Positionless Basketball?

Saddi Washington gets the most play in this article about how Juwan’s teams are going to play. For the most part, I’d (personally) say it sounds good to me, not–certainly–like such a radical change of philosophy or–crucially–like we’re going to be looking at heavy low post action and a grind 'em out B1G old-school style.

How seriously can we take this, and how does it accord with the recruiting we’ve been seeing so far? I would assume that Kessler’s handlers would like it. . .

Dylan had previously mentioned the terminology as most likely being NBA style, so seems like that is true.


“Positionless” is a word that feels comforting to hear.

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I wouldn’t read too much into it. Basically working off of two short quotes about style of play, one of which includes “make shots” as a description and one that is only a couple of words.


Basically any terminology will be more simple than Beilein’s, so that should help guys pick up things more quickly you would think.


I had that same thought RE: Simpson and Teske, but it also code bode well for the gluttony of wings on the team in 2020 like Franz, Bajema, Johns, Livers and Nunez. I could see all of them playing 2-3 positions.

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I think you are probably taking positionless a little too literally, especially at the college level. More an idea and have guys that switch between multiple positions but not always 1 through 5. I would say that Michigan was fairly positionless under John Beilein and certainly had been recruiting that way.

Bit of buzz word soup with “positionless” lately in basketball I feel like. To me it means having multidimensional skilled guys and shooters at every spot and having the adaptability to switch multiple positions defensively.

The fact that Michigan could go 6-7 plus across the wing positions means that it will be fairly poisitionless by definition.


Position less is overrated and over used

The use of it is overrated. Everyone wants it

I was talking to Martelli when Eisley was speaking, but judging based on that article they were pretty clearly talking about offensive style of play.

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We are talking the college level

The problem with the word positionless is that it can mean so many things.

For example, you think it means switchable on defense. I think positions are an offensive thing. A positionless offense would really be an offense where any player can play in any spot and still run the offense. As in, the center can run point guard on one possession.

In reality, it is just the cool way that coaches say versatile now.


True “positionless” basketball only works if you have skilled players across the board – guys who can dribble, pass, and shoot. It has become a buzz word largely, in my opinion, because a lot of teams/programs say they want it, but can’t actually accomplish it in practice given their personnel. But the idea of having skilled offensive players who can also switch across multiple positions is ideal in modern basketball, a la the Warriors lineup of Steph, Klay, Iguodala, KD, and Draymond. Every one of them can switch defensively besides Steph (and he is obviously an all-world shooter) and all 5 are above average passers. Green’s ability to guard fives at 6’6ish, still rebound extremely well, and be the Warriors primary playmaker is honestly ridiculous.


It is very hard to find Draymond Green-type players who can pass like a PG and guard a center. Especially in college :slight_smile:

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Of course :rofl::rofl:

He didn’t play that role because, frankly, if you possess some of those skills in college your role will be a lot more prominent than Draymond’s, but I can see Grant Williams occupying a role ~like~ Draymond’s at the next level. That’s why I am quite high on his NBA potential, despite his lack of outside shooting ability in college at 6’6ish.

Superb off-ball rotator and IQ on defense and I anticipate would be a great passer on the short roll.

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When you think about it the Fab5 was somewhat the early pioneers of “positionless basketball” … at least the way the term is implemented in current schemes. Jalen as a PG tall enough to play the 2 or 3 (shoot at 6-7, 6-8 he was almost tall enough to be a college PF in that era). CWeb a post player who was a good enough ball handler to run press break and agile enough to defend on the perimeter. Juwan able to seamlessly flip between the 4 or 5 and ok enough to defend on the perimeter off switches. King & Jackson also had positional versatility at the college level.


So it’s back to the future? Moving toward previous Fab5 style of play? LOL

I agree that it’s a tall order for college basketball, but I do think that looking for five guys who are comfortable from any spot on the floor, all tall enough to pull down rebounds, and who can D up has to sound like a sweet dream to most coaches. And–if sometimes more dream than reality–it has given us a more flowing game that, to me, is a lot more fun to watch. That’s why I would cautiously embrace these hints.

When Beilein came along some wondered whether he could succeed in the B1G where MSU had set the lunchpail style. I think he succeeded. Now, did he change the conference? That would be an interesting question to put to people.

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I take it to mean that everybody should be able to shoot and pass, and that it’s something you work toward. It’s not an on/off switch. I also take it to mean a skilled 4, whether that guy is physical or likes to post or not.

I like hearing it, because it implies a generally modern approach to the game that’s not gimmicky or reliant on bullyball.