Depth and future rotations


Yeah, I get it. And could be wrong, but Ibi seems more suited for back-up minutes at the 3 than the 2. Poole has a better handle I think and just an overall more diverse game. Not to mention being a better shooter. I’m certainly no coach, but it just seems to make more sense to have him at the 2 from jump, even with the complexities of the offense. If something happened to MAAR for some reason, who would you rather have step in?


I think Brooks was going to be the primary backup at the 2 and could still be an option there. It was a bit of a surprise for him to win a starting job and for the other PGs to struggle. Going into the season, playing the 3 looked like the easier path for Poole to get minutes.


Speaks to the point made above that long benches are mediocre ones.

ANN ARBOR – A week into December, 10 games into the season, John Beilein is still trying to determine his best players and most effective lineups. That, more than anything else, has been the biggest difference between this season and last. At thi…


Matthews is more likely to slide down to the 2 guard in an injury replacement situation — more experience with the system and already running the bulk of the PNR sets with Wagner. With Poole/Livers getting longer runs on the wing, positions that typically have fewer reads to make in the offensive flow.


You could be right and Beilein has mentioned possibly giving Mathews a shot at the 2G, but Poole did finally log a few minutes for the first time at the 2G on Saturday, so he’s at least learning the position.


10 guys in the first half…9 in the second, including major minutes for Livers, Teske, Simpson. Foul trouble and injury were a big reason for those, but this team is more able to sustain those types of adversity with 9-10 guys that can be plugged in. I still believe this type of depth hasn’t been seen since 2012-13.


Poole was efficient in the first half. I was a little surprised he didn’t get more of a run in the second half. Despite all of UM’s foul trouble on the perimeter tonight he only ended up with 8min, I think? The way he looked, the way the way the offense struggled for large stretches, and the foul trouble factor — I thought he would have played more.


It’s becoming a major issue to me that Poole has to unseat MAAR and Matthews for minutes. I think we have enough positional flexibility to try him on the court with those two together at the same time. I’d love to see a lineup with Matthews and Poole on the wing when Duncan starts a game cold or tonight when Livers and Duncan both had 3 fouls early in the 2nd half. Of all the freshmen, Poole’s skillset solves the most problems for this team (shooting and shot creation). Brooks and Livers look promising but the production hasn’t become consistent yet, but they get extended opportunities each game just because the 1 and the 4 spot are pigeon-holed to only Simpson and Duncan as competition. That’s frustrating to me because I think we are deep and versatile enough to give Poole a bigger chance going into the next few cupcake games


Interestingly enough, based on minutes distribution, it appears that everyone played one “spot” and then had a backup who only played at that spot.

PG - Brooks (14) - Simpson (26)
SG - Rahk (36) - Watson (4)
SF - Matthews (32) - Poole (8)
PF - Robinson (19) - Livers (22)
C - Wagner (21) - Teske (18)


I think Poole played just at the 3 today? I’d have to check the lineups. I think you’ll see him more in the future. He has such a nice offensive skill set, he’s starting to calm down a bit. On the road in a grinder of a game, though, not hugely surprised there wasn’t more tinkering, especially when we needed size on defense.


But yeah, the only way you can really get Poole more minutes at this point is to either

  1. Steal directly from Livers
  2. Have Matthews take Ibi’s minutes at the 2 and give those forward minutes to Poole.


I’m not at practice, so I can’t answer those questions. But Coach has been pretty consistent in letting practice performance play a big role in his game day rotation. And Coach has been pretty consistent in riding his starters heavy minutes.

It looks like he’s settling in to a 7-man higher comfort rotation (Wagner-Teske, Matthews-Robinson, MAAR-Brooks-Simpson) with Livers & Poole splitting bench minutes on the wing and Watson dropping a half rung on the depth chart below them as foul trouble relief at the 2/3. Simmons and Davis seem to relegated even further down the depth chart … though Coach’s comments indicate that may change if practice performances change?


Yeah I guess the frustrating thing in my mind is I think we only have two guys that are deserving of a consistent 30-35 minutes a night and they are MAAR and Matthews. They will continue to play almost the entire game barring foul trouble. Duncan I think is trending more toward a 25 minute role and the point guard split is what it is. So there’s minutes available for freshmen. Poole is just too talented and promising to hold back just because the two guys he’s behind positionally are our best guys. I think he’s shown more than Livers and Brooks thus far and I also think his best skills are the ones we need most right now. It’s not a crazy stretch to imagine him and Matthews together at the 3/4 replacing some of Livers’ time.

I guess my point is, the next two weeks would be a great time to try it. Makes sense that we haven’t seen it yet, but it’s something that could raise our ceiling this year if it works out


Great catch


tbh, I’m pretty shocked that we’ve been seeing Ibi instead of just playing Brooks with Simpson.


If I remember correctly, Ibi came in due to foul trouble on Robinson & Livers? I think he ended up playing time with MAAR also on the court as the coaches tried to milk out some minutes in the mid-late stages of the first half?


I just checked the mgoblue play by play, which has sub in/out data. He played all his minutes in the first half for Rahk

  • Came in for Rahk
  • Left for Rahk
  • Came in for Rahk to finish the half

Edit: Ibi’s second stint was because of two quick fouls from Muhammad


Ah. Thanks. That is a useful play-by-play on the MGoBlue site.

I was finishing off a work project during H1 so I wasn’t watching the game as intently until H2. I also though Simpson picked up his 2nd foul earlier in H1…didn’t remember it being in the final minute of the half.


I’d absolutely prefer shifting Matthews to the 2 and inserting Poole to the 3 but wonder if maybe CM isn’t prepared to handle the 2 either?


An easier transition from the 3 would be to the 4 spot, and also think that cutting into Duncan’s minutes is a better option than cutting into MAAR’s minutes. MAAR is too valuable defensively.