Looking ahead to 2017-2018 roster


Now that we have some clarity on who’s back:

PG: Simmons, Simpson
SG: MAAR, Poole, Brooks
F: Matthews, Watson
F: Robinson, Livers
C: Wagner, Teske, Davis

Would love to see JB go after a grad transfer replacement at the 4 (or Ignas Brezdeikas reclassifies). Otherwise, does Duncan jump back into the 30 minute + range? Some people have mentioned they think Matthews gets minutes at the 4. Either way, looks like we may be relying on some combination of freshmen for production from day 1.


Those Who Stay Will Be Champions!


I’d like to see Livers breakout. I have high hopes for him and think he can be better then DJ. Hope he can take a starting job and keep Duncan in that 6th man role. That really was a nice spot for him and he started to get comfortable there. Opportunities increase for Ibi and Poole now big time.


JB had already done a masterful job plugging the guaranteed holes: lose two senior starters–>bring in a former top 50 recruit (CM) and an All-MAC grad transfer (Simmons). If he can now fix the 4 spot, this may be his most impressive pre-season roster construction job, outside of the insane 2012 class that was topped off with an unknown-eventual-first-round-pick (Caris) and a fan-favorite/leader (Spike).

Iggy or a quality grad transfer like McIntosh would be huge, to impressively replace 3 starters.


Yea that 4 spot looks pretty ugly barring a late addition. I can see Mattews get some time at the 4 out of necessity, but then we would need to get one of Ibi and/or Poole step up and take quality minutes at the three spot.


I’m not so worried about the four. Robinson is 6’8" and a career 43% 3 pt shooter, Livers is an athletic 6’8" and was Michigan Mr. Basketball and a top-150 recruit, and we can go small with Matthews who is 6’6" and will usually be the most athletic guy on the floor. Or depending on the matchup you could slide Moe over there. The players may have holes in their game or be less than ideal fits at the 4, but especially in today’s college basketball landscape, if that’s your team’s main positional concern you’re doing well.


Duncan is less than adequate on D and Livers is a completely untested and undersized Frosh. They will get killed on Defense and the boards at that spot.


D at the 4 sans DJ is definitely a concern. I’m hoping year 2 in Donlon’s defensive system will hide some of the deficiencies.


I think it depends on the matchup, though. More teams, although certainly not all, are going small at the 4. Not many teams play a Swanigan and Haas at the same time, and that’s an example where a matchup problem can go both ways.


There’s a huge gulf between a situation being perfect and being ugly. Duncan was a 20 minute player on a B1G tourney champ and Sweet 16 team. His defense isn’t great but it’s gotten better (see his work on McIntosh). Did I mention he shoots 43% from 3? Livers is 6’8" 220 – undersized? All freshman are untested. And then there’s Matthews (and that’s not including Wagner). There are valid concerns but, like I said, if this is the biggest hole on your roster you’re doing pretty well. As always, we’ll have to wait and see what happens on the court.


One of my major concerns with DJ leaving now is less about the 4 but more about his ability to backup the 5. Wagner played about 24 minutes a game last year and often couldn’t stay on the floor either because of his tendency to foul or defensive problems. But it didn’t feel like a major hole at the 5 for those 16 minutes largely because DJ could slide over and play big. We really need Moe to get up in the 30+ range for me to feel comfortable at that spot. I’m personally not expecting much if anything at all from Teske/Davis.


I think the key thing defensively to consider is that without DJ, we pretty much lose the small-ball 5 if Moe is on the bench.

That means, as is, we will 100% find out whether Teske or Davis can play. No more protecting them at the 5 with DJ.

Offensively, we’ll be just fine 1-4 (if not great), in really any scenario.


Maybe, but Duncan can’t guard smaller quicker guys either and Livers is a true Frosh so I am not sure that size matters in this debate. I think they will struggle defensively no matter what type of lineup they are facing unless its small enough to play Matthews at the 4 and either Ibi or Poole can adequately man the 3 spot which is still a very open question.


Livers is not 6’8 220 according to many observers. More like 6’6".

Listen, I like him a lot as a prospect, just saying that it is asking a lot to have him come in and guard 4’s at the Big Ten level in his first year.


If by “many observers” you mean MattD, I’m not going to worry about his fascination with photos, and especially not on the day DJ Wilson stays in the NBA draft. Many listed heights are slightly exaggerated. I’m not concerned about Livers being undersized as a college 4.

But it is a concern how well he’ll guard college 4s his freshman year. It’s a concern having Duncan guard 4s. But unless you’re a preseason top 5 team (and sometimes even then) you have concerns like this. And Duncan’s three-point shooting can negate deficiencies on the other side. Matthews’s athleticism could do the same.

It may be the biggest positional concern on the team but it’s far from ugly. Comparing it to other teams and years bears this out. But, again, we’ll have to wait and see how it plays out.


The team is likely to get a lot of play out of either Teske or Davis or both at the five. Time to let them grow up. Not going to be able to play small ball all the time. Plus the team is going to need rebounding that even Wagner needs to get better at. I think Wagner will get the chance to see if he can survive at the 4.


I sure hope Mathews and Simmons are the players everyone thinks they are.


With the departure of DJ, M’s top three rebounders from last season are now gone. Moe really needs to improve drastically in this area for the upcoming season.



That’s not based on Matt D. Others have said he is not 6’8". Belien himself called him a combo forward. He is not likely not going to be ready to play significant minutes at the 4 next year.

Eventually Livers should be fine, but we are talking about next year. DJ was rated about the same and he red shirted. I will believe that Livers can adequately guard 4’s at the next level when I actually see it.