Open Practice 11-1

Hey everyone, got a chance to stop by Crisler tonight and watch Michigan’s practice, which was open to all Michigan students. As you can imagine, they didn’t do much (ran drills for awhile before ending practice with a short scrimmage), but still saw several things I thought were notable.

Tony Paul over at the Detroit News mentioned he had heard from a source who attended Michigan’s closed scrimmage against Akron the other day that Jon Teske has the edge on Austin Davis for minutes behind Mo Wagner and Mark Donnal. From the way Michigan ran its scrimmage during tonight’s practice, that appeared to be true. Teske subbed in for Wagner — who ran with the first team — while Davis subbed in for Donnal, who was on the second team. What was notable about this was that initially, Teske came in for Donnal for the maize team and Davis for Wagner, but Beilein yelled at hiim to switch because he wanted him coming in for Mo and playing with Walton, MAAR, Irvin and Robinson (the first/blue team). Earlier, Davis also got run with what appears to be Michigan’s scout team in drills. The scout team is Fred Wright-Jones, Andrew Dakich, Charles Matthews, Brent Hibbits and Davis.

Back to the scrimmage — both teams struggled to handle the ball and run the offense, and both players and coaches seemed disappointed with the sloppiness. Donnal actually came over to the students after the scrimmage and personally apologized for how sloppy it was. One thing I noticed was that Simpson runs the pick-and-roll well, and with clear vision: he was actively looking for the big man diving to the hoop off the screen. DJ Wilson’s length and quickness caused a few problems for the blue team; he was able to get out on Robinson two or three times and prevent Duncan from getting a shot off.

In drills, a couple guys who looked good were Matthews and Teske. Matthews has some bounce and decent handles. They ran this one drill with the big men where they wanted them shooting short-to-mid range jumpshots after catching the ball while posting up, and while it was just a drill, Teske made (I believe) all of his shots.

And then some other overall things: Beilein was pretty animated today. Stopped practice a ton to yell at players when they messed up. There was one drill they did where they wanted to practice transition 3s, and I don’t know if it was the first time the players were running the drill but they could not get it right the first few times down the floor. Beilein really wanted the ball-handler coming down the middle of the floor, and several guys like MAAR and Matthews ended up dribbling straight to the wings — Beilein was not pleased with that. He also got pretty heated toward the end of the scrimmage/practice and started yelling about how you’ve got to be a smart player if you want to play for Michigan. Donlon was pretty involved as well. Seems like a rah-rah guy, which is the opposite of Saadi Washington — he was pretty quiet.

I’ll stick around in the comments for awhile if you guys have any questions. Also wanted to say I’m really excited to get started, if you couldn’t tell from my intro post. Read this blog a lot while growing up, never thought I’d be contributing as a writer.


How did Derrick & Zak look? Any noticeable improvements from a play or vocal leadership standpoint?

Irvin seemed to be more vocal than Walton — although the most vocal player on the court appeared to be Wagner, who was loud even when he was subbed out. Walton didn’t look for his shot much in the short scrimmage; had one nice drive where he was unable to finish after appearing to have been fouled, but they continued play. Irvin hit a couple shots, missed a few more. There was one moment I specifically remember where he stepped in from the 3-point line and drained a long two.


How did Mo Weezy look while defending Donnal? Able to play him straight up without fouling? Did he seem in control of his body? Would love to see Mo stay on the floor this year and being able to stay out of foul trouble will be huge.

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What’s your best guess at the rotation right now? 3 guards, 3 wings, 2 centers
…or in other words, how will Wilson/Ibi fall in line?

Donnal was unable to get going with Wagner on him. He had the ball down low once but passed back out. Mo looked pretty active on defense. I agree on the foul trouble — think that’ll be key for him to avoid this year


Starters appear to be Walton-MAAR-Robinson-Irvin-Wagner

Then I think Wilson, Donnal, Simpson and Watson will be next off the bench. Wilson can give them some size and bounce at the 4, Donnal as the second big and Simpson as backup PG and in some two PG sets with Walton. Watson will need to give them some minutes on the wing — wouldn’t be surprised to see Sean Lonergan get some run, too. He was with the 2s today and not the scout team

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Thats not good. No excuse to be playing walk ons at this point in Beileins tenure. So upsetting.

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Eh, I think it is probably more a product of numbers. Michigan only has two scholarship backup wings (Wilson, Watson) so it makes sense to give Lonergan reps with the 2s and not the scout team (where you have Matthews as a permanent fixture).

I’m depressed hearing lonergan MIGHT play. That’s a very scary thought.

Again, rotating in in practice doesn’t mean in the rotation. Almost as a rule, Beilein plays 8 or 9 guys. Those guys look like they are going to be: Walton, MAAR, Irvin, Duncan, Moritz, Donnal, Simpson, Wilson and Watson.


That would be ideal. Those 9 can get the job done as long as we are injury free. Can’t wait for Friday!

I know Dylan, its just after seeing walk-ons playing in the recent past because of numbers/injuries ect, its just a scary thought.

Walton gets 2 fouls early? Or MAAR, we could very well see SL.

I mean it is what it is, just a bit frustrating.

12 players on scholarship, one has to sit out and four are strictly centers. That leaves seven scholarships for 1-4. A walk-on being 8th in that rotation is forced. The only question is who it would be.

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I understand due to the fact they are in essence redshirting 2 guys in Matthews/Davis and have an empty chair as a scholarship guy as well. This is the thing though if an injury happens to a 3 or 4 Lonergan is the very first guy they will look to. It shouldn’t be happening in year 10.

I would be very surprised if any injury 1 through 4 didn’t result in sliding the best player out of Simpson, Watson and Wilson into the starting lineup. Then bringing the other two off the bench and sliding guys around (Irvin at the 2, MAAR at the 3, etc.).

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The rotation is gonna be

1 - Walton - Simpson
2 - Rahk
3 - Robinson - Watson
4 - Irvin - Wilson
5 - Wagner - Donnal - Teske

Watson and Wilson will compete for backup forward minutes. Lonergan will not play outside of exhibitions/massive blowouts unless two players are out injured.


Lonergan does not seem like he is one of the top ten players to me but If Lonergan can earn some minutes then good for him. Hopefully, injuries don’t force our 11th and 12th best players into playing time but it is always a possibility.

Lonergan doesn’t suck. I don’t why you folks are so down on him. Sure, he didn’t come in on a scholarship but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.


I agree. I think he is probably significantly below average in terms of D1 quickness, sure, but he is not short and there are fundamental things that he does that over half of our team fail to do–like box out. Who knows. Maybe he has been improving. Maybe he could beat Ibi or Wilson out for playing time. It wouldn’t mean that the team is doomed to fail.