Yeah, I’m not sure that I get the argument that Walton’s success out of the PNR down the stretch proves that it isn’t important. Seems to prove the opposite.
We were a dangerous team without an elite assist man.
So you have no clue whether they’ll offer Barrett or another PG, and would in fact prefer a non-PG grad transfer so that Brooks can be the back-up PG – but it’s clear to you there’s a glaring hole at PG? That’s inconsistent.
And who says the staff is bringing in a third combo guard in one class? Again, they’ve known Walton is graduating for a long time. They’ve had Brooks, Poole, and DeJulius on the board for a long time. They haven’t pursued, as far we know, a PG in a long time. To say it’s clear the staff thinks there’s a glaring hole at PG is to ignore the best evidence we have.
Not much else to say. We’ll see what happens.
Beilein lost an elite 8 game at the buzzer without one of his best players with freshman Walton and sophomore Spike as his point guards. He doesn’t need an elite point guard to have a successful team.
We weren’t dangerous until we started playing well after the OSU game. After that, Walton averaged 7+ assists…we were dangerous WITH an elite assist man.
That elite 8 team had Stauskas and LeVert though. They were elite utilizing ball screens. Walton basically stood in the corner on offense because the offense ran through Nik and Caris. So, it may not have to be a PG but somebody has to be able be a high usage and efficient creator on offense. The offense took off this year when Walton took on that role and Irvin took on a more secondary role.
Next year, we don’t know who will fill that role. Can X do it, Rahk, Matthews, etc. I have no idea. Assuming they come back, Wilson and Wagner can shoulder more of the offensive load but they haven’t really been asked to be high usage players before.
My question is, did the offense really take off or was it the defense that fueled the run?
Did the offense improve? Absolutely but it was already very good before Walton took over. To me, the biggest thing Walton did for this team offensively and overall was become “the guy”. He was the leader, he was the alpha dog, he was taking the end of game shot, etc.
This might sound like a fake response but my sense is that Walton’s high assist rate toward the end was less the result of him being a great assist man, rather, it was much more a result of him being overwhelmingly the primary ball handler surrounded by great shooters and him finally deciding to find more opportunities to run in transition.
Our transition opportunities were aided by our improved defense and the fact that DJ/ Wagner were unusually good at leaking out, outrunning bigs and finishing.
Great assist man in the half court? I don’t think so.
The degree of difficulty on his assists in the halfcourt was pretty low, IMO.
I am not trying to diminish what he did…But I do give credit to JB for recognizing that our team could have success by moving away from pNR. Why did we move away from PNR? Because Walton was not good at running it? .Luckily we had MAAR, Wagner, Wilson and Robinson who could fill it up. Irvin filled it up nicely toward the end too.
The Walton assist highlight reel is kind of boring isn’t it?
I could be wrong about all of this…It is just my impression…and the reason I think good ball handlers (if not great) and deep 3 point shooting threats like Brooks and Poole will Help to fill the void…
What gives you the impression that Michigan moved away from the pick and roll?
I called it an impression for a reason. Is it not true that we relied less on PNR than we did in the past seasons? It felt like it to me…
Way more pick and pops than previous years it seemed.
I think more of this year’s PnR success came from the switch of Walton’s defender on the perimeter rather than what we’ve seen a lot of in the past: the dump to the roll man. I have no numbers to back this up.
Watching every game, 90% of the time down the floor we ran pick n roll atleast once. Not sure how this came about. Pick n roll and pick n flare(pop) is the same thing. You want a switch or to get separation.
Moved away from the PNR…I don’t buy that. Either way, it was heavy ball screen which was always the case, just depends on how the defense plays it whether it’s roll, slip or pop. Walton’s efficiency coincided with our streak. We might not need a “high assist” guy, but definitely someone who is comfortable operating out of ball screens and making the right read. Something that I’m concerned with for next year;.
Yes, I have the exact same impression. It may have been by design but the shot off the ball screen seemed very low compared to years past and finding the roll man seemed extremely low compared to years in the past.
I find that impression interesting because it seems to me that Michigan becomes more dependent on the ball screen every year.
Here are the Synergy numbers for percentage of possessions ending out of pick and rolls or pass outs the last 5 years:
29% this year
Those numbers only include shots that came directly out of it, not the other possessions where Michigan runs the PNR which devolves into other actions.
The one difference this year is that Michigan’s PNR was so effective with the popping bigs that people switched basically everything constantly which led to some different looks (i.e. not passing to the roll man always and having Walton take the bigger man switched onto him).
Pick and Roll or Pick and pop?
Those numbers include all forms of the pick and roll which includes when the roll man pops.
I see Walton’s increase assist as partly being the man running the offense and part who he had to give the ball to. I think Walton has always had good vision but the Bigs last year were not good at catching variations of passes. There were so many times last year that Donnal and Ricky Doyle could not catch a cold and when they did could not finish a bunny. He developed much better rapport with Wagner and DJ who could catch a tough pass and finish. Some of the passes in the Oregon game from Walton were some of the best from any guard in college this year I would say.
In terms of making a judgment regarding whether or not next season’s success will hinge upon whether not we have an elite assist man I think think the distinction between our relative success at pick and pop and pick and roll are important distinctions.
I don’t know how Synergy defines “directly” but it seemed like a lot of our shots after ball screens actions were more like isolations that were a result of either shuffling defenders onto Wagner/ Walton or having Wagner take advantage of the slow big who stuck with him on the perimeter…I mean is a situation where Wagner receives the ballafter a pick and pop on the perimeter, holding the ball for a two count, and driving driving for a score count toward the pick and roll usage? If so, is it particularly useful toward making a judgment within this given context?
Are elite point guard skills required to find the pick and pop man in the same way they are required for finding the pick and roll man?
Another way to think about comparing our pick and roll usage to years past is how high would our usage resulting in shots out of PNR (as defined by Synergy) be in years with Burke, Morris and Stauskas if they had the luxury of having a screening center who could pop and shoot like Wagner? Wagner is a luxury. DJ is a luxury.