Game 9: Michigan at Northwestern Recap


He’s getting about 45% of minutes, not 10%. I think it scales better than shooting, for example. It’s fairly obvious that shooting doesn’t scale up to 100% of shots, because you’d invite the opponent to gang up on you as your usage increases. Turnover avoidance is largely a function of decision-making, which I think does scale.


I think that turnover rate is a stat that needs at least a bit of context on an individual level. For example, Duncan Robinson was 43rd nationally in turnover rate in part because he made good decisions, but also because he never really did anything with the ball or created for others.

Simpson obviously shoulders a lot more playmaking duties than Eli so the stats aren’t really 1 for 1.

Are we arguing that Eli isn’t a bit of a liability when he’s handling against pressure or trapping defense? I think he definitely is. I also think that there’s a nice sweet spot when Eli is on the floor for him to be a shooter/extra pass guy and allow Poole to facilitate.


Are we arguing that Eli isn’t a bit of a liability when he’s handling against pressure or trapping defense?

I’m not. X is definitely a better ball-handler in that situation. But at the end of the day their turnover rates are essentially the same and a big part of that is knowing your limits. I think if Eli’s usage went up to 75% (X’s level) his turnover rate wouldn’t change significantly. Just my opinion. I don’t think the scale argument applies that well.

BTW, one of my favorite X moves is when he pushes the ball past the pressure with that self bounce pass.


To me, that’s the key. Eli is a great backup guard for this team partly because this team has Poole (and Matthews, Iggy, and Teske/Livers). This is a slight oversimplification, but for DeJulius to get minutes, barring extreme foul trouble, he has to show (a) that it’s better to have him run the PnR with Poole as a floor spacer/extra passer than Poole run the PnR with Brooks as a floor spacer, or (b) that he’s better in the floor spacer role than Brooks.


I mean, DeJulius has to show that he can play at this level given his current development. Once he gets to that point, then you can start talking about fit and role. Same with Johns.


Step by step, I guess. My more general point was that Eli’s PG limitations are somewhat negated by the fact that he isn’t the PG in a classic sense even when he replaces Simpson and can play off Poole (and others).


Can anyone quickly pull some numbers on how much worse Michigan’s offense and defense are on a per possession basis with Simpson and/or Matthews out of the game so far this year?


Don’t have all of them handy, but they are pretty massive for each. Pretty much every Michigan starter has crazy on/off splits though because a) they play so much b) the freshmen have gotten beat pretty good whenever they’ve been in.

Last I checked, the offense was better with Simpson than without by a larger margin than you’d expect. The defense was better with Matthews by maybe a larger margin than you’d expect.

I really don’t trust any of those splits at this point though because guys like Brandon Johns and David DeJulius probably have 40-50 possessions of very negative basketball.


Thanks. I started thinking about what Brooks, Poole, Iggy, Livers, Teske would look like (4 40% shooters from three + a traditional big). But I had a feeling efficiency on both sides would drop significantly somehow still


Benching Simpson was smart against NW because they have no PG so Simpson wasn’t needed much on defense anyway. We won’t be able to do that against most teams.

JB will have to think of something. The solution isn’t to just have Simpson hoist 3’s up. Any opposing team would love that outcome.


One thing to consider regarding the autobench: if you look at Poole’s game-winning bucket, it occurs with about 2 minutes left, he gets by Taylor, and then Law is in the lane – and doesn’t even try to contest. Why? Because he had four fouls.



Remember guys Billy Donlan is running the NW defense. We should not be surprised at that second half NW adjustment.


It sure seems like Ignas is somewhat defense proof - he’s going to get the shots he’s been getting against most teams - our offense will get him a few looks at open threes, a run-out, or a back-cut wide open layup, and the balance is going to be his bull-charges to the rim that conclude in somewhat tricky layups or floaters. His efficiency is going to wax/wane based on how many of those threes and floaters go down, but he seems to get what he “wants” regardless of opponent or scheme. Last night was actually his LEAST efficient scoring game in a Wolverine uniform!


Iggy was actually less efficient against Norfolk St, George Washington, and Providence than he was last night.


I think Law failed to recognize Poole was driving to the hoop until it was way too late. I agree with what your saying generally though. It is nice to be in end of game situations and not worrying about foul troubles.


Ugh, I looked at the last five games, you’re right about Norfolk and GW. But against providence he scored 3 fewer points on 5 fewer shots (20 on 13).


The problem for the opposing coaches, and why I think it is a gamble for them, is what happens if Z hits them, or a couple? Like last year at MSU.

Then they are sunk, and they essentially will have just given the game to U of M.

I understand why NW did it, they didn’t have much choice. I think at some point, if coaches keep giving it Z, he’s going to hit some and make people pay. (At least, I hope!)


Hmm, I watched the replay again and it seems to me Law is pretty close to the lane when he sees Poole coming and would be able to contest if he wanted to or give a hard foul and made Poole shoot FTs. Law is also standing just behind Teske when he catches and dunks Poole’s pass. I might be wrong but I think there’s a good chance he plays both those possessions differently if he doesn’t have 4 fouls.


Law looked like Cassius Winston without the reach in foul on Poole’s drive