Game 1: Norfolk State at Michigan Recap


As I was there, I guess I noticed. Brooks isn’t close to Poole in shooting, passing or vision. One game borders on being an aberration. Jordan had 3 assists in the first 6-7 minutes and should have had 2 others. His shooting will be fine; if not, we’re screwed. Brooks is barely a third guard.


Crazy (in a good way) that Brooks is challenging the conventional wisdom about his prospects on this team. @mazs disagree on passing, vision, and ‘barely’.


“Barely a third guard”.

This can’t possibly mean what I think you mean. You think Brooks is not showing he might at least be a quality backup guard? Or, are you saying he is just barely qualified to be the backup of the backup guard? How can he barely be qualified to be a backup when he was actually a starter in some games last year? How can you barely be a backup when you are statistically the best guard in the first 20 minutes of your sophmore year on a ranked team? Is Brooks lucky or is JB stupid?


It’s not a matter of “living” or “dying” with Matthews. It’s a matter of what combination of players and minutes will be most effective on the court. Matthews is not our only good player, and is by no means clearly even our best player. Barring injury, his minutes are obviously not going to drop to zero, or even 10-15, but I also doubt they’ll be as high as 35. He played 29 mpg in the Big Ten last year, and he will most likely be in the 25-30 range this year. If he doesn’t play better than he did against Norfolk, it will probably be more towards the low end of that.


Fair enough, I only watched the game on television and reviewed the box score. It showed a different story. Poole missed 5 shots. He made 3 nice assists, but turned the ball over three times. In contrast, Brooks played within the system better in that particular game. He had 4 assists, no turnovers, and made 3 out of 4 shots, including two open treys at the line. Additionally, he was able to pass to somebody who made an assist several times. Some of this was as a SG and some as PG, and he has some gifts too and is also only a sophomore.

I haven’t seen the practices, but it’s the games that count, especially ones against strong competition (not that Norfolk State was strong). In those games Poole’s individual gifts will not be enough and the importance of playing within a system dramatically increased. His struggles vs. NS were growing pains that I hope and expect he will start to overcome quickly and continue to put behind him throughout the year, making you right, but I can’t see the future.

But, If he continues to put up ofers and turn the ball over, he almost certainly will find himself on the bench starting a game once or twice for his own good as well as the team’s. Who starts in his place is unknowable, but Brooks is not out of the question.


A lot of relevant material in Five Key Plays RE: Poole and Iggy.

I think they bring very different things to the table, but Michigan’s rotation needs both.

Also, RE: Charles… No one is saying he played particularly well vs NSU (and he’s not a great zone player) but I have a hard time buying an argument that he should play less or have his minutes cut or something like that.


A lot of conclusions are being drawn from one game. Let’s let a few games play out before calling for lineup and minutes changes. You can be disappointed/concerned by the game one performance without saying major changes need to be made yet. Poole and Matthews could easily score 15+ in the next game making all of these arguments seem silly.


Agree 100% about Matthews. Charles has to play with much more confidence on the offensive end, and not let misses and/or mistakes lead to more misses and/or mistakes, as sometimes occurred last year. He is a leader on a team filled with younger guys, none of whom has ever been a top 4 offensive option on a college team, and he has to set an example that you respond to a missed free throw, a bricked 3, or a turnover by not dwelling on it and letting it affect your play. That’s a must if we’re going. to hit our ceiling as a team.

However, and this is a big however, the notion that we may well have to cut Charles’s minutes because he is not a good shooter and/or free throw shooter, and the team needs to shoot better strikes me as strange. For ten years, Michigan basketball fans have railed against “soft” players who could not guard, including, amongst the targets, guys who are currently playing in the NBA (such as Tim Hardaway, Nik Stauskas, Mo Wagner, and Duncan Robinson). Now, we have guys who are elite defensively and folks are figuring out lineup revisions because those guys have some deficiencies on the offensive end.

In today’s college basketball, if you’re elite on one end, and don’t have deficiencies on the other, you’re gone in a year or two at the most. So yeah, our only senior isn’t a great shooter…which is precisely why he wasn’t going to be drafted last year, and he’s back. That doesn’t mean he’s not among our most necessary players. Charles is our best defensive rebounder by a lot. He’s our best wing defender by a substantial margin. We are going to win games this year on defense. Certainly we have to play (read shoot) better offensively than we have so far, but sacrificing what you’re great at so that you can be better on the other end only works if you’re getting more than you’re giving up. I don’t see it–we could replace Charles with Nik Stauskas and we wouldn’t be a great shooting team, merely a much better one. And there ain’t no Nik Stauskas’s sitting on our bench.

Again, Charles has to play better on the offensive end. If he’s still playing like he did last night a month from now, I’ll reconsider. Until then though, I’m not taking my captain, my senior leader, my guy who pulled from the draft and bought in, my toughest wing, and slashing his minutes. That would, in my opinion, hurt the team’s chemistry, his chances of recovering his confidence and shooting decently, and the bottom line.


We are also talking about games where Poole and Matthews missed essentially all (all?) of their jump shots and Matthews went 0-of-5 at the free throw line. Those were very much ‘floor’ performances.


The good thing is when we have these “floor” performances we have a defense to fall back on and (hopefully) keep us within striking distance.


It is also good to have them against “floor” opponents like Norfolk State :wink:


I don’t think anyone is arguing that Matthews’ PT should be changed for the next game, because there really isn’t anything to “change” at this point. No one’s minutes are guaranteed at this point (if ever). All people are saying is that IF Matthews doesn’t play consistently better than he did the other night, he will be in danger of losing floor time in favor of someone playing better.

I’m sure he’ll start the next game, but if he’s playing poorly and whoever replaces him plays significantly better, Matthews will get fewer minutes. That’s how it goes, and it can be very much a game to game thing, especially at this stage of the season.


I think the post being discussed regarding Matthews is this:


I refuse to make any snap judgments until AT LEAST after the Hall of Fame tournament. A single game against Norfolk State is insane to make judgments off of.

EDIT: It’s fun discussion though, for sure.


I would like to add something rather important:
DeJulius play with infectious enthusiasm. He gets excited in warmups when the ball boys throw him the ball for a jumpshot. He’s on his toes, bouncing with anticipation of getting opportunities to let fly with another 3


His uncle sat very close to us at the game and I can verify that the enthusiasm runs in the family haha. They were getting hyped about every single cool pass and attempted shot and that hyped everyone around him up.


Duke or Kentucky? This wasn’t even the last place team in the BIG 10 so you’re on point!


Brooks is “barely” a third guard? I really don’t know what game you’re watching. Brooks also should have had 2-3 more assists, which would have brought his total up to 6-7 in limited action. He has a consistent jumper and plays better D right now than Poole. Can’t agree with this take. Brooks, even in the pre-season, has looked like a much improved player this year. Along with Johns, he is may be the key to pushing this team’s ceiling.


I don’t know how many freshman to sophomore year leaps we have to witness before people start believing lol.


I’m not sure that I was clear. I’m glad Michigan isn’t Duke or Kentucky because almost certainly Poole, Brooks, and Matthews (in fact) would have been gone after one year. At Michigan, Players have a chance to develop and get an education and make it to the NBA as Duncan Robinson (!), As far as the competition level, yes, this was almost a glorified scrimmage. This team needs time to figure things out, and it could be gruesome against better teams until they do.