Need some Pindown questions

We missed last week due to travel schedule/holidays but are recording an episode tonight. Need some Qs for the back half of the show. Send em over!

  1. If Michigan is not reliably hitting outside shots so that defenders can continue to double or sag down on Dickinson, what are some options to keep getting him touches?

  2. Would you be in favor of giving Collins more minutes to develop at the 1, in case Jones doesn’t quite put it together? Or Bufkin? Or do you let Eli handle the ball a little more and play Jones at the off guard? Or do you try and stick with Jones with the hopes that he figures it out?

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We seem to have a lot of trouble with post entry. What changes can we make to deliver the ball to Hunter in the post?

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We just saw the biggest football win in almost 20 years this past weekend. What are your 2-3 biggest wins for the basketball program since JB was hired (idk how old Eric is, but I’m assuming you two weren’t old enough for any big wins in the 90s and before. Plus, the Amaker and Ellerbe years were pretty light on significant wins).

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Michigan has changed up defensive schemes from last year - is there any idea of how Michigan is doing when running a drop coverage more similar to last year, or are there any particular things that Dickinson is struggling with that he seemed to have figured out last year? It’s a very different defensive issue, but I’m reminded of Teske in 2018-2019 and early 2020 having great stats and seeming to be dominant defensively against other big men in the post, but then the rest of 2020 happened and he was just fine in post defense (although the big 10 had a bunch of excellent big men as usual). Seemed like he had basically just had a hot streak on defense in 2019, anything similar with that reviewing Dickinsons 2021?

What struggles for the team so far seem more correctable or perhaps are just a product of sample size or fluke plays?

What problems seem more systemic and will be harder to overcome?


If you are an opposing coach, what are the first three bullets on your scouting report against Michigan? (Mine are…swarm Hunter, ignore Jones and the PF outside the arc, and press Jones full court ).

If you’re Juwan and his staff, how do you overcome those with the pieces you have?


Break down Houstan’s 3 point attempts. Are there any obvious adjustments that would get him back to being a high volume - high accuracy shooter, such as square up your shoulders or don’t step on the line? Or do we just need to wait for regression to drag his numbers closer to his true ability?

Will teams pressure Michigan guards (both in the backcourt and in trapping ball screens) and what’s the counter? There was a play I liked where Eli went horizontal quickly while Williams set a back screen for Caleb that got a wide open three.

Playing with four lottery picks?

Has your view of this team’s ceiling changed so far throughout the season or is it too early to say that?

Is it possible that the current iteration of Michigan basketball is struggling with a lack of shooters because Juwan was gifted a team with an abundance of shooting from the Beilein era? I understand that Caleb Houstan was touted as a shooting prospect, and Kobe has the ability to hit shots, and those are both guys that were recruited by Juwan. With guys like Williams, Collins, even Greg Glenn on the upcoming roster, is playing ball screen offense with non-shooters on the floor a potential blind spot in Juwan’s roster construction? Thanks!

I think it is too early to think about blind spots or long-term issues with Juwan’s approach just yet…but the trend lines are starting to point that way. Coaches adapt and we saw Beilein do it related to over-signing or defensive approach. I would also defend Juwan by saying that you don’t turn down top-60 guys like Diabate, Collins, Reed, Dug just because you want to find the next great shooter. Ideally you do both (Houstan? Bufkin?) but in many cases you’ll take the talent and adapt to how to use it. The Fab Five was not a good shooting group and had only one natural ball handler…they made it work.

The concern I would have is that Juwan loves playing a “true PF” and most of those guys aren’t shooters while he’s also been comfortable recruiting undersized pass-first PGs who also aren’t necessarily shooters. But, it still comes back to Bufkin/Houstan/Barnes/Jett. If those four reach their potential this “lack of shooters” question probably goes away mostly.

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I’m sorry but whom besides Isaiah Livers gifted Juwan an abundance of shooting? Brown, Smith, and Franz were signed by Juwan. Brooks was pretty much persona non-grata among the Michigan fanbase until his most signifiant development came under Juwan.

Where did all that shooting come from during his first season here? Certainly didn’t come from Zavier Simpson, a player who is pretty much a less athletic version of what we hope Collins can become. Apologies if this comes across as combative but I agree with AC1997, it’s way too early tell if shooting is a blindspot in Juwan’s recruiting. I also agree with the fact that you don’t turn down players like Collins.

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I see both sides of it and it is waaay too early to pass any judgment on this stuff. But I will say this…

Point guards are a lot like quarterbacks. They have the biggest influence on your teams success and are often directly related to a coach’s success. Harbaugh’s struggles are linked to his inability to recruit, sign, and develop QBs just as much as the success this year is linked to having a solid QB.

Beilein overall had a great record of identifying, signing, developing, and building a system for PGs. Morris, Burke, Spike, Walton, and Simpson. His only misses were DDJ and maybe some of the early year guys.

Juwan will be linked to Smith, Zeb, Frankie, Jones, and Duh in the same way…for better or worse. I always prefer a PG who can shoot personally, but Morris/Simpson were great without that.

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Can you guys break down some defensive tape of the freshmen and try to identify their lapses and weaknesses? Especially interested if you can figure out if Bufkin is much worse than Houstan/Diabate.

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I think you’re neglecting the fact that Simpson had an elite handle and excellent quickness, especially in the PnR. I remember a lot of defenders having a hard time sticking with him.


Yeah, people have a tendency to equate athleticism with vertical leap, but Simpson was absolutely an elite lateral athlete, quick fast, and extremely strong.