Of course in the two losses to Purdue/Iowa they didn’t exactly perform well either. Irvin came up big against Maryland, and Walton had a good 2nd half. The question is if they can perform on the road and I would still be surprised if Levert plays Saturday. After the game he was still walking with a limp. Furthermore nobody has mentioned how Walton was limping around the last 5 minutes of the game last night.
LeVert should provide a boost to just about everyone on the team, including Irvin and Walton, though reintegrating him could include some bumps. Walton should get more open looks and opportunities to penetrate with leverage, as they say, Irvin won’t be the number one focus on defense, Donnal should get more easy looks at the basket, etc. As admirably as Rahkman has filled in, there’s a huge gap between what he and LeVert bring, not just in terms of raw production but what they allow other players to do. And as solid as Rahkman has looked on defense at times, I think the team misses LeVert’s length, ability to guard taller players, as well as allowing Rahman instead of Dakich to get the minutes off the bench.
And I’m not that worried about Caris hogging the ball to impress NBA scouts. First, he’ll get plenty of opportunities to impress and knows that winning raises value more than a couple extra points. Second, I don’t think others, particularly Irvin but Derrick too, will defer too much, with their increased confidence. The team has done great keeping things going without LeVert but getting him back as soon as possible is huge and could really boost this team into a pretty dangerous squad.
One improvement with Levert coming back if he does is that we won’t need to see Dakich anymore. They shelter his minutes and he is still a negative out on the court. Dakich might have been one of the biggest reasons Minnesota cut the margin down and played a competitive game in the 2nd half.
Levert is our best passer but that doesn’t make him a facilitator. He’s had a score first mentality since last season.
I want Levert with the ball in his hands looking to create with 10 seconds on the shot clock. I get frustrated when I watch him do that with 20+ seconds on it, which I feel has been far too often earlier this year.
Assists per game: 5.2
Assist to turnover ratio: 3.1 to 1.0
Assist %: 31.2%
“Assist Percentage (available since the 1964-65 season in the NBA); the formula is 100 * AST / (((MP / (Tm MP / 5)) * Tm FG) - FG). Assist percentage is an estimate of the percentage of teammate field goals
a player assisted while he was on the floor.”
Having a 30%+ assist rate is most certainly worthy of being called a facilitator.
LeVert is 6th in the Big Ten in Assist % and he is only behind 4 PGs and a 1st team All-American point-forward. That’s impressive.
But do you realize what assist percentage is? It is literally a stat to developed to gauge how much a player is facilitating. 30%+ means he is facilitating quite often, so I don’t know you can say he isn’t a facility.
His last four games he had 33 assists. The ‘tunnel vision’ was a much bigger problem last year, but he’s been fantastic this year other than one bad game at SMU. Best and most consistent player on the U-M roster.
I had similar fears, of Levert trying too hard to take on the world coming into the season. In the past I think he had tunnel vision and the ball stuck to him too much. But he has absolutely proven me wrong with his play this year except for one game. I think the team is playing better now,not because Levert was setting us back, but because Irvin is healed, something has clicked with Donnal, Robinson has more experience, and it has forced Walton to be more aggressive (!)The team will play better with a healthy Levert.