Did you also see Maye blow by Robinson?
Maye blew by a everyone and the worst wast the walk on blow by which was super embarrassing. I think JB took the guy out the game asap after that.
I’ve always been a fan of Duncan Robinson, but I also believe the upside with Isaiah Livers is such that he needs more playing time. Livers got, I believe, 18 minutes last night, and acquitted he pretty well for a freshman who was defending a very good player in Maye. Livers will LEARN from his mistakes in defending Maye. Unfortunately,Duncan won’t. Duncan “knows” what to do but his lack of athleticism won’t allow him to do it. Again, not a criticism of Duncan Robinson. The kid works hard and has skills, and he understands defensive positioning, but he just isn’t particularly athletic for a high DI player. I believe Isaiah has the athleticism, but needs to learn how to play at this level, if that makes sense, and he will learn from last night. I’ve always thought Duncan was best as a sixth man off the bench who, when his shots are falling, which is often, can shoot the eyes out of it. As far as the PG position is concerned, Eli is in the same position as Isaiah. He will learn from every game repetition he gets. He will make some mistakes, but he will learn. Defending Joel Berry was a great learning opportunity. Honestly, the same with Z. I truly believe that every minute Coach B gives to a third 6’ point guard is a minute that deprives Eli of the opportunity to learn, and deprives the team of what he can be for them going forward. Same with Z. They both need as much experience as they can get. Coach B is being infinitely fair to EVERYBODY, except, in being fair to everybody there are players who, with experience, with game experience, are losing opportunities to help the team down the line. Then there is Jordan Poole, another player with great upside. The starters, plus Teske, Livers, Simpson, and some Poole is what I’d like to see versus IU on Saturday. But then, I’m just an observer, a passionate observer, but an observer none the less, Coach B pulls the strings.
Nice post. I agree with everything you said.
@silverblue We’ve gotta get you using paragraphs at some point, the walls of text can be hard to process
I just don’t quite see the idea of Livers as an offensive spark. He really struggled in the first half when the game was competitive and then scored on a backcut, a couple of putbacks and a catch and shoot three late. It would be great if he could become DJ Wilson for this team, but a long way to go.
Where’s the maize and blue? Disappointed…
As frustrating as the PG situation is, I’m most annoyed at how we play defense. We are continually out of position, overplaying, gambling, and late on rotations. Make a team SHOOT to beat you. We don’t force enough TO’s (into transition) to make up for our awful defensive play. Pack it in and don’t give up so many close buckets.
You’re absolutely right!
I just can’t wrap my mind around the idea that Livers struggled in the first half in a way that hurt our team. Offensively: he bobbled the ball with 18 seconds on the shotclock—no turnover, had a nice back door cut and catch that was blocked nicely—no turnover, he shot a nice looking 3 that did not go in but was likely shot in an attempt to get a two for 1 with 32 seconds left on the clock—and it should be noted that our other players failed to get a good shot off in the first 8 or so seconds of the shotclock when JB almost certainly was calling for a 2 for 1. Defensively: he was one of our best players in the first half. Denying the ball to their players, and fighting through screens better than anyone else. There also seemed to be better synchronicity between him and other players regarding switches. There was shaky and rememberable switch with Mo ithink, but it did not result in anything bad because he had the athleticism to deny the pass iirc. Seriously, try to put together a defensive blooper reel of Livers in the first half. He didn’t have many bloopers…was he perfect? No—but most of our other players were disasterously bad against all the screens deployed by NC. livers provided resistance!
The second half he got punked several times by a couple of very good/ elite players. Livers is a smart player with a lot of upside. He is going to learn quickly I feel.
Not trying to say that Livers as crippling Michigan or anything like that (he only played 6 mins in the first half and Duncan was obviously playing poorly)… just that he’s really struggled to make an impact in competitive games this year. At some point he has to show that he can do that.
Yeah, but so has Duncan and Livers has more upside. I think that’s what it all comes down to.
And Duncan is also one of the only guys on the team who can consistently hit threes.
Michigan needs: Duncan to be on the floor, hit open shots and play up to his ability and Livers to prove he’s able to provide reliable bench minutes at the 4.
Figure that out those two things by January and that would be a lot of progress. As I’ve written over and over, Michigan needs a guy at the forward spot like the player that Livers projects to be, they just need it now.
ok, I get it now. My bad.
Is he going to get to that point from practice and watching from the bench?
Seems like many are expecting big things from our freshmen, and fast.
I feel the same way about taking Davis. Was he really worth adding when we did? We really could have used an athletic/ shot blocking 4 or 5 at that spot.
This seems pretty obvious, but here it is:
Livers isn’t good, right now, in any aspect of the power conference game. That’s not a statement of what he will become, merely of what he is.
That said, if Duncan isn’t hitting threes, or more broadly, putting the ball in the basket, he doesn’t really serve any purpose. If he wants to play, he needs to hit shots, and while his season numbers are ok, his makes seem to have come in fits and starts.
I would further add that since, when he ineffective, it’s a result of not getting attempts up (see: LSU), that when we actually get him good looks (we did against UNC)…man, he really needs to hit those.
In other words: there are no good options if Duncan is missing.
A lot of people are arguing that Livers is superior to Robinson in categories that do not show up in the stats. I am saying that too-- but here is the thing–go take a look at Robinson’s versus Livers’ stats and adjust for playing time. Livers and Robinson are close to the same in terms of stats. I just did a quick glance and might argue that Livers stats are slightly better when adjusted. Put in the handicap for being a Freshman and I really don’t see what is so obvious about playing Robinson over Livers. I think there is a lot of room for debate here…
Or, another way of saying it, the only thing that Duncan does better than Livers is shoot. If Robinson isn’t scoring, then wouldn’t we be just as well off playing Livers and getting him the growth experience?
Actually, if you look at the stats, Livers has a better shooting percentage than Robinson, including from 3 pt range. In fact, he leads the team in 3 point percentage (small sample size).
As I stated yesterday, I am not advocating starter minutes for Livers (at least not yet), but he should be getting more minutes. Maybe 15-20 per game.
I have been saying even before the season began that Livers needed to be on the fast track to play as Duncan is truly not D1 level at anything but shooting. He is also missed positioned as he really needs to be a three wing back up.
The team will continue to get killed on the offensive boards if Duncan continues to be the starter. Teams just automatically attack him when he is in the game. When he is in the game he needs to not have any hesitation on offense and make shots otherwise he will add nothing to this team.
Ditto. 10 minutes per game does not make sense moving forward.