Recap is up. Bring on the hot takes.
I would greatly enjoy seeing a lineup with Teske and Wagner out there and I know it will not happen because the 4 is a wing in Beilein’s offense, which kinda sucks.
Wow - 2 fast break points. That’s eye opening.
It was good to see the bench respond to the need for help - Teske, Simmons, and Ibi played really well in their roles.
Defensively, I was disappointed how deep Southern Miss bigs would catch vs. our bigs catching well off the block. They almost played a good contain defense while we looked more chaotic. Last game we had poor rotations. This game we were constantly reaching and turning. We just never seemed to “force” anything defensively - we looked like we were playing catch-up.
It looks like the preseason predictions on our depth were right on the money. We’re gonna need our bench a lot this year and they’re in a much better position to deliver than previous seasons.
On the one hand - 3 wins with Wagner shooting 1-10 on 3s. Just wait until he starts hitting some. On the other hand, Wagner is shooting 1-10 on 3s and they haven’t exactly been all in-and-outers. Our ceiling is a lot lower if he can’t shoot 3s. Mo is averaging 13 and 10 and it doesn’t really feel like he’s hit his stride. On the other hand, it doesn’t really feel like he’s hit his stride.
It’s sort of like that down the line. We’ve done okay despite up and down PG play. On the other hand, we’ve had up and down PG play. Etc., etc. It still seems like we have plenty of unexpected bright spots that when things come together we could be really good. But plenty of things haven’t really come together, and there are no guarantees.
These opening games often go like this. I listed all the other close B1G games a few days ago and even over the last couple nights, Minny was in a close one with Niagara and Iowa was tied with Grambling with 10 to go. But having three in a row to varying degrees can be a little unsettling.
Generally, things tend to work out pretty well with JB. Maui should be revealing. Maybe? It might do the team some good to get out of Ann Arbor, have a bonding trip, play in some games that aren’t all downside.
Not much of a hot take. More lukewarm…
Oh, and Teske really does look the part too. That’s been really nice.
Yeah, I’m a bit worried about Wagner’s shot, but a guy who shot 40% on a high volume usually doesn’t just forget how to shoot, so who knows. Even without it, his inside game is good enough for him to be a great offensive player, which is awesome to have (although I wish we’d give it to him more on the block).
I am extremely worried about our point guards being complete non-offensive threats. 3 combined shot attempts for Simpson and Simmons and 1 was a last second half court heave. If this trend keeps up into big ten play I think we will struggle mightily even if the other 4 guys on the floor are hunting shots they way they have been.
They are just the official box scores. You can also get them from the schedule page: http://www.mgoblue.com/schedule.aspx?path=mbball
Simmons is a guy who has had 30-point games in the MAC. Whether he repeats such feats at Michigan who knows; but a number of guys have demonstrated that they can make baskets. I’m staying hopeful because anticipatory misery is not much more than masochism. Take the pain when and if it actually happens.
I wish I could like your last two sentences ten times.
Yep, a lot of variables to still figure out with this year’s team. Many options, not many sure things.
My guess is Wagner’s just going through a little shooting slump (like Robinson did around this time last season) and he’ll shout himself out of it.
My hope is Matthews is just re-adjusting to “live game” decision making after not really playing in games for 22mos and hopefully things click for him in the next couple of week.
My guess is things continue to slow down for Simmons week-by-week as he gets more comfortable in Beilein’s complex offense and he becomes a B1G league-average PG (maybe not the upside some were hoping for, but…)
I’m used to seeing some UM newcomer (usually freshman) return from the Christmas Holiday looking like a new & improved player. Hoping Simmons or Matthews or Livers or all 3 can have that bump this season.
Teske, Simmons and Ibi off the bench. That should be it right now. Personally I wan’t Simmons running the offense. Beating LSU is the main goal and then we’ll go from there against Notre Dame. There is literally no telling when Wagner will find his game and put up ridiculous numbers that will all lead us to a safe space.
I think you gotta add Livers to that list, we can’t have Duncan playing 40 minutes. Even though his production is low right now, the potential impact of what his skills are would be so huge for the team.
That’s a good point. Add Livers. He’s got to develop and has been giving good minutes no matter what the stats book says.
Happy for Teske!
Wagner was a pretty awesome leader last night, in his own way. Did anybody else notice some of Wagner’s exuberant celebrations and intense sideline “flexing” after Teske did good things? Wagner seemed to be genuinely 100x happier for Teske than Teske was for Teske. It didn’t seem like Teske, who was very stoic, was completely comfortable with the almost insane support and praise he was getting from Wagner, which made it kind of comedic. But Mo was 100 percent genuine in his support (on a night he was struggling a bit). Just an awesome teamate!
Mo might be more enthusiastic about the game of basketball than anybody who has ever lived…
Didn’t notice that. Great sign that Wagner isn’t a sulker if he gets taken out, that’s the kind of guy who can lead a team. I also noticed leadership from MAAR from a basketball standpoint, directing traffic and telling the young guys where to be.
MAAR has been the most consistent player thus far, obviously. My only complaint is that he’s taking too many 3’s from his weakest spot on the floor: the right wing, 22% from that spot last year if my memory of the shot chart serves me well, and no better this year from what i can tell.
I think Wagner is putting too much pressure on himself to be strong in the post, probably due to NBA aspirations. Rebounding-wise it has worked out, but his post moves are forced as he tries to bull through multiple defenders. He’s getting fouled, so that mitigates somewhat, but he needs to make better decisions there…either kick to the open guy or develop a baby hook. His best drives in the past have started at the elbows, but now he’s starting lower down where his quick first step and long strides are less of an asset. He needs work there.
Simmons seems to be more comfortable on the floor running the offense so it seems he might be starting to hit his stride. Hopefully it starts to show in individual stats soon, but the team +/- this past game is encouraging.
Watson: glad that he’s chipping in with solid all-around minutes.
Teske: you go big guy! Love it!
Matthews: meh so far. Hopefully it starts to click, but he doesn’t seem to me to have the fine motor skills (shooting, dribbling) or court-sense (ala GR3’s cutting) to be an elite player. NBA seems like a long shot, not just this year, but any for that matter. Hopefully he makes me eat my words.
Nice to see Teske contribute again.
Let’s not kid ourselves about the level of competition though. Southern didn’t have a guy over 6’6” in the post.
The half court offense is just pedestrian when you have PGs who are routinely a non threat to score. Somethings got to give there.
Let’s beat a non descript LSU team and go forward from there. ALOHA!