I think the “Zavier Simpson isn’t a lockdown defender” debate is becoming clearer and clearer. What I didn’t expect was what Iggy and Livers did to Paschall. That was an awful game for him.
edit: to add on, I’m super encouraged by the fact that we shot poorly from three and still did this to a legitimately good team on the road. Everything looked like it could be replicated against practically everyone but the Duke type super teams. This team’s ceiling just shot way up for me, and I’m guessing it did for everyone here.
This game epitomizes why I wouldn’t trade X for any PG in the Big Ten. He’s a fantastic college pg in so many aspects. His teams will continue to win games while other PG’s win the metrics battle.
He’s the ideal PG for a team that already has 2 high usage wings like we do with Iggy and Matthews. I’m also pretty sure a good chunk of the defensive effort is him in practice forcing everyone to get better (at least that what it seems like from interviews).
The way Ignas uses the glass is something - those wild banks make me think of Kyrie.
Charles led us in scoring and mostly erased Booth, their leading scorer from the game.
I love how Livers has found ways to impact every facet of the game.
Simpson has about the ideal “Xavier Simpson” game.
I have to say - if Villanova is really counting on Conor Gillespie to handle the ball 70% of the game, they’re going to have a hard time. The kid doesn’t have vision, pounds the ball endlessly, and can’t defend a lick. We hunted him in their switch screen ceaselessly. I had to laugh when he picked Simpson up at the logo with six seconds on the shot-clock (to then get blown past) - did he even look at the scouting report?
Livers was fantastic before his ugly fall. I agree he and Iggy must play together often.
I liked DeJulius pretty 3 point stroke. That’ll come in handy as season moves along
Can Michigan shoot? Maybe not, but they are tougher, more physical and more athletic than most teams that they’ll play this year.
So raise your hands if you could even imagine Dylan writing these sentences 5 years ago.
Rob Dauster basically asked Beilein if he could have imagined saying it 10 years ago He started to say no, but then threw out how effective the 1-3-1 zone was back in the day.
Does anyone remember what Iggy’s high school / EYBL 3pt percentages were around? Is there reason to believe he’ll find his shot and be able to get to the mid 30’s level of “needs to be respected out there?”
67-of-187 (36%) in prep last year, 23-of-78 (29%) in EYBL his final year.
Encore: raise your hand if a month ago you expected to see Poole in the “limited roles” section of the roster on Kenpom after three games.
Those were incredibly difficult banks Iggy made. Virtually no one makes those shots. One from left side one from the right.
Gillespie guarding Simpson 20 feet from the basket and reaching in was a recipe for a blow by.
Clearly Nova thought it was a good strategy to try to have Gillespie muscle Simpson. Thus the dribbling the air out the ball. Bad idea.
I think the best strategy against Simpson is to simply face up and shoot over him. Once you put the ball on the floor, Simpson has many advantages despite being vertically challenged. He will fluster you.
Also just want to add, since he rarely gets that much credit for it, how tough a kid Matthews is. He makes four to five sheer hustle plays a game, constantly dives all over the floor, and seems to be the most confident kid on the floor in these big games.
When his mid-range game works, he looks so smooth, and he’s so quiet it’s easy to forget how most of his game is based on effort.
It wasn’t mentioned in the recap, but Livers had a possession sometime around midway through the first half where he had a killer crossover and step back. He didn’t make the shot, but it made me think “this is the first time he’s looked like a true wing handling the ball.” Ironically it came in a game that he played center in, but still a good sign.
He definitely looked like a pro tonight. Happy for him. Hope he keeps playing well.
Nova is definitely not a top ten team but damn is Michigan good. I’m extremely optimistic. I actually loved that they’re not forcing up threes. I get it’s not a normal coach b offense or the way the best offenses play now but this team is built to get to the rack and out in transition. Our offense will be best playing like today. Shooting wide open threes outside of a few guys and watching guys like iggy, z, and Charles taking their man off the dribble.
I also feel comfort I’m the fact that eli and livers are clearly going to be good from deep. I was confident in both to step up even after they struggled last year. Add in Poole rebounding from a poor start which is bound to happen and some Teske face ups and we have a competent offense with possibly the best d in the country.
This is a very good team for the foreseeable future.
Also once again we have nice depth with numerous guys who could hurt you.
I think in big games Michigan is basically going to play 7 guys… just Livers and Brooks off the bench. Davis when the situation calls for it.
Would be good to find one more reliable option though.
Yeah it seems like we’re basically going with six guys playing starter minutes, then Brooks giving Simpson a blow.
I have little doubt Johns and DeJulius will be viable options by January. I expect Coach Beilein to comment on their improvements and needing to find them opportunities