First Johns has to prove he can be a working part of the defense. Then I think he needs to focus on one thing he can really excel at on offense. Maybe it’s catch and shoot 3s, maybe it’s passing the ball efficiently, etc. Then expand from there.
Thought last night really brought this facet of his game to light. If he could just hit 33% of those pop 3s, he could really become a multi-faceted weapon between shooting and passing out of the pop. And, of course, he has a great feel rolling too.
Haven’t noticed many “Five Key Plays” pieces this season. Will these continue as they have in the past?
Literally posted as I was typing this comment haha. Love this site Dylan!
As fans, we better enjoy this season because the team is really special. They are so connected defensively as a group, have outstanding individual defenders, in addition to great coaching to give us any schematic advantage possible. I think this team will end up better than last year’s squad… which also guarantees nothing come tournament time. To be honest, we got lucky last year with our draw to not have to face a seed higher than 6 until the title game. But that got me thinking, and I am curious for others’ thoughts, what type of team would Michigan most struggle with? My initial thought was a similarly slow-paced team that had good individual shot makers, especially shooting off the dribble. A team that keeps the possession number low, leading to more variability, which could emphasize our FT struggles in a close game.
Obviously the team is extremely good, but how much would a knock-down shooter at the 2/3 positions improve us even more? Someone to come off the bench and hit shots and was also proficient from the line – a la Duncan Robinson, but a wing. That’d give us greater depth (for foul trouble or injuries) and when teams start to key in on Iggy and Charles’ head-down drives, there is a skilled shooter from 3 to kick it out to. I know Isaiah, JP, and Eli are all capable, but only Isaiah has really been knock-down thus far, and JP could also be the one driving with the ball. Regardless, this year should be a lot of fun; given Iggy’s limitations and age (20 in January), the best opportunity for him to go pro may be after this season, and Coach Yak is sure to get inquiries for his service this offseason.
Personally the way I see it, Michigan has a solid 7 man rotation that can flex to 8 if it turns into a slow grind it out game (Davis) and the max rotation is 9 if Michigan can get Johns up to speed mentally. I think 7 will be the main rotation for the vast majority of games though. Johns won’t likely pick up the offense and defense until late January at best, if he does at all this year. Perhaps in a few games Dejulius could get some tick as a backup PG but he would need time like Johns and I don’t think he will crack the rotation consistently this year regardless. But I could see him maybe get meaningful minutes in a few games down the road.
what type of team would Michigan most struggle with? My initial thought was a similarly slow-paced team that had good individual shot makers, especially shooting off the dribble. A team that keeps the possession number low, leading to more variability, which could emphasize our FT struggles in a close game.
Like that team that won in College Park last night? Yes, they would be a challenge. A good defensive team that forces us to execute our half court offense will be the biggest challenge - our defense hasn’t taken any nights off yet, but the transition offense is way ahead of the half court.
I think teams that run zones could give us issues. If they make Michigan shoot a lot of 3s that could be a problem.
One thing I feel like is different about this year’s rotation vs past teams is that even though the team goes 7 deep only, the quality in talent and positional flexibility of those 7 players makes it an incredibly deep group as is.
For example, the 7th guy right now is Eli who is playing 19 minutes a game. That’s more minutes per game than any 7th guy has ever played under JB. At the same time, Matthews is the only player on the team averaging 30+ minutes at 30.6. JB teams almost always have 3-4 guys playing close to 35 MPG. The best players might play more come conference season, but Livers is so good and can backup every single position on the roster, that there’s really no need to go deeper than 6 or 7 guys every night and the best 4 players can all get 10 minutes of regular rest without any worry of drop off.
That’s where Johns might help as a zone buster.
Slow teams that don’t turn the ball over have always been the worst matchups for Beilein teams. I personally would want want no part of uva.
You, Silverblue and I should form a club since we seem to be on the same page concerning Johns and Brooks.
Sometimes I worry that we have already reached our peak this year and then I realize how much better we could be if Brooks continues his assent and Johns can crack the rotation.
The other factor, and JB has mentioned this, is the length and seeming frequency of TV timeouts. I think with all the TO’s and the sheer length of them, rest is less a problem than it used to be. Now, foul trouble, THAT could be a problem. Fortunately JB and Yak stress playing aggressive defense without fouling. However…the officials, so you never know.
I think you are a very astute observer and spot on with your assessment, Champions!
Zone teams will probably be our toughest nut this year, but the nice thing is, when you’re playing interior and perimeter defense as well as we are, there’s only so much trouble another team can give you.
Room for one more in that club?
Would not be the first time that has happened. Even Spartan fans are aware of that. Many are starting to wonder if the game is passing him by.
At around the 1:00 minute mark, UNC emptied the bench. Beilein had Johns at the scorer’s table but called him back and basically left the starters in to finish the game. I thought that was odd.
He sent Johns to the scorers table with a little over a minute left and when he realized there wouldn’t be a stoppage until 30 seconds or less, he pulled him back. Sometimes it can be insulting to be put in the game solely to watch someone else dribble the clock out.
Dude. No way. I have to strongly disagree. DD is soooo far from playing time, it’s not even worth discussing. Brooks getting better will raise our ceiling a lot more than DD breaking into the rotation. He’s so close to being a big time offensive threat, and he’s rock solid on defense (yes, coby white was a tough assignment for him, but I mean, he is for all but Z).