My Impatience Forces Me to Write About some Scenarios for Next Year

What many people seemed to have overlooked in McGary’s short, 50% stint earlier in the year, was that despite being far from full health, in 24.6 minutes a game, he averaged 9.5 points and 8.3 rebounds. IF he returns next year, I would assume he would be at full strength, and playing 32 minutes a game, if he conditions himself well. Assuming he continues to develop a post game, and that one of our 2 (or both) legitimate pick and roll ball handlers stays, then You can probably bump up that 12.4 points per 32 minutes to about 15, and his 10.8 rebounds per 32 minutes stays relatively the same, I would be completely fine with those numbers, in fact I would be overjoyed. We could be a serious match up problem with the threat of a surplus of outside shooting perhaps with a true power forward in Mark Donnal (again, assuming someone other than McGary goes pro), I could see a LeVert or Stauskas led team with Irvin becoming more all around and McGary’s defensive abilities to be a nightmare to match up with. Then again, if no one goes pro, then we may have one of the best offensive teams in recent Michigan memory. If McGary leaves, which would be because of his age, then we still have Horford, who’s solid, but wouldn’t be able to stay on the court for more than 10 minutes without fouling out, and is only a threat on open layups, as his post up game that was so highly touted just a few weeks a go has interestingly vanished from our offense (For the most part). I know that the odds that someone leaves early, even McGary, are pretty high though, and this season isn’t even close to done, and that it’s just outright stupid to look ahead to next season at this point, but I just wanted to write this before I forget.

I don’t see Donnal starting and I think he is a center. I think everyone is excited about the future and boy does it look bright…

…and our PG depth is nice

Spike as a Junior
Walton as a Sophomore…I can only assume he’ll make improvements from this year to next.

It’s very likely that we lose at least one player to the NBA after this year, but if we only lose one, we’ll look very, very good for next year, no matter who it is. If two guys leave, the interesting question is, which of the three would you most like to have back? Stauskas is the best of the three, and if he stayed, our backcourt would be as good as anyone’s in the country, with Walton, Albrecht, LeVert, Stauskas and Irvin, but we’d be left a little thin in the frontcourt, with only Horford having any real experience. Chatman may be able to step in effectively as a SF, but we’d be depending on the unproven Donnal and Doyle to provide minutes at the bigs. We’d probably be better balanced if we had a healthy McGary back next year.

Worst case scenario, if we lost all three, we’d still not be looking too bad. That would leave Walton, Albrecht, LeVert and Irvin in the backcourt, which is pretty darn good (not sure what if anything we can count on from Hatch next year). I’d figure Chatman to step in to start at SF, with Horford starting at one big, and maybe Donnal at another, and we’d have to see how Doyle and Wilson develop. A little thinner than this year, but still a potentially good lineup. And of course, if we lost three scholarships, we’d have room to sign one or two more guys for 2014, though it’s not certain who would be available and worth taking at that point. Is there another LeVert or Albrecht out there waiting to be snatched up at the last minute? If that scenario plays out, I’d like to see us take another guard in 2014, to beef up our backcourt for 2015, and maybe stash the other scholie for 2015, which would give us two open spots for that year, and time to get high quality players to fill them.

If we lose all 3 there is no way that Chatman starts at SF over Irvin, if anything Chatman will start at the 4.

No way? Well, since no one knows how good Chatman or Irvin will be next year (to say nothing of Donnal, Doyle or Wilson), I have no idea what justifies your certainty. Yes, we MIGHT end up starting two big guards with LeVert and Irvin, though that doesn’t leave us much to rotate in. But unlike LeVert, Irvin certainly hasn’t showed enough this year to make me think that he’s got a starting spot locked up tight for next year. If Chatman is as good as a freshman as Robinson or Stauskas, he’ll certainly be in there. Horford, Donnal, Chatman, LeVert and Walton could very well be our best starting lineup, though I don’t doubt Irvin will get his share of minutes.

Returning Glenn and Mitch is more important than returning Nik imo. We’d be fine offensive without Nik but our rebounding/defense would stay the same or drop without the other two.

Donnal is a center. The 4 man is a guard basically who comes off ballscreens. I don’t see Donnal handling the ball. His ability to shoot and finish will make him a deadly option at center and will make teams think twice about hard hedging.

No way? Well, since no one knows how good Chatman or Irvin will be next year (to say nothing of Donnal, Doyle or Wilson), I have no idea what justifies your certainty. Yes, we MIGHT end up starting two big guards with LeVert and Irvin, though that doesn't leave us much to rotate in. But unlike LeVert, Irvin certainly hasn't showed enough this year to make me think that he's got a starting spot locked up tight for next year. If Chatman is as good as a freshman as Robinson or Stauskas, he'll certainly be in there. Horford, Donnal, Chatman, LeVert and Walton could very well be our best starting lineup, though I don't doubt Irvin will get his share of minutes.

I’ll tell you what justifies my certainty - if GR3 leaves we simply don’t have a player on next year’s roster that can man the 4 spot on both ends of the court other than Chatman, which means Irvin starts at the 3 by default. There is simply no way that Irvin or Wilson will start at the 4 next year if GR3 leaves. If so, it will be a long, long, long year.

Well, in the first place, it’s silly to base an argument on the premise that we have to have “a 3” and “a 4” on the floor all the time or any time. We don’t. Virtually no one starts a lineup with “a 1”, “a 2”, “a 3”, “a 4” and “a 5” these days. Teams start 3 guards and 2 forwards or 3 guards, 1 forward and a center. Second, neither you nor I nor anyone else knows how well Wilson will play next year. How many people expected Stauskas to start and be as good as he was as a freshman? And no, Irvin isn’t going to be playing anything resembling a power forward, but that doesn’t mean he’ll start by default. Robinson this year is nothing like a power forward at either end of the court, let alone both, so if he’s not back, it certainly doesn’t leave an unfillable gap at “the 4” in our roster.

You claim Robinson is nothing like a 4 at either end this year, and I agree to a certain extent. But, as of right now, both Irvin and Wilson are further removed from being a 4 than GR3, whereas Chatman is closer to being a 4 than either of those players in terms of style of play and size. You can role out 3 guards, 2 forwards, etc…but at some point you need players to rebound and eat up space on the inside. There is no way in hell that either Irvin or Wilson can do either of those things from the 4 spot next year. Your 4 man is either going to be Chatman or Donnal if GR3 leaves…and Donnal is better suited at the 5 in my opinion.

Irvin is bigger than Chatman, especially in the upper body.

GR3 is MUCH bigger than Levert in the upper body…what’s your point?

No one is advocating for LeVert to be a 4 man.

Point is that size doesn’t mean much in your context given above- those players might be bigger but they’re simply horrible rebounders

Glenn is the teams leading rebounder and many of Caris’ rebounds are a result of Glenn boxing out. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Irvin guarding the other teams 4 man…

All of this silly though since Glenn could very well come back. I still feel that we can afford to loose Nik but not Glenn and definitely not Mitch. Not if we want to be one of the handful of teams in the hunt for a title.

Not sure where you’re getting that Robinson is the team’s leading rebounder, other than from your fertile imagination. He’s our fourth leading rebounder overall, and even if you count just Big Ten games, without McGary, he’s still 4th. Robinson’s rebounding is just not something that will be a huge problem to replace. If McGary leaves, along with Morgan being gone, yes, as noted, we’ll look a little thin up front, at least until one or more of our new bigs proves out. But Beilein’s teams have never relied on dominant rebounding and inside play in any case, and have still managed to do well. We’re in first place in the Big Ten this year, even though we have a negative rebounding margin, and are averaging less than 30 rebounds a game in conference play. Lack of a huge presence at power forward next year doesn’t mean we’re sunk. Sure, if we lose three guys to the NBA, without any obvious high impact players coming in to replace them, we may slip a bit, but so it goes.

Oops he is essentially tied for first with Caris and Morford. 2nd best offensive rebounder. Higher TRB% than Caris. We’d miss his rebounding.

No one is stating that we will suck next year without GR3 but the focus is on National Championships. Our offensive efficiency will be there but to take the step next year, we need to stay at or improve our rebounding margins and defensive efficiency, which would be likely to happen with McGary and Glenn coming back. I feel confident we can replace Nik’s shooting and PnR play.

Uh, well…no. He’s not “essentially tied for first”. If you’re taking the whole season into account, he’s way behind McGary, and slightly behind two other guys. If you take minutes played into account, he’s way behind two other guys. If you’re just talking about the Big Ten, without McGary, he’s still solidly behind three other guys. Robinson is our fourth best rebounder, no matter how you want to torture the stats. And have we missed McGary’s rebounding? Not enough to keep us out of first place, that’s for sure. Sorry, but if our biggest worry next year is replacing 4 rebounds a game from a guy who’s averaging 30 minutes, we’ll be just fine.

McGary hasn’t played since non-conference. Let that argument go. He isn’t on the active roster.

Also, minutes are apart of the game. Being able to stay out on the court counts. Robinson is a tenth behind Morford, essentially the same.

You also ignored that he is our second best offensive rebounder.

And if that’s all you think Glenn brings to the table then something is off. Coupled with Caris, he is our best transition player. Chatman/Irvin/Donnal won’t fill that role. He is our most versatile defender. I don’t think anyone can defend a Jabari Parker or Aaron Gordon on our roster other than Glenn. He plays the passing lanes. He has bigman like efficiency around the rim and finishing in the paint. I doubt any of that gets replaced.

McGary>Robinson>Stauskas in order of importance for next year. If you can make a legitimate argument why I’m wrong then I’d love to hear it. Always willing to listen and be corrected, if that is the case.

Where did I say that rebounding was all Robinson brought to the table? Nowhere. That’s just something else you made up. Your claim was that he was our leading rebounder, and that we’d have a lot of trouble replacing his rebounding, neither of which are supported by the statistical evidence. He’s our fourth best rebounder. Morgan and Horford are both far better rebounders. They’re getting fewer minutes because they’re not that great on offense and because that’s the style Beilein plays, not because Robinson is a better rebounder than they are. And again, you really have no idea who will be capable of filling what role next year. Did you predict that LeVert would be our best transition player this year? Doubt it (assuming he even is, and that that’s not something else you just made up). Robinson is a good to very good player, but he’s not irreplaceable, any more than Burke, Hardaway and McGary.