Podcast day! Need your Qs

Podcast day with @eric_shap and we need some mailbag questions.

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I want to preface this by saying I much prefer Hunter on the block doing his thing like against Rutgers.

BUT is there value or an effective way to essentially invert Hunter and Moussa? I’d much rather have the Moussa 3s/mid-range shots go to Hunter and Moussa is much more effective around the basket.

I really think in the context of this offense any open Hunter shot is probably some of the most efficient we can get and this could maximize Moussa’s efficiency.

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After the successes of Franz, Hunter, and Mike Smith, we were thinking Juwan was a stud that could recruit anybody he wanted because he proved it would work. What effect does this season have in that picture?

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What role player (or prototype) in the conference would be the biggest difference maker for Michigan if added to the squad?

I don’t know what you’d qualify as a role player (<18% usage?), so feel free to define that.

Was the freshman class overrated? We have 2 players getting minor rotational minutes and 2 not playing at all.

From his earliest days coaching Michigan we’ve heard that Coach Howard wants his teams to be “positionless” but the current players seem to be the victims of matchup problems rather than the creators of them for other teams. Is playing positionless basketball still the goal for Michigan?

It also seems like the goal is to attract the most talent to Michigan and then figure out how the players will play together once they arrive in Ann Arbor. Is this how elite recruiting teams who regularly recruit one and done players operate from year to year? Do other high recruiting teams tend to employ more basic tactics since they have a relatively shorter time to teach incoming players their systems?


Is a high-low set featuring Moussa and Hunter a potentially effective weapon? Last season, we saw an effective high-low look with Franz often feeding Hunter mid-key from the top. Is the simple fact that defenses can confidently sag off of Hunter or Moussa at the top enough to discourage an effective post feed from the top?

I think again it comes down to Michigan’s overall inability to space the court. I would think that defenders would sag off of our 1 and 3 to harass both Moussa and Hunter in a hi-low setup (assuming Eli’s defender stays with him) and take their chances recovering back if the ball is kicked back out in an end of shot clock situation.


What’s the biggest change on the team you have seen since the last time you recorded?

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Fantastic questions. I think of someone like Franz being positionless - maybe even Chaundee or Livers. One of the biggest issues it feels we’re having is that we have a bunch of guys struggling to fill the requirements of the role they’re playing.

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This might not be the right pod to ask this question but since there’s nothing on-court happening I’ll throw this out there. In the offseason we lost 5 rotation players from last year’s conference champion team (3 of which have played in the NBA this year). We knew that a combination of top recruits and transfers was needed to replenish. Our optimism was based on Jones’ success prior to Michigan and the high rankings of our incoming recruits. Neither has met those expectations to date. So…

  • Looking at the other transfers that happened this off-season, how does Jones performance compare and were our expectations biased from Smith/Brown last year? How do we recalibrate?

  • Looking at other top-20 recruits, how are they performing relative to Houstan/Diabate? Are our players the outliers or were our expectations inflated since most top-20 kids are strugglign?

Predict Friday night’s score.