How Michigan can attack switches more effectively in rematch vs. Michigan State


Love this content! Needed some hope for how we get revenge at Sparty!

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Very well written, with great examples. Excellent job!


Love the site but I strongly disagree about not having Teske open And having a passing lane open.

  1. First play Brooks has Teske open for 3 and doesn’t pass it and shoots step back 3.

  2. Second play Xavier shoots a 3. When rising up for shot, Teske is WIDE OPEN and throws hands up in air in frustration.

  3. Poole has ball on switch and Teske guarded in middle of lane by Mcquaid. Tons of room to pass it to him after Teske got position. Instead Poole takes contested fade-away 3.

  4. Fifth play…Poole again has ball on switch and doesn’t wait for Teske to get position vs Mcquaid 5 feet from rim. Teske was open and got great position and Poole takes another fade-away 3 and miss.

  5. Sixth play…Xavier has ball and Winston switches onto Teske in post. Teske has good position and great angle to feed down low. Nope, pass out to Poole for contested 3 and miss.

We are terrible at feeding the post. It’s one of my few complaints about Beilein. But I could make these post feeds in my sleep.

I didn’t write the story, but when I watched the game back, this play (#3 that you list) is the one where I thought Poole had a really good opportunity to throw the ball into the post.

I think watching all the clips though, it is clear that it isn’t a one-stop solution to just dump the ball into the post and let Teske go to work. He does have to seal his man (and that’s something that Eric highlighted) but it isn’t the only thing Michigan will do to attack this look.

  • 1st play, Teske was not wide open. They switched, it would be impossible for him to have been wide open.
  • 2nd play, he only becomes open after Zavier lets go of the ball so he could not have seen that if he were not psychic. Plus Teske was there for offensive rebound like Eric pointed out.
  • 3rd play, Teske had solid position but not a seal. he would have had to hit a baby hook that he has not done much. But he definitely could have passed it to him there
  • 5th play, Teske didnt even try. Poole cant stand there forever. Plus he was in position for OREB again.
  • 6th play, Zavier did not have a good angle because Ahrens was playing off him and in position to defend Teske there.

UM obviously worked on feeding the post between MSU and Nebraska and had several effective passes into the post to Teske and Castleton. Maryland was more traditional ball screen defense, much less switching by Fernando.

Additionally, UM now has 5 days to prepare for this game versus 2 for the earlier MSU game. Big difference when you have Coach Beilein and his staff developing an effective game plan and getting the guys ready.

I totally agree with you (and Dylan) about Poole having an opportunity to feed Teske in the post in play #3.

Don’t think you could argue that there was an easy post entry in any of the other plays – either Teske didn’t have good enough position, didn’t have time to get into that position because Michigan took another shot, or the post feed wasn’t readily available to the passer.

The biggest takeaway from @eric_shap’s article for me is that switching doesn’t have to be the end of the possession. You can keep running offense and mismatches will become a bigger issue. Doesn’t have to stagnate.

Note the Livers entry pass to Teske and how just moving the ball one more pass can open things up in the middle of the floor.


Plan to prepare (for the right thing) will help without a doubt.

Michigan did make some good plays against Minnesota and Nebraska, sometimes against switches, but I don’t know that either team switched every ball screen. I also do know that both teams are significantly worse defensively at basically every spot on the floor in terms of their discipline and ability to stick to a defensive gameplan.


Exactly this. And because Michigan State isn’t accustom this type of switching defense, more cracks will expose themselves if you work to find something better in the possession.

Teske was open for 3 on first play. I’ll give you not wide open but it was there. The third play was wide open and a baby hook versus Mcquaid is almost automatic from 4 feet away. Poole’s play where you said he can’t stand ther forever is the issue. He waits 2 seconds and allows Teske to get position and it’s an easy 2 in the post versus Mcquaid.

It’ll be interesting what defense UM will see from MSU on Saturday. The offense did stagnate at times, but UM actually had the best ppp on the year against MSU.

The idea of slipping screens is something I’d like to see more of and something we’re pretty familiar with, so it’s not like reinventing the wheel.

Also, sometimes the outcome isn’t the best, but it doesn’t mean the process was bad. In one possession on that clip, UM got a decent look from X from 3 plus a Teske offensive rebound (the ball was then stripped). In another, UM got a 3 point look plus Teske appeared to be pushed in the back on the rebound and MSU could’ve easily been whistled for a foul. Those outcomes are undesirable but perhaps the process not so much.

But those are some nice methods UM could attack switches if MSU goes that way.

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Really good stuff. I enjoyed the back and forth from you xs and os experts

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I will confess I have not analyzed the game. I can’t bring myself to replay it. So take this with a grain of salt: I felt like one key of MSU’s success was they were so insanely physical with the screen man. At times they seemed to be pushing our screener so hard that he almost could not set a screen. On the other hand there were times where they were allowing the screener to set but almost treating it like a football block where they were not allowing for motion (quick slip for example) after the screener paused.

Wonder if anyone noticed that insane physicality with the screener and anybody had theories on how that hurt us?

I love UMHoops for this in-depth stuff. It’s a great companion to the multiple good beat writers Michigan has. However, I get a little annoyed with some of the mistakes I see in articles. The most common one I notice is referring to “Michigan” (an inanimate, singular noun) as “they.” It’s a small thing, I know, but it’s a basic violation of noun-verb agreement. I’m just looking for the products I support to be the best they can be.

Blame the editor (me) on this one, my bad. I don’t think we make that mistake that often though, thanks for pointing it out in this case.

Good catch. Appreciate the feedback.

I subscribe to three things: UMHoops, The Athletic and my local paper. Keep up the good work!


Teske has done Yeoman’s Work all season, and deserves recognition for that. However, is Teske comfortable catching the ball in the post when establishing position and creating his offense one on one?

He is great off the roll, putbacks, and scoring off lobs, but we have seen very few moves where he bounces the ball and drop steps to a half hook, dunk, or power layup with his back to the basket. He probably has not bounced the ball on the floor a dozen times all season.

MSU might actually dare UM into throwing it into the post to see if Teske is a competent one on one post finisher. Although he does so many things so well for the team, he does have his moments of weak finishing when he is within a foot from the hoop.

Although Beilein stated the challenges of the passer throwing over length into the post, one has to wonder if the passers trust Teske in that situation.

However, Teske has upside of being a terrific passer out of the post. See the game at Minnesota where he finds Poole for a made baseline 3 pointer, having slung the ball cross court.