Mailbag Questions (April 2019)

Already did an AMA this month so going to work on a mailbag this week. Post your questions about recruiting, the roster, NBA Draft, stats, whatever else and I’ll answer them later this week.

In the John Beilein era, which recruits that Michigan has been heavily involved with and missed on that: 1) would have really elevated Michigan’s ceiling the next season (potentially more seasons); and 2) would have really benefited the player by playing in Michigan’s system and player development program compared to where they landed.

Number 1) and 2) can be the same player but dont need to be

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Would love your opinion on DDJ at the two next year. it seems to me that Brooks is certainly a candidate to improve and nail down some minutes there if nobody that isn’t as of now on the roster takes that spot, but it also seems to me that DDJ has a higher ceiling and a higher chance of taking a bigger leap because this will be his freshman-to-sophomore off-season. Brooks has already had the chance to take the sophomore leap.


Can Teske fix his footwork poise, and patience on offense over the off season? When he gathers himself he’s very good, when he doesn’t, things get ugly.

Does Livers take the jump and become the team’s best player (assuming Poole and Iggy are gone)?

Does Livers begin to develop counters to his game as a one-on-one player, and elevate his mid-range game?

Does Livers play himself onto the NBA Draft Boards?

How does the team replace the elite defense of Matthews at the wing positions?

Will Simpson be able to drive left?

How many players left on this roster can create their shot off the dribble?

Does this current/remaining roster lack overall physicality (especially at positions 2 to 4, minus Livers) to combat the more athletic teams in the country?

Will Teske begin to demand the ball and take over games when mismatches occur?

Beilein has said Livers and Teske don’t realize how good they can be. Will they realize it in 2019/20?

Obviously this is premature, but if Michigan lands Pierce and Wagner what do you see as Michigan’s ceiling next year? Who likely starts at which spots and who are the first guys off the bench?

  1. How likely are each of these four players to be Wolverines next season: Justin Pierce, Lester Quinones, Nah’Shon Hyland, Franz Wagner?

  2. What happens if three of the four want to come to Michigan?

What is the biggest strategy or stylistic adjustment you think the coaching staff will
Add this year? I think Beilein mentioned getting the ball to shooters on the move as well as hitting post mismatches. Is there some other shift you think we could see and why?

In the last 10 years who have been the most successful short players for their position in the Big Ten? (Best under 6’ PG, under 6’2” SG, under 6’4 SF, 6’5” PF and under 6’7” center) adjust position names and heights as you see fit.

Just curious how the offense would be effected if the 3 pt line is moved back and lane is widened. I know the NIT continued with these changes this year and it was rumored these changes couldn’t be made a year ago but could be this offseason. How does the lane widening effect the game?


You mentioned on the podcast the idea that the Iowa model of having a bunch of 6-7 dudes and not necessarily a shooting guard might work well with this particular group of players and potential recruits. Why?

Related question, but can Livers guard 3s in more than just situational situations off the bench? We last saw him struggling with Culver, but most of the 3s Livers will see next year won’t be all that.

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Clearly there’s some bitterness from Poole’s camp on how he was (perceived) to have been used in the offense, and while I’m sure Beilein and the program won’t say it, I’m sure there’s frustration too (i.e. homeruns vs. singles). Do you think moving forward Beilein may shy away from certain players that may be similar to Poole (basketball ability or otherwise) after this experience?

Re MSU next year – what’s the case for them as a national contender? I’m skeptical. I’m not sure what you were alluding to in the Poole/ballscreen post, but it seems to me that MSU as a contender relies on a) projecting that at least two of Brown, Henry and Langford pull a Goins from 3 so defenses can’t pack the paint, and b) assuming Izzo’s got a good plan. This year, MSU blossomed in part because circumstances for Izzo to use his talent in ways better than he originally planned – primarily playing Tillman over Ward. I’m very curious to know if he’s left desiring long-term change in what he wants from 4s and 5s, and if Ward’s departure signals anything like that.

Well, they have probably the best returning player in the country, contender for the Naismith Award in Cassius Winston. They have a do-everything center in Xavier Tillman. Heck, you could throw a bunch of garbage around those two and it’d still be a pretty solid team. Langford will be a senior and who knows how he will recover from his injury, but he’s a career 40% shooter from deep so he doesn’t have to make a Goins like transformation. If anyone is going to do that, it’s Tillman. He has decent form and developing his shot is what will drive him up draft boards for next season. I believe Ahrens is a RS Junior, idk if he’s getting a 5th year or not. But I expect Henry to be a solid shooter. He shot 38% from deep this year, but with a small sample size. Similar stats with Brown.

I think it’s a much much tougher argument to make that they aren’t national title contenders. They were a top 5 team in the country for a significant portion of the season. They return two major pieces. They lose the piece that would lead them to having a bad gameplan (Ward). They had three freshmen look like they can be solid depth next year (Henry, Brown, Kithier) and one of those looks like he could be a very good player (Henry).

EDIT: Didn’t read the thread topic before I responded. Just thought it was a general bball thread, didn’t see that it was for Dylan’s Mailbag lol


Interesting re Langford – he is a career 40% from 3 guy, which is at odds with his rep as the long 2s guy, which my perception of him as well. Clearly is incorrect. He was on his way to doing it on reasonable volume last year as well. So, mea culpa there, and that definitely closes the perception gap. Still, though, you have to scale up small-sample guys into major roles to believe they’re a national contender.

Langford is a great three point shooter that also takes way too many long 2s. Basically, his issue is that he doesn’t get to the rim and he doesn’t reign in the rest of his offensive game to account for that.

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I already put in a question, so maybe I only get one. But since I’m always a little bit frustrated with the positivity here about MSU and the negativity about UM I thought I would ask this: Do you think that the Simpson-Teske veteran combo is or can be as potent as Tillman and Winston? I know that they play in different offenses so it’s not a strict apples-to-apples comparison. . .

No, Winston on offense is so far ahead of Simpson because of his shooting.

I don’t see Teske having the shooting jump needed to close the gap. He’s have to shoot like moe and roll like Morgan to even make me consider it.

(I love Simpson and Teske, but Winston is sooooo good. I can’t believe no NBA team is interested)

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I’m gonna need an answer on this slanderous accusation:


Dylan denies it in the Twitter thread while implicating Quinn, who promptly agrees that he does…lol.

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It’s NOT ok unless you’re staying more than a week.

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