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’d have to imagine that’s talking more “in the future” considering the roster makeup. Simpson and Teske are about as far away from the ideal type of PG and C for that and if Brooks or Johns start they’re pretty much locked into the 2 or the 4 respectively on both sides of the ball (especially Brooks. Maybe Johns is quick enough to defend quick wings and guards, but I’m not confident there).

If Zeb can challenge DeJulius for the starting spot in his freshman year then a lineup with him and Casteton at the end spots would be pretty dope for a positionless type thing.

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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.


I think of it mostly in relation to defensive switching and I’m not sure a Simpson-Brooks-Wagner-Livers-Teske lineup would excel there. Insert Johns at the 4 and slide them down and maybe it’s a bit better, but like I said above, I’m not sure Johns would do well switching onto guards.

Position less is overrated and over used

I don’t see how it’s overrated. Being able to switch a ton if you want is super valuable.

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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Do you think it is a coincidence that the NBA playoffs got taken over by these types of teams then? I still think of defense when I think of that term, it’s interesting that that’s not what it was being used for.


We are talking the college level

Oh, I thought this was an NBA forum. My bad.


Joking aside, I don’t think dismissing something with no argument aside from “It’s the NBA so it doesn’t apply” is very helpful. Why do you think the same factors that cause it to be successful in the NBA don’t apply in college?

Agreed it’s a buzzword that gets used a lot. But still, some reasoning behind the view that what works in the NBA is completely irrelevant to college would be interesting to hear, I’m honestly just curious here.

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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