GVSU Game Thoughts


Poole has size/skills, and he has a year to learn the offense. Only Z and Brooks will return for 1-2 next year, the rest of the competitions are Watson/Nunez and in some sense Dejulius. Neither Watson nor Nunez has the same handle that Poole has.


He’s probably not going to guard any other 2’s, but I could certainly see him playing that spot on offense.


Man, Ignas as a 2? I don’t see that. I think he might start on this year’s team as a 4 if he was here.


Yeah, but with Livers and Johns coming in he’s a 3 at most next year IMO. I don’t know the nuances of each Beilein position, but it seems to me like you’d want to better shot creator of Matthews and Ignas to play the 2 with the other going to the corner. At this point I still think Ignas will be better at that than Matthews. Now obviously on defense it would be different.


The 3 and the 4 have the same roles, just on opposite sides of the court.


I’d like to know what 2 guard Brazdeikas is guarding next year. I see the 3/4 in his future only.


I don’t see how that relates to my post. On offense I believe Ignas will be the best shot creator of all of them. The two is on the wing rather than the corner, therefor they’re typically in a better place to create shots.


Iggy is also a lefty, so I would bet that will dictate which position he plays offensively between the three and the four


I would not be surprised at all if Ignas played 2 guard. I am not making some bold prediction but simply responding to the notion that it is obvious that Poole is the front runner for 2 guard minutes next year. Poole will be competing against Brooks, Ignas, Nunez and maybe Ibi, for those minutes, I think.


Iggy does not have to be at the 2 to be the main initiator of the offense or to run pick and roll or play isolation offense or initiate or lead the fast break.


Sorry I guess what I meant is that I think Matthews and Iggy will play the 3/4 positions their entire careers. I don’t see either being able to move up to the two spot, but if one were to make that move I believe it would be more likely to be Matthews.

I would be shocked if Iggy played a minute at 2 his entire Michigan career. The offense can be moved through the 3 or 4 spot, as it was whenever it was run through Irvin or whichever of Stauskas/Levert was playing the 3 in 2013-2014.


A few general points:

(1) while there are positions in JB’s O, not everyone at that position does the same thing. Stu Douglass, THJr, Stauskas, and MAAR had pretty different roles based on their abilities and roster make-up. Same with GRIII and Duncan Robinson.

(2) you are what can defend – not entirely true, of course, but sort of.

(3) the roster/depth chart matters.

What this means for Poole, Iggy, etc. Poole, at least to some extent, is a victim of the roster. We have Simpson, Simmons, and MAAR at the 1 and 2, and Brooks has looked really good and has to play somewhere – but two of those three are leaving next year. Conversely, Livers benefits from the roster, as at the 4 we have . . . guys whose best position probably is the 3, especially defensively. If DJ Wilson stays and MAAR gets injured preseason, the minutes distribution be completely reversed. There’s a long way to go this year before we look to Poole’s chances next year, but there’s little doubt that there will be a lot of opportunity for Poole next year at the guard spot.

Iggy can create from whatever position he plays in and the offense can concentrate from various positions. For instance, as kturnup alluded to, in '13-'14, Nik, Caris, and GRIII (and Irvin) had significantly higher usage rates that Walton, even though Derrick was “the PG.” Iggy might share the court with, say, Livers and Matthews, but based on (a) defense and (b) experience in the system, it is unlikely he will be the 2, especially his freshman year.


There are different ways to slice it. Without getting too hung up on position names, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a lineup that included a point guard, Ignas, Mathews, Livers, and a Center. I also think we might see a lineup of a point guard, Ignas, Matthews, Johns, and a center. Another possibility would be a point guard, Ignas, Johns, Livers, and a center.

My point is Ignas, Johns, Livers, and Matthews are too good and versatile to pigeon hole them in at the 3 and 4 while two sit on the bench and wait their turn to play their ideal positions.


Position names aren’t always important, but a couple things to remember: (1) defense, and (2) players usually only learn one position in their first year under JB. Considering this, I would be pretty surprised to see that last lineup you listed, less so the first two – because of Matthews potential to slide down to the 2 next year.

Also, I think you are overvaluing Livers vs Poole in terms of need to get the former on the court vs the latter exclusive of position. I’m still a big believer in Poole and think he’s a victim more of roster makeup right now than anything else.

Again, there’s a long way to go until next year for us to be making predictions . . .


Yeah, that third lineup is probably unlikely. You made some good points.


You like how he finishes at the basket? I just don’t see Beilein sticking with a point who struggles to finish and shoot. That is a major liability in his offense.


I think Z has a lot of room for improvement in all facets of shooting. Even his layups still seem very weird and awkward…I really don’t want to sound too down on him…but yeah, I don’t like the way any of his shots look—and I think it will be an obstacle toward major playing time for him until he fixes it.


I don’t think “this offense,” at least the one I saw Friday, has the same focal points as the one I’ve seen over the last seven years (since Darius was a sophomore). Much less pounding of the dribble by one guy, less high ball screen action, more ball reversal and interior passing, especially from the 5s at the high post, more backdoor looks. What Z cannot do was a real problem last year given what the PG did in what we were running. I’m not as concerned if we continue to focus on the same stuff we ran Friday night.


I agree that the offense might have different emphases than in past years, but I still think that if Z can’t shoot at least pretty well it will make the offense less efficient than otherwise. I might not be “as concerned,” per your words, but I’m still somewhat concerned.that Z won’t be able to hit open 3s and the effect that will have.


I agree that our offense will be less efficient than last year whomever we play at PG. On the other hand, we were a top 5 offense nationally last year, so if we regress some, we can still be pretty good, and Z adds a defensive component at PG we’ve lacked since C.J. Lee. He has to shoot better than he did last year, that’s for sure—if he doesn’t, he’ll lose time to Simmons and Brooks. With the different emphasis though, people aren’t going to play him as easily by going under screens and daring him to shoot from behind them.