Game 1: Norfolk State at Michigan Recap


Wasnt calling for benching any of those guys. I was speaking to the limited situation in which Teske isnt on the court that the back-up 5 responsibilities could be Johns and Livers if they were both on the floor.


I think Beilein has more flexibility than ever before. I think against a zone certain players like Brooks, Livers, Poole will be more effective whereas that is not where Matthews, Simpson or Brazdekis will shine. If this was a more competitive game would you would have seen more sustained substitutions.


Coach Beilein seemed a bit perturbed Norfolk State played zone.

Biggest component for not playing small is Teske. He needs to be on the court for all the minutes he can handle. On top of that it appears Davis is a better option than Johns as of 11/07/2018.


Brooks will start over Poole—never. It’s not close. I agree that Livers was the best player on the court…yesterday.


My bad on that. Did not mean for it to be a direct reply to @nswan


No, but if Matthews is the worst 3 point shooter and the worst free throw shooter among he, Brooks, Poole, Iggy and Livers, I can see his minutes getting squeezed down.


Matthews had a bad game. No question. But it was a bad game even for his standards, which means I expect better games from him ahead and for this to quell some of the restriction of minutes talk.

As for zone offense, maybe his best position is in the middle in those scenarios and moving Livers outside to provide the shooting threat? Just thinking out loud.


Johns looked lost out there, but I think he’s the only player not in the main 8 who has a shot to play himself into it, and I think he will come the end of the season. I noticed Johns messed up a couple plays last night and even when he didn’t mess up, I could tell he wasn’t loose. He was focusing so hard on trying to remember where he was supposed to go or do he didn’t show any talent really out there. And he just looked nervous and upset because he was only getting in at the garbage time. I know that feeling from going from playing a ton to minimal time. It’s tough, even when you know it’s coming.

But his physical size, athleticism and skill make it hard to believe he won’t end up getting relevant minutes sooner than later. He just needs to learn the system better and get used to the speed. Johns also is the only one with enough size and skill to play as a 5 that was similar to Wagner in the past. He’s the key to Michigan playing a little better offense on the floor imo.


Completely agree with that take.


Well, everyone in that group is going to have some bad games. The question for each is, how bad, and how often? We seem to have enough depth that whoever is at the bottom of that ladder is in danger of having their minutes squeezed. Granted, one game is not much to be drawing patterns from, but still…0-5 from the free throw line makes you cringe.


Yeah, I don’t necessarily disagree. I just actually think this is magnified by how well Brooks played last night. If I HAD to put money on CM improving against stiffer competition, or Brooks playing at that level against the same, I’d probably put my money on CM (with someone in the core group of CM, Poole, and Iggy playing the 2 in those scenarios).

I guess I’m of the opinion that CM’s defense equalizes enough that he’ll need to see the 30 minutes we expected most nights. But again, this is all predicated on him having some confidence and shooting 50-60% FT’s and not 0%.


That just strengthens my point


I cannot. We will live–and perhaps die–with Matthews.


Wondering is a replay of either of the last two games are available to view anywhere?

#55 has replays for all Big Ten games you are authorized to watch (either by having BTN TV login for last night’s or BTN Plus for the exhibition game).


@umhoops I know this question got lost in the shuffle of some really good conversation, but I would like your take if you don’t mind. Obviously the counter-argument is “Why can’t Teske defend the rim and clean the boards?”…which maybe he can do against Norfolk State…but he probably can’t do against Nova and the like. Which to me means, all hands on deck to limit second chance opportunities, even though that may mean sacrificing a strength which is our transition offense.


Good question…

We will have to see how it plays out but Michigan has a lot of length and athleticism on the wings. If they can grab rebounds, they can all start the break. That’s important.

Then you have Teske who isn’t really a great leaper and has never been a natural rebounder. I think there’s a case to be made that he is more suited to be a great box out guy. So it might just be playing to his strengths.

We shall see how it plays out against better teams.


I put a lot of conditionals about shooting in there, but I stand by what I wrote. If Poole continues to launch 25 footers and miss all of his shots against a team like Norfolk State, he will lose his starting role. The ability to make flashy plays is not nearly enough at this level. He has to consistently make the solid play, and Brooks is already playing minutes at the two if you haven’t noticed.

Losing a starting role has a wonderful way of concentrating the mind of a young person (or old) on what’s important. Poole has heard what’s important a hundred times, but truly knowing it is different from hearing it. I wouldn’t expect Poole to sit, but it’s way to early to state things unconditionally except that Z will start at PG, Matthews someplace (maybe he will replace Poole except M can’t shoot), and Teske at center. And it’s far too early to write off Brooks based on a few games when he was a freshman a year ago. This isn’t Duke or Kentucky, thankfully.


I think it is obvious that Poole has the highest ceiling of Z, Brooks, and Poole. If I bracket that belief it is also pretty obvious that there does not appear to be separation, right now between Z, Brooks and Poole. I think there is an underlying bias in any opinion, right now, based upon what we are seeing, that posits that Brooks is obviously way behind Z or Poole. I didn’t see separation at the open practice. I did not see separation against Norfolk state. To be honest, if anything, Brooks separated himself as the better player, between those three players, in both of those recent events. Not putting anybody down. Brooks just looks good–way better than I was anticipating…

Recency bias at play of course but I don’t think we are in a position to assume any one of those three is better or worse than the others at this moment in time…


I just want to put on record that I think Jordan Poole will be perfectly fine and will not lose his starting job at any point this year. I still think he could easily end the season as our leading scorer and sneak on an all big ten team. Eli is way ahead of where I thought he’d be and that is awesome. But despite the low numbers and 0-5 from the floor, I thought Poole looked pretty fine last night and just missed his looks.