I count 7 guys who have set themselves apart and have shown they are good enough to be part of the rotation. I am leaving out Livers, Poole, Simmons, Ibi and Davis. All 5 of those guys outside the 7 have shown encouraging flashes. I am not ready to assume our rotation is going to be smaller than previous years.
It is not without problem with Robinson defending at 4.
How about if the regular rotation remains smaller than expected (7 players), but the possibility of a different random guy or two not in the rotation jumping up and playing 5+ minutes occasionally (perhaps based on that week’s practice performance / foul trouble / matchups) is greater?
i would argued that Poole, Simmons, Livers still have chance to get more minutes and Simpson is not firmly in the rotation.
Maybe it comes down to whether you would rather have Duncan or Moe end up in foul trouble?
All he has to do is cut off the guy’s drive to his strongest hand and funnel him to Teske.
Yeah, I see the demotion of Z as an unfortunate possibility later in the year…
The 5 is the one position where it’s hard to get more than one guy on the court, both for offensive and defensive purposes. (Assuming one guy isn’t a DJ type). If we do see a Wagner/Teske lineup, there is a three week period after the Texas game with only three games and the toughest is UDM, so maybe they’d look at things then if Teske keeps up the good play and nobody emerges at the 3/4.
I’d be a bit surprised if Simpson fell out of the rotation. He’s actually a nice backup - solid D, runs the offense well, etc. His shooting is an obvious weakness, but he provides solid minutes for a guy coming off the bench.
Still seems like Livers will be given the chance to earn wing minutes, but Poole might claim them. He’s got 5 made 3s on 9 attempts in just 24 minutes of action. Just seems right for the designated sniper off the bench role. JB probably trusts Watson more still but his continued struggles shooting might have JB give Poole a chance.
I noticed against VCU that Davis had 4 rebounds in only 7 minutes. Against Chaminade he had 5 in 7 minutes. For the season, he has 10 rebounds in only 17 minutes played. Small sample size and much of it in garbage time, but he is averaging 1 rebound for every .59 minutes played, which easily leads the team. Wagner = .33, Teske = .31, Matthews = .18, Livers = .15, Robinson, Rahk and Watson = .11.
At his current rate, Davis would be leading the team in rebounds per game (8.9) if he was averaging 15 minutes.
I think what you are why small sample sizes are something to avoid Those other rebounds were also against UC Riverside, not VCU.
Yes, I meant to say UC Riverside, not VCU. I did point out that it is a small sample size, but still, many on here are quick to criticize player performances that are based on equally small samples. Shouldn’t we also point out the good?
Let’s watch what Austin does over the course of the season.
The thing that intrigues me about Davis is not just simply his off the charts rebounding in the small sample size but also that JB talked him up in the preseason and he was considered to be the equal of Teske–who is beginning to look much better than a mere competent back up–Teske is beginning to look very good with upside.
Perhaps it will play out that Wagner and Teske are 2 of our top 5 players and Davis is our competent 7th or 8th man. I don’t know but the possibility of Davis being one of our top 8 players creates other positional possibilities we might want to explore–like figuring out a way that Teske gets 20-24 minutes every game (even in games where Wagner is not in foul trouble)…
I’d keep an eye on Poole to crack the rotation down the road. Livers, too. Also, we haven’t had a lot of foul trouble forcing us to go deeper.
If Poole and Livers crack the rotation because they are playing well and Beilein trusts them… that would be huge. They both have skillsets that could really help the roster.
Beilein’s quote after the game on Sunday was that Davis has kind of fallen behind and he’s struggling with the speed of the game. Basically said he looked a lot better in practice last year and they need to get him back to that level.
I could’ve sworn I saw a Beilein quote within the past couple days in which he said he’d be open to trying it, I’ll look for the article.
In regards to the PG discussion, if Matthews becomes a Stauskas or LeVert type distributor I think you need to leave Eli as the long term starter to play a 2014 Walton role.
Trust seems like the biggest obstacle with Poole and Livers as Dylan said. But I think when evaluating the quality of team depth, there’s a difference between JB not trusting his freshmen 9th and 10th guys vs. the 9th or 10th guy being an Andrew Dakich, Blake McLimans, Matt Vogrich type as we have seen previously.
Here’s another way to put it from my perspective, in past years I think if the 5 starters scrimmaged the 5 backups in a 40-minute setting, the starters would win by 40+ every time. This year, if Brooks, MAAR, Matthews, Duncan, Wagner played Simpson, Poole, Watson, Livers, Teske, the first group would obviously win but I think it’s far more competitive than any previous JB season. (Other than maybe Spike, Vogrich, Levert, Horford, Morgan during the runner-up year but that team’s starters were so good it’s still an enormous blowout)
I Agree 100 percent. I think, for me, the reason this year has been so fun to watch and interesting to ponder is you can see the potential equivalence (handicapping some for age) in players 4-11.
Interesting quote from JB. I wonder if Wagner and Teske’s improvement is making Davis look relatively worse in practice this year.
I don’t know if JB has talked about the possibility of playing Wagner and Teske more recently but he did mention it after the Southern Miss game from a USA today article:
"A backup to star Moe Wagner, Teske made a decent case for more minutes. Beilein said the possibility of playing both big men together depends on how it would affect Michigan’s defense.
“Moe would have to guard the other (team’s) shooting ‘4’ — and I think that he’s closer to that than he’s been the last two years,” Beilein said. “So it could happen. Depends on the opposition.”