Discussion on the defense

Where does everyone feel the breakdown in the defense is? Is it scheme/philosophy, recruiting, or both?

After 9 years of Beilein being at the helm, I think it is fair to say that the ceiling on the defensive side of the floor is probably average. How do they get there consistently?

I think the lack of foot speed and lateral quickness kills them when they try to hedge screens so far outside of the paint. I get why they try to do it. I just don’t think they have the talent to make it happen. Doyle and Donnal are too slow to get back and leave cutback lanes so big that they get carved up pretty easily by a team talented enough to take advantage of it.

Dawkins, Irvin, and Dawkins and long and athletic enough to not allow their man to get to the rim like they do, or close out on the 3 on time. Why can’t they do this consistently?

I just wanted to hear everyone’s thoughts on the how and why as far as the short comings on the defensive end.

I think the problem is two-fold.

I don’t think anyone would look at Michigan’s roster and say that this has the makings of a truly elite defensive team. There’s no rim protector on the roster and there are some gaps defensively.

That being said, there are still way too many mental errors defensively. Blown switches, late rotations, poor close outs, poor angles, etc. Those problems are far more fix-able.

I think you could probably put 2011, 2012, 2013 type of defense as the ceiling. Both were around 50th nationally and somewhere between 4th and 7th in the Big Ten. As things stand right now, this group is much closer to the 2014 and 2015 levels of defense, right around 100th in adjusted efficiency.

The 2013-14 team won the Big Ten by three games with the third worst defense in the conference. I’m not sure that’s really a repeatable feat, but it is still an amazing accomplishment and shows that some degree it is possible to outscore people and win games.


Do you think the better strategy with this roster is to pack it in and if a team can beat them in a jumpshooting contest, so be it?

This is a tough question, one I don’t have an answer to, and probably a question better answered after the BIG season has played out.
I find these questions difficult to separate from the totality of what a Coach Beilein team does. In short Coach Beilein’s system works, and he knows, and has proved he can win at the highest level with it.
If I had to pinpoint one thing at this point, it clearly would be the 5 spot. These guys have looked totally helpless against good competition. The SMU game was a total failure on D.
I have no clue how this team can hope to beat Purdue this season.
Unfortunately for Caris, I think this team is a year, year and a half away, maybe 2 years away, from being able to rebound and defend the way they need to compete for a BIG title and a top seed.

That pretty much depends on the opponent more than what Michigan has in my opinion. Look at how Michigan defended against NC State for example.

Matt they already try to pack it in. Watch their help defense. Most guys help when they don’t have to causing all types of issues. Second they constantly put themselves in help the helper situations on purpose. It’s odd

The scheme itself looks very confusing which I think adds to the defensive problems.

1 Like

Assuming JB won’t change his coaching philosophy, I think it boils down to recruiting.

We need better athletes. We need mentally tougher kids. We need a floor general.

We need to recruit the inner city harder.

Yeah, I realize they have packed it in against the slugs they know can’t shoot. I know they will never be elite on that end of the floor. When they pack it in is when they seem to have SOME success, which truthfully is not good enough. I am curious if that is the best option even against teams that can shoot a bit for this roster due to the lack of athleticism. Pick a scheme and focus on it the rest of the year.

They get obliterated, when they are hedging with anyone they have on the floor. No foot speed or lateral quickness to get back and they leave cutback lanes galore for dunk city.

Their hedging is out of control. No one in their right mind hedges as far away from the basket as Michigan does.


“No reason hedges” and “no reason help defense”

I actually think we have a few kids who are athletic enough to defend on the perimeter. Why they can’t consistently is tough to say. Sometimes defense and rebounding is just about wanting it more. Your mentality and focus has to be I’m shutting this guy down. Then putting in the hard work to do so. It can be as simple as an attitude.

Also sometimes it has to do with ball iq. Knowing what someone will do in the moment. Spotting the pull up off the dribble and timing it up for the strip. It took me a long time after playing in high school to realize I sucked on d because I was lazy and didn’t want to work hard on both ends. Then it clicked and I can be a mean big up game defender now. So watch out at your local rec centers I’m coming for you!
Seriously though rahkman levert irvin Walton and Dawkins all should be quick enough to defend well. Not sure why they all can’t consistently.

Maybe it has something to do with practice and coaching. There is only so much practice time, and we know jb is offensively oriented so the bulk of time is probably spent on that end.
If you look at the other side usually the elite defensive teams aren’t very good shooters.
It also seems that they may just conserve some of the energy for the offensive side.
Balance would be awesome, but when you are elite on one end of the floor its probably pretty tough to be better than average on the other side.

The quick answer is execution. The scheme has worked for us before with similar athletes. Commitment and desire are necessary ingredients.

We aren’t even close to elite on offense though.

If only it were an execution problem, I’d feel a lot better about the program.

Not elite on offense? You must not look at stats to make such a statement.

11th in the country on fg% and 13 in the country on 3pt%. Pretty darn good

Oh I forgot, assist to turnover ratio is top 5 in the country. You are greatly confused.

The coaches are amazingly silly to allow this, no? We WE, WE SEE IT. How is that possible? :smile:

God, stop it.

This is not an elite offense. It’s not even close to one.