Michigan at Texas Discussion


I think it just depends on if the argument is “was he elite?” vs “was he a perfect deathstar?” I definitely dont think he was perfect, just ridiculously impressive. If you think he’s clearly elite, then there’s probably not really an argument to be had. I already said he struggled with our 5-out approach, and JB can scheme a few free layups against anyone. I bet Bamba would rather be the guy setting the screen in our pretty PNR offense, rather than trying to defend it.

Bamba was everything, defensively, that I expected, and a lot of his impact was indirect. He clearly has some refining to do, even on defense.


Great point. The way I worded it there’s no argument.

His unreal length was on display last night, especially on the MAAR jump shot block.

For how good he is defensively, I was actually surprised how bad he is on offense. I still would use an emphatic “NO” to anybody who would rather have a Freshman Bamba over a Junior Moe. It’s not even close to me, especially after watching him more over this college season. He’d elevate their above average defense to elite, but the offense would be A LOT worse.


At the end of the season Mo Bamba will be in the NBA. He has great potential/upside and will be a top 5 pick in the lottery next year. He’ll need to add some weight for longevity but at his age I’m sure the NBA will take a chance. His wing span is off the charts.


It is really nice to have the head-to-head matchup data point, when coming back to the “would I rather have Moe or Mo” thought exercise. For strictly on-court production, for only 2017-18, I’d rather have Wagner, too. After that up-close encounter though, I’m so curious about what Bamba would’ve looked like, playing for JB.

Then there’s still the TBDs: could we maybe get another year of Wagner, while Bamba is definitely(<99%, probably?) going pro? Would winning Bamba help our future recruiting of 5-stars and/or just our recruiting in general?


Agreed on all those TBDs. My curiosity still peaks on how exactly Beilein would’ve made it work. I still don’t see how you rotate the two unless he went with a two big lineup. Bamba isn’t playing Teske minutes obviously but neither is Moe. Even rotation I don’t think would’ve benefited either. Moot point nowadays but last night brings back that debate memory!


I think Beilein would play Bamba at the 4, at least on offense. That’s what I thought when we were recruiting him and it seems more obvious now. He’s terrible with the ball in the post. I’d clear out the middle and have him run cuts to the basket. Try to get him alley oops and easy looks inside. Hopefully he can hit just enough from outside to keep defenses honest.

I think we’d run a lot more zone defense with Mo in the middle.


That’s what seems like the only option he would’ve had but it didn’t/doesn’t still seem pretty to me. If you play zone than you take away Bambas presence inside. (Whereas Michigan’s philosophy of running teams off the 3pt line would’ve fit Bamba perfectly. I think of Dwight Howard on the Magic style.)

Spacing offensively would’ve been brutal though if he played with Moe. If he played four, they’d clog the lane and probably played a bunch of zone against them. If Moe is at 4, you take away his best asset as a pick-n-pop.

In total, I just don’t see how it would’ve worked out, even more now seeing how brutal he is with the ball in his hands.


I wouldn’t worry about the defense. If you aren’t improving your defense by substituting Bamba for Robinson, you’ve done something dreadfully wrong. I think an aggressive zone running shooters off the 3 point line could work with Bamba in the middle cleaning up some mistakes. Man to man would be better too, even if Wagner has trouble on the perimeter.

The spacing on offense is obviously the problem. It is with some of lineups we’re using now too. The key for Bamba would be the ability to hit some open shots. I think he can do that. He looks fairly comfortable facing up I think he can set screens and roll to the basket. I think he can run and get open underneath sometimes. I don’t think you can ask him to handle the ball, so you definitely don’t want him clogging up the lane. He doesn’t really need to be a plus player on offense, just not a big liability.

Illustrates why 5* PGs are more valuable than the typical 5* center. The center will be gone after one year whether he has developed or not.


Did we watch the same game last night? I’m not sure how you could play Bamba at the four in this offensive system.

If you want to sell me on the fact that maybe you can forget about how bad of a defensive fit that Moe Wagner would be at the four because you have Bamba on the backline, maybe I’d buy that.

But I’m not sure that Bamba can shoot, pass or dribble well enough to play the four in a 4-out system like Michigan’s. His future is as a rim rolling finisher and potentially continuing to develop that pick and pop shot. His feel and sense of position around the basket has a ways to go though.


You have to put him somewhere. He’s going to be a low usage player and Moe is effective at the 5. If you move Moe to the 4, you have a more valuable offensive player out of position. I’d think you could run some plays designed to get Bamba some easy shots without having the ball in his hands much, but he should still be a low usage player.


You don’t have to put him anywhere, as he’s not on our team. Maybe it’s best not to continue down this rabbit hole.


I think the question is:

Is it somehow reasonable to assume Bamba would only backup Wagner for 10 minutes a game while Robinson played 30 minutes a game at the 4?



I don’t think Livers & Robinson on the court as UM’s 2 wings fit what Michigan wants to do offenseively or defensively, right now. Especially not with the current state of the PG position on the offensive side of the court. Maybe if Burke or Stauskas was running the offense from a guard slot, but that’s not this year’s team…at least not yet.

A more legitimate question/option would be why a Matthews-Poole combo hasn’t been used, either with MAAR at the 2-guard or with Robinson/Livers at the big wing.


Can’t believe you guys are all missing it. Bamba would be at the point of our 1-3-1. Duh.

One thing that came out of the game the other night that I totally agree with was Dicky V saying how bad it was that these college coaches are allowed to coach these kids while still in high for various situations. Without that connection I don’t know if Bamba goes to Texas. How many kids sign with duke because K was a nice guy overseas for team USA, etc.?


Disagree with, basically, with every ounce of this.


I disagree (I think). Schools and coaches are allowed all sorts of enticements for recruits. They build luxury hotels for the players to live in and player development centers with crazy technology. Coaches use private jets to fly around the country. But we’re going to stop recruits from spending more time with coaches, actually getting to see them interact with players for a while, maybe even get some good coaching? Top recruits get multiple chances to participate in teams, camps, etc. Go do one if you think it’ll help as a coach. Are Coach K and Calipari really spending a lot of time with recruits that way? I mean, maybe Bamba doesn’t go to Texas without being coached by Shaka on that team, but maybe he really gets along with Shaka who is a good mentor to him?

Although I did like Dickie V’s idea of having high school coaches coach the teams.



Given what we know about his coaching acumen is Calipari really helping these kids that much? Allow these kids to be coached by NBA guys if we really want them to get top tier coaching then. Take any recruiting advantage out of it or it’s going to be an uneven field. Shaka sure benefited from his time https://247sports.com/college/texas/Article/Looking-back-Smarts-Team-USA-proved-vital-for-Texas-future-52822953

But then again maybe they just chose him for his coaching skills.


JB should give a 2 PG lineup with Eli and Simpson they would compliment each other very well on the court. It could be a great transitional offense. Simpson runs the floor well and cuts hard Eli has been good about pushing it in transition and can hunt shots with another PG on the floor. If Simmons comes alive I could definitely see it being more of an option with the added PG depth. More of a trend now in college basketball something to think about.


It’s already an uneven field in all sorts of ways. “Fairness” is already gone. I don’t think it necessarily makes sense to take away the thing where players get to spend time with coaches. It’s not like one coach gets to always do it, right? Or have a rule that a coach can’t do it more than once every ten or whatever years and that any coach who wants to participate gets priority over others who have already done it. And Calipari is a veteran college and NBA coach, so whatever we may think of his coaching we have to presume he’s got something useful for high school students.

Just my initial reaction, though, so who knows.