I think standards were set too high for Matthews. I sure hope he proves me wrong, but I’d be extremely surprised to see him as an efficient #2 option next year behind Simmons. I hope he can use his athleticism to create offense, but I think we need to realize that this is a guy who would have been dead last by a wide margin in ORtg when comparing his one season to our team last year. He’s much less of a sure thing than I think many want to admit. At the same time, maybe he’ll put it all together and be an awesome Big Ten player. I sure hope so. At least we can be pretty confident that he’ll be a great defender.
I’d hope most fans are reasonable when projecting next season’s offense, and that this passed year isn’t the required standard. Last year’s offense was the 4th best in Kenpom, and that took Dwalt going absolutely bananas and playing like a top 15 player, nationally. Though, I think it’s safe to assume we will be a very good offensive team, because JB.
We lose DJ; Simmons for Walton has to be a downgrade, if only because Walton played like a top 15 player down the stretch. But Zak was the 3rd/4th option on offense for the last 2 months, and the offense was still elite. I dont think asking CM to be the 3rd or 4th guy, behind Simmons, Mo, and maybe MAAR, is asking too much. And that’s ignoring the (longshot, albeit) possibility that we pick up another grad transfer at the 4, who can take on significant offensive duties.
It’s tough, though, to project little drop-off from a team that loses 3 starters and isn’t just plugging in 5-stars.
DJ was a medical redshirt, not because he wasn’t good enough yet.
I think the most important stretch of the season was the 3 straight wins blowing out MSU, winning at Indiana and beating Wisconsin. From what I remember, DJ wasn’t much of a factor in those games and a lot of us were pretty down on his play at the time. As has been stated, I’m also worried about what our rebounding is going to look like, but I don’t think this team is going to take that much of a step back offensively.
Well, we already know Robinson can’t guard anyone so if defense becomes important, Livers could see a lot of minutes just for that end of the floor - and not because he’s “ready” but because the defensive options are lacking.
Can someone give Cam Johnson a call? He would be awesome for us and we would be good for him.
If Moe can become a consistent option (Not a 20 point game followed by a 5 points and 5 turnovers game) then I think Matthews could thrive in a GR3 role. However, if he’s forced to do what Irvin tried to do before taking a backseat and becoming an awesomely consistent player (And there’s little doubt that part of his lockdown defense late in the year was because of the lower workload) then I think we’re in a bit of trouble.
The Point Guard Spot
Yea and I have a some swamp land down in Florida to sell you. If DJ had been ready he would not have red shirted.
No doubt, we are going to need consistency from Mo to succeed on a similar level as last year; and obviously need some consistent production from Simmons and MAAR. I was just saying I dont think we need CM to be the 2nd option/a go-to guy, to still have an impressive offense; and that fans shouldn’t be disappointed with anything less than a top 5 offense, because we were a stagnant-Dwalt away from being merely a very good offense, just last year.
(in case you’re unfamiliar, Sam’s “gut” means he has inside scoop…this means that Cam is indeed getting that call)
A combo forward generally is someone who can guard 4s. Here’s what JB said: “He is agile enough to be a combo forward who can guard or score in the post and on the perimeter.” Someone who can guard in the post and on the perimeter is ideal to guard 4s in today’s basketball. And because DJ redshirted that means Livers will?
Anyway, for the last time (for me), there’s a gulf between ideal and ugly. Having Robinson, Livers, Matthews, and Moe is not the latter.
I agree completely. People often compare to the ideal. No matter what we have, people voice concerns. We have moved from the days of who will play the 5, Donnal or Doyle, to who will get spot minutes behind Wagner. We will be a very strong team next year despite not ideally having DJ.
JB is going to have to figure out the 4 position. Barring a grad transfer or Inggas(spelling) reclassifying, Livers will be a candidate to get minutes there. If Zak can do work at the four I am going to contend that Livers will be able to do the same. The question will be when will he be ready to play that role. Be ready to see a lot of Duncan at the four regardless of defensive ability. He has experience and is a plus on offense. Also, this coming season Ibi Watson needs to show the ability to get on the floor and be productive on offense and defense. If he can’t at least knock down open shots he will be a transfer candidate by years end.
Where did I say Livers would redshirt? My point was don’t expect a guy rated in the 100-150 range with Livers’s size to come in and be ready to play defense and rebound at the Big 10 level in his first year. And we already know that Duncan is below average in both. They should be fine on offense but the other aspects of the game will be a struggle.
Damn, just saw this. Been out of the loop for a bit. My expectstions just went down big time. With dj we were final four contenders. One of the best front courts in America. He could have been a serious revelation this year.
Well, what do you guys think? Are we a top 25 team, with the roster as is? I can see why there’d be national doubt, after losing our best player (Dwalt) and our best pro-prospect (DJ); and two of our best 17/18 players are going to be transfers.
It’s probably more interesting to think about B1G rankings, specifically. This article has MSU (3), Minnesota (15), and NW (20) ahead of Michigan (unranked). Minnesota kind of makes sense to me, because the computers loved them, last year, and they return almost everybody; but I hadn’t really considered NW, who also returns almost everyone of note (McIntosh, Pardon, Law, Lindsey). I’d guess Purdue is the other team that is likely to start off ranked ahead of us, and perhaps Maryland.
We should easily be a top 25 team. No national respect. Extra motivation playing with a chip on our shoulder.
Only the final poll matters.
I think your first paragraph is where I’m at. Can’t blame national doubt when even the die-hards on this forum can only speculate how good we’ll be sans Walton, Irvin, and Wilson.
I love the transfer additions, and I think we’re going to be a solid team, but without a big-name recruit coming in…I’d be shocked if we show up on many pre-season rankings.