Duncan Robinson


#161

Matt, I think you make a good point - we will need upper tier talent to compete.

However, let’s be careful how we define “upper tier talent.” When we signed Burke, Hardaway, Levert, and even when Robinson (top 120 recruit at the time) committed, no one would have called those guys “upper tier talent.” Levert was a late spring addition, after we had struck out with Gary Harris. Hardaway was our third choice behind Prather and Ziegler. Even Stauskas, in the rankings, was around 75-80 - a very good talent but on par with a McQuaid, who has drawn mixed reviews from you and many others.

My point is, before you can conclude that this current crop lacks elite talent, we at least have to see them play. Thus far, the reports have been pretty positive. I agree we have to land elite talent to be nationally competitive - you can’t win a title with a team full of Novaks and Douglases - but elite talent is not necessarily defined by the recruiting rankings alone.

You generally downplay the role of the staff in developing players, which is fine, but if that’s your view then you have to acknowledge they are pretty outstanding when it comes to finding elite talent that hasn’t been ranked like elite talent. In retrospect, Burke should have been a five star recruit, and the same is true for Hardaway and Stauskas, and probably Levert too (at least a top 30-40 player in his class).


#162

Just because 2010-2012 yielded guys who turned into elite talent doesn’t mean it isn’t a deviation from the norm.


#163

You are exactly right, I think we should be careful how we define “upper tier”. You perceive my “upper tier” talent comments to be synonymous with star rankings (which is what you’ve accused me of several times at this point)…nothing could be further from the truth. I could care less about rankings from some “scout” or “insider”…I go by the film. If the kid can play, is athletic, or a combination thereof, I call it how I see it.

Look at my history…on record as saying I didn’t want Booker (WAY overrated) despite his borderline 5 star status and literally wanted Donte Grantham (3 star) and Blueitt much more than Booker. On record as saying Irvin was way overrated and one dimensional despite his 5 star status. On record as saying that although I like Tyus Battle and think he’s a good player, I don’t necessarily think he’s a “must get” or an “elite” talent despite the 5 star status. On record as saying Seth Towns is WAY underrated and I would love to have him despite not being ranked at all. On record as saying that I don’t think Dillon Brooks’ game will translate to college despite being a top 100 player. On record as saying we should wait on Thornton (said this last year) in relation to Jalen Brunson because he’s way overrated despite his 5 star status. On record as saying I wouldn’t offer Moyer because his position overlaps with Towns and his skillset isn’t very good despite his top 100 status. On record as saying I have no interest in McQuaid because he appears one dimensional despite the 4 star status.

Point is, I form my INDEPENDENT opinions on recruits regardless of rankings, despite your claims to the contrary as evidenced above.

As it relates to your post above in the context of “upper tier” talent, those guys weren’t upper tier talent per the rankings, but what does that mean other than the scouts got it wrong. Here is my assessment of those guys at the time:

Burke - upper tier talent of of HS and WAY undervalued
Robinson - elite athlete out of HS that warranted a top 100 ranking at the time of commitment
Stauskas - most certainly upper tier talent out of HS, his skillset was amazing even in HS, way undervalued
Levert - not upper tier talent out of HS, had above average all around game but not good at any single skill

At the end of the day, you can play the development argument all day, and I’m not going to debate you because it is subjective at best. I do know this, you can’t have a team full of role players and expect the staff to “develop” a contender.


#164
Just because 2010-2012 yielded guys who turned into elite talent doesn't mean it isn't a deviation from the norm.

Exactly my point…assess the individual recruit independent of past history. No blanket approval from me, I’m going to formulate based on what I see and not “development”


#165

Well, that’s really the crux of the issue. I’d argue Beilein has a pretty strong track record of finding these type of guys. It started at WVU with guys like Pittsnogle, Gansey (remember how good he was - a totally unheralded transfer) and Joe Alexander, and has now continued with guys like Darius Morris (his next best offer was USC), Burke, Hardaway, Stauskas, Robinson, and Levert. So right there, that’s eight elite college talents he has found who were not considered “elite” by the recruiting gurus. You can argue that’s luck, but to me it suggests a coach who is a really good talent scout.

Other than Morris Peterson, I’m struggling to think of one MSU recruit who has outperformed his ranking, though I can think of MANY who have underwhelmed.

Even guys like Novak, Stu and Spike turned out way better than anyone could have predicted. You’re not going to win a title with a roster full of those guys, but they were all meaningful contributors on Big Ten title teams. Given their lack of other offers, again Beilein found guys that substantially outperformed the rankings given to them by others. Same with Jordan Morgan - he had no other Big Ten offers. The guy was a starter and key contributor on two Big Ten title teams and one Elite Eight team. (And drew a huge charge against Cuse that sent is to the title game).


#166

Morris, Burke and Stauskas were top 100 guys
LeVert was a year ahead and was Ohio POY. Had he been in the 2013 HS class, he would have been a top 30 player.
Hardaway Jr is the son of an NBA player
Joe Alexander was also coached by Huggins
Gansey and Pittsnoggle were amazing college system players but not elite

Only Dawkins fits in 1 of those first 3 categories, not MAAR (who I am high on) or Robinson or Doyle

Beilen and staff have a great eye for scouting but expecting an NBA talent from an unranked guy every class is absurd


#167

Right, but there’s a huge gap between top 100 and “elite.” Go look at all the top 100 guys year after year who don’t do anything in college. Gabe York (for example) was a top 40 recruit.

Lots of PGs are top 100 guys. Fact is, OSU didn’t offer Burke and his next best offer was Cincy. So everyone missed on him. Indeed, OSU preferred Shannon Scott (a top 30-40 player who is just now developing into a good - but hardly elite - player). Burke in retrospect is easily a top 10 player in his class. Not sure that’s even debatable.

As far as Levert, I’m not at all convinced that he goes from two star recruit to top 30 player based simply on one year. Look at AJ Turner - reclassifying has made him go from around 130 in the rankings to 90, hardly a huge jump. Levert Are you here? I am getting something at the Starbucks downstairs. Up there in 10 or less. was just a guy that people dramatically undervalued. If that were not true, more teams than just Michigan and Purdue would have jumped into his recruitment during the spring of 2012.


#168

Lol - I managed to cut and paste a text message into this. :). Sorry.


#169

AJ Turner was 18 going on 19 and not in the midst of a 3-4 inch growth spurt…nor was he State POY in a talent rich state like Ohio. Not exactly comparable.


#170

Listen we can debate this all day and it all comes down to this…you defer to the staff based on past history without really providing an independent assessment, whereas I, and a few others, provide independent analysis without regard to past history.

Long story short, you fall on the strong deference side of things, whereas I don’t. Nothing wrong with either argument, just a difference of opinion. This will get very interesting if we don’t land a talented group in 2016…I’m sure we’ll re-hash this dialogue.


#171

I’m not sure what you mean when you say “independent assessment.” Yes, I would agree that I think the staff’s history of identifying talent is a strong reason why I have faith in the current crop of players. But I also like what I see on film regarding Dawkins, Wilson and MAAR. And of course Chatman is a top 25 recruit, so he fits the definition of elite regardless if we are going by rankings.

I agree, let’s see how it plays out.


#172
Matt, I think you make a good point - we will need upper tier talent to compete.

However, let’s be careful how we define “upper tier talent.” When we signed Burke, Hardaway, Levert, and even when Robinson (top 120 recruit at the time) committed, no one would have called those guys “upper tier talent.” Levert was a late spring addition, after we had struck out with Gary Harris. Hardaway was our third choice behind Prather and Ziegler. Even Stauskas, in the rankings, was around 75-80 - a very good talent but on par with a McQuaid, who has drawn mixed reviews from you and many others.

My point is, before you can conclude that this current crop lacks elite talent, we at least have to see them play. Thus far, the reports have been pretty positive. I agree we have to land elite talent to be nationally competitive - you can’t win a title with a team full of Novaks and Douglases - but elite talent is not necessarily defined by the recruiting rankings alone.

You generally downplay the role of the staff in developing players, which is fine, but if that’s your view then you have to acknowledge they are pretty outstanding when it comes to finding elite talent that hasn’t been ranked like elite talent. In retrospect, Burke should have been a five star recruit, and the same is true for Hardaway and Stauskas, and probably Levert too (at least a top 30-40 player in his class).

Agree with your comments, but one minor point: THJ was behind Prather and Ziegler in the pecking order, but we continued to recruit both guys even after THJ committed, IIRC.


#173
Lol - I managed to cut and paste a text message into this. :). Sorry.

Ha ha. I’m glad you left it. As I started reading that sentence, I was wondering if you were checking if LeVert were here on the forum…


#174

I’ve been lurking around here for awhile and have a few questions (please don’t interpret any as antagonistic)…

MattD: when you say “independent assessment based on film”, are you watching complete game films or just highlights? And if game films, more than one or two? If so, man, that is dedication and you should be hired to do this professionally!

LA Wolverine: While Coach B has made a lot of hay from underrecruited guys, there are equally as many guys that were underrecruited that didn’t pan out (bench players, transfers, etc). So maybe rather than calling scouting his strength, what you really mean is that his offensive system allows guys to outperform what they have done or have been forecasted to do?


#175

I’m not that well versed on the recruiting scene, but you guys do a great job of evaluating talent and projecting the future. I think JB and his staff are are experts at extracting talent from each contributing player to formulate great teams. His expertise and focus is on the collection of talent, not just one or two players, and how they play together.


#176

Combination of both - some guys I have watched full games and seen in person (exclusively guys that play on Nike sponsored teams). My daughter plays for an EYBL team so I’ve been fortunate enough to see some of these guys in person because the girls tournaments usually are scheduled either directly before or piggyback in many of the same facilities. Additionally the eybl games are streamed and I’ve watched many games that way as well. Also some overlap in open gyms, etc

Can’t say that I’ve watched every recruit for a full game but im pretty confident in saying that I’ve probably seen more of the recruits on Nike sponsored teams in relation to the vast majority of people.


#177

Matt - relax, I’m not attacking you. This board has only been around a little while, so I have no idea what you were saying at the time Burke, Robinson, Stauskas and Levert signed. With that said, are you really telling me that when we signed Burke, you said: “National player of the year as a sophomore, and lottery pick?” And when Nik committed, you said: “Big Ten player of the year as a sophomore, and lottery pick?” You may have, I don’t know. Obviously there’s no real way to objectively prove it.

Either way, on the roster now, don’t you think there are a least a few guys who are upper tier talents? Personally, I think Walton is going to make a big jump this year and will be one of the top point guards nationally by 2015, if not this year. I also think Levert is a first round pick. While I do share your concern about Irvin’s ability to expand his game, I do think he’s an outstanding three point shooter and that alone will really help us over the next few years. And among Chatman, Dawkins, and Wilson, I think at least two of those guys are future pros - I think Dawkins may be quite underrated.

So, I’m not sure we lack top tier talent. I suppose your argument is that we need to keep recruiting at the same level. I get that, and it makes sense. If we land one more top wing in 2015 (whether it’s Coleman, Dozier, Ali, Davis, or whomever), and then a class of something like Thornton, Teske, Towns, and Langford/Battle, we’re in really good shape for the near future. Obviously, of course, we have to go out and do that.

Two final thoughts:

  1. It will be interesting to see how guys like Booker and Blueitt pan out. I personally think Booker is a future pro, and if there’s a guy who lacks athleticism, it’s Blueitt - I’m not sure how his game translates.

  2. When we look at 2014 recruiting, and the guys we missed out on, here’s something to really consider - when guys like Booker and Blackmon were deciding (last fall), it seemed clear that the Harrisons were one-and-done players, and it seemed equally clear that Nik, Caris, and Irvin would be ahead of any incoming freshmen on the depth chart. If Booker and/or Blackmon had the foresight to know Nik was going to break out like he did this year and become a lottery pick, and thus there would be immediate playing time, while the Harrisons stayed in school, I’ll bet we land one of Booker or Blackmon.


#178

Didn’t take it as an attack, my previous post above was in response to eddieben questioning the both of use.

Didn’t claim there was a board the time of Burke and company, just saying their HS film indicated they were upper tier talents. Nobody can predict POY or lottery pick (although caveats apply because that was probably the weakest draft in the modern era), but you could certainly see that Burke was undervalued by scouts. I distinctly remember talking to an acquaintance of mine at the time that claimed Travis Trice (yes, Travis Trice) would be a better player than Trey in college…I literally laughed and refrained from response.

I certainly agree that we currently have upper tier talent on the current roster. No doubt Walton is upper tier (hell, I may be his biggest advocate to a fault), Chatman is upper tier from an offensive skill standpoint, Levert is certainly upper tier, but beyond that I have questions marks. I wouldn’t classify Irvin as upper tier…although he is borderline. A player that is poor on defense and rebounding, and has only 1 skill on offense…hard to classify that as upper tier until he proves he can do it in a more significant role.

Wilson and Dawkins - I think Dawkins will beat DJ out for PT, especially considering DJ’s injury. I grew to like DJ a bit more when the more recent film came out and it appeared his lateral agility had improved…but I do have serious questions about his game at the high major level. What is he? His ballhandling isn’t strong enough to play on the perimeter, he has no footwork to play in the post, he’s not strong enough to play the post from an offensive or defensive standpoint at this point. So it appears his utility is limited to a catch and shoot player, and honestly, I don’t think he’s all that good of a shooter, above average for his size, but I don’t think he can shoot like Donnal. I can see DJ thriving in transition because he runs the floor quite well and he’s above average in terms of verticiality, but we don’t run, so it negates his strength. Dawkins will be on the floor because his athleticism will allow him to check multiple positions(2/3 and maybe 4), and he’s already a better shooter than DJ, so he has more utility than DJ in my view.

Booker - the definition of a one dimensional, non-athletic player. Bluiett lacks athleticism, but he is infinitely better at creating his own shot off the bounce, and he has great footwork. Booker was so overrated it isn’t funny, I’d be shocked if he lived up to his billing as a 5 star.

The big issue is who do we get to replace the upper tier talent on the current roster. Can you honestly say that MAAR or Duncan Robinson can replace Levert next year? In reality, that’s what you’re looking at because Dawkins certainly isn’t going to take on the role of creator and neither is Zak…so where does that leave us? That’s why I’ve been harping on this…it’s all good to enjoy the good times, but you have to be realistic about the future. We have enough to bridge the gap to 2016 because Walton and Chatman will be the creators…but if we don’t add upper tier talent in 2016, it could get ugly in the future once Walton and Irvin leave…our roster from a talent standpoint would not be very good to be honest.


#179

I think we’ll be fine. These issues will work themselves out.

Actually…our coaches who get paid the big bucks and have proven themselves will work it out.


#180

I guess that’s the principle disagreement, because I don’t think it will be fine if recruiting doesn’t pick up. Our coaches have proven we can make a deep tourney run with a very talented roster, and have also proven they are incapable of doing so without a very talented roster…which is what any rational person would expect. All comes down to this for me, if you want to win bring in good talent and the results should follow if coaching is good.