Potential grad transfer additions

Given that Alstork is also waiting after his NBA workout, looks like a real possibility if we miss on Bamba. Both he and Cam Johnson, would be a wonderful addition to the team.


The position potentially gives us an idea of where the coaches think minutes could be available and how comfortable they feel about the current players. If they’re not going after a PG, then it could mean either that the coaches are pretty confident about X and the freshmen and less so about the SG spot or that they think MAAR could play some minutes at PG. Of course it’s all speculation.

I guess my point is that what a guy does on the court (create off the pick and roll vs. catch and shoot vs. whatever else) is the important part rather than what actual position he plays. The void that Michigan has to fill doesn’t necessarily have to be tied to a spot.

You could fill the things people think of as a ‘point guard’ with an ‘off guard’ and still make the whole thing work.

Absolutely. Like in Derrick’s freshman year, he was the PG but Nik and Caris did a lot of the PG things. Alstork, for instance, could come in and create off the PnR and shoot. DJ could be a creator/facilitator next year. So could Matthews.

But Alstork did have an assist/TO ratio of under one last year. Is he going to replace all of Walton’s responsibilities if he shares a backcourt with MAAR? They could be more evenly split or other players could take them on (although we’re also losing some from Zak’s position too).

In other words, it doesn’t matter which position is doing the PG things. But there needs to be enough players who can do PG things, especially in Beilein’s system, and there’s some necessity in having backcourt players with sufficient PG skills (press-breaking, etc.).

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Cam Johnson seems to be a perfect fit that shores up the main weakness of the roster. He can shoot, rebound, and pass, and can play both 2-3. I don’t see him starting, but he can easily be the first off the bench to spare either MAAR, X (with MAAR sliding to one), and Matthews. With our roster right now, either Brooks, Poole or Ibi Watson has to play even they are not ready, and there is really no ideal option to backup Matthews at 3.

Cam wants to be part a team that has good chances of winning next year, and our returning roster is very solid except some uncertainty at backcourt, which clearly presents 15-25 minutes playing time for him.

With a 3.9 GPA, he seems to be the guy that Beilein will go after.


What weakness does he shore up?

Admittedly I have not watched much Pitt basketball this past season, but his stats & bio sheet seem to profile similarly to Duncan Robinson. Volume 3pt shooter who hit over 40% in ACC play. Stats would indicate a better rebounder than Duncan?

That type of profile wouldn’t be the worst way to use a scholarship for 2017-18 & 2018-19.

But for 2017-18 it still wouldn’t answer UM’s concerns about proven level of play from the PG position.

I don’t know, I think a guard who can create for himself and others is just such a glaring hole on the roster in terms of sure things that I think he’d be a backup to the backup options. That being said, I wouldn’t be upset if we did land him.

Johnson is graduating at the end of this semester, so he is eligible next season as a Grad Transfer — but still has 2 seasons of eligibility remaining instead of one.

From the Pitt press release

The Moon Township, Pa., native will earn his degree in three years at Pitt and have two season of eligibility remaining after receiving a medical redshirt for the 2014-15 season

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cam johson is better than robinson.

He basically looks like a Duncan Robinson clone to me by the base numbers. Looks to be a bit more athletic and a little bigger, but don’t see him as a big PNR threat or anything like that.

Played significantly more minutes and made three more twos than Duncan in conference play. Defensive rebounding rate does appear to be a slight uptick. Seems like a guy you take if DJ goes pro to have an additional option at the four, but if not… I’m not sure.

Maybe Johnson is better defensively than Robinson? I haven’t watched Pitt so I don’t know. But a Duncan clone that is good at defense generally sounds pretty good. And that’s the kind of redundancy that can be useful – it’s not like having two back to the basket posts that need to be in the same spot.

The two-year eligibility is interesting. On the one hand, two years of a Duncan clone that plays better defense sounds pretty appealing with no year lost to having to sit out. On the other hand, you start having to assume that DJ or Mo are gone for '18 (or someone else leaves) to get to even a three-man class. But that’s probably not going out too far on a limb.

In the end I’d be a little surprised if it happened, especially if DJ stays. It’s probably not option 1 for us, and on the flip-side, he’ll have lots of options and given our roster we might not be option 1 for him…

Wrote a lot about Alstork/Johnson in today’s post

I like the fit for Alstork a bit more because he can fill some of that PNR void. If DJ Wilson goes, I think Johnson becomes significantly more important.


He’s definitely a better passer/rebounder/athlete than Robinson from what I’ve watched. I just think he would fill a very similar role on the wing.

lack of depth at 2-3 is a major weakness. We have MAAR and CW as starter. Neither can comfortably back each other’s position. On bench there is Ibi Watson, Poole (for 2) and DR (for 3). DR is serviceable but a liability on defense but i think that his main duty is at 4 either to replace DJ or when DJ slide to center. Ibi shows little as a freshman, Poole can shoot but just a freshman. i think a veteran 2/3 wing can easily be the top 7 in the rotation.

Here is an article about Johnson after his shortened freshmen season at Pitts. He was a late bloomer, played PG before grew 6 inches his high school junior year. he has the guard skills and Robinson is a forward.

He’s a good passer. He’s a more complete player than Duncan, I just think he’d play a similar spot/role on this team. I don’t think he’d be a primary ball screen guy on this roster (and I’m saying that with the understanding that I’m not sure who will be).

I definitely like his game and obviously a guy that can shoot, pass and attack closeouts has a fit in this offense. Just not sure he’d be at the top of my list in terms of what the roster needs.

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The flip side to this argument… maybe Charles Matthews can be that guy (tough to say definitively either way right now) to create off the pnr and off the bounce and giving him a guy like Johnson to kick the ball to will just help.

I haven’t watched the video on Alstork yet and am only going off stats alone but his turnover averages scare me quite a bit…even when he wasn’t such a high usage guy he still averaged more turnovers than assists as a freshman. Not sure how I feel about bringing him in to be a primary ballscreen creator, but for those that have seen more than I have, is this a legitimate concern?

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