Michigan Players in the NBA



If some of you get to the pearly gates and St. Peter asks what the h you were thinking maligning Caris last year, I hope you have a really good story ready. :slight_smile:


Hopefully JB can get back to recruiting wings with the skillset to score at all 3 levels. Watching the game live though, I’m more and more convinced guys like Caris, GR3, and THJR were actually less productive than they could have been in a more uptempo system. In Caris’ case, I always thought the ballscreen heavy offense took away from his natural ability to wheel and deal to find guys. Not a shot at JB but just a rationale as to why JB’s best pros were not his best college players.


But in the case of Caris, he clearly came in needing more development than his fellow recruits Nik and Glenn, and obviously Trey was Trey during Caris’ freshman year.

And after that, I’d say Caris probably WAS on track to be as productive or even more productive than those guys by his junior and senior years, but obviously he kept getting hurt.

I think the tempo argument is a bit of a misnomer. Go back and watch the 2013 Iowa game - we ran a TON in that game. Or the 2013 VCU, Florida, and Kansas games - those were not slow down games. We ran plenty off of rebounds (and we still do), unfortunately we just don’t get a ton of defensive rebounds.


Not talking about Caris’ freshman year or if he needed development. I was on record as saying Caris was better than Nik, for instance, during their second years so I don’t even think a senior year should have happened without injuries. I’m not talking single instances of getting in a run n gun game…I’m talking systems which means whole seasons. Caris in UKs dribble drive offense or GR3/THJR at UNC would be interesting. It is a give and take though because the slow tempo PnR was the optimal system for guys like Trey, Nik and even Irvin.


I think Caris had the potential to sling some Valentine-like passes, out of the high iso. Valentine was obviously a special talent, especially in terms of passing, but Caris showed great vision and was heading toward averaging 17-6-6 to Valentine’s 20-7-7. Caris also head a better handle than Valentine, Valentine just had elite body control and awareness.


You may have been “on record” as saying he was better than Nik, but he wasn’t. And the fact that he has higher NBA upside doesn’t change the analysis any.

The guy we’re seeing in the NBA now is a much different looking guy. He’s a lot thicker, and it’s helped him a lot.

He was a very good player three years ago, to be sure. He might have benefitted some from a more wide open system, though in ours he wasn’t asked to run the pick and roll all that much, certainly not nearly as much as Nik. But I really don’t think our system was holding him back in any way, shape, or form. He’s just a guy who has been constantly getting better. His body control now, and his fluidity, is way better than it was at any point with Michigan.


Definitely was better and Nik was definitely helped by the system in ways Levert and others were not. Jonthan Tjarks had an article where he nailed it. Heck, it was fairly apparent to many of the NBA guys I chatted with by the end of their sophomore year so I was not alone. Not going to go back and forth about this any further, though.


Fwiw I fall in the camp of LeVert > Stauskas. So I think it’s debatable. I don’t really care much for these debates because it’s personal opinion; there is no right or wrong answer.
Example: People tell me Kevin Love sucks. I’m cool with that, by their measurements Kevin Love sucks. I like the way he plays, enjoy watching his style, so for me Kevin Love is very good.


Levert > Stauskas in talent or potential is a fair debate but objectively, Stauskas had a better sophomore season than LeVert and I don’t really see how anyone could argue that.


I mean…the original point was not even to make a comparison of players but a comparison of optimal systems for said players. Its clear Nik never had the same kind of upside or talent at the highest level. Stauskas had a better season because he got more shots, played in a system that minimized his weaknesses and played to his strengths, and allowed him to play essentially no defense…but it turned out wins.


Yeah, I never understood how anyone ever thought that was a debate. Valentine projected very similar to Nik for me coming out.


Go back and watch how dominant Caris was last year before he got hurt. I don’t think the system was an issue for him. Obviously faster pace = more points because of more possessions, and his game might be a better fit for the NBA, but I’m not sure Caris was really hurt by playing in Michigan’s offense.


My argument would be that he would be dominant in any system as a senior since he had no business being in college but I do think his ast % and defense were hurt by the roster, defensive philosophy and preference for PnR. Its really his junior year where you would have seen a difference in production in a different system.


Let’s just be happy that Caris is already off to a great start and Nik is having a career year :slight_smile:


@wolverheel Agree with you on Caris, but Nik is struggling mightily as of late. Tim Hardaway Jr. is the one having a career year.


GRIII trending in the right direction too!


This was enjoyable:

Nik Stauskas Dunks Over Thabo Sefolosha | Sixers vs Hawks | January 21, 2017


Last three games for LeVert: 13.3 ppg, 4.7 apg, 3 rpg, 1.7 spg, with 77/63/88 shooting splits. This is in 22 minutes per game. I think he’s gonna be kinda good.


"I'm comfortable with or without the ball," @BrooklynNets @CarisLeVert as he credits @umichbball coach @JohnBeilein.#NETSonYES pic.twitter.com/VuBWhKXQnp

— YES Network (@YESNetwork) January 21, 2017

Caris giving JB some credit where it’s due.


John Groce didn’t even pick up the phone to call Caris when he left Ohio for Illinois, then Caris becomes a 1st round draft pick even though he was injured (and is doing well in the pros), and someone is arguing that Michigan wasn’t a “good system” for him? Okay, sure.

Also, pro potential or success is not the measure of how good a player was in college. Trey Burke will always have been a pretty darn good college PG even if his pro career doesn’t amount to much. As for Nik, well, it’s too bad that some people feel the need to pat themselves on the back over how much they didn’t like the B1G player of the year and B1G champion.