This occurred to me, too. Could be a bit of a problem. Guy may well be the best defender–at least at guard–in America next year. Let’s pray he can hit his FTs (I’m convinced he will) and elevate his 3-PT rate. That is my absolute key to next year’s success, because his passing/playmaking is already so good, and going to be so improved, that he is going to put the rest of the team in a position to make buckets.
The confounding thing about Simpson is people wanting to say his weaknesses limit M’s ceiling, but demonstrably a deep run in the tourney can be had with Simpson playing a crucial role. This board and elsewhere was certainly full of people focusing on what Simpson couldn’t do. Fortunately his coaches built his role around what he could do.
If Simpson were a 40% shooter from 3 and an 80% shooter from the foul line this season, he’s probably heading to the NBA draft with an agent.
I believe Z will shoot 67-70% at the line and a solid, and consistent, 33-34% from three. He will be the best defensive PG in America, he will run the offense, and he will be an effective offensive threat. This is just my prediction based on flimsy evidence. Well, actually the evidence isn’t so flimsy. He works his freaking tail off, and he will do EVERYTHING he can to be successful. I think Z will have a really good year next year and Eli and DDJ will battle it out to give him 6-8 of rest. It remains to be seen of either of those kids, Eli or DDJ, will be able to get some quality minutes as the backup to JP.
This feels like a stretch. Simpson’s offensive game is limited and he definitely needs to make improvements there. Yes, his defense is good enough that he’ll continue to play huge minutes and is a defensive game-changer. But Michigan survived basically in spite of his offense for long stretches and it would help to get more offensive ability out of that production. Hitting open threes is a start… being able to shoot off the bounce would help. There are a lot of ways that he can improve his offense. Simpson wouldn’t be a pro right now if his free throw shooting was better and he made 9 more threes.
Michigan needs to figure out a way to improve on offense next year despite losing all of its best offensive pieces. Should be interesting.
Brian and Ace do yeoman’s work and I have tons of respect for them and the mgoblog community–particularly as their basketball coverage has improved significantly the past few years (feeling the competition from the impeccable UMhoops). Yet, there is a reason I always end up here
Brooks moving to off guard might help him restoring some of the confidence.
Yours is definitely the prevalent narrative, just not sure how true it is. You could say the same about anyone on the team. There were also games where his offense was critical in the win. In the end Simpson’s offense was so limited that the team won 13 or 14 in a row to reach the NC game and sweep through the BTT.
Not at all saying Simpson doesn’t need/want to make improvements to his offensive game, just questioned how limiting it is; apparently not all that limiting. Definitely a PG you can win a natty with.
The easiest way for him to improve his contributions is to improve his free throw shooting, which I think he will do. There is no reason why he, or any other guard, can’t be a 70%+ free throw shooter.
He’s a point guard you can win a natty with when you have offensive weapons like MAAR, Wagner and a floor spacer like Duncan around him. This team lost its best three shooters though and it’s fair to question how far the team could go next year if Simpson doesn’t pick up some of the slack. (My take is that Iggy, Poole and Matthews will make be good enough we don’t need a jump from Simpson to win at the national level).
But I do agree with Dylan that just raising the percentages doesn’t equal an NBA career for Simpson. He’s gonna have to show he can score at all levels off the dribble in a variety of ways. His ability to finish is great, but can he create separation for himself next year and become a scorer away from the rim in any way?
I don’t think Dylan said this directly, at least I didn’t see it.
I’m not saying it does either but Simpson will be phenomenal next year if he can hit 40 & 80. I don’t Xpect him to hit those numbers, but what the hell, maybe he will. Then we can see if he parlays into an NBA draft pick. I’d love to have the debate
I guess this is what I took as “just raising his percentages” equaling an NBA career. Maybe Dylan didn’t say it directly but I think it’s the point we both disagree with. With 0 attempted off the dribble jump shots, I find it hard to believe he would have snuck into the draft even had he been a knock down set shooter all year. If he hits those numbers he is all conference player at the very least. Would love to see it happen
It seems like this team loses 2-3 of its best scorers every year. I have faith that the offense will be better than this year.
Simpson shot .286 from three and .516 from the FT line. His late season swoon from three was terrible.
7-46 his last 18 games from three. Just horrendous.
With the scoring we lose from this years team, it’s going to be damn difficult to be a threat for a national title next year with PG play like that.
Agreed. You’re making my point.
It’s very difficult to make the Final Four. Had Poole missed his game winner against Houston we would be hearing all kinds of erroneous thoughts stated without unshakeable assuredness. Such as:
Can’t win with Simpson shooting so poorly. Going to be damn difficult to be a threat for a National Title with PG play like that.
Can’t win with Duncan Robinson. Period. End of story.
I don’t feel like calling out other players shortcomings. You probably get my point.
Yeah, after losing Walton, Irvin, Wilson, Donnal and Dakich, who would have thought we would make it to the final.
No, you’re missing his point. We could afford to have poor point guard play and still beat very good teams last year because we had one of the best offensive centers in the country, a ridiculously reliable senior guard, and an athletic slasher wing who was playing his best ball in the tourney. Next season two of those things will be gone. With Teske replacing Mo the pick and roll/pop game will likely be a hell of a lot less ridiculous with less popping and probably slipping.
Simpson’s weaknesses absolutely do limit M’s ceiling as a lead guard not having any outside game harms the offense greatly. This problem will likely be magnified next season with potentially less offensive weapons around him. We had an awesome, fun, historic run in the tourney, but none of those games proved we could beat an elite team. We didn’t face a top 15 team. MSU and Purdue have good efficiency numbers, but notice when we would beat them it would be Moe’s great games? What’s the offense gonna look like against them without Wagner?
I don’t think anyone is arguing that we don’t have a high ceiling with Simpson. Shutting down an opponent’s best player is huge. But that does not mean it doesn’t have a cap and that the ceiling wouldn’t be higher with offensive improvements that seem unlikely with his form.
Think this wants a little nuancing, though. The fact that he was hitting his threes at a decent clip for part of the season means he can. Almost everyone agrees he can raise his FT %. His playmaking, during that stretch, often showed patches of brilliance, while his D was–all agree–stellar by the most exalted standards. And for stretches he was also making it to the hoop, sinking layups against much taller defenders. When he lost his nerve down the stretch the team became much more one-dimensional; I would point at Simpson’s diminished o production as the single strongest reason M did not prevail in the title game. But just about everything on that list can and is even likely to be improved after a summer off. No guarantees, of course. Whether it’s enough to offset, I dunno. We’ll have to see!
Yep. You’re making the same false assumptions again.
The ol’ limit the ceiling argument. Simpson limitations this year resulted in playing for a natty. Tough fact to get around.
Let’s not forget how offensively inept we were in 5 of our 6 tournament games.
Now we lose Moe-MAAR-Duncan from that offense.
If DeJulius off the dribble game translates, he’s gonna play and play a lot.
I’ll say it again…