Projecting the 2017-18 rotation


Also depends on how well Simmons and Simpson are shooting from deep. Spike and Walton were excellent sliding over because they could provide spacing without the ball.


“don’t think either T or D have yet proven they can hold down the 5 against top flight teams”

Guys that played very little last year (Teske) or not at all (Davis), haven’t really had a chance to prove anything yet. And they have had nearly a year to work and improve their game, so let’s wait and see what they have to show us. Remember, last year at this time, many on here were wondering if Wilson would be good enough as a 4 to give us quality minutes behind Duncan. Now he is in the NBA.


I’m with you. I hope-expect Teske and Davis to be improved and for many players to get chances pre-B10, but this team lost its three of its four best players in my opinion, including a senior PG who played wonderfully down the stretch. Projecting how all this shakes out is fun but highly speculative and, until proven, Teske, Davis, and even Wagner have much to prove defensively. All else equal, the best offensive threat plays the most in such situations, and Wagner is that.


That is simply untrue. Who were the 8 in 2015-16? In 2014-15 when 10 players averaged double digit minutes?


There were 7 in 2015-16: Walton, Irvin, Donnal, MAAR, Robinson, Dawkins, Doyle. LeVert would have been in there if not for injury. And I’m looking at the Big Ten Schedule, when the lineup has settled and the floor of opponents is not so low.

In 2014-15 we had significant injuries to two starters, so it’s not clear what the regular rotation would have been under normal circumstances.

To reiterate: by “regular rotation” I mean the guys who play every game, no matter what the score is. Other guys may play some or most of the games, but not all.


That’s not entirely true. Teske did play, but simply did not show much. Davis had a chance to crack the lineup too, but did not come along quickly enough and ended up being red-shirted. Wilson red-shirted his first year because of injury, not because he wasn’t good enough, and showed more in his first year on the floor than Teske.

We can hope that at least one of those two will be serviceable this year, but I’m not convinced yet that either will be better than bench level. I could see Wagner and Livers starting as our two “bigs”, with one of Davis/Teske rotating in.


There were 9 in 2012-13–LeVert (after he replaced Vogrich, who started prior thereto), Albrecht, Horford and McGary/Morgan (whomever wasn’t starting) played regularly off the bench in addition to Burke, Hardaway, Stauskas and Robinson. In 2008-09, we played 9 regularly, though that 9 changed over time (by the NCAA tournament, it was Harris, Sims, Novak, Douglass, Lee, Gibson, Merritt, Lucas-Perry and Wright, with Grady and Shepherd, who had started earlier in the year, out of the rotation). It is true that Beilein prefers to play 8, or in some cases even 7 (see 2010-11 with Vogrich and Smotrycz, the latter after he was replaced in the starting lineup by Douglass), but he’ll play 9 (and give chances to some others) where circumstances dictate.


In the 2015-16 B1G season 9 players averaged at least 5.0 mpg, eliminate Caris Levert (only 2 B1G games played) and you’ve got your 8-man rotation. And had Levert stayed healthy, Aubrey Dawkins (15.5 mpg) likely drops below 5.0 mpg and DJ Wilson (5.1 mpg — mostly as a center) may have slipped below the 5.0 mark as well? Even with Wilson, that’s 3 guards, 3 wings, and a muddled Center situation in the rotation. And come NCAA tournament time, UM went with 5 perimeter players (Walton, MAAR, Irvin, Robinson, Dawkins – Dakich saw 7min in the 2 games, Chatman 4min)

In 2014-15, yes, 11 different players averaged at least 5.0mpg in B1G play, but eliminate Walton and Levert — both injured and played in less than half of the B1G schedule — and you’re back to 3 guards, 3 wings, and a muddled Center situation (Doyle, Bielfeldt, Donnal each averaged between 19.5 & 9.0 mpg). If Walton & Levert stay healthy (both were seeing over 33mpg), then Dakich (5.8mpg) & Chatman (11.8mpg) likely drop under 5.0mpg…again sending things back to 3 guards, 3 wings, and a muddled Center situation.

This season is it possible that both Teske & Davis split minutes at backup Center giving UM 9 guys with at least 5.0 mpg in B1G play, OK, might happen. But Beilein’s M-O still indicates expect his rotation to chop down to 6 players on the perimeter (usually 3 wings and 3 guards). And if there’s an expectation that Wagner may float between Center and Wing this season, that makes it even less likely that more than 6 other perimeter players will be regulars in rotation in any given game.


Vogrich started the first 6 games of 2012-13 and then vanished from the rotation, averaging less than 3.0mpg come B1G play. In conference & tournament play, UM settled on 6 perimeter players in '12-13 (Burke, Hardaway, Stauskas, Robinson with Albrecht & Levert off the bench). The Center spot was a revolving door due to injuries and development with Morgan, McGary, Horford, Beilfeldt all seeing time in the rotation — ironic seeing as McGary’s performances keyed the NCAA Tourney run.

Baring injuries it seems unlikely Beilein will go 7 deep on the perimeter this coming season ---- even less likely if Wagner ends up seeing any legit time on the wing as part of a 2-bigs lineup. Yes, I expect a bunch of rotation experiments during the guarantee game portion of the non-conference season with 8 or 9 different perimeter players seeing time ---- but come B1G time I presume we’ll see it cut back to 6 perimeter players, again.


That may happen. But here’s the difference between this team and '12-'13 on the perimeter–that team had 4 NBA players starting on the perimeter, which meant those guys were playing huge minutes. This year, it’s harder to see which of our perimeter players gets huge minutes. Maybe that just means that the 2 top reserves on the perimeter will play more, or maybe it means that he’ll sub more situationally, ala the '08-'09 team where we did play 7 perimeter guys.


I’d still like everyone arguing against Beilein going 9+ guys deep to show which rotation caliber players were sitting because of this hard cap he supposedly has on how many people play. The fact of the matter is that he stops playing you if you stop being effective. There’s basically no evidence that if 9 or 10 players proved they were able to compete at a B1G level he would sit them anyways because he likes a short bench.


Minutes per game are not what I’m talking about. As I said, I’m using “regular rotation” to mean the guys who play every game, not just most games. Sure, there will be some teams that have more appearances and more bench minutes from the 9-11 guys than others, but that’s usually because we had more blowouts and garbage time, as we did in 2012-13.


It’s not an 8 man rotation if every game has 9 or 10 players seeing significant minutes. You could say that Beilein experimented or adjusted his rotations during the season, but he wasn’t playing 8. Only counting the players who play every game is an arbitrary way to measure a rotation and bench players get injured too.


In 2014-15 we had 10 players averaging double digit numbers before LeVert and Walton went down. That was more than halfway through the season. That’s just not an 8 man rotation.


No one is saying that the 9-11 guys are NEVER going to play under Beilein. Of course they are. They may even play in a few games where it’s close all the way if we have unusual foul trouble. But they aren’t going to play every game.

Last year we had 5 guys who started every game in the Big Ten season. We had 3 guys who came off the bench every game. That was the regular rotation. Teske got into 9 games and Watson got into 8, but that doesn’t mean we went “10 deep”. Show me a Beilein season where we had 10 guys playing in every Big Ten game.


Well then, show me a season under Beilein where every single Big Ten game had 10 players seeing “significant” minutes (or minutes of any kind). Looking at who plays every game isn’t arbitrary at all, it is entirely objective. Picking a number like 5 minutes and saying anyone who averages more than that counts as being in the regular rotation is arbitrary. Why not 4 minutes, or 8, or 10?


On your Vogrich point, he was out of the rotation for all intents and purposes after 5 games - never played double digit minutes again after that.

Now, I do think Duncan will play a lot this year, absolutely. Does he start at the four? It all depends on how ready Livers is. I think from a defense and athleticism standpoint, Wilson’s performance at the four last year no doubt influenced the way JB is going to look at that position going forward (which is also probably why we see so much talk of Wagner getting some spot minutes there). I’ll bet JB is hoping Livers can start, but will go with DR if Livers isn’t ready. And I’ll bet that situation could be fluid all year, as Livers acclimates and improves. But DR will play 20 minutes a game either way.


I know that. But without Vogrich counting, we still played 9 that year–Burke, Hardaway, LeVert, Robinson, Stauskas, Albrecht, McGary, Morgan and Horford. And in '08-'09, we played 9 guys regularly throughout the Big Ten season (7 guys played all 18 games, 2 played 17), all of whom averaged double digit minutes. I’m not saying that Beilein will play 9 this year, but the notion that he never has a 9 man rotation isn’t accurate.


I grant that 08-09 was an exception, but that was Beilein’s 2nd year, and we had, frankly, terrible talent, so it didn’t much matter who we played beyond the top 3 (Sims, Harris and Novak). CJ Lee, David Merritt and Zack Gibson played every Big Ten game that season, which should give you an idea how badly off we were. We are not close to being that desperate this year.


Such terrible talent that we made it to the tourney for the first time in a decade and knocked off clemson before a close loss to 2 seeded Oklahoma.

Also, nothing in your last response to me did anything to actually respond to my point. Show me a rotation caliber player who we feel would’ve done decent in the Big Ten who sat because Beilein doesn’t play more than 8 consistently.