Michigan at Iowa Discussion Thread


Well let’s see, that’s the only major conclusion I drew in my original comment, so if you’re not debating that then why engage? Just arguing for the sake of arguing? Do you find that fun?

I say:

then use Tom Crean’s statement to support that and then you proceed to debate. This would strongly imply that you disagree with what was stated.

I mean for him not to be a black hole on defense given his on ball issues he would have to be somewhat good off ball. Do you disagree with that? If not, stop trying to argue for no reason. If so, you’re 100% wrong about any straw man from my end.

Oh good, so you do agree he’s a good off ball defender. Thanks for the convo?


Had to try just for fun lol, I will of course update if he randomly decides to answer.


You saying twice that people say “Duncan is a black hole on defense” does not magically make that statement immune from being a straw man.


Then stop debating against it.

I’m just laughing at the fact that you say Crean wasn’t lying when he said Robinson was a good off ball defender yet spend three hours arguing against me when all I’m saying is that Robinson is a good off ball defender and used Tom Crean, who, once again, you said was not lying to be nice in your last comment, as a source.


I am debating that the primary reason opposing teams gameplan to put Robinson in 1 on 1 situations is because he so very awesome at off the ball defense.

If you disagree that is fine with me. I might chuckle a little in private but no harm.


Literally nobody in this thread is debating this. Robinson gets put at 1 on 1 situations because he’s awful at on ball defense. I am saying he is not awful at off ball defense. Thus, Tom Crean saying “Duncan Robinson is good at off ball defense” is was notable to what I was saying. These two things are completely unrelated to each other. You do not have to be good at one to be good at the other. I guess you’ve defeated the abyss in your imaginary debate though, so good job? I think I have learned today just not to respond to your attempts to engage at arguments, saves a lot of time.


I’m not gonna lie, today has been one of the most enjoyable message board days in UM hoops history to me haha. Lots of differing opinions but that’s why I love this place. Great discussion everywhere, way better than weeks when we only have a few comments in the forums… go blue!!!


I like this!

You might want to take note that I said multiple times that Robinson’s off the ball defense was not only better than his on the ball defense but that it is an obvious fact.

You mentioned that there are people who think Robinson is a black hole on defense but they are nowhere to be found within this conversation are they?

It might feel like people are arguing with you unnecessarily but it is my impression that a big chunk of the arguments you get into with others revolve around the other person trying to clarify the issue because a lot of your comments are beside the point.

Something to think about, imo.


Duncan is not a good 1-on-1 defender, and every opponent knows that. I think that’s the end of that.

As @wolverheel said, being good/bad at 1-on-1 does not necessarily correlate to being good/bad off the ball.

I found Crean’s comments to be really intriguing because, for a coach who has had to gameplan against him 4 or 5 times, he went out of his way to detail what Duncan does “so well” away from the ball. It just felt like more than just being nice, and was actually a perspective I’d never heard before…other than when wolverheel mentioned it in the Detroit thread.


@ChipJonez exactly. The idea that you’d want Duncan off the floor to make it easier to attack Michigan is something I didn’t expect to hear. And it isn’t like Crean is unfamiliar with Michigan’s roster.


Yeah, when I heard him say that the first thing I thought was “Hey, I’m not crazy!” It’s really funny to hear how much different the opinions of guys who study the game like him are than your casual fans. Even guys like Dylan just add a whole new level to how I look at the game. I remember at some point last year pulling out +/- and single game defensive rating numbers on Zak Irvin to try and make a point and getting absolutely hammered, justifiably. That’s definitely one of the best parts of this forum.


I think it’s possible you’re all correct. When the ball swings away from DR’s man he may tend to float and get in the way of the other teams action (excellent position for help D) and when the ball skips to his man or the man with the ball drives DR either can’t recover in time so he lunges for a foul on a three or on a drive he brushes the guy for an and 1. Possible to not be a good defender on or off and yet still get in the way.


Personally, I find it hard to believe. How many teams’ offensive strategies have revolved around isolating Duncan one on one and attacking him? You can’t do that if he’s off the floor. Feels like we’ve seen that strategy a lot these past years.


Personally I think Duncan should be our small-ball 5. That way there is always someone nearby who can provide some help defense.


Crean didn’t just say Robinson was a good help defender once, he said it several times. He also named three other players and said those four guys (including Robinson) were the help defenders he specifically included in the game plan and scouting reports. Now, just because Crean said something doesn’t make it fact, but that people automatically discount it or claim Crean was lying or pulling an elaborate hoax is a little weird.

A little research turned up some interesting quotes from Donlon from last year (see below). Maybe you don’t buy it or you think the coaches are just motivating Robinson. Or maybe you think his on-ball defense is so bad it overwhelms anything he offers as a help defender. But maybe, just maybe, it’s worth considering as a possibility and rewatching a game or watching the next game with that in mind.

“From the day Saddi (Washington) and I got here, doing defensive drills in the summer, he always stayed and asked questions after, in a good way,” Donlon said. “I thought it showed his commitment, and he thought it was important, not only in his game but with our team. Because he’s always been a good coach of others. But when you look at his (defensive) position, it’s really good. He gets to spots. He’s had some significant gap steals in games.”

After one of the Big Ten tournament games this month, Donlon told Robinson that he played a nearly perfect defensive game. Robinson was validated. When a shot drops, he knows it’s expected. But this was a product of his hard work.

Against Oklahoma State, Robinson made a good decision by not over-helping when guard Jawun Evans was running on a fast break. The play, Donlon said, would have resulted in an easy three for an opponent two months earlier


Some people have made up their minds and don’t let the facts get in their way.


I can buy that Duncan is a good help-defender (he’s made noticeably intelligent defensive plays in the past, but I haven’t really watched him closely enough to form my own opinion). It just doesn’t matter that much when you can put him in on-ball defense every possession and roast him, lol.


Oh yeah, overall it doesn’t make him an exceptional defender overall in any way, I just think the attitude of some posters to try and tear down everything he does because he’s not playing well is a bit too much.


Thank you for this comment. I personally appreciate what Duncan has brought to our program during the time he has been here. He is a smart young man and has worked hard to improve himself in many ways. He has improved his handle in the time he has been here, and he has worked to become a better defensive player using his intelligence and his coachability to do that. He is not a gifted athlete in the sense that many on this forum would like him to be, but he IS a Division I college basketball player in a high D I program. Frankly, that puts him on a higher level athletically than almost everyone who comments on this forum, certainly myself included, by FAR. He is a highly intelligent, inquisitive, and coachable young man who HAS improved in the areas of his deficiencies because he cares, and he works hard to improve. I, too, believe Tom Crean, who we all love to hate but who, frankly, knows more about coaching basketball than anyone who posts on this forum, I too, believe he was being genuine in his praise of Duncan’s off ball defensive prowess. I watched the game, several times now, and I listened to Crean. I enjoyed his analysis and his unique perspective. I also appreciated his positive comments about Duncan Robinson. There are those who seem to love to disparage Duncan, but I prefer the opinions of Tom Crean, and Saddi Washington, and Billy Donlon, and Coach B, and Coach Yak. Again UMHoopsFan, thanks for your comment. .


Out of curiosity, who, specifically is this post addressed to?

The reason I ask is that there has been little or no actual assessments (about Robinson’s off the ball defense within this thread) from the supposed crowd who loves to tear Robinson down.

What is this business about Crean lying? Elaborate hoax? Who introduced these ideas into the conversation?