Jaaron Simmons is officially a Wolverine


Video feature on Simmons


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Every time I watch Simmons video (like for the piece today http://www.umhoops.com/2017/07/25/examining-lost-production-projecting-replacements/) I become more and more impressed with what he can do with the ball.

Then I look at the numbers and he was a not very efficient ball dominant guard in a lower league.

So which is it and what do we expect from Jaaron this year?

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Simmons may not (we hope) need to dominate the ball as much as when he was at Ohio(?). Hopefully the team will have more than one end of the shot clock dominate player. He has the ability to do the things the team needs but I don’t see him being a Nik Stauskas ball dominating player, so efficiency may be better.

What Michigan teams under Beilein have excelled without a ball dominant lead guard? Nik, Caris, Derrick late last year, Trey, Darius, etc. The PNR is so important in this offense that there’s going to be a lot thrown at Jaaron.

I’m thinking 2014’s team was the closest to that. Obviously Nik was a de facto point guard but his usage rate and % of shots were both under 24% with LeVert’s at around 22%. In the early Beilein years a ball dominant guard was much more common and we didn’t make it past the first round in the tourney without a 29% usage player until 2014. Last year the numbers are obviously skewed since Walton had an extreme jump in usage about halfway through the conference season.

Okay I guess I should back track a bit… I don’t think Jaaron Simmons is going to use the 27.8% of possessions he used at Ohio, but can a not-very-efficient PG from Ohio use 22-24% of possessions at Michigan efficiently? That’s the question about this team.

As much as I have never seen him in this light, MAAR needs to step up his game and become a go too type player. I can see Jaaron being one of them but as with most of JB’s good teams he has had two guys to count on such as Burke/Hardaway, Stauskas/Levert, Walton/Irvin. The big issue to me is can MAAR’s ability to create for others increase.

Simmons was more efficient the year before (better eFG%, TS%, ORtg) when his usage rate was 2% lower (3% in conference play). Some of that seems to be TOs, especially in conference play, and another big part is 3pt%, which could be usage related but could also be random.

Also, while Simmons is playing in a better conference, he’s also going to playing with significantly better offensive players. I haven’t watched much Ohio basketball, but I don’t think he was surrounded by guys like Wagner, Robinson, MAAR, etc., or for a coach like JB. This does include some unknowns – how good will Matthews be? The freshmen?

I think JB will be able to limit Simmons’s TOs. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him with a usage rate around 23-24% with good efficiency. I don’t expect that he’ll use possessions as much or efficiently as late season Walton.

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There is definitely going to be an adjustment for him. It’s the unknown variable that no one at this time can predict.

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Do you know his O-rtng for the two years he was the go to guy at Ohio? I haven’t dug too deeply into his efficiency. Was it like mediocre or poor? Obviously his usage was real high.

99.7 ORtg on 27.8% usage last year, 108.4 ORtg on 26.6% usage in 2016.

Sports-reference has different numbers, for what it’s worth. Somewhat higher ORtg and lower usage: 2017: 101.8, 26.3%
2016: 111.6, 24.3%
Conference only numbers were a little better.

I’ll always use KenPom here, just to be consistent. Guessing maybe BB Ref includes Non-D1s.

Indeed, this must be keeping JB up at night… Should be an interesting year with all the question marks.

Who was the last TO-prone and/or chucker high-usage, ball-dominant guard that JB had? Maybe Simmons isn’t the shooter or facilitator that JB’s prior lead guards were, but if there should be confidence in anything, it’s that JB wont give major minutes to a guy that’s turning it over and taking a bunch of bad shots. Zak might be the closest thing to that, and even his usage went down during his slump; and he validated his minutes by being the best defender on the team.

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Manny Harris. 30.3% of possessions with a 106 ORtg in 2010. He actually wasn’t too bad in terms of assists and turnovers though. (As a side note, apparently Manny had a top 50 assist rate in 2009. I do not remember him as much of a distributer so that’s interesting).

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Manny was a terrific passer and playmaker. He had Peedi with him, but he was basically the only guard who could create on those rosters.