Michigan/LSU Post Game Discussion


So much Duncan Robinson slander. Livers has not proven to be be better at anything than Duncan. We absolutely need Duncan’s floor spacing, and he’ll have better games.


I do think Duncan would be better as a situational player off the bench but they don’t have a lot of better options at the moment. Livers was pretty bad too defensively and on the glass. Watson jacked up a lot of shots in limited minutes and I don’t think he can defend well either.

Robinson is going to be attacked defensively all year but he has to be more of a factor offensively. You can’t let the opposition completely take you out of the game. There has to be some counters to allow him to get open in the halfcourt. I guess his presence does help others for spacing purposes if the defense commits to never leaving him but he basically couldn’t get a shot off against LSU.

I think the bigger issue however is if you’re going to switch all ball screens then be prepared for a year long dose of 1/4 screens. That’s the matchup to attack if you’re playing Michigan.


That loss could be a killer for our tourney resume. But beyond that it is clear we have some serious problems at PG and the 4 spot. The PG spot should improve as the season goes on, but Duncan is Duncan so unless Livers grows up quickly that will be a sore spot all season. DJ going pro put a a giant brick ceiling on this team’s prospects.


The entire idea of adding Simmons was that he is a polished, proven starter that can score and run a ball screen offense. He was the safety route for Brooks and Simpson not being ready. I see no point whatsoever and waiting for it to click for him until February, when we don’t even know if that might happen. He looks completely lost


I think you’re vastly underrating the difficulty of adjusting to Coach B’s complicated offense - particularly as a PG. This was his 4th actual game playing in our system? Give the man some time!


If JB knew that Simmons would need this much time, I doubt he takes him in the first place. Even if it clicks for him come conference play, what’s his ceiling? He’s shown nothing thus far that makes me think he could be a big ten level starter. If all three are equally lost (they are), those reps should go to guys that will be here next year


The PG rotation has proven to be useless so far - not the players being usueless at all - but rotating as a means for someone to step up.

It seems fairly obvious to me the lack of continuous playing time and competition is hurting their games and has been a net negative overall. They’re hesitant and thinking next mistake they’ll be taken out.

I think you have to ask yourself who gives you the highest ceiling when he plays well and ride him out through the mistakes. If that’s Simmons, then start him and play him the majority of the minutes without looking over his shoulder. If that’s X, same thing.


Is David good enough to start? Because we are going to need him to. Would be nice to slide Eli to the 2 next year. I don’t see how JB moves forward with minutes for Z.


We ran some pretty complex stuff at my HS, as our HC was part of the Dean Smith fraternity and could have easily been a college coach but instead chose to run the family summer camp in the summers. My first year on varsity I could analyze tape and figure out everything that went right or wrong on either end. But it wasn’t until my second year that everything in my mind was suddenly automatic for my body - suddenly, it clicked, and I went to the right spot by instinct on both offense and defense (particularly defense, as I was a pretty limited offensive player). We ran that nasty NC trapping defense and instinct is everything to run it right. Simmons doesn’t have two years, but I’m definitely ready to give him more than 4 games! There’s no reason to think he can’t be a valuable player during the meat of our conference schedule.


The offense when Simmons is in is to swing it once to Matthews and cut to the opposite corner where you’ll sit. Repeat Repeat Repeat. It was nearly the same when Eli was in there too.

It might be on Simmons some for not understanding the offense, but come on JB. You don’t have anything else to do with the guy than that? And Matthews/Wagner sure as heck don’t kick it out to him so where is he supposed to get a shot?


First, give credit to LSU. They made some tough shots, some circus shots, and some clutch shots. It’s still in large part a make or miss game. They kept up the intensity even when it seemed like Michigan was pulling away. They played to win, not to avoid a loss, which is sometimes easier when there are so few expectations. Waters is a player.

As for UM, we didn’t make a ton of mistakes but we made crucial ones. Didn’t have a ton of TOs but at least four lead to easy lay-ups, which three coming in the first half to allow them to take the lead and feel good and one coming right at the end of the game to give them a lead. We let Waters – the one guy who really could beat us – take an open (if deep) 3 and then get the and-one too easily to let LSU back into it.

The problems at PG and to a lesser but related with MAAR really hurt us on just about every crucial mistake offensively and defensively. On the plus side, Wagner and Matthews gripped the reins and hopefully realized this is their team and they have to make it happen. But having a leadership/confidence/playmaking hole at the two guard spots is a big problem. Obviously PG is the bigger problem, but MAAR just isn’t the kind of 2G/wing that can make up for like Caris, Nik, etc.

Final annoying complaint – I didn’t think the refs were that bad or anything, but I did think we got screwed on a couple crucial calls. MAAR got bowled over on a loose ball late in seemingly the exact same way (accept with less force) that they gave a foul to Matthews a few minutes earlier. And we got some ticky-tack fouls that put them in the bonus later that allowed them to score and made playing defense harder for us. Then they swallowed the whistle late on a couple of our drives – not necessarily wrong calls but not a consistent whistle. We didn’t lose because of the refs but I did think we were slightly hurt by them. Who knows though.

It won’t be a bad loss but it sucks because of the opportunity cost – we don’t get what might have been a pretty decent neutral court win or the opportunity to get one against ND. Hopefully we can get one against VCU or Cal.


Generally speaking: I have a hard time blaming Robinson much for his performance, other than he did miss one pretty darn good look down the stretch. We have abundant information at this point that if the opposition is going to play no-help on him and aggressively deny him the ball at all turns, he’s going to get taken out. Fine - theoretically, the opposition should have to pay for that elsewhere, specifically that if any of their guys get beat anywhere in the vicinity of Robinson, we get a layup or at least an open shot. Guys like Robinson aren’t valuable just because they score, their mere presence provides opportunities for others (see Kyle Korver). The issue is that we have one additional offensive black-hole (PG, regardless of who is playing), and we aren’t capable, right now, of making the other team pay for playing Robinson this way.

The good news is that offensively, we found something that was effective (basically, a two-man game between Matthews and Wagner), and did it against a team with legitimate high-major talent (say what you will about their results last year, that team we played had 4 top 100 recruits in their respective classes, plus the #2 Juco in the nation (Reath)).

The bad news, other than the PG black-hole, is that our defense, even when people aren’t hitting comical trick-shots, is too inconsistent. Even our “good” defenders like Matthews loose focus when their man doesn’t have the ball (Wagner did this crucially a few times), and if Simpson is going to cede And-1 layups down the stretch, I’m just not sure what he’s supposed to be for.


Yes, those two calls drove me crazy. Matthews made a pretty run-of-the-mill hustle play that I’m not sure I’ve ever seen whistled. Since when does a guy hitting the deck for a loose ball get whistled for hitting the legs of a guy who is standing up? Then, the no-call when Rahk grabbed the board and sure seemed to get shoved in the back, fumbling the ball loose when he hit the ground…

Obviously these things work out - they let Matthew get away with more than 1 hook, and whistled a pretty iffy charge-draw for Wagner.


I keep seeing people calling for Isaiah Livers… From everything I’ve seen, he’s really struggled whenever he’s on the floor. Am I missing something?


One other thing (on the positive): Matthews is really something I haven’t seen at Michigan since the basketball scandal erupted. The comparisons we’ve been fed were Robinson and Hardaway - he’s not nearly as passive as Robinson, and not nearly as content to settle for jumpers as Hardaway. His overall athleticism, ability to hit the glass, and effort level on both sides was palpable. It will be a shame if we don’t get a team around him, because I think he’s pretty special.


The man was a five star for a long time until the moron coaching him in high school started messing with his shot and got into his head. Cal didn’t help much at all.


I know we don’t have any scholarships and hopefully DeJulius can answer this some but man if I was an elite point guard I’m not sure there’s a better fit/opportunity than what Michigan can offer right now. Iggy + Matthews + a handful of other top 100 wings and maybe Moe back next year. If you add an all-conference point guard to that mix that team could be incredible


It’s like we’re watching 2 different games. Duncan got one good look the entire game in transition and he made it. Had 1 rebound in 30 minutes on the court and he’s supposed to be our 4 man. If real teams face guard him, he has zero chance of being productive on this roster. LSU of all schools were intentionally going at him for 30 minutes. If that isn’t enough reason to get a more athletic, better rebounder, better defender out there than I am at a loss. I like Duncan, but my goodness how can a guy start at PF and have 1 rebound in 30 minutes. ALMOST as awful as starting at PG and taking 0 shots and NEVER looking at the hoop. That’s just baffling to me.

I may need to watch again but I don’t think Duncan did a single thing in that game that I didn’t see livers do in less than half the time.


I’m not saying Duncan played well. It just seems like Livers makes one or two freshman mistakes every time he’s on the floor.

It would be great if he was ready to play a more significant role, but I’m not sure he is.


Not to haggle, but Robinson doesn’t seem to playing “the four”, in that he’s not guarding it (that’s Matthews). I guess 1 rebound is “bad” but that needs to be examined in the context of team rebounding: did we get beat on the glass? A cursory glance would suggest we really didn’t (or at least, Matthews offensive rebounding was just as effective for us) - so does it matter who gets the rebound?

Also, if a team is going to sell-out to stop Robinson, it should offer other opportunity offensively. If his man is, under no circumstance, going to help off of him, it should open vulnerabilities if we’re capable of winning a one-on-one matchup from someone else.