Michigan at UNC Discussion


We have zero chance at being competitive in games like this if our two seniors, MAAR and Robinson, are going a combined 2-12. We need them to show up over the next two weeks.


Look, Wilson was at the 5 previously out of necessity. Going into last year, they added Teske and Davis to go along with Wagner and Donnal. They didn’t need a fifth center so Wilson was able to move to the 4. When Beilein plays guys out of position (Novak at the 4) it is because of lack of better options.


Congrats to @wolverheel on the victory and on the airtime.

Obviously that didn’t go as we’d hoped, especially after the first 10 minutes. The offensive boards were a real killer, as we worried about. Hopefully we learned about the mental toughness and energy you need to win big games, and especially on the road. Can’t relax after forcing a miss, or playing 20 seconds of good defense. Can’t fire up a 20-foot jumper just because you got down a few baskets. You could just feel it, when we were down by 7 the team was already losing composure. They’re being on fire from 3 early didn’t help. Obviously we need more from MAAR and Duncan - not just better than 1-9 3 pt shooting, but toughness.

The good is still the good - Wagner is for real and Matthews has the potential to be the next great Michigan wing. Teske’s stats don’t jump out but he was a difference maker even in a short spurt against NC’s bigs. Big four games coming up…


Agreed. Livers has some real potential, and as you say, Duncan is a spark plug off the bench for a good team, not a starter.

I’ve always felt the same way about MAAR, too. Nice kid, good to have in the rotation, but not a starting two guard for a really good team. He missed several wide open looks last night.


What did Livers do in last night’s game that everyone is particularly high on? Going back to watch some video, but just curious what you guys saw.


I saw effort, aggression and athleticism. I thought, like some other players, the longer that he was in there the more comfortable he looked and the better he played. Last night he had better stats than Duncan and in fewer minutes.

I don’t think he is ready to start, but I would like to see him get 10-15 minutes per game. When Duncan is having a game like last night, what do we have to lose by playing Livers more?


How did Robinson’s defense look? Obviously he missed some shots, but I don’t remember having a problem with too many of them and he probably won’t miss too many point blank layups.


For me it’s not necessarily what Livers did it’s what Duncan isnt doing. I’m just not certain that Duncan is consistently giving the team enough production to warrant being a 30 minutes a game starter. When the team as a whole has a limited ceiling for this year, I think giving younger guys with more upside more minutes that cut into MAAR/Duncan’s normal playing time would not significantly change the outcomes of most games especially when those two aren’t making open threes anyway.

Livers is a solid athlete that plays hard, is better on the boards and has the tools to be better defensively. Also Duncan’s shooting a good not great 38% from three this year. Small sample size but Livers is 4 for 9 and I’d expect him to shoot upwards of 35% from deep in a larger role.


Regarding defense: Livers was not consistently good on defense and he did get punked 3 or 4 times (on very easy to remember plays) but it is completely forgivable because a couple of times he got punked by Mayes and Mayes is a very good player. However, Livers made a lot of very good defensive plays on defense that will not show up in the score sheet. Livers provides resistance on defense!!! He fights through screens. He denies passing lanes. Denies entry passes. He recovers due to athleticism. He bumps guys here and there. Basically, he does little things to ensure that running your offense is not a cakewalk. He has a lot of potential both in the long term and short term–like next couple of weeks short term. If we are comparing his defensive presence to Robinson against a guy like Mayes then there is no contest. Livers is superior to Robinson defensively. I do think Robinson is better at boxing out at this point…But against good, big and strong competition Robinson crumbles.

Simmons defense was next level horrible.

I wasn’t too impressed with MAAR’s defense.

There was confusion with switches, assignments, and rotations around players Robinson, MAAR, and Simmons. I do not know who was at fault but there just wasn’t the same high level of confusion when those guys were off the court. Scary because they are Seniors!!!


Freshman Livers needs more court time to lessen his learning curve. Starting him here early and knowing that JB will let him get into the flow will pay dividends when we need it down the road. Duncan would be best off the bench and while picking the matchups.

The PG roulette has got to stop. I feel like JB feels he owes Simmons the chance but unless the kid is lighting it up in practice I just don’t know that he deserves the run at the expense of the other two pgs. I realize Z wasn’t great last light but he feels like he needs to be given the confidence to succeed. Eli has it more naturally it seems. Z needs to feel it from coach to be ok.


Without having seen the game, I will mention again that the players may still be catching up to whatever Coach Yak has brought to the party this year. Most of the time, detractors would counter this and say something to the effect of “Defense is is all about effort” or “Defense is just guarding your yard”, but when we are talking specifically about things like switches, assignments, and rotations, (and I will add communication) scheme could be a factor why guys aren’t on the same page.


The weird thing was that the most obvious examples of confusion seemed to center around those three seniors. There were several times where it was only Robinson and MAAR who, for whatever reason, were completely out of touch of what the other person should do and what they themselves should do…It was very strange to tell you the truth…


@MGoTweeter and I had a quick exchange on effort vs. confusion in the game thread. Looking back at the game, I think it’s a definite combination of both right now.

I think there’s no doubt some confusion out on the perimeter regarding switches and rotations.

I also think there’s no doubt the effort hasn’t been fully there rebounding. The most frustrating part on rebounding has always been too much standing around. Mo has been very improved there at least.


It is always hard to pin a blown switch on one person because there are two people involved and you don’t know whether it should or shouldn’t have been a switch.

You also have blown help defense much more often when you are consistently beat off the bounce from the perimeter and can’t handle an interior scorer 1-on-1.


Going over some game thread comments right now… A lot of complaints about Ibi. If we’re gonna go after wings ranked in the 200’s I wish they’d at least be the high ceiling low floor types. Even if he’s a serviceable backup Big Ten player his senior season, was it worth the roster spot being taken up with 3 years little production? Who knows, but I just hope we don’t see something similar with Nunez.


The one difference between the Ibi and Nunez recruitments is that Nunerz was sort of an extra guy whereas Ibi was more of a replacement guy. I’m not sure that Michigan needed to take Nunez in the class because they had other wings, but when they took Ibi they needed him because they missed on others.

I would look at Nunez as Duncan’s replacement as a floor stretching wing.


I don’t buy this. This isn’t a new defense, just a new coach. It isn’t like Michigan has completely overhauled what it is doing on defense. I’m sure there are some differences and different emphases, but that’s not the issue IMO.


Yeah, I really have no qualms right now about taking him as long as he shoots it well in college. We have such a fantastic class to go along with him that he won’t be forced before his time. Although I still do think it’s worth thinking about whether or not a 3 year development guy and 1 year backup is worth having, not in relation to Nunez, but just in general. I’d rather have a guy with all the physical attributes, but maybe who struggles with skills or an undersized guy with an insane motor, but that’s obviously just differences in opinion with Coach B and I.


Ideally you can mix and match the program guys with the instant impact guys. Beilein is always going to choose skill over raw physical attributes though, luckily your two programs balance that out a bit.


I don’t know if people agree, but it seemed like our guys did not try to hedge on high ball screens like we did in past years? It seemed odd.