Indiana at Michigan Discussion


as a backup 4?


Livers being a backup center? I’m hoping you meant backup 4?


Yeah, backup 4 … My bad on the typo.


I don’t think Z can provide any offense. He is just so limited in the half court.

He has zero aggression and no above average offensive skills. He’s not a shooter and he can’t finish at the rim at this level. He in essence just swings the ball and goes and stands in the corner.

I see no way this team reaches its ceiling this year without Eli getting majority minutes. Can’t win playing 4 on 5.

Any scoring we get from Z during his PT is found money IMO.


Of course he meant backup 4! Give the man some credit.

I think we’re locked into a 9 man rotation (won’t be less), and I really like what they all bring. Duncan’s shooting percentage will correct itself, I really believe that.

Also loved the way MAAR was dedicated to defensive rebounding today! Not sure if that was a new coaching wrinkle or if he’s just not been executing, but that will be key for us moving forward.

Finally, glad to hear Moe completely own up to his bad post D. Not the first time he’s said it I know, but I love his desire to get better and it’s a great leadership trait for the young guys to hear.

Go Blue!


Glad Brooks and Poole played well. Livers seemed to be off tonight.




Hard to complain about this one. Our best player sat the whole first half and was clearly out of the action when he came back, and we were basically an average shooting night on 3’s away from winning by 30.

Poole is going to give and take away but I love the aggression he plays with, and the bursting confidence to hunt shots as a true freshman in his first competitive minutes against a real opponent.


In answer to your four questions:
1.I personally don’t think so, but Coach B may not be willing to give up on him just yet. Of course, Eli and Z can make that a moot point if they play well enough.
2.Yes, I absolutely think he can. Just keep working, HARD, Isaiah. The team needs you.
3. I really don’t think so, but I hope I’m wrong. If Eli can play well and Z can come in and play great D and get us into the offense and not turn it over, we’ll be OK. He does need to hit his free throws, though!
4. No, I don’t think Michigan plays two bigs together. Right now I’m more enamored with the small ball lineup of Eli, MAAR, Poole, Mathews, and Moe, but that’s predicated on Poole continuing to play at a level near where he played today. And that’s not a knock on Teske or Duncan. Teske is doing a fine job as a backup 5, and I’ve always been a Duncan Robinson fan, more so than most, but I think he’s best suited to a sixth man role, as I’ve said before.
Just my thoughts, but I don’t get a vote!


I like the aggressive, ball deflecting defense. I can’t remember seeing such a quick, aggressive defense in the Coach Beilein era. Duncan Robinson has slow feet but he has quick hands; I thought he was pretty good today. Simpson has lightening hands; he should consider boxing. Really, everybody from Wagner and Teske on down was disruptive with their hands today
Is coach Yaklich responsible for the D? If so, he might deserve some accolades


On trusting Brooks, I’m pretty sure Beilein sent Brooks to the scorers table with around 3 mins left but after another minute or so ticked off with no stoppage and the game clearly in hand, he called him back.


I think we all agree on what Z is, but probably disagree on his value.

I think it’s tough to argue the offense operates nearly as well with him than it does Brooks, and despite him LOOKING like he’s playing better defense, I’d be hard pressed to say the team is much better defensively with him on the floor. An individual defender surrounded by mediocre ones in a switching defense probably doesn’t mean that much.

For instance - we’ve mentioned how well Simpson defended their PG…Brooks marked him well for more time.


I really wanted Coach B to put Eli back in, for a couple of reasons, but I completely understand why Coach B stayed with Z, and have been there before, but admittedly at a much lower level. I wanted Eli to have the experience of being on the floor when we were finishing a team off, a good team, a B1G team. And, while it didn’t become an issue, I wanted him on the floor to shoot free throws, had that been necessary. But, I certainly wouldn’t question Coach B’s decision to stick with Z, and it proved to be a good one.

  1. Yes. Don’t think he ever takes over the starting spot but I can see a game or two where Michigan needs his offense off the bench. Guy was too good of a scorer at Ohio to play this poorly on offense all year.

  2. No. You can definitely see the skill with livers but he still looks like he has a long way to go in terms of making the right plays. Plus he has been a liability on defense/boards most of the season. Hard to see him figuring everything out enough to provide consistent production.

  3. No. Thought Simpson took some steps forward during the year last year on offense but he seems to have given all that back. He doesn’t even look comfortable dribbling the ball at times and his shot is still very poor.

  4. Gonna say yes. I think at some point Michigan experiments with the Wagner-teske lineup. As long as Wagner can get a partial understanding of the four spot on offense, he is plenty skilled enough to play it. At some point Michigan tries the combo against the right team.


You are correct. Brooks was at the table when Michigan was shooting a free throw but was called back when the shot missed. Beilein typically likes to sub on made free throws late game to slow down any transition. I’m guessing that’s all that sub was about and brooks would not have been sent to the table if the game was live.


Thanks for clarifying. I knew I saw him go to the table but I guess I missed the context of the FTs.


Brooks looked as quick as he has all season today. He’s starting to get comfortable out there. I expect a good shooting game is right around the corner for that youngster.

When Brooks committed I compared him to a more athletic Spike. I heard Wagner say the same thing last week. I think it’s an apt comparison. He plays very composed for the most part, although he does get sped up once in a while. As Harbaugh would say, ‘Brooks is an ascending player’


Why the back tracking on the Livers take? I thought today was similar to a lot of his other performances. Some nice moments that flash his potential and then others where it looks like he’s in over his head.


I think Z’s value is more in the fact that he can play out there on any switch and not get beat off the bounce as easily as Eli. Eli made some really good plays to get steals/deflections after getting beat, but he gets beat a fair amount off the dribble.

This game also wasn’t one where you were really worried about the point guard as much as Robert Johnson and MAAR did a great job there.

Z just gives you an option who is more solid defensively and can manage the game. I will give him credit for the possession when an IU player lost the ball on the other end of the floor and he showed the patience to find Poole in the corner rather than forcing a shot.