Projecting the 2017-18 rotation




Seems like this is the most likely rotation this year at this point. Livers might be the least ready out of that bunch, but he is at a position of need. Those of you who think Duncan might not get significant PT are out of touch. Seems clear he is taking his leadership role on the team this year very seriously. He might be a good fit off the bench, but I would be surprised if he doesn’t start.


I don’t think it is fair to call it absurd, it is more a product of participating in the silly, but hard to resist, excercise of limiting the rotation to 8. We are assigning likelihood that a player will be in the hypothetical rotation of 8. Notice I am betting Robinson will be in the hypothetical rotation of 8.

Flip it around, wouldn’t it be more absurd for JB to line up Livers, Poole, Brooks, and Ibi and say: “after I decide which one of you is making the rotation of 8, then 3 of you will have a 0% chance to make the rotation of 8”?

Also, the percentages lose all meaning if they do not add up to 100 for 1 unlocked spot, 200 for 2 unlocked spots, or 300 for 3 unlocked spots.

Further, and this is more in opposition to the point Dylan was making, I just don’t think it is airtight logic to point to Robinson’s getting significant playing time in the past as necessarily indicative of what we will see in the future.

2015/2016: Tons of injuries made for tons of playing time.

2016/2017: The ninth, and tenth men–who were presumably beaten out of playing time for an 8 man rotation were Lonergan and Freshman Ibi.

Assuming Livers is in the 8, then Brooks, Poole, and Ibi > Lonergan and Freshman Ibi.

Big difference, I think.

Another way to look at is if I travelled back from the future and told you that one of the six that you have listed as 100 percent locks for an 8 man rotation was not in it which one would you guess it would be? I think most would guess Robinson…Some might guess X…


There is absolutely no way that Duncan, X and one of Teske/Davis is not in the 8 man rotation. I had my doubts about X last year but I think he will surprise this campaign. We also may have to add Livers as I think we are going to need for him to grow up quickly.




Deep Subs:

Im not sure Brooks will play… at all. This is all according to everyone staying healthy. I think we use a 9 man rotation this year.


Is this what we think the 8-man rotation will look like at the end of the year? One thing to consider is what skills will translate this year. If Poole is the shooter some think he is, that will translate. Conversely, Livers’s versatility and ability to be a really good big wing defender may not be as pronounced this year.


It’s not close on Duncan. It’s not just that he’s experienced and has been productive, it’s also that he brings a skill set to the table we need more than we needed it in previous seasons when he still played. Walton, Irvin and Wilson are gone, taking with them over 50% of our 3 point shot attempts (and in the case of Walton and Irvin, in excess of 200 games of starting experience and about 3,000 career points). There is no way other than via injury that we’re going to try to replace those guys AND also bench our best 3 point shooter who is one of only three guys on the roster with substantial experience at the Big Ten level–especially not in Beilein’s system, but really not in any system. Poole, Livers and Brooks all have the ability to be good to great 3 point shooters on the college level, but none has done it yet, and none knows the system well enough to ensure they get the type of looks Duncan gets. Maybe, if Matthews and Simmons were deadeye shooters from distance, this might be a different conversation, but they’re not.

I’ll put it to you this way–it took over 20% of the season in 2012-13 for Matt Vogrich to be knocked out of a starting position by Nik Stauskas and out of a rotation spot by Caris LeVert, and the latter came only because Matt played really badly early on. Livers and Poole are good, but I’m not yet ready to call them future NBA players, and Robinson is a much more productive player and proficient 3 point shooter than Vogrich was at any point in his career.

On your last point, I think virtually everyone would guess X. I like X, but he didn’t play a lot last year, and they recruited a grad transfer and an incoming freshman (and one for '18) at his position. I think he’ll have a very good chance to play a lot this year, and I think he’ll play well, but he’s not, IMO, 100% to be in the rotation. Barring injuries, Duncan is.


We agree that x probably made a significant improvement this year. I think he will be fine too (!) and I don’t want to belabor the time machine hypothetical I proposed but wow! You really think a lot of people would go along with the wisdom of leaving X and presumably Brooks out of the rotation? Even if he were merely practicing to be Dejulius’s backup it strikes me as a very risky proposition to toss X out of the rotation under almost any set of circumstances. No way.

Quick questions: Do you think Freshman Poole or Brooks in place of Stauskas or Levert would have a chance to knock Vogrich out the roatation in 2012/13?

Do you think Senior Robinson, in place of Vogrich,would be safe from getting knocked out of the rotation by Freshman Stauskas or Levert in 2012/2013?


I don’t think this is a “Dylan’s opinion” thing, I think it is coming pretty directly from Coach Beilein. When talking about the starting 5:
Beilein said valuable sixth man and sometime-starter Duncan Robinson will vie with freshman Isaiah Livers to replace Wilson up front.
And when talking about Livers:
He is more of a 3 or 4 (forward). He and Duncan will compete over there with the possibility of Mo (Wagner) moving over there at times.

Now, those comments don’t mean Robinson is going to be a 30-35min a game guy; he could end up in the 17-22mpg range. But those comments are about as direct as Coach has ever been in August of a season about his upcoming season’s rotation plans. So this isn’t about our personal leanings its about accepting what Coach is saying is most likely to happen.


Thanks for putting that into perspective for me.

After saying all of this stuff about hypotheticals I also should state clearly that I see this as a year where we are likely to have a 9 man roatation–if I had to guess.


After thinking about this subject, I came to the conclusion that there’s really only one player who is 100% certain to be in the rotation, and that player is Mo Wagner. For everyone else, there’s at least a small possibility that they get pushed out of the rotation.

Here are some of my criteria:

  1. Is a player head and shoulders better than others at his postion? Only Mo fits in to this category. Maybe Simmons is not far behind.

  2. Can they play multiple positions? This is a nice plus for someone like Duncan (3,4, even some 2) and Poole (2,3, maybe some 1). But it’s a negative for X and Teske, who are pretty locked in to one position.

  3. Are they transfers or freshmen? If this is the case, sometimes sh*t happens. It may turn out that Simmons just doesn’t like Belilein and his obsession with eliminating turnovers. Davis make get rattled in a real game.

  4. For reserves, are minutes available at their best position? This is a nice plus for Davis, because Mo probably won’t play more than 25 minutes. OTOH, if Simmons is a stud, he could end up playing 35 min/game and this would block out X.

So based on the above criteria, here are my revised projections:

Mo 100%
MAAR 98%
Simmons 95%
Duncan 95%
Matthews 85%
Davis 85%
Livers 70%
X 60%
Poole 60%
and the rest…


Absurd to me if we’re talking about 8 man rotations (I believe we see 9 this year) then Duncan, to me, is a lock. He was 6th in minutes last year, and we lose 3 of the guys ahead of him. Even if Simmons and Matthews fully replaced Walton and Irvin’s minutes he’d be up to 5th.

Scenarios where Robinson isn’t top 8 all seem pretty absurd to me (differing opinions are welcome). He’s been a key contributor on a sweet 16 BTT champ team. To bump him…

-Poole is an instant 60% shooter from 3 and turns the ball over less while having more assists
-Watson is a 40% shooter from deep, and his athleticism turns him into a significantly better defender than Robinson
-livers shoots at least 35% from deep and is ready to guard big ten 4’s immediately
^need two of these to happen
-Robinson shoots 25% or less from three for a 4 week stretch.

That would put two of our 2-4 options past Duncan which is probably what would be needed to bump him. Just 1 would probably mean we bump X out of the top 8.

To me that’s crazy. I just can’t envision it. But I thought dj was going to be a bum last year (or bad role player at best). So I could be wrong, just feel Duncan is as much of a top 8 lock as anyone after maar and Wagner.


I would guess x fwiw. I like your approach though.


Good stuff guys. I appreciate the back and forth.


A couple of points. Robinson was the only player other than Wilson to play the 4 last year. There weren’t any great candidates to move there. How has that changed this year? It looks like Livers is the only other viable choice.

The reason the bench was so thin behind Robinson last season is that Dawkins and Chatman transferred. Wasn’t that in large part due to them being behind him in the rotation?


To start: I agree with your premise that Robinson will be a regular

But to answer your question…

  • the addition of Livers
  • Beilein floating the idea of playing Wagner on the wing with a second big in the post (mostly presumed to be Davis)
  • speculation that Matthews has the strength/abilities to defend the 4 spot for some spurts in a Novak/Irvin type of small lineup role

Personally, I think it’s a reach, but I’ll go through the math equation:
if Livers proves he can handle 20mpg,
if Davis forces his way into the lineup for 20mpg & if Wagner stays out of foul trouble he can be up around 30mpg (which equates to 10mpg of “double-big”),
if Matthews can give you 10mpg defending the opponent “4”
----- there’s your math to 40mpg defending the “4” without Robinson seeing the court?


Yostsghosts answered exactly how I would have answered. I also think it is a reach to argue that that Robinson is not the number 1 candidate to play the 4, however I am completely comfortable in my opinion that he is not a 100 percent lock to be top 8 throughout the entire season.

Livers and Poole look very good to me.


Maybe I’m placing too much stock on one article, but before reading that update I would have projected the rotation:

Wagner & Teske/Davis in the post
Matthews, Robinson, Poole on the wings
MAAR, Simmons, Simpson at guard (maybe Poole or Matthews sliding down to 2-guard for some rotations)
– Livers likely a “foul trouble” and mop up minutes play
– Brooks likely a mop up minutes play (to get him acclimated for next season)

After reading the article I would project the rotation:
Wagner & Davis in the post
Matthews, Robinson, Livers on the wings (with Wagner sliding to the wing in some 2-big rotations)
MAAR, Simmons, Simpson/Brooks at the guards
– Poole getting “foul trouble” minutes and “hired gun” minutes for those 1 or 2 games a season when UMs offense is bogged down/not hitting shots
— Teske getting “foul trouble” minutes in the post


I started laughing at this one. Some of the prior ones are conceivable (Watson 40%).


Am i the only one predicting big things for Xavier still? I really liked his game late. I get Simmons is the man but I think x sees the floor a lot still. I was pretty confident in him late and as our pg this year.

Adding Simmons was just icing on the cake. We are pretty stacked. Imagine if dj stayed. Oh well.


In a VERY recent scrimmage, the “starting group” was Simpson, Simmons, Matthews, Wagner, Davis. I’m guessing it means nothing but that lineup has been used and explored.