Michigan/VCU Post Game Discussion

We don’t have a UM/VCU post game thread yet so I’ll just put this here. So proud of our kids! Gutty, gutty win that we won with defense. It seemed that VCU hit an inordinate amount of really tough contested shots and at least one where they just threw the ball up and it went in. We were so tight offensively, everything off the front of the rim. Mathews hurt and playing on guts alone. Moe struggling offensively, and THEN, BOOM an “and 1” and the big three! A huge three by MAAR. And Duncan, please no more talk about just being a Division III player. I was particularly impressed by his drive to the hoop, one of several, by the way, his drive to the hoop from the right wing, takes it to the hole, VCU player running at him, switches hands and lays it in with the left off glass. NICE! We DO have two point guards, one who is very savvy for a freshman and eventually WILL be a scorer, and the other just an outstanding on the ball defender! Do they have to get better? Of course, but what a great win. Character win! Proud of our kids!

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I obviously liked our finish, but that game was painful to watch. Just when it seemed like we were going to pull away, we starting making silly passes and couldn’t get anything going offensively.

Our point guard play will dictate how far this team can go. Right now, it’s very poor.


Obviously great gutty win that was MUCH needed. Right now, I just feel awful for Simmons. Barely played and is struggling when he does. Transferred for a better opportunity and it’s gone complete opposite for him right now.

I just wish it’d be working out better for him and Michigan. It’s tough to see at the moment. Feel real bad how it’s played out so far.


Duncan deserves a lot of credit for his game tonight. 2/8 shooting from three and he was still one of the main reasons we were able to pull it out.

Interesting that in a tie game with 4 minutes left Simpson/Brooks were in the game together. I liked what I saw from both. Would like to see Simmons fall out of the rotation, as he did in the second half.

Teske is gonna be really good at some point in his career. I laughed off the thought of Wagner at the 4 but big Jon is making that less crazy than I thought.

I think soon we will see 1 of the 3 point guards fall out of the rotation completely (my bet is on Simmons) and 1 of Poole and Ibi fall out also


That lineup was out there because Matthews was hurting. I’m guessing that’s the only reason.

Also: I thought after the LSU game it was a very bad sign that we lost that game despite Wagner and Matthews playing incredible.

I think it’s a good takeaway that we were able to pull this one out despite a very inconsistent quiet game from Wagner and Matthews struggling with his cramps

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MAAR’s layup at the buzzer is all over the internet. Michigan was favored by 7 so that meaningless bucket covered the spread!!


Yeah definitely but he had Ibi and Livers to choose from still and playing 2 of our struggling PGs at once shocked me

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All because of the Havoc and the need for ball handlers.


I believe Simmons can potentially be an effective player on offense - I think it’s nuts to say we know the answer to that 6 games in, considering how complicated our offense is for anyone, but particularly for a PG. But the defense?! If he can’t keep anyone in front of him, forget it. That was distressing to see.

Teske is really solid. He does a great job contesting shots without fouling and does a nice job walling off the driver on the screen and roll. His FT’s were pretty ugly but no way we win this game without Teske playing huge minutes with Wagner in foul trouble.

Moe was having a terrible game but showed some really maturity by coming up with two huge buckets down the stretch.

Duncan didn’t shoot the three well but he made them pay by closing out so hard and driving for buckets. That was nice.

Still worried our PG play is going to limit the ceiling of this team. Not sure Brooks is ready to be a starter. He’s more of threat to shoot than the others but whether he can make them is to be determined. Brooks seems to have a decent floor sense but his ball handling is still a bit weak and I don’t think he’s quick enough to stay in front of good PGs.

Simpson is a good defender and much better ball handler. He’s pretty fast but he can’t shoot. He’s going to provide very little offense. Simmons is completely lost at the moment. Still hoping that can change. I don’t think the kid forgot how to play basketball or isn’t talented.

Rahk hit a huge three to tie the game. He also has 22 assists to one TO so far this year. That’s an impressive ratio to say the least.


Duncan and Mo showed a ton of guts down the stretch, Mathews too.

I have a very hard time ignoring the 1:1 correlation at this point of our offense dying when Simpson touches the floor - he’s just a miserable halfcourt offensive player at this point.

Teske is really giving a lot more than any of us could have expected - now he needs to work on going up strong.


Does anyone remember the scouting report on Simmons as a defender?

Actually, I just looked back, and the whole breakdown on him here was on his offense. Is this just a recent aberration where he can’t keep anyone in front of him or is this who he is? Can’t have a PG who gets broken down and blown by regularly.

Yeah I’m hoping the calls for Duncan to be benched will subside for at least 1 game. Although now people will just suggest Teske in his place instead of Livers.

Where I think Michigan most progressed over the tournament was defining offensive roles. Matthews and MAAR are the primary offensive playmakers. Mo is a guy that needs to get the ball a lot. And find Duncan in transition or on kick outs.


Some general post-Maui thoughts:

  1. We are set at center. Wagner is really good – his worst game was 10-5 in 20 mins against Chaminade. And he hasn’t really broken out yet. And Teske is a revelation. I mean, that combination of size and skill. I’m just going to stop there before I say something crazy. Like others, I would never have thought it likely before but I at least wonder it we’ll see any lineups with Wagner and Teske together.

  2. Matthews is really good. Like to see him crash the glass and realize this is his team, on the the whole, Wagner. Maybe not a typical Beilein wing but really good.

  3. Our guards are limited – or have been, and that’s the limiting factor on the team. MAAR is fine but he is what he is, and that’s not a lead guard. Simmons, well, he looks lost on both ends of the court right now. Maybe a switch flips, but it would have to be pretty soon. The growth/play of Simpson and Brooks could be the potential determinative factor on the team’s ceiling. Maybe Matthews really takes over as the playmaking guard/wing, but I’m not sure he has the handle either.

  4. The defense is . . . decent? Only one game in which the opponent has shot >50% from 2, and we haven’t allowed a ton of 3s. Quality of opponent caveats apply. Limited offensive rebounds might be the key factor here.

Still a lot of Qs on this team, but they’re narrowing. Playing 3 games in 3 days with 2 against higher competition was probably good at the very least just to set the team with some awareness of the situation – Wagner and Matthews are the engines, Teske is really good, Duncan and MAAR are solid pieces, and JB & co need to work something with the PG spot if the team is going to have a real shot of reaching its ceiling.


Being justifiably frustrated with a player does not equal calls for a benching.

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I don’t get a lot of the Duncan frustration. Michigan badly needs at least one wing off the bench to prove they can at least stay on the court. Until that happens, you can’t really do anything other than play Duncan for heavy minutes.


Robinson, Matthews, Maar, and no good answers behind them… yet… would be nice if Poole or Watson would step up

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See, this is exactly what I’m talking about. We can say we’re frustrated with him and still accept that he has to play due to the other options. It’s not mutually exclusive. I think the fact that he showed what he can do today makes the other games even more frustrating, and will continue to do so if this is a one time thing.

I’m not saying it’s impossible for him to do anything but I’m not sure what you think he did wrong against LSU given the way they defended him? We can agree, I assume, that he’s primarily a catch and shoot three-point shooter. Those opportunities won’t exist if the man defending him is tasked with ignoring everything but him and to stick with him like glue.

If a team sells out to shut him down, they can do it - but it SHOULD cost them (and our 1.4 ppp in the 2nd half sort of shows it did) elsewhere. In other words - he can inflict damage of a sort even when he’s not shooting.

He’s basically the walking reincarnation of Jon Diebler.

I would add one thing: against VCU he dribbled right at two to three hard closeouts (now he couldn’t do that against LSU because his man never left enough to need to close out) which is an undeniable wrinkle he may have added to his game (we’ll see if he can consistently do it). So he is developing.

I’d love to have a guy that can freeze someone with a crossover, and go up and release his shot on a dime before the defender can recover, but those guys are making $20 million and starting in the backcourt of Golden State and Portland. Robinson’s not that guy.