Projecting the 2017-18 rotation


In my opinion this is JB’s deepest and most balanced team. It does not seem like we have any college superstars but our 9th,10th,11th, and 12th men are huge upgrades over what JB was working with in the past.


I agree, and frankly 10 this year could even make sense depending upon who is ready to contribute. I mean, suppose Brooks is really good and X deserves to play.


Your point isn’t relevant, since there may have been times when there simply weren’t more than 8 rotation caliber players on the roster, so Beilein was not making a decision to sit anybody who was good enough to play just because they took him over 8.

I’m still waiting for you to show me a Beilein season where 10 guys played in every Big Ten game. Can you?


People say this every year, as I mentioned originally, but when it gets down to actual competition against quality teams, we never end up getting that deep, or getting meaningful contributions from that many guys. There are always players who just don’t do as well as some people think they will, and the ultimate regular rotation is always smaller than the optimistic predictions. Always. I just don’t see any evidence that this year will be different. Our talent from 9-12 is simply not that overwhelming. That doesn’t in any way mean we can’t be a very good team. We can and have done very well with 7-8 man regular rotations, and the rest of the bench filling in small gaps.


Good Lord. You’ve done a fantastic point of reiterating my exact point. Beilein plays the guys who deserve to. There’s been zero cases where Beilein hasn’t gone above 8 players when someone else clearly deserved to also play. If ten players deserve to play rotational minutes this year, ten will play. Using previous seasons as “proof” that Beilein “doesn’t play more than 8” is irrelevant when he hasn’t had deep rosters stretching beyond 8 playable guys consistently during his tenure. Now he might.


The 9, 10, 11, 12th men on the roster haven’t even played a college game (or have barely played). How are we so sure that they are upgrades over what JB has worked with in the past?


To me, it feels like a pretty safe assumption based upon watching them play.


People made similar claims, based upon past history, that JB would not play Wilson alongside other bigs and he did.

JB is not as completely rigid as people make him out to be.

If it gives the team an advantage to play 9 or 10 this year then JB will probably do it because his job is to gain an advantage for his team…


Honestly, right now, there’s really no accurate way to characterize our talent from 9-12. Who knows? Who knows how good Brooks, Livers, and Poole are? Who knows how much Watson may have improved in the offseason? You could be right, but you could easily be completely wrong. TDB.


It is speculation but I feel good about our projected 9-12 relative to other years:



Spike (injury)







You’re failing to take into account the fact that one of the factors in Beilein’s not playing more than an 8 man rotation is that he simply doesn’t recruit overwhelming talent, and that a lot of his recruits are not rotation-ready in their first year, as was the case last season. It’s not just his deliberate choice we’re talking about, it what he has imposed on him by his own recruiting and player development. Even in 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 when he had multiple future NBA players on the roster, his regular rotation was still 8 guys. That’s not a criticism of him, simply a fact.

Still waiting for you to show me a Big Ten season where Beilein played 10 guys every game, as you claimed.


I’m sure he would, but as noted, there is nothing special or different about our roster this year as compared to others where we haven’t played more than 8. And frankly, I think it’s rarely to ANY team’s advantage to play 10 guys every game. Unless you’re a Kentucky and have so many 5 star recruits that you can’t fit them all into one lineup, going that deep probably means that you’re either lacking in great players, or not playing them enough.


What in the world are you talking about? If you think this is something that I have claimed or is at all relevant to what I’m saying then just about everything so far has gone completely over your head.

I’m not saying Beilein has done it before. I’m saying that the fact that he hasn’t done it means nothing about next season when he’s never had the talent to do it.


Yes, there are a few seasons when Beilein has been forced to play 3 Centers to piece together 40 minutes in the post. Yes in 2014-15 he pieced together Doyle, Bielfeld, Donnal (each less than 20mpg) to get 40 mins out of the C position.

On the perimeter, though, he kept his rotation to 6 players/game. In 2014-15, UM started B1G play with LeVert, Irvin, Walton, Albrecht, Chatman, Dawkins seeing time on the perimeter. Albrecht missed the Northwestern game and MAAR (the only player who showed well in the OSU beat down the game before) entered the rotation for him. LeVert got injured vs NU and missed the remainder of the year; Albrecht returned at RUT the next game & MAAR stayed in the rotation for LeVert. Walton got hurt a game later vs WI and Dakich entered the rotation for him. Yes, the season totals make it look like a deep rotation, but the game-by-games show differently.


“but as noted, there is nothing special or different about our roster this year”

I am noting the opposite.


Well, the relevant question would be how deep would he have gone if Walton and Levert didn’t get hurt?


Yeah, exactly.

Among Poole, Brooks and Livers, I’d say we have three guys who could (no guarantee, but could) be good enough to earn real playing time right away.

Yet at the point, Simmons seems very likely to start, but all reports are that X is having a great offseason.

And then there’s Watson - rumored to be working super hard this offseason, and set a team record with a 44 inch vertical, so we know he’s pretty athletic.

Some of these guys, through their play, could easily force us to expand the rotation.

And of course, maybe not.


These same discussions happen around this time every year, and there are always people predicting that THIS year will be Beilein’s deepest team ever and that we’ll go 10-11 deep, but it never actually happens when it comes down to playing actual games. There are always more players who are not quite as good as expected by the optimists than there are players who are better than expected. And of course “earning playing time” does not necessarily mean they’re in the regular rotation. Brooks may be good enough that the coaches don’t feel like they can red-shirt him, but not good enough to get into every game with Simmons and Simpson ahead of him.


“but it never actually happens”.

You say that, but I can’t help but to feel that it is not completely pointless to think about the different factors that might make this year more (or less) likely to be the exception to the trend.


It “never happens” because he hasn’t had a deep enough team. The debate about whether this particular team will be deep enough to go more than 8 deep is far from a pointless conversation at this point in the offseason.