Michigan-CMU Post-Game Thoughts

How was it? From the box score it s appeared x played pretty damn good along with maar and Mathews.

Count me in he contingency that sees x starting the next 3 seasons for us. I get why everyone is worried about his shot but I’m not. It’s funky and ugly but he’s such a hard worker/ smart player I think he figures it out and develops into a solid 3 ball shooter. Hopefully for this years teams sake it will be sooner rather than later.

I still think this team will be best off if it falls back on the three balls and instead concentrates on running in transition, slashing/ taking guys off the bounce, feeding moe on the block more , and the back doors. Combine all this with the most intense d we have played under beilein and we can win in a slightly altered way. Threes still a big portion but instead of hunting them constantly let’s thst them come more naturally.

This team has by far the best perimeter d stoppers in his tenure. X, maar and Charles should be very tough to beat.

Z played very well. He is exciting to watch. His 3 balls were hideously ugly, set shot, Kennedy era, grandpa-looking, catch and shoot but they went in!

Wagner has really improved a ton on the boards and his D was actually pretty good.

Teske is going to be solid. He really defended well. When he gets confident—look out.

MAAR came to play. Really liked his aggressiveness.

The open thread was odd. Some people were feeling the team is going to struggle this year. Quite a few discouraged posters…I found our performance very encouraging.

Poole did not see the floor

Ibi seemed strong defensively in spot minutes. JB probably could have played him more.

Livers needs to play more. He is the key to the team overacheiving this year, in my opinion, as Robinson has not improved on defense, apparently.


Charles and Xavier haven’t lived up to the hype about their defensive ability. Charles routinely loses focus and then gets beat, and then Xavier got bullied to the rim multiple times.

Offense as a whole just isn’t good. Everyone on the team making slow/poor decisions.

Duncan looks like one of the worst defenders in D1. The team is going to need Livers to emerge so that they hide Duncan’s D like they did last year.

Encouraging things were the rebounding, particularly Mo’s. Teske’s ability to move his feet/defend. I’m also encouraged by Mo’s ability to score down low. We just couldn’t get him the ball down low with the zone. Also Xavier looks like he could end up being a solid spot up shooter, enough to be respectable. The stroke is smooth.

I think we should be honest and recognize that the team is very very bad right now. Not even close to tournament quality at this point. Look across the country: you should be winning these games by 30-50 points and running these scrubs off the floor. It’s early and Beilein teams always improve, but we are at a pretty low starting point right now. Maui could be ugly.

Simpson did play well. He made his open 3’s tonight which was nice. He does have a set shot so I’m not sure he will ever be able to shoot off the dribble. That’s a definite drawback.

Simmons finally showed something in the 2nd half. He’s been way too hesitant. He needs to be more aggressive offensively and look to create. He did that a little in the 2nd half so maybe he will be more comfortable now.

Not sure Brooks will stay in the rotation at PG. I think Beilein wants to settle on two PGs and I’m not sure Eli will be one of them. I haven’t seen enough of him but not sure his handle is all that great. Two times he’s had the ball in the open court this year and both times he kind of lost control.

Teske did a nice job. His size is quite evident and he contested a number of shots without fouling. Nice touch from the foul line too. Not sure how good of a rebounder he is. Wagner is doing a great job rebounding so far. Hopefully, that keeps up against better competition.

I think we would have won pretty comfortably if not for an off shooting night from Duncan. He missed a a number of open shots.

Matthews needs to be more decisive when he gets the ball. He has a habit of holding it and then making a move or taking a shot. Thought he took too many corner 3s tonight. I like him more slashing and in the midrange.

Rank was probably the best player. It’s been a struggle overall through two games. We have a lot of room for improvement. We haven’t faced a minute of man to man defense yet. All zone for far and maybe that’s the best way to defend us at the moment. It’s early. A lot of new parts and we are replacing some really good and experienced players. Not sure where this team will end up. I’m sure they will get a lot better but how high is the ceiling remains to be seen.


I was encouraged by the game as well. It’s going to take some time for the offense to click but there were a lot of things to like.

10-34 from 3 isn’t going to happen to us a lot. I’ve never seen Duncan so off but we got through it. I’m glad we got challenged before Maui.


I don’t know if it’s because everyone around him is better, he’s actually regressed, or I’m just focusing more on defense, but Robinson’s play on that end seems even worse than his first year here, which is quite difficult to do.

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Game 2 seemed totally different from game 1, where we were carried by Robinson, Mathews and Wagner. Tonight the scoring came from Rach and Simpson. Shots were not falling and we relied heavily on the three.

I thought the game turned in the last half of the second half when we tightened up on defense. We challenged shots, pressured the ball and fought for rebounds.

I watched Robinson a lot on defense and I think he gets a bad rap. He is not a great defender, but he isn’t as bad as some make it seem. His biggest problem seemed to be slacking off his man by too much to provide help and then not being able to close out fast enough to cover his man at the three point line. I don’t see Livers being a better option at this point.

Wagner is playing hard on the defensive end and Teske is coming along nicely.


Yup, unlike last year it’s pretty reasonable to say that we could easily have 5 different top scorers on any given night.

I think it’s worth noting that the only thing that kept this from being a blowout was Robinson hitting 25% on 8 pretty damn good looks from 3. He hits 2 or 3 more (they were all pretty open), this looks different.

Rahk played well.

Teske was quite good.

Matthews actually impressed me outside of his three pointer - made plays in every facet.

Simmons is really lost.


If Robinson hits 3 more threes, it’s still only a 16 point win against a team that lost by 20 to Oakland.

This team has many more problems than Robinson’s shooting, and I think the rhetoric coming from the players/Beilein agrees with that.

No reason to bury our heads in the sand. Been a very poor start.

Welp, I guess all is lost.


Lol, I’m not saying that all is lost, but I think a realistic take is better than sunshine blowing. We’ve seen Beilein teams improve as the year goes on basically every year, and there’s no reason to expect that this team won’t either.

Doesn’t mean we have to pretend that back and forth affairs with North Florida and Central Michigan are encouraging outings.

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This game was only close because we shot the ball pretty poorly - 29% from 3, including 3/13 from Robinson/Wagner on pretty much wide open looks, and 1/6 from Matthews, though it’s harder to know what to make of that – and they shot the ball quite well – 42% from three, 92% from the line.

Things to like:
-MAAR came alive, looked good in pretty much every facet, even passing
-Wagner’s rebounding and, yes, defense
-Simpson looked confident and pretty effective, including his 3 point shooting, though he needs to be wide open to take it
-Teske’s minutes, especially his D
-Matthews 2 point shooting – a couple dunks but a couple jumpers and one move to the lane where he just elevated and smoothly hit a little jumper that he should be able to get a lot and that will be very hard to stop
-decent 2-point defense - they shot 12/27 (44%)
-won the TO/rebounding battle

Things not to like:
-a couple really silly fouls, including Duncan on a 3 when he was in good shape to contest
-too passive on offense. We ended up with a lot of open 3s but we could’ve had some more easy layups/dunks. Have to get Wagner more involved, not just shooting 3s.
-some breakdowns on D, just getting organized, etc. It’s one thing to a guy get by your – which also happened a little too easily at times – but it’s another to just be discombobulated from the get go on several possessions.

Overall: If the teams shot the same % from 3, we win by 18 points or so. Pretty clear the team is still figuring out things on offense, which can be hard playing zones, and defense. But also a fair amount of positives that should translate going forward.

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People can be honest and realistic even if they disagree with you…


I think it’s clear that zone offense is not a strength of this team (yet), and the players/coaches are still feeling each other out a bit. I’m Not surprised that these last 2 games have exposed some early season warts, but I’d be surprised if teams employ a zone against us all year. It might just be an effective way to beat us early in the season though.

Whats interesting is that none of us really know what this team will look like against more traditional man defenses. Even the players don’t know completely. That could lead to a few more scares or ugly performances in Maui, OR it could put some of us at ease if we start to see more familiar offensive flow.


I will say I enjoy that Wagner’s defensive***** (thank you for the correction) rebound rate is 11th in the country.


From a statistics point of view, stuff I liked from the game included zero turnovers by out pg’s, 2 off boards in six minutes by Livers, Muhammad taking 15 shots while leading the team, etc.

The best thing I liked from watching the game was the amount of poise by the entire team in a frustratingly close game for 30 minutes.

Beating teams by 20 or 30 will allow more playing time for others but that’s about it. It’s not a gauge on the development of the team. As a fan I’m content with the two wins.

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The things i am very encouraged by are:

  1. Wagner’s improvement in D and boards! I held my tongue for the last 2 years but Wagner’s defense and rebounding was horrible imo. He has improved so much. A lot stronger, moving his feet better, using his length to actually contest shots, good positioning. I think he will be less dominant against good teams but he will still be a lot better than last year. (I assumed he was going to improve but not this much.) We love to talk about improved offense but Wagner’s improved defense and rebounding ought to be discussed amongst the stark off season improvements in players like Darius, Stauskas, caris and DJ.

  2. We are going to be just fine from the pg position. Z improved more than i expected and you can see flashes of what Simmons is capable of.

  3. Matthews is awesome. He just needs to keep it simple.

  4. Livers is going to be good for us this year.

  5. Teske is going to be a better back up than we have had in quite a few years.

  6. MAAR has improved his outside shooting. Last year’s improvement was not a fluke. His shot looks even better this year. Add aggressiveness—we saw it last night— and MAAR is going to kill it this year.

  7. The only thing that bothers me is Robinson’s defense. It seems like it has not improved. The good news is we have Livers and Ibi—Ibi has improved.

We might be better this year than last year. Call me unrealistic but i like what i am seeing. Prefer this team’s potential to last year’s potential at the same time last year.


I like the pieces and the potential that I am seeing. It may take a while to blend and polish, but I think we will be very good. This team has the potential to be the best defensive and best rebounding team that we have had in quite a while. That alone will win games that we may have lost in the past. We have more guys that can take it to the hoop. Our depth is better and we have plenty of shooters.

We are ascending.

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I agree with most that there are more positives coming out from this game than the negatives. We had a lot of open threes that did not go in, and they made a lot of quick/tough shots.

This game was by far the best we have seen from Simpson and Teske, but it was MAAR that gave us the biggest surprise. His game has really elevated and he is capable of running his offense if asked.

This team is still looking for its identity, it will have some ugly losses down the road, but I believe that it will be very competitive at the end of the season

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