Game 30: Michigan at Maryland Recap

Eli does the best he can on defense and generally knows the correct rotations. I wouldn’t label him “outstanding” on that end though.

Maryland scored 18 points in twelve possessions while Simpson was out and Eli was in.

I think most of us are so sad for the kid and his offensive struggles that we look for anything positive to say about him.

What’s really his future going forward with Simpson and DeJulius both back? 4-5 minutes of knowing where to be defensively?

He’s really had an underwhelming career up to this point, especially seeing that he supposedly came in as an advertised three point sniper talent, Aahh… not so much.

Believe that DeJulius was on the floor for the first chunk of those possessions. Not Eli.


Any numbers to look at? What was Eli plus-minus?

Pretty sure we were plus 14 with Simpson on court.

The 18-11 over 12 possessions is correct. Dave was on the court for the first 6 possessions and Maryland scored 11 points.

Eli was on the court for the second 6 possessions and Maryland scored 7 points.


You are right, “outstanding” was a poor choice of words, but he is a good defender, certainly better than adequate.

Dylan has already pointed out my next point, Eli was not on the floor for the entirety of the time X sat. Now, I also think DDJ is a very good on ball defender for a freshman, but neither he nor Eli are X. No one is.

I’m currently watching the replay. If Eli is the cause of Maryland scoring 18 points while X was out as you seem to assert, I’ll be happy to correct myself.

Isn’t it interesting that after a terrific game that was both well coached and well played, a game where Michigan shot poorly for much of the game but we had the poise and the grit and the resolve to win, in a that victory that we should be celebrating as a fanbase, we choose instead to argue about a coaching decision and a role player.

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IIRC most of those possessions with X out were low-post shots and OREBS, though I haven’t gone back to watch again and confirm that. But Beilein obviously saw something with DDJ that made him go to Brooks instead.

Just exacerbates Simpson’s value as team MVP IMO.

I’m not sure that’s news. We are not the same team without him on the court.


Absolutely! I agree with that 100%!

The young man is amazing and we should be thankful we have him on our team.

I’m pleased Coach B recruited X and got him to come to Michigan. I’m also pleased that Coach B and our coaching staff, as well as X’s dad, too, have worked so diligently to help X utilize his talent to become the outstanding player he is. He’s special.

Interesting piece on The Journey last night re: X’s recruitment. He was recruited by MSU, but was told during the process that their primary focus was on Winston. X’s Dad said that when they visited/considered Michigan, there was not a single negative factor on the page, so the decision was easy.

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Awesome game. Great focus and heart from the Wolverines. Electric atmosphere. All of the starters get gold stars.

And it’s another data point that suggests that the Wolverines might actually be better without Charles Matthews.

And to think, a year ago (early in the season) he was our backup point guard. Now we can’t live without him.

I can’t wait to see what he adds to his game next year. And isn’t it great that we get another year of him?

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I predict that next year we are going to see a ton of point guards shooting the Captain Hook shot. Book it.

2 of the team’s top 5 points per possession offensive performances in conference play in the last two games without Charles. Had been 12 games since the team hit 1.19 PPP or higher before the last two.

I would disagree just because it’s a hard shot that takes a lot of work - I’m just not sure how many guys are going to be willing to work on it enough to use it in a game consistently. There’s a reason why it has basically become extinct - it’s hard to do and even harder to perfect.

But I get your point - guys SHOULD work on it and use it because as we’ve seen - it can be a valuable offensive option.

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I appreciate your perspective. As a former coach and the dad of a former college athlete, also not basketball, I think I have a real appreciation for what these kids go through. Many of them have had so much success playing the game they love, a game that in many cases is their life, a game to which they even attach some of their self worth, that when they struggle, their very worth as a person can be affected. And they lose confidence, even in themselves. And THAT can become a downward spiral.

I truly feel badly for Eli. I hope he works his way through this. I’m pretty sure he has teammates and a coaching staff that are doing everything they can to help him through it, but it’s hard.

There is no question that fighting through those things that are hard makes you stronger. I often said to my students that if something is hard for you in class, it means your brain is growing. You may not get it…yet…but you will. Don’t give up. Keep trying.

Rather than criticize the Eli, I personally prefer to support him and to continue to hope that he will find it. I prefer to point out things that he does well, like play defense, or the other aspects of the game for which Coach B commends him.

I’m just not giving up on Eli or any of our players. When guys make disparaging comments about him and post his stats and his struggles, I am bothered by that. That’s just who I am, and, guess what, I’m not giving up on that, either.

I won’t apologize for supporting our players, all of them, whether they start or barely get off the bench. But I do feel badly that I get miffed at folks who not only seem to be giving up on them, but who criticize them publicly, especially when I don’t think that criticism helps at all.

And, yes, I know it’s a public forum. It’s social media. And, yes, I’m old and didn’t grow up with social media. And, yes, I know it’s America, and within reason, in accordance with the law, folks can say what they want. This is just my two cents worth. Take it or leave it.


If you think I’m trying to fight with you, I’m not, and I’m sorry if I offended you. While I share your desire to support the coaches and players on our team, and obviously acknowledge Beilein know more than I, I do think it is fair to discuss a player or decision in a critical fashion. I don’t feel that doing so makes me “negative”. If I ever fall into saying a player “sucks”, or should transfer, or anything similar, please give me a virtual smack on the head.

I think we can agree, with all respect for Eli, that he has largely not played well. Saying that doesn’t mean he is void of any positive attributes. I do think that the pull he exerts in our offense right now, as the point guard, forces the team to play pretty perfect defense in order to tread water.


In regards to Eli, his on/off split differential (as of 1/27 when @umhoops compiled them) is middle of the pack for the team, which is about as much as you can ask for from the 7th guy. I’d like to see the updated version of these stats at the end of the B1G regular season.


I think all this really means is “on a 26-4 team, most lineups and players will have a positive on/off split”.

It’s obvious that the on/off splits will be positive for most players on a winning team. It means more than that.

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Maybe. Livers is likely low because, as the primary backup to Teske and Brazdeikis, he plays the least with them of anyone else. We know he’s been taxed as a small 5 (hence the carousel of options to find a backup 5). I think these stats are a data point, but often times indicative of broader lineup configurations and their success.