Recruiting philosophy: shooting, athleticism, balance

With Cain or another shooter at the 3, yup. With a guy like Davison at combo/PG, absolutely. I’m not as sold if you put Tillman, Matthews (or another lesser shooter/greater athlete like Smith or Gaines) at the 3, and a non-shooter at PG. I agree that we need to recruit more than just guys who can shoot–that’s why I’m good with a lot of guys on our list who are clear targets or receiving mention despite the fact that they do not shoot well–but we also need one more shooter other than Poole in this class, whether it be Young at the 4 or someone at the 1 or 3. When this class comes in, the only really good perimeter shooter we will have left is Duncan Robinson (for 1 year)–there are other guys who can shoot it decently/reasonably well (MAAR, hopefully Simpson and Watson), but they’re not floor spacers. We’re going to need another of those in addition to Poole.

Frankly, with more athletic creators on the roster, the 3ball just isn’t as necessary. You genetate more points at the FT line and putbacks with that type of roster composition. You need 1 spacer where the defender cannot leave (Poole) and 1 decent (34-37%) shooter (Simpson). I just don’t think an abundance of perimeter shooting is an absolute must when you have numerous guys that have the ability to score in Iso situations or generate garbage points via motor and athleticism.

But that’s not what Beilein has EVER done. You can’t expect his system to do a 180

Need athletic shooters sprinkled in with straight athletes and hard nosed players like Matthews/Easley/Tillman. There has to be a good mixture. I think Beilein had that up until two years ago.


You’re speaking in a vacuum here. That may be the way you think we should play, and it may be the way a lot of coaches play, but it’s not the way Michigan’s coach is going to play–he’s going to want at least three guys on the floor at one time who can shoot it, and his way has been very, very successful from an offensive standpoint. Yeah, you need balance, both on the defensive end and in terms of creating shots and getting to the line off the bounce, which is why he’s recruiting (and I’m in favor of) a greater percentage of more athletic guys than we’ve had. However, we need shooters too, and having a class without another shooter besides Poole is going to create problems for Michigan (maybe not for other programs, but we’re not talking about other programs) in '17 and beyond.

And fwiw, having lots of guys who can shoot the 3 ball seems to have worked pretty well, as both the NCAA champs and the likely NBA champs were/are floor spacing machines. Villanova took 24 3s a game, just 1 less per game than Michigan last year. The Warriors took more than Michigan even accounting for the extra length of pro games. Again, full admission that you need to be versatile offensively and able to defend as both of those teams were/are. That said, when a roster is balanced, having lots of 3 point shooters is a very good thing, not an unnecessary one.


Even in the Big Ten, what teams have been very successful without multiple shooters?

Purdue I guess would be the answer, but I’d argue their ceiling has been limited.

1 Like

I feel like we aren’t talking about a Michigan roster anymore. Without capable shooters 1-4, I’m not seeing this offensive system working to its full potential. We got to the championship game and elite 8 by making 3s, that’s not going to change this year or next.

Well, based on the last 2 years, I think going closer to a 180 might not be such a bad thing. Dumbest thing in the world is to continue attempting the same while expecting different results.

Exactly, which is what I’d like to see. Less perimeter based looks and more movement toward the basket with purpose. If you have 2 shooters on the floor, I think the offense will flow just fine provided those 2 are surrounded by ball handling athletes.

Hold your horses buddy, we made the elite 8 and championship game this way. We’ve gotten rid of the misses of recruits and we are back on track. Our offensive philosophy isn’t just going to change now.


I get what you’re saying but that’s never been what beilein wants or has ever recruited. I love our offensive style.

1 Like

I disagree with you - the 2 years we’ve had elite success we had an elite athlete/finisher (GR3), a great rebounder/tough/motor guy (Mitch), and a great post defender/above average rebounder (JMo). Once those guys left, we arguably had more shooting and skill, but less results. Seems to me that we need an infusion of the former because the last 2 years without it have been hard to watch IMO. No more patty cake around the perimeter please

On the other hand, the 2014 team had three athletic wings who could shoot it (Nik, Glenn, Caris) and offensively, that team was as good as it gets.

You know we’re not going to completely change our style of play.

And based on 2013 and 2014, why should we? The past two years have been tough, but we lost a lot to the NBA in 2015, and we’ve had significant injuries both years.

I see no reason why we can’t again be a great team with the same system and some better players.

1 Like

I hate it, but that doesn’t really matter. Results are the only thing that matters, and the results haven’t been good the last 2 years because quite frankly, we’re outmanned at nearly every spot on the floor from a strength, quickness, speed, size, verticality standpoint. It’s time for that to change, and to JBs credit I think he realizes that and has made adjustments/tweaks/shift as necessary in the recruiting trail. To what extent remains to be seen.

1 Like

Seriously? You think after Tim, Trey, Nik, and Glenn left, and after Caris went down two years in a row, we had more shooting and skill? Come on. Nik was probably the most skilled player we’ve had since Glen Rice.

1 Like

LA - you hit the nail on the head. We need guys that are athletes AND shooters/ball handlers. A good percentage of folks here treat those attributes as if they are mutually exclusive. That’s why guys like Tillman and/or Cain are so important IMO. Give you the desired skill on O without losing much on D. It just provides so much flexibility to fill out the remainder of the roster.

Replace Mitch, Jmo, GR3 with whoever we recruited and most likely they were better shooters, yes

This is spinning a whole bunch of different ways. Bottom line is that everyone agrees the roster needs an athleticism upgrade. But I think everyone also agrees there’s a very real limit to how many guys you can have in the rotation at the 1-4 that aren’t perimeter shooting threats.


The voice of reason.

True but I just feel like people are confusing/manipulating who is and isn’t a “shooter” based on their own biases. Going by Matt’s assessment, Cain IS a plus shooter, and Tillman and Matthews aren’t necessarily non-shooters but may have untapped potential to be competent in that area (a la GR3). Meanwhile, it’s not like Young or Easley project as Larry Birds. (Poole is an elite shooter, or at least he will need to be, because his athletic limitations will be harder to overcome than Matthews’ shooting limitations). There is a continuum of shooting ability and suggesting that that Cain/Matthews/Tillman wouldn’t give us enough shooters strikes me as uninformed. What we really need is athletic shot creators who can shoot at a high level and get to the rim, but that’s getting into Top 50-ish territory (Wilkes) and a lot of people seem to think that’s unreasonable to expect for lowly Michigan.

Also, Wolverine (above) suggested that Easley (2018) is an athlete – he’s not, he’s a shooter who looks like a plus rebounder.

Irvin has made 184 threes in three years and is a career 36% three-point shooter. Does he have consistency issues? Sure, but he’s pretty clearly a shooter by role/definition.

Cain can and does stretch the floor from the perimeter… He’s also a good athlete. I think we all agree on that and that he would be a great add on the wing (and he has an offer from that reason).

Tillman/Matthews are guys in a very different category in the sense that they haven’t really proven that they can make or really take threes. Tillman’s EYBL production was all withing 5 feet, Matthews attempted 4 threes last year at UK.

I think there’s an argument to add at least one player like that to the mix, but am saying that there has to be a limit to how many guys like that you can add to the mix given how Michigan plays.