Observations from the exhibition game

The biggest thing I noticed from the Armstrong State game was how much autonomy Coach Beilein is giving Coach Donlon. I don’t believe I have saw Coach Beilein allow an assistant to take the lead during timeouts before.

Agree they looked to have a new, more aggressive defensive philosophy (presumably due to Donlon) and that was my most positive takeaway.

The other thing I liked were the occasional post-ups especially when the threes weren’t falling. JB teams always have cold streaks and it’s good to finally see at least some willingness to let the bigs bang in the post. It’s a bit strange when the brightest spot of the night was the front court but I think Wagner is poised to have a big season and the additional length of Wilson and Teske means that this is finally – finally! – not an undersized team. So that’s good.

This team does look more athletically challenged than past instalments. There is really no elite athlete (except Matthews on the bench) and there are a few subpar ones. Neither Irvin nor Walton looked particularly explosive and Irvin getting rejected by the rim was definitely a lowlight.

The freshmen looked fine – Watson surprised me and Teske shows a lot of promise with his length and grasp of the game. Perhaps a little disappointed that they collectively had a quiet, respectable game and nobody made the kind of immediate impact that some of the more celebrated recruits around the country have made (like Winston’s stat line vs SVSU). Especially since the seniors aren’t dominant.

And nothing against Lonergan – he was basically fine – but having a walk-on (even an above-average one) play starter-level minutes in the event of a single injury is admittedly disappointing. Let’s just hope Rahk makes a quick recovery and that Watson can play big minutes if needed.

They took care of business but this wasn’t really a fun game to watch – although maybe I’m just saying that because it cost me 10 bucks for a low-quality stream. At least BTN now lets you opt-out of automatic renewal, which is basically theft! My hope is that this team has the toughness and skill to hang with the more athletic teams they will face (UCLA, Texas, Indiana, MSU) as well as make short work of the D1 cupcakes they’ll face.

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Also, hate to say it, but Nike could have done a better job with the uniforms. There was really no reason to mess with the MICHIGAN font, which was basically the one thing that Adidas didn’t screw up. Oh well, it’s not a big deal.

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If Teske ends up taking minutes from Donnal at the 5, I’d venture to say we have one of the deepest big man rotations in the conference. Ibi was my most pleasant surprise from the game. I’m not too worried about Duncan’s shot. He was off last night but he also got in foul trouble early and never found a rhythm. I’m still holding out hope that X will look alot more comfortable in the next game.

I don’t agree that they are athletically inferior, to last year’s team at least. We lost Dawkins, Doyle, Chatman, Spike* and Caris* and replaced them with Teske, Davis, Xavier and Watson. Athletically, Xavier > Spike, Teske > Doyle (certainly in terms of lateral quickness, Teske has great feet), Watson ~ Dawkins/Caris.

  • Injured

I thought the uniforms were perfect. Thats aside from DJ’s shorts.

What time is the re-run on tomorrow?

edit: 6pm EST on BTN

You forgot, Wilson > Chatman, this year Wagner > last year Wagner.
And Dawkin’s was rejected by the rim on numerous occasions.

The only time Dawkins used any of his athleticism was when trying to do cool dunks. It served no functional purpose for him on defense or getting to the rim. That’s why I don’t even see that as a loss at all in terms of athleticism.


Some video from Friday in ‘Five Key Plays’


Purely speculation, but my guess is Lonergan got the start just so the coaches could keep the freshmen (Simpson & Watson) in their normal rotation patterns. The updates on MAAR made it sound like an injury he would have played through in B1G action but not something worth risking for an exhibition game.


He was trying to do something crazy each time. Not because he can’t jump. He did not use it well though either way.

Beilein said that he played Lonergan because he knew the two, so it could keep the rotation together. Watson rotated only at the three while Simpson played just the point guard. If you noticed when Irvin, Wilson and Watson were on the floor at the same time, Irvin actually played the two offensively which allowed Watson to stick to the three spot which he knows.

Again this was an exhibition (fake game) and I think it had a lot to do with getting guys reps where they are going to get actual reps.

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Been saying this all offseason, haha