Michigan Big Men

Mo will be on the team next year. I have heard him mention that he will be going to summer workouts.

The quote you are referencing is referring to the two different summer terms that UM has during which offseason workouts occur. Freshmen are required to be in for both summer terms. After that players are only required to be on campus for one of the two semesters. Mo is apparently not decided whether he will be in Ann Arbor for the spring term (semester 1) because he has not been home since he arrived at UM, so if he goes to spring term, he’ll only have about two weeks at home for the whole year.

Question in regards to Mo. Could he play the four alongside a Donnal, Doyal, or Davis? I know he’s not a great ball handler but he can dribble a little. He can shoot it a little from the outside as well but if he can shoot 30% from 3 and make 40% from 12-15ft I would love to see what the offense is like with him at the four. Those numbers might be lofty i know know but one can dream. Also didn’t beilein initially say Wagner was not a 5 and he might have to play there out of necessity but he’s not a true 5?

I think the original intention (and maybe it still is?) was for a depth chart that looked like this

PG - Walton - Simpson
SG - Rahk - Ibi
SF - Irvin - Robinson - Dawkins
PF - Chatman - Wagner - Wilson
C - Donnal - Doyle - Teske

Way more balanced than what we have now and very much explains why Beilein took so many posts. He wanted some guys who could provide some size at the 4 and still play his style of offense, but it hasn’t turned out that way. In response he’s demonstrated that he’d prefer to get guys out there who can provide what he wants on offense as opposed to providing size and rebounding (Irvin at the 4 over everyone).

I think Beilein’s dream right now is for a starting 5 of Walton - Rahk - Irvin - Chatman or Wagner - Donnal, but the developmental issues prevented that from working out. Also, at this point our best 5 man lineup is probably with Wagner at 5 and Duncan at 3. So, it’s tough to say what Beilein thinks about that.

TL;DR: I think the original plan was Wagner at the four and that seems like it’s still a possibility, but I can’t tell what Beilein’s current thinking is.

Yeah his name is Karl Anthony Towns, Ben Simmons etc… In other words guys we will never see at Michigan. McGary might be the closest but what helped Beilein is McGary’s existing relationship with some guys on the Michigan team.

When we watch the tourney this week nobody can tell me that the bigs remaining in this tourney like Boucher, Jones, Spangler, Stone, Carter Jr, Ellis, Niang, McKay, Gill, Wiltjer, Sabonis, Auguste, Johnson, Meeks wouldn’t help this program.

What’s interesting is JB is searching for that unicorn big man that can shoot from outside, rebound, and pass. Well everybody is searching for that guy. If Michigan had a big with a back to the basket game he could actually command double teams and open things up for the shooters behind the arc. What’s interesting is that currently Michigan doesn’t have many players that can put the ball on the floor, create their own shot. This is where a solid back to the basket presence could help.

For some reason I was watching a Michigan/Purdue in the inaugural Big Ten Tourney championship. I see an athletic big who moves well, finishes at the rim, rebounds and can play D like Maceo Baston and realize it’s quite possible Beilein would never recruit a big like that.

How’d the team with that elite front court (Hammons/Haas/Swanigan) do in the NCAAT?

I don’t know Ill let you know when UNC is finally done.

You’re talking elite when the rest of us are just asking for competent.

Those guys aren’t even elite!! A guy like Okafor and Towns those are elite.

That is true.

However, A guy like Swannigan immediately makes Michigan a sweet 16 caliber team IMO. Swannigan may not be elite but he’s a notch below it and it would be nice to land one of him every 3-4 years. There’s no reason a school like Michigan can’t.

The post above that names all the big men left in the tournament should open every Michigan fan’s eyes that quality post players are out there and they aren’t all going to blue bloods or cheaters.

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This is exactly where my head is at. I wonder how much the program’s perception of not utilizing Big Men was damaged/verified when we only got to showcase Mitch for a brief time (2013 tourney). I truly think that perception is what has hurt us the most…but even still, you’d think a guy spurned by Izzo or Painter or Matta would end up here just by accident every once in a while.

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It is too easy for opposing coach’s to negative recruit Michigan for post players. Negative may even be too harsh of a word. Basically, all an opposing coach has to do is point to JB’s 30 year career on how he will use his bigs. Set screens, occasionally get the ball on a roll and rarely if ever get the ball on the block.

So even if a recruit is spurned by MSU or OSU, the picture of how Michigan will use said recruit is already painted.

One 5 game stretch in 30 years won’t sway too many kids and parents.

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Completely agree - even worse when you have the Horford family making public remarks about how we use our bigs, and seeing Biefeldt succeed at IU as well.

I guess that’s why I bring up the Mitch situation…based on the early part of the '14 campaign before he was shut down (I think the Iowa State game is the one that comes to mind), I think JB was truly trying to find offensive sets that got Mitch the ball in different situations than standard PnR. Heck, they even used JMo in some post-up situations early that year. But once Mitch was gone from the equation, we went back to that PnR offense and here we are.

Right and it’s not like Purdue played bad in that game they were terrific until the final 3 minutes. I get it, they lost in the final 3 minutes because of their strategy of playing 2 bigs…


I don’t watch the NBA. Is the tendency to go smaller in the NBA nowadays going to help Beilein? I am not sure how the “going small” teams use their big men. Any body have an opinion? Do they use big men In a way that is similar to what JB wants to do? IF so, it seems like the DRaymond Green types would be lining up to get in.

Going small with Draymond Green is successful because he can defend and rebound against multiple positions. There is no down side for him to guard a bigger guy he is that good.

Everyone always wants to look at the offensive side on why it works.

I think both Davis and Teske will be solid eventually, but Wagner is the guy that Michigan needs to develop–and fast. I actually liked Donnal’s development this season, and even he gets stronger defensively and develops a more consistent offensive game, he could turn out to be not just an average big man, but a pretty good one. Doyle needs some stick 'em on those hands.

The bigger question to me is whether the small 4 men can improve their defense even slightly. I feel like that’s been one of the primary defensive issues of this team the last two seasons. I love Irvin, and a lot has to do with being outsized, but I think that developing the fundamentals of post defense will do wonders.

Golden State is the flavor of the month.

The Spurs have been the most successful and consistent NBA team for the past decade and a half using a back to the basket big (or 2).

How’d they do in the NCAAT?

Alone none of them might not be elite, but Purdue certainly had a top 5 or higher front court this season.

They also had a back court with Raph Davis (a guy with “dog”). You also said you’d take Painter over Beilein. You should have loved Purdue.

So how’d they do this year in the NCAAT?

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Actually I did not say that so try again. Purdue’s guards weren’t any good which I already said. I see your statement about elite bigs is already changing.

I knew yooper people were a little off but wow.