Depth and future rotations


There is no way that Simpson will be fighting for a pool of 8-12 minutes per game by the time Big Ten season rolls around. Barring injury, Simpson himself will play more than 8-12 minutes per game. That said, I think Poole will play some on a regular basis, though I think (again barring injury) that his minutes are likely to be in the freshman Spike 5-8 minutes per game mold. That year, Beilein did play 9 regularly (the starters plus LeVert, McGary (later Morgan), Albrecht and Horford (who was not ab emergency center, but part of the rotation), and he did so with starters who warranted playing more minutes than this year’s starters will play.


So I just went back to see minutes distributions for starting guards in conference play over the past couple years:

17: 65.2
16: 67.6
15: skipped because of injuries
14: 70.9
13: 71.7
12: 70.6

So basically, there has been 10-15 minutes of backup guard minutes to go around (although it’s interesting to see it trend down.


It trended down because we had no one to back up Rahk at the 2, other than the two point guards. Rahk was suppose to be the back up at the 2.
I see no benefit in using Simmons to rotate over to the SG and playing him along side of Simpson over using Poole as the backup SG. I think we will need Poole’s size and scoring threat for spacing purposes.


Playing two point guards is only a benefit if one of them is a lethal 3 point shooter (Walton). I don’t see that scenario with Simpson/Simmons.


yes, for the same reason, I am a little down on Simpson, if he cannot get his shots falling, Brooks is going to squeeze his minutes.


I don’t agree. Louisville won it all in 2013 with 2 small guards (Smith and Siva, both 6’0"), one of whom (Smith) shot .343 from 3 for his college career and the other of whom (Siva) shot .291 from 3 for his career. MSU made the final game in 2008-09, starting 2 small PGs, Kalin Lucas, who was a good, but not deadeye 3 point shooter (career .377 from 3) and Travis Walton, who was a .315 career 3 point shooter with only 17 3s made in total. I can name other examples if you’d like. There are minuses to playing 2 smaller guards who aren’t great shooters, but there are pluses as well.


I’d also warrant that, making some inferences from Ohio’s team stats, that Simmons was creating virtually every look he got last year (the only other guy with 2 assists a game was the backup PG), and while our PG’s have generally been tasked with that, they also get some catch and shoot opportunities as well - especially if they play with another PG. Generally speaking, catch and shoot threes are easier than ones off the dribble, I think we can see Simmons improve in a different situation.

Also, FWIW, Walton’s shooting his junior year was significantly worse than Simmons was - we shouldn’t ignore the possibility of growth.


I assume he was referring to Beilein’s offense, one which depends on outside shooting to create spacing.


Simmons was basically doing it all for Ohio, too, and he was out there 35+ minutes a game his last two seasons. Although it will be a step up in competition level for him, he will also have a better supporting cast, and will hopefully only be tasked with about 30-32 minutes a night at most. His overall numbers will likely be down, but his efficiency may be up.


It can be done, yes, but the two examples you cite also had much better inside games, on offense and defense, than we are likely to this year. Without two quality bigs out there most of the time, and with weak interior defense and no better than average rebounding, three point shooting from the guards becomes much more important. The guys we have in the regular rotation at the 1 and 2 this year will need to do better than 35% for us to have a really successful season.


Still on the 2 bigs thing eh? I guess big means tall to you. Because the 4 in modern basketball, and especially at Michigan is a wing position.


What I think you’re overlooking is that we’ll still have multiple 3 point shooters on the court even if our guards aren’t great shooters because of the 3 point threat from the guys who will play at the 4 and 5 for us (Wagner, Robinson, Livers). You don’t need 5 3 point shooters on the court to be successful–we won the Big Ten in '13-'14 bu three games (and had the #1 offense in the nation) with Morgan and Robinson out there. I’m not advocating for long stretches with Simmons, Simpson and Matthews all on the court at once (or with any 2 plus Davis or Teske), but playing them together for minutes with, say Wagner, Robinson and Livers, or in a 3 guard rotation with Poole and 2 of the aforementioned won’t hurt our offense one iota IMO. I think that can, and will happen.


Yes those guards brought penetration and tough defense to the table which worked for Louisville. Louisville would bring consistent pressure almost all game with that combination of guards. But is that what JB is going to hang his hat on and can we survive bigger guard mismatches.


Yes that is what my post was referencing.


Speaking of the 13-14 team, GRIII was a respectable three point shooter and one of the best cutters and finishers, then we had Stauskas and Levert, two big guards who can create for themselves and others. With these two, you can get away from many other things. We simply do not have such luxury this year.

I don’t see much advantage of having Z and Simmons on the court together, the one without the ball is going to be less a threat. And we MAAR, Poole, Brooks who are all decent shooters with good enough handles.


GR III shot .306 from 3 that year, and .324 the year before. I wouldn’t call him a respectable 3 point shooter–indeed, I would guess we will not have a player in the rotation this year other than our back-up 5 who doesn’t exceed that number. Simmons, himself, has been considerably better than that at the college level, and Simpson was a respectable 3 point shooter in high school–much better than MAAR was. And the whole point of playing Simmons and Simpson together is that they can both create for themselves and others–Simmons was top 10 in the nation last year in assists, and Simpson can get in the lane and find cutters very well.

We’ll see what happens. I think you’re going to see stretches with both Simmons and Simpson on the court together, and that it will work. Maybe I’ll be wrong. Time will tell.


You conspicuously fail to mention that in Big Ten play in 13-14, we shot 40.5% as a team on threes, and we had our top 4 three point attempt guys all above 42%. That IS what you need, if you want to do that well running a small lineup. Having 3 or 4 important players at 35-36% will not cut it…sorry.


At Michigan it may be, but at a lot of other schools it is certainly not, for example, Kentucky, Arizona, Louisville, Michigan State. They start two bigs, a true center and a true power forward, while we start one big and a small forward/wing most years.


I’m not conspicuously failing to mention anything–all I said is that you can play 2 guys on the court who aren’t great 3 point shooters if you surround them with others who are. Was that inaccurate vis-a-vis the 2013-14 team? And if you think having 3 or 4 important players in the ranges you’re talking about will not cut it, then I’d invite you to look at our '12-'13 team where we had exactly one guy (Stauskas) who made more than 20 3s and shot a really good 3 point percentage for the year from 3…and still had the number 1 offense in the country. Burke shot .384. Hardaway shot .374. Robinson shot.324. Are you somehow suggesting that having 3 or 4 guys shooting 35-36% is a disaster, but 3 guys shooting 37, 38 and 32 is fine?

Look, I’m not suggesting that we have the talent on this team that we had in either '12-'13 or '13-'14–that would be silly. I am suggesting though that the idea that Beilein’s offense will only work with 4 or 5 really good 3 point shooters on the court at once is belied by the numbers.

We’ll see what happens.


In 2013/2014 conference play Robinson shot 22% and JMO shot 0% from 3. They were on the court together a lot that year but we did ok.