Depth and future rotations


I definitely think this scenario is more likely than Poole supplanting MAAR. If poole shoots within a few percentages of Duncan, and if Poole is better at guarding 3s than Duncan is at guarding 4s (assuming Matthews brings equal utility guarding the 3 or 4), then I can see Poole eating into Duncan’s minutes.

Though it might be even more likely that +Livers/-Duncan brings more utility than
+Poole/-Duncan. Either way, really hope one of the 3 freshman hit and let Duncan go back to his bench sniper role, by midseason


Yea I would be happy if we got 10 solid minutes from Davis/Teske. Wagner needs to be playing close to 30 minutes a game and most of that will likely be at the 5.


You think our PG situation is better than last season?


Yes. Based on the total year, not just the last 10 games. That includes the starter and back ups.


We’ll see. He did improve his percentages, but he was what, maybe the fifth option on offense?


It’s absolutely mind boggling how year after year, people want to “go big!!!” as if a.) That’s an option under JB and b.) like it gives us any sort of advantage whatsoever when we show time after time every year that were a better team playing how JBs system works best.

Wagner won’t ever play the 4 for any sort of meaningful time and zero meaningful minutes.


Fair enough. I think we’ll be very happy with the year if, on the whole, were better at pg than last season.


Well, last year, it WAS an option. Last year in Big Ten play, our regular rotation bigs averaged a total of 70 minutes a game (as compared to some previous seasons where it was only about 40). That means we had two bigs out there the majority of the time. And yes, having Wagner and Wilson out there at the same time DID give us an advantage.

Will we do that again this year? Probably not, unless Davis and/or Teske are unexpectedly good, but if we don’t, it will be because of personnel, not some inflexible “system” of Beilein’s.

And when Wagner stands out at the perimeter and nails a 3, is he playing the 4 or the 5? When he drives from the three point line to the basket, past some plodding power forward for an easy layup, is he playing the 4 or the 5?


To answer you question, he’ll be at the 5 for all of those things.


Based on what? What proves that he’s a 5 and not a 4? If he does it when Teske is out there too, does that make him a 4? Does it even matter? Is there some rule that says you can’t have two 2’s or 3’s or 4’s out there at the same time?


Love the conversation on who plays and how deep the bench rotations will be. I expect we’ll know who fits by Valentines day and who’s getting the minutes. With that said, what else determines who plays?

  1. Turn overs…if you’re carless with the ball you sit, plain and simple.
  2. Leaving your feet on passes, JB hates this, leads to turnovers.
  3. Decision making and patience with the ball.
  4. Maturity…this is not your free wheeling AAU team.
  5. Ball control and passing to the outside shoulder.
  6. Playing with your head up and seeing the court.
  7. Read and react as a group of 5…not groups of me

Can’t wait for the season to begin and the games to start. As for playing two big men…I say spread the floor with your best 5 and fire the three ball.


Yes if he does it when Teske is out there then he is the 4. If he does it with Matthews and Duncan are out there then he’s the 5. Not sure where the confusion is, they have totally different roles in the offense. If he plays any 4, which he has not done a single time in his Michigan career up to this point, his best advantage will be posting up or possibly a straight line drive where he uses his body to get right to the basket. Don’t think he’ll be blowing by any 4s now that half of the Swanigan/Haas combo is in the NBA.

No, there is no limit to how many 2s or 3s or 4s you can have on the court at one time, but on offense they do have different roles. Some spots are more interchangeable than others.


I’m a big fan of your last sentence and the idea of our “Best 5”. JB has shown willingness to get whatever he deems his best 5 major minutes together by being flexible positionally in the past.

What is most interesting about this year’s team to me is…there is a larger pool of guys that could fall into the best 5 category than in recent years.

  1. Mo Wagner

2-8. Matthews, MAAR, Simmons, Duncan, Poole, Livers, Simpson

9-12. Davis, Watson, Brooks, Teske

It wouldn’t shock me if any of the guys in the 2-8 pool became one of our best 5 by mid-season. Will be fun to watch going forward


I’m just trying to understand your terminology…when you say “two bigs”, what is your definition of a “big”? My definition of a “big” is a player who plays the 5 and for which there would be a significant drop off if he played the 4. With that said, I think Wagner is a “big” or a 5. Generally, when Wagner is hitting threes or driving from the perimeter, it is against an opposing “big”, not an opposing wing or stretch 4, etc…not against someone with that type of mobility. Wilson was different. He could handle, pass, shoot, defend opposing wings, 4’s, 3’s… He was unique since Beilein’s been here as a 4 with really good height and length. We’re going to have a couple guys in a couple years - Livers and Johns - who, while not as tall and long as Wilson, will be bigger than the other 4’s we’ve had under Beilein (GRIII, Irvin, Novak, etc.) Looking forward to that.


By my count: Wagner 24, Donnal 12, Teske 3

I get that you want to call DJ WIlson a 5 for this exercise, but he was a wing (4) who slid up to the 5 late in the season, not the other way around and there’s a pretty big distinction there.

He’s been playing the 5. He’s played almost every minute of his Michigan career at the five.


To me it comes down to this: is there going to be an 8-man rotation, with just 1 of Poole or Livers, or a 9-man rotation with both. As many have said in this thread, more than 8 would be quite an aberration for Beilein. Personally, I’m not really a fan of just Poole-Matthews-Robinson at the 3/4 spot…too small. I could definitely see an (unusual for Beilein) 4-man rotation at the 3/4 with those guys plus Livers. Then Simpson-Simmons-Abdur-Rahkman at the 1/2. I could also see Matthews-Robinson-Livers at the 3/4 with Poole rotating at the 2. Then Wagner with ~30 min. at 5 with Teske or Davis backing him up and the other one ready in an emergency.


It is not that Beilein does not want to play two bigs, (DJ and Mo starts almost all games last season) but more often than not he does not have the personnel to play two bigs without comprising his offensive scheme, and Beilein will never compromise his offensive scheme, he wants to maximize it. If Beilein has two bigs that can both stretch the floor, he will play them together, otherwise, he will not.


Yes, Wilson was a big last year, along with Wagner and Donnal. Not sure how you would call Donnal a big and not Wilson.

And if a 6’10" 240 lb guy plays all of his time with his back to the basket, does all his scoring in the paint, and never even attempts a 3, is he a 5 too? Because if so, your definition of a 5 is so broad that it’s meaningless.


You are who you can guard. Wagner has a hard time guarding 5’s. He would be an automatic auto-bench at the 4. I see him at the 5 with a surprising Davis getting the major back up minute with Teske the heavy foul trouble big. Whether its Teske or Davis as the major back up we are going to need all three to contribute this season. The 4 is the major question mark. Can Duncan create as much of a mismatch on offense as he will be on defense. I hope he has been in camp Sanderson overdrive because he needs to get much stronger and rebound better to man that especially during the conference slate.


Exactly. He did last year (in fact, he had three bigs who could stretch the floor if you count Donnal, though he didn’t do it very often), but probably won’t this year. This year, he may only have 1. My guess is, if Beilein had his way, he’d wish for Livers to be a good 3 point shooter and a decent rebounder, and play him along with Wagner as much as possible, and use Teske/Davis in a more limited way. In reality, Wagner’s foul trouble and Livers coming along more slowly may force him to give more minutes to the purely inside guys than he’d prefer.