Northwestern at Michigan Discussion Thread


They have felt they’re playing better. If they want to even think about a run at getting near the bubble, they need something like a road win at a ranked team to get that started… they’re much more in a go for it mode than a protect the home court mode.


I fully understand the urgency on their part. Where I’m getting at is they caught Michigan off balance for a good portion of the first half. (I’d argue they just missed some shots as well, but still it wasn’t smooth)

As UMHoopsFan called out above, sounds like they’ve been playing it consistently and Beilein had a hard time preparing for it. Now they know it so there goes that element. At least mix it up or play some man. They just went full matchup zone and Michigan adjusted.

Obviously Collins/Donlon can and will make adjustments with it next Tuesday, but cat is out of the bag now. I think we see more of the Michigan second half than first half next Tuesday.


Sure hope so!


Do you think ‘Ohio’ could be Z?


He’s just yelling for Zavier to inbound (he’s from Ohio).


I thought the adjustment looked downright full on fantastic as the second half wore on; and I was really taken with Poole’s whip-like passing.


Definitely agree. The overload and zone sets were well coached. (Obviously ha, we know Beilein is an offensive genius)

I just don’t really see where you go if you’re Northwestern. Michigan carved that up as they grew accustomed to it - Coaches and Players.


Yeah, I just thought it was funny that JB is yelling “Ohio!” late in close games, especially considering some of the earlier discussion about how JB sees the MSU rivalry and how some other coaches obviously feel about UM/OSU, I mean, he could yell “X inbound” (same number of syllables) or “Lima” or whatever.


Poole’s is showing some flashes of having the magic touch with his passing. Next level stuff!


Could not agree more


FWIW, this was Poole’s first multi-assist game of the season :slight_smile:

I know he hasn’t played major minutes, but he has no problem getting shots up.


True, just wondering if you think his ability to knock down shots is leading to more attention leading to distribution opportunities?


I think the sky is the limit for him. Thought Beilein put it well that he has some elements of his game that you can’t teach. The fact that he’s playing productive minutes and still has so many refinements that he can make in his game is encouraging.

Huge summer coming up for him. Going from a 15 minutes per night energy guy to a 30 minutes per game starter is a huge leap. Especially when he’s replacing one of the most consistent Michigan players on both sides of the ball in terms of reliability, no turnovers, defense, etc.

Obviously the ceiling is through the roof though.


Brendan Quinn had an article on the Athletic about Poole today that was interesting - talking about how his mindset is different entering a game if Matthews gets a quick foul than if he enters with 10 minutes left in the half. He basically knows he only has 3-4 minutes to impact the game in that situation and so he is more aggressively hunting his shots. Whereas if he knows he will stay in for an extended chunk, he plays within the offense more and knows his chances will come.

I think Poole’s transition from 10 to 30 minutes per game will be incredibly smooth, in fact I think down the stretch of this season we will see it trend that way. I think you could argue he’s in the top two on the team in pretty much all skill-related areas. I envision him being a KILLER in ball screens next year. He’s got the vision and passing ability to be a creator for others too - if he embraces a pick and roll facilitator / shot creator role as much as he has embraced “instant offensive sparkplug” he’s gonna be a monster


I agree this summer is going to be key for Poole. He could stand some camp Sanderson to get stronger which he will need as next year everyone will be ready for him. Also, a big summer for Brooks as I see his major issue is gaining strength and working on scoring off the bounce.


Passing has not been Poole’s emphasis, but if you look at assists/40 in conference play, MAAR-3, Matthews-3, Poole-2. (It’s actually been closer to 3 for Poole if you look at only the conference games since the end of the non-con). Or assist% - Poole-11%, MAAR-15%, Matthews-15%.

So it’s not like he’s got that far to go to just match what MAAR and Matthews are doing, despite the fact that Poole is not option A in terms of creating offense from ball screens, etc. (Of course, you could say it’s a 50% increase…). For comparison, Stauskas’s assist rate his freshman year was 8%. MAAR’s assist rate his sophomore and junior year was 11 or 12%.

But it’s also somewhat an eye-test thing. He looks much more confident passing the ball than MAAR ever has. I can’t really imagine MAAR making that pass late in the game to Wagner, for instance. Poole had one drive and kick where his pass to Robinson was a little off and I was surprised it wasn’t on the money. The aggression might lead to a few more TOs, but I think it’ll lead to a lot more easy buckets.

I thought JB said some interesting things about Poole in the presser – that they’re going to celebrate his assists, and that Poole understands that he’s not going to play unless he plays defense and takes care of the ball. Clearly, JB is working on reining in Poole’s shoot-from-the-hip tendencies and rewarding him for things other than putting the ball in the basket. But the skills seem to clearly be there, along with the decisiveness.


Beilein really stresses sound fundamentals. I remember reading that we do a lot of basic passing drills at the beginning of the year, to drive home that point. I think he also does a good job of keeping things uncomplicated for the players as the year begins and gradually adding new wrinkles as the season goes on.


Elaborate compared to my way, yes. If you have to go past the eyeball test, you’re reaching.


I think those two have the highest basketball IQ on the team. You can just see it in their games. I’m expecting a big bounce from both next year, if not sooner.


Went looking for high school video of Poole, because I wanted to remember how he looked. I had absorbed that he might be a big scorer, but not what a great passer he already was:

Watching some of his great no-look passes, the creativity, I think I understand what Beilein means when he says that Poole does some things that you can’t teach.

I’m awfully big on Livers–continue to be on Matthews, who (as someone pointed out to me) is having a whole lot asked of him. But I wonder if Poole might have more ceiling than both of them.