Michigan at Texas Discussion


Just a few thoughts:

  1. Nice to see our defense with another really good performance. Pretty amazing how good our defense is considering Robinson’s and to a lesser extent Wagner’s poor individual defense. I haven’t paid close attention, but it must be that we are having good help and rotations in general and of course Simpson, MAAR, and Matthews have been playing good defense. Of course we’ve had some bad games, but trending well.

  2. Hoping like others that we can improve our shooting over the course of the year, and I think we probably will. As @YostsGhosts points out, Robinson and Abdur-Rahkman are having a down year, but I think 1 big reason for that is Walton created so many good looks for them the past couple years. The current PG’s aren’t creating the same looks. We’re seeing a lot of Matthews/Wagner 2-man game. If Matthews can find those shooters of the ball screen, that will probably improve their percentages.

  3. Shaka Smart mic’d up, not exact quotes but he says things like “just play basketball” and “this game is up and down”. Thanks a lot Coach; really helpful. I know those were just a couple short soundbites, but the way he was just laid back and the way he was delivering his “message”, not sure how he was helping his team. I guess he probably told them to not shoot so many 3’s, but they obviously didn’t listen. Beilein did outcoach him, but I’m wondering if I could have outcoached him.


He actually didn’t ask them to shoot less three’s - he said “at least we’re getting good shots” - almost as if he didn’t realize that Michigan’s entire defensive game-plan was to allow them open looks at shots they had shown no ability to make. Open shots you can’t make aren’t “good shots”, Shaka!


I’m still on the Shaka bandwagon. I think he’s a very good coach. However, I think it’s trending toward he’s at his best in the mid-major game. His coaching style might resonate best with those type of schools and players.


Maybe I’m too harsh, but I walked out of this game feeling similar about Bamba as I did when we played Alex Len and Maryland a few years ago when Len was being hyped as a lottery pick - “is that all?” He can shoot some, as he showed with his made three, but he had no inside game. He blocked some shots, but given that Wagner put 10 points on him in about 20 minutes of game time, I’m not positive he’s actually a good one-on-one defender. I’m not shocked he struggled to guard Wagner at the arc (though if he wants to play in the NBA he’d better figure out how to do that), but I was shocked that both times Wagner tried to work him in the post, he was able to rather easily.

Bamba is quicker laterally than the comparison I’m going to drop, but he reminds me of a different African center - he’s a shorter (but quicker) Manute Bol - a guy that can knock some jumpers down if you ignore him, has no idea what to do in the paint, is a good shot-blocker as a helper, but too frail to guard anyone heads up. If I had a lottery pick, I’m looking elsewhere. The idea that anyone with a set of eyes would talk about this kid in the same breath as DeAndre Ayton is mind-boggling to me.


I think sky’s the limit on what Bamba can be as a pro. HUGE possible ceiling, but yeah I think his college impact has been overstated from the start.

He was pretty lost out there on his rotations too. A lot of tough twos they had to hit over him but there were also some easy layups because he was slow to rotate.


I agree that he forced some rough twos - Simpson and Rakh had some comically high-arcing layins over him. But again - in the NBA, how many times is he going to find a 7-footer who can’t dunk to stuff (I love Teske, but come-on, Jon!). Those 2’s and 3’s trying to lay stuff in over him now are going to be nuclear powered athletes, many of whom are actually stronger than him, and won’t be laying it in. His shot-blocking reminds me of that 6’6" kid in high school playing against a bunch of 5’6" guys. Sure - it works now, but there aren’t any Zavier Simpsons or Jon Teskes in the league.


I think add some mass and strength to Bamba and he instantly becomes a ton better defensively, and probably offensively if he can gain position and take his time.


i hope that offensively the “light clicks” for Teske. i would like to see him just slam on someone. he’s is great on defense and sets some solid picks, if he could add a lil offense this team would take it to another level.


The limiting factor for Bamba might be quickness, but he’s a freshman and being slow on some rotations against Michigan’s offense isn’t a terrible sign. When he got switched up on guards he looked quick enough. Offensively it’s hard to know what’s him and what’s Texas’s offense. Still seems like he has a low floor - high ceiling. I’m not saying I’d draft him first but somewhere pretty high.


I agree – Teske has skills and if he can show some Big Nasty on O it could really be something. Just has to learn how to be assertive without picking up dumb fouls.


The Tournament selection committee usually disregards wins over teams with computer rankings over 200. IMO, Coach Beilein schedules too many teams that are likely to be in that bucket.

Wins over Top50 teams are usually rewarded by the committee. Record vs Top100 teams is usually scrutinized heavily.

Beilein has done a very good job upgrading the Top50/Top100 caliber opponents on Michigan’s schedule. The “Buy Games” aren’t supposed to be Top100 caliber, but it would be nice if more of them were inside the Top200 instead of 250-300+ on computer models. Essentially that is how the SEC as a conference “gamed” the RPI rankings the 2 previous seasons…playing a lot of mid-to-low majors in the 100-200 RPI range.


Team showed very good help defense overall and defended the pick and roll good also. Texas’ guards are not very good at passing seemed to be one on one players.

I think Livers played a very productive game overall on defense and rebounding. On Offense he just needs to let it come to him but also there were several times he was missed cutting to the rim and he was open but did not get the ball. Those plays are open and the team needs to capitalize on them when available. Those type of plays will give freshman confidence.

As I have stated before like others we are where we should be at this point in my estimation.


I was wondering if ESPN edited the mic portion by agreement or otherwise. They didn’t play the whole thing so I wondered if they were intentionally keeping sensitive strategy information out which made the rest seem pretty bland as you pointed out.


Bamba is very good offensively, but gives them very little on offense. His skills are limited, but Smart also doesn’t seem to go out of his way to capitalize on his length. Made me wonder how he would be doing this year in a Michigan jersey.


I wonder if it made Bamba wonder too?


I said it at the time, I just don’t think Shaka develops pros the way Coach B does and I don’t think he’s as good a coach, period.


Pretty confused by any scrutiny of Bamba’s defense. He had 4 blocks and a steal, even while playing against a 5-out team. We had to make circus shots over him, when he was in the paint; his mere presence in the paint was a huge deterrent. I can remember at least one time where he single-handily shutdown a 2 v 1 fastbreak. His awareness wasn’t perfect, but I’d struggle to remember a more defensively dominant 18 year old (Anthony Davis?).

I’d be curious to watch Texas play a team similar to Michigan’s caliber, who doesn’t have a 5 that is a legit threat from 3pt. Not sure what that offensive scheme would look like, other than a lot of mid-range jumpers.


Some good quotes in here from Beilein.


Bamba obviously is an elite defender and will go into any game being a huge presence. Doesn’t mean he had plenty of struggles last night.

He had trouble guarding the pick-and-roll at times, leading to some very easy layups. That 2pt% success wasn’t all lucky shots (which some were made extremely difficult with his length). They still definitely challenged Bamba’s mobility and won a lot of those battles. A good amount of easy buckets were his losses on defense.

He also gave up an easy layup to Moe by getting confused on one of Beilein’s motion sets. Moe beat him at least once, and maybe twice, in the post. He also failed to attempt to close out on Moe’s second half three pointers. Moe was wide open and had all day.


This game showed more evidently that JB has not changed lineups around. If you look at this games minute distribution it went:

Brooks 14 Simpson 26
MAAR 36 Ibi 4
Matthews 32 Poole 8
Duncan 19 Livers 22 -1 over 40
Mo 21 Teske 18 - 1 under 40

So other than one minute at the 5 by Livers everyone stayed in their exact spot. No other lineups were used. JB could get creative and see who works where best to figure this tricky rotation out. Never have seen Livers and Duncan together and only seen a 2 pg lineup a couple times. Should figure itself out but the minute distribution was almost exact at 40 each position.