Projecting the 2017-18 rotation


We went 9 deep in the 2013 NCAA tourney - McGary, Horford, Morgan, Spike, Trey, Nik, Glenn, Caris, and Tim. If we had another talented wing on that team, I see no reason why he wouldn’t have played.

It’s been quite awhile since we had a four man class coming in that is this good (potentially, of course). And there are also a lot of returning vets who will play (Duncan, MAAR, Wagner). Add in Simpson and Davis, and you’re at 9.


Sorta semi-true. Morgan was a starter for much of the season (including B1G Tourney) but he played a grand total of 25 minutes in UM’s 6 NCAA Tourney games and 13 of those 25 came in the Final4 when McGary was in foul trouble both games.

And while LeVert was a significant source of minutes in the Final4 games, he was not in the first 4 tourney games where he played 6, 4, 3, and 2 minutes — despite UM winning in a pair of blowouts plus a solid double-digit Round 1 win. So not much to indicate that Beilein was willing to cut minutes from his starters on the perimeter — until Stauskas struggled in the Final4 and LeVert provided a spark. More likely another talented perimeter player would have buried LeVert on the bench in Tourney rather than forced Beilein to play both of them?


I don’t think that’s true at all that these discussions happen every year at this time. The Final 4 team, was really the first truly deep team Beilein had at UM, and even then, no one knew in August if Caris would play or redshirt. The 15-16 team is the first one that I remember looking really deep on paper and that sparked lots of talk about the depth of the rotation, but unfortunately, because of injuries, we never found out if Beilein would play 9-10.
Last year at this time, most were sure Duncan would start and many questioned if Wilson could give 10 quality minutes off the bench each game. The bench was a huge concern so no one was talking 9-10 man rotation…
This year there are tangible reasons to to think 9 will play. History says Beilein will experiment with 10-11 guys getting some run early and then tighten the rotation. We’ll see if 9 show they belong.


I agree with this. Beilein will let the pre-season dictate how short or long the rotation will be. My hope is the youngsters make it hard for JB not to consider them when it counts during BIG play. At the least I hope we can get solid run from Livers and if he could some how start I like Duncan as the sniper first off the bench. Also if the teams first sub off the bench is consistently a big to replace Wagner this will spell trouble. Teske/Davis better come ready to play this year.


On your last point, hard to say. I doubt Tim serving as our press breaker against VCU was ideal for JB.

Another thing to note is that JB likes to play two PGs together when both have a grasp of the offense.

Really, I think Brooks is the wild card here. If he’s really good off the bat, he’ll crack the rotation, and that’s especially true if he shows some scoring ability with his three point shot.

You could extrapolate that if Brooks is really good, that could force X to the bench, but by all accounts X is having a strong offseason, so that seems unlikely.

Then the question becomes whether Poole will be good enough to force the issue and require playing time. Other than DR, I suspect he’s our best three point shooter, so I think the answer is yes.

I’ll also say this - I’ve maintained all along that MAAR, while an overall good player, is a below average two guard for any team that has deep tourney aspirations. I think he has the talent to take his game up a notch, but I also think it’s fairly clear that once Zak emerged from his slump last year, MAAR was our worst starter on the floor by a wide margin. If he struggles with consistency, and one of Brooks or Poole is ready to shine as a freshman, they could easily eat into his minutes.

I see this year as being quite a bit different than years past. You literally have six guys (Mathews, Poole, Brooks, Simmons, Davis, Livers) who have never played a minute for this team, but all of whom seem to have very good potential.


Yeah. For the most part I agree with this. I’m a little higher on MAAR, though I do have an issue with his consistency. in any event, I think if your earn minutes, Beilein will figure out a way to get you in. Highly doubt he will limit the rotation to 8 just because. He has shown a great deal of flexibility in the past. I’m sure some of it will depend on matchups for certain. Interesting discussion. The early non-conference should be fascinating to say the least,


I agree about MAAR, but the fact remains that he is an established two year starter, and it would take a lot for Poole to step right in and push him out for 30 minutes a game. I’d love it if he did…that would be a huge upgrade for this team, but Beilein’s recruits are rarely instant impact to that degree. I think Livers has a better chance to break in as a starter sooner. There is no established starter at the 4, neither Teske or Davis are unsurpassable (and Beilein would prefer someone more like Livers at that spot anyway), and Robinson is a bench guy.


I agree, just think that between Brooks and Poole, one or both will eat into MAAR’s minutes if he doesn’t play at a high level.

Agree on Livers. I like him a lot.


Maar is going to play a ton and well. I’m pretty excited to see what he does with a bigger role. I can’t help but dream of the what if with Wilson. Losing Wilson was devastating. I still think we’re sleepers with a lot of nice vets. But just imagine Simmons, maar, Mathews, Wilson, Wagner. Then Duncan off the bench with x, and Davis. Scary good team. Our backcourt should still be a huge factor but having Wilsons d and rebounding next to Wagner was scary. Our starting five was ridiculous I tell you.

We’re still top 25 all day. Rankings are :sleeping: on us. This is a sweet 16 team if we can fudge and scam our way into some rebounding and interior d. Or at least hide this weakness. Unfortunately losing that utility Wilson brought makes us have a ceiling. With him I truly believe we were making a deep, deep run. Wish they had found a last second rebounder/ shot blocking defender.will. Brought in a grad transfer to play 15-2o in that roll. G


Not sure I see MAAR with a bigger role this year. He’s been playing 30 minutes a game in the Big Ten the last couple years, which is probably about his limit. As LAW says, I think it’s more likely that his time gets eaten into a little this year, by one or more of Poole, Brooks or Simpson.

I think Matthews is the big key this year. He needs to be good, pretty much right off the bat. Upper tier Big Ten starting caliber-good. If he’s not playing at a starting level, we may struggle to find quality minutes at the 3. That, and one of Davis/Teske/Livers needs to be playing at least at a marginal starting level.


MAAR can play a bigger role in the offense without playing more minutes. His usage rate is in the teens.


The only way MAAR takes on a bigger role is if he can handle running the ball screen offense. Simmons will likely be the main guy initiating that action, and Simpson will runn it off the bench, but they can really use at least one other player who can run it. MAAR has improved his vision throughout his career but it’s never been his strength. Mathews has been practicing the ball screen but can he handle it in an actual game? The other options are Poole and Brooks. I think both will be quite good and pick and roll offense at some point in their careers but can they do it as freshman?
Either way, MAAR is still really important because of his ability to take his man one on one.


I’d place money on MAAR having a very similar usage rate as last year.


Yeah, MAAR’s usage rate has been the same for three years, and it’s probably not changing, nor has he shown much to suggest it should. However, if one of the freshman really does push him for time, that would probably say something very good about that player.


MAAR’s usage will only go up if he is one of those chosen to run consistent ball screen offense. As stated above MAAR has a ways to go to be proficient in that regard. He has a knack for going one on one against bad defenders or mismatches against bigs but when he goes against a good defender is when he runs into trouble as he is not consistent in passing out of his drives to the basket and is not very good shooting off the bounce. Need MAAR to get better defensively and be a senior leader in all other ways.


Brooks and Poole’s most likely way to contribute is a 3 pt sniper off the bench, and MAAR was super efficient on catch-and-shoot 3s, last year. And MAAR is almost assuredly a better defender than both. Sure, if MAAR’s shooting falls way off, then maybe he could get less minutes than last year, but that requires projecting a decrease in production because MAAR was already playing at a pretty high level.


What I’ve seen with my own eyes this summer.

Impressed with:

  1. Watson (played the best out of every player in multiple scrimmages)
  2. Matthews
  3. Simmons
  4. Simpson
  5. Poole
  6. Davis

Not impressed with:

  1. MAAR
  2. Robinson
  3. Livers

Have not seen Teske, Brooks, and Wagner play but I love what wagner did for Germany. Got better every game I watched.

Matthews - “most talented scrimmages I’ve been a part of in college”


If being “impressed” translates to playing well this season, I will be quite happy. Thanks for the observations


Can you elaborate on Watson at all? What’s he doing well, making shots? Anything off the dribble?


Be nice if Watson were actually a contributor this year, but I will remain on the doubter’s side based on his showing against real competition last season. MAAR and Robinson are established players and known quantities for the most part. Not concerned about a precipitous drop in their performance from previous years, summer scrimmages notwithstanding.

Davis is the other guy I’d love to see a breakout from. We need either him or Teske to be a better-than-Ricky-Doyle lumbering big.