think he does. Walton and Irvin weren’t optimal on the pick and roll. We didn’t even try with MAAR. Thank you for once again making my point more valid? Whatever…

Also, even comparing him to Walton doesn’t give off the best impression. When your only advantage is ORtg and it’s not by a ton then it’s hard to call yourself the best player. I’ll copy my post from quite literally directly above yours, because apparently you missed it. “Well sure, if you look solely at offensive rating he is better. Unfortunately, Things like assist rate, rebound rate, and steal rate matter, of which Walton is “head and shoulders” above MAAR. In big ten play Walton’s true shooting percentage was only 5 percentage points lower but on a a higher volume. If the only thing you value in a player is the ability to be efficient for himself then sure, I guess MAAR is better than Walton. However, I think the ability to do anything else on offense is kinda important too.”


MAAR has not shown that he can be the person to lead this team on offense. Right now that is only D. Walt and Zack. And as stated by Wolverheel those two do so much more for the team then MAAR at this point.

If X , DJ and Ibi can provide valuable time off the bench this year which may allow JB not to run Walton and Zack into the ground I think everyone will be happy. This year there are no excuses (no injuries so far) only issue may be depth. MAAR is very valuable to the team, just not most valuable.


In case anyone cares, I think Michigan’s best chance for a B1G 1st Teamer is Zak Irvin.


I think coaches make projections about players abilities and groom players for specific roles. I suspect MAAR was never projected to run pick and roll and therefore never groomed to run it. I think Walton and Irvin were projected as backups behind Levert to run pick and roll and thus groomed to play the position in spots and pinches. The pinch occurred. Levert went down. Everything is an experiment. Neither player was particularly successful at pick and roll…

If someone put a gun to my head and forced me to pick a best player I would guess Walton is our best all around player but man Irvin and MAAR are right there with him.

I think all three have huge obstacles to overcome if we can expect them to be very successful at pick and roll. They each have some things they need to overcome…I think whichever of those three players can show they have overcome their particular deficiencies will get a chance to be the primary user of high ball screen pick and roll. I would not count MAAR out based upon what I have seen. Although, if I had to guess, I would guess Irvin will win the spot and Walton will be used more as a of in the open court but in the half court he will be used as a reliable catch and shoot three point shooter.


And if you look at kenpom’s offensive rankings, Zack Novak was a better offensive player than was Trey Burke. The OR in kenpom does not take into account usage (which is why, when listing players within teams, he lists them by usage category). There are other flaws too which, IMO, make kenpom an incredibly valuable resource for analyzing TEAM efficiency, but not so much for analyzing INDIVIDUAL efficiency.


Teammates rebounding your missed shots does not constitute making other players better.


I thought that comment was a joke at first. No idea about that logic.


I suggest you guys read this article.

Drives to the rim have inherent value even if they result in a missed layup. If you beat your man, drive to the rim and force the opposing center to rotate over, it is very very very difficult for opponents to block out your own center. Offensive rebound rates on misses at the rim are substantially higher than jumpshots.


As Reegs posted, there’s a thing called a “Kobe assist”. If you force a second defender to rotate to help, it can be of great benefit. Having a guy like GR3 or your center finishing a missed layup or floater is a great way to score.

Doesn’t mean every missed layup is okay, but depending on the situation it’s not a bad second outcome (first being a make)


You are taking what I’m saying to literal here.I’m not saying beilein or the assistants are literally telling him " don’t pass, or you don’t need to look for the drop off or kick out." I’m saying the way this team is built leads to maar looking to score more as opposed to passing. We don’t have anyone besides him who can finish really so I think it’s his mentality when he goes to the rack to put points up. It’s also very late in the shot clock alot as we have just dished around the perimeter for twenty seconds. The new shot clock hurt here.

He’s not looking to pass a lot because he knows if we’re gonna get buckets to the rim it’s him a lot of the time doing so. It’s his strength and what the team needs out of him/ his role to go get buckets and finish. I don’t think it’s because he’s incompetent at passing. He’s trying to get a bucket at the rim for us and he’s the best man for the job.

Maybe you saw it different but there wasn’t many times where I felt "oh maar just missed so and so wide open, what a ball hog or no vision. I didn’t get that vibe when watching him play.

Like I said were way apart here on what he brings/ what we need out of him. We could always use assists out of our guards but I do know his ability to get to the rim was and probably will be essential again to us having any success.


Have you ever played against a team of super athletic long kids from the city? The rotations they cause lead to a ton of boards. Very tough to stop/ deal with as a big man. Just another reason why elite perimeter defenders/guys who can create off the bounce are still very dangerous/ must have. So many frustrating pick up games over my years.