Game 16: Michigan at Illinois Recap


NBA combine is by invite only and he would not get an invite

As for his name, it is true that XZaiver made a comment that the change was “personal” and he had no comment. Then later it was discovered that the B1G changed a rule that made everyone be listed by their legal names (which is beyond dumb). But if you watch the interviews with coaches/players or follow them on social media you will see that everyone calls him X and that seems to be what he prefers and goes by. So I’ll just chalk up X’s response about the name being a “personal” change as him being generally private and short with the media.


Bummer. I think I’m confusing items. I think he will work out for teams and get feedback.


Ahhh, that now makes sense about the X/Z name change. Thanks!

Maybe saying it was “personal” was sort of a sarcastic jab at the dumb rule change too. Maybe saying it was “personal” relieved him from being asked (by media) about his opinions on the new NCAA policy. Maybe saying it was “personal” was a clever way to avoid sharing his true (and negative) opinion about how he unnecessarily lost a little bit of control of how people would address him because of the NCAA.

It’s actually very interesting how he handled the situation.

I always liked “X” better but I like “X” even better now!


Zavier is only a junior, correct?


My guess at the whole X/Zavier situation was that their was some mistake on his birth certificate where someone in the process spelled it phonetically with a Z


My vote is that we just start calling him Savior Simpson


FYI, both umhoops roster and the official MGoBlue roster list him as Zaxier Simpson. They don’t list a nickname of preferred first name. There, that ought to clear things up.


Well, right. That’s why it’s confusing people. He was Xavier his frosh year, then the Big Ten made a rule that athletes must be listed with their legal name. His legal name is Zavier. Personally, I refer to him as X or Zavier.

Although now that I think about the big news that Tate Martell’s name is Tathan, he is listed as Tate on OSU’s football roster. So who knows. I do know that Beilein and players refer to him as X though


Why are we talking about Zavier Simpson’s name now? Didn’t we have this whole discussion last year?


Because it’s important!

Xavier Simpson’s first name is legally spelled Zavier, although he personally considers his name to be spelled with an X, which is why his nickname is X.

It wasn’t until the Big Ten mandated that players must have their names match birth certificates, that it was changed to Z. He still goes by X and Xavier though.


I love JB, but WTF, Brandon Johns did not even see the court! And instead of using a 7 man rotation, JB basically went with 6 guys.

This makes no sense to me. UM’s resume is impeccable at the moment and a loss or two won’t cause serious damage. He has talent to develop so we can withstand foul trouble or injuries down the road. Lighten up JB!


Not at all surprised (a bit surprised Davis saw the court but that didn’t last). Johns is not ready to play the role that Teske played as a short roller. Johns is not ready to deal with that sort of ball pressure. Johnsi s not ready to defend that pinch post action. More importantly, Livers was back healthy.

What would you be saying if Johns turned it over 4 times and missed a layup and all of the sudden those tenuous 5-point leads turned into an Illinois run that spiraled out of control?

Your weekly reminder that it is a real college basketball game, not a video game :slight_smile:


It’s kind of annoying when people don’t trust Beilein. The man has said multiple times that Johns isn’t ready, a put back dunk and a few rebounds in a game where we had no better options doesn’t change that.


Xavier’s father had called him “X” in televised interviews, and so did everyone he knows personally when he’s shown up on BTN’s “The Journey”. He has been called X by those who know him for seemingly his whole life.

I really wish I could bet on things like “Austin Davis will pick up a foul in his first minute on the floor.”


I knew that Johns big game against Indiana was just going to bring even more questions from people about why he isn’t playing. It was clear the JB had to play him in that game more out of necessity than anything, JB said as much. Would I like for him to play Davis’ 3 minutes? yeah. But this matchup would have been particularly tough and JB pretty much only trusted 6 guys in this one.


If you give Johns some minutes, the possible downside is that you lose the game if he’s a flop. As I mentioned, this is hardly a big deal, given the current quality of Michigan’s resume. Losses happen, and can be good for a team’s development.

The most likely outcome, is that Michigan wins the game anyway, even if BJ is underwhelming. We won by 10, remember? As I stated earlier, we have to develop talent so we can withstand injuries and foul trouble down the road. Johns seems to be on the verge of breaking through and becoming a real contributor.


I have a feeling that John Beilein would disagree with your assessment that losing to a 4-11 Illinois team would be hardly a big deal.

A horrible loss like that could be the difference between a #1 seed and the #2 seed in Duke’s region come March.


Beyond seeding, I’m sure this team wants to make a run at the big ten championship. A loss at Illinois sets them back. I know regular season championships don’t mean as much to outsiders, but i think it means a lot to accomplish such as a team.


You nailed it buckets, JB never coaches to lose, never ever! He tables the best players given the competition and match ups. His job…get W’s and position for the Tournament. I also believe this team is still growing and learning, JB never stops teaching and his complexity will change by March. The team you see today will not be the one you see In APRIL!!!


Not to pile on, but being thrown into the fire when not ready isn’t necessarily the best way to develop, and it’s certainly not the only way. JB has shown pretty good touch developing players over the years.