Northern Michigan Opener

We had some great discussion last week about potential lineups, etc. against Le Moyne.

Now with a real live basketball game this week that actually counts, what are you guys looking for against Northern Michigan? Do you expect any lineup changes?

One big question will be if Wagner plays. I think he gets held out in this game but eventually forces Coach Beilein’s hand.
I’m interested to see Kam Chatman as well. I hope he hits a couple jumpers and makes some plays off the dribble. He’s an intriguing player. Like to see him develop to be a Valentine type player.
Also like to see M try to break more this game. Get some rebounds an go! Get these athletes in space.

  1. I will be looking first and foremost at the bigs. I’m generally pretty bullish about this team/program but the exhibition increased my nervousness about the 5 position. Will Wilson gets some minutes at the 5, especially if Wagner doesn’t play and Irvin returns.
  2. And of course I’ll be watching to see if Irvin plays.
  3. Can Wilson continue his good play, maybe knock down some jumpers.
  4. Can Chatman continue his good play, maybe knock down some jumpers.
  5. It would be nice to see Dawkins look sharp.

This is a great point… If they are still considering RSing Wagner and Irvin returns … then you have to figure DJ gets some run at the five.

I watched about 30 minutes of the Le Moyne game on BTN last night. The lineup that worked the best was Spike/Caris/Duncan/DJ/Ricky. I hope JB gives these guys the start and lets them play for at least 10 minutes so they can get some rhythm.

I have completely given up on Kam. As compared with DJ, I will say that Kam has a better court awareness than DJ. But everything else favors DJ: athleticism, rebounding, better finisher, better outside shooter. With all the bodies that we have, I just don’t see Kam getting any serious minutes this season.

I definitely see Duncan averaging over 10 points this year.

There you go Dylan, there’s some fresh meat for this thread.


I’m not sure how that game could make someone who hadn’t already given up on Kam do so. Overall, I thought DJ and Kam were both relative bright spots, but I wouldn’t think that everything favors DJ outside passing and court awareness (which is kind of a big thing, by the way).

Kam led the team in assists with 4. Wilson had 2. Both good, advantage Kam.

Kam got 5 rebounds in 21 minutes (including 2 offensive), DJ got 3 in 19 minutes. Kam also drew a foul on a LeMoyne player going after another offensive rebound. Advantage Kam. This is consistent with last year when Kam was one of the best rebounders on the team on a per-minute basis.

DJ was 0-4 from 3, Kam was 0-2. Both bad, advantage Kam.

I thought they both did a good job on defense for the most part. Probably advantage DJ though.

Wilson did look much better getting buckets at the rim. Advantage DJ.

I’m hoping they both get minutes this year.


Yeah, I talked to a few people who were frustrated with Kam’s performance and don’t really get it. I thought he played pretty well, excelled in some of the areas where he has the ability to excel.

It’ll be interesting to see how that battle plays out over the next two weeks or so.

I think with Kam, people were expecting so much that there’s a constant sense of disappointment – he’s not the five-star we’d point-scorer we hoped for, etc. Players had come in and crushed it early, whether it was Timmy, Trey, Nik, or GRIII, that we just assumed it would happen with Kam too. But in my view there’s still a lot of potential there. Kam is still young – he just turned 19, and he’s a full year younger than Aubrey and almost two years younger than MAAR – and hadn’t played much organized ball, certainly not at a high level. And he’s best with the ball in his hands, which is something he doesn’t always have now. If he can shoot 33% from 3 and continue to be more assertive around the rim, he could be a big asset to this team going forward. If he can shoot 35-37%, he could be a big-time player as Caris and then Zak leave. Of course, it may not happen that way, he may have a down year and then transfer, who knows – but there’s good reason to be optimistic and the early scrimmage and exhibition game were pretty encouraging.


I think Kam will have a good year. I didn’t notice him making big mistakes like last year. Looks confident. Didn’t score much at all but he had very nice passes. I am not sure why people are down on Kam. He will be a very good player eventually.


Not me. I never expected him to be a 5 star. Just a sold contributor, and so far I haven’t seen that at all. He doesn’t look like he can shoot 33% from the floor, let alone from 3. Because of that I just don’t ever see him being a consistent part of the rotation despite his size and passing ability.

To be fair, he shot 32.8% from the floor last year – so he’s capable of shooting 33% from the floor (that’s obviously not saying much). I’m going to guess he can improve on that number over the course of his career.

1 Like

Agree and if he’s not going to hit 3’s, I’d much prefer Chatman at the 4 anyway.

Many seem to be down on Chatman and Donnal, I am not. I think they can and will contribute this year.
I am most excited about Robinson and Wagner as I think that they are both BB players, not just athletes. Wagner may not get a lot of minutes this year, but he will play.
I am most anxious to see how Beilein manages minutes and what guys end up at which positions. It will take some time to sort it all out.

The problem there is that he doesn’t look much better scoring inside than he does in the perimeter. I hope I am wrong and he makes a big leap forward, but last season was really ugly. He can pass and rebound, but without any scoring ability it is pretty hard to have him as a regular part of the rotation.

I strongly disagree. This team has enough scorers (Walton, LeVert, Irvin, Dawkins) that I don’t consider scoring ability to be a huge deal for Kam. You said yourself that he can pass and rebound and those are two things this team will need (especially rebounding).

Yea, but he also can’t defend. Lack of defense and scoring are pretty big disqualifiers for a wing player.

Maybe this is true from a general perspective, but in the opener, he was able to defend much better than Duncan or Dawkins. DJ, it’s hard to tell, but just because of his size, he should be considered as a defensive weapon (at least down he line).

I doubt very much that Chatman will start once Irvin is back, but there may be a battle for the starting 4 spot until that happens (which hopefully won’t be long), and the first 3/4 spot off the bench after that. Robinson will almost certainly be the more productive scorer, so the question remains whether Chatman can make up the difference with defense, rebounding and passing. I don’t think it’s clear at this point, but having a year of DI experience under his belt makes me lean towards Chatman. I think we’ll see a fair amount of both of them for the next few games.

Chairman doesn’t need to be a good scorer, just not horrible. Needs to be good enough that the defense will respect him. Also needs enough scoring to make his passing viable. You aren’t gonna have open passing lanes if you aren’t a scoring threat