Scouting Report & Video Breakdown: Justin Pierce


Nice analysis with video to back it up. Great Work!

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Is this just a two horse race?

Only will have taken two visits and sounds like a decision is coming soon. There were other schools linked, but it certainly seems to be headed toward Michigan or Notre Dame.

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Interesting about the wrist issue. Do grad transfers take physicals, or do visits involve doctors who might take a look at that?

If it wasn’t clear, he injured his wrist last offseason so almost a year ago. Didn’t mean to imply that it could be a problem going forward as much as something that could have impacted him last year.

Players on OVs can meet with training staff etc. but I don’t think a full physical would really be part of it (seems like some potential medical clearance issues?). Not sure of the specific rules involved here.

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The video makes it look like he’s already been coached by John Beilein for ten years.


Yeah, there are obviously some good fits as far as how he plays and the system he is used to. Probably a bit more Princeton-style offense at William & Mary (hence the high assist numbers) but there is a lot to like there.

Am really excited about another potential guy that can distribute. With Iggy and Poole on the floor last year, the tradeoff was significant. If Pierce can improve his shooting percentage to his RS So numbers - that’s a dangerous weapon.

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Thanks. I read it as a potential explanation for why his shooting percentage fell and why it could likely rise again this year.

Yep, that is what I was getting at. But again, it is impossible to know really. Could be a change in his role, change in his teammates (they lost their main PG), etc. I can’t imagine a hairline fracture in your wrist during the offseason would be a positive, though.

Looking at Dylan’s breakdown, I think there’s a chance he could be an offensive upgrade over 2018-19 Iggy. Dependent on hitting 37-38% from three, and continuing his impressive finishing.

I don’t know about upgrade, but certainly seemingly a better fit. As is often said, when you have an elite P/R combo you surround them with shooters. Even better if those shooters are particularly good at passing and cutting.

Agree. The prospect of a somewhat more dynamic offence excites me. I appreciate the report.

Great content Dylan. My initial reactions:

  • I would like to think an off-season with Beilein would get his shooting closer to the higher end of his range…though competition will affect that somewhat. Duncan was able to maintain his accuracy coming from D-3.

  • My theory for next year is that they will have to use “quantity” since they won’t have “quality.” Aside from MAYBE the younger Wagner, there isn’t a plug-and-play starter deserving of 30+mpg walking through the door. But what they do have is depth. Split the open wing minutes between Pierce, Wilson, Johns, and Livers - maybe find some roles that they excel at in limited time.

  • I keep hearing people say that all of these names being discussed aren’t going to be ready for the level of play. While they won’t be Iggy, I don’t see how they would be different than other unheralded guys Beilein has found roles for early and often (Rahk, Spike, Levert, Irvin, Simpson, etc.).

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I like Pierce but I don’t think he would come close to matching Iggy’s offensive value to the team. Iggy shot 39% from three. The hope is that Pierce would get there, in spite of level of competition concerns. Pierce looks like a way better passer than Iggy and a quality cutter, and there’s certainly value in that. But if you put Iggy on William & Mary I think he’s a way better finisher at that level and probably scores 20+ points a game. If we knew Pierce could shoot 40% from three, then he would be a phenomenal fit. If he’s 32% from three and 59% from free throw like he was last year, I don’t think that works as a major piece next to X and Teske.

I don’t think comparing him against Iggy one-for-one is the right way to look at it. The important question is whether Pierce (or any grad transfer or recruit) can play a role for Michigan in 2019-20.


Yep. I questioned the offer to Duncan Robinson and am glad I was wrong. If JB is all in on Pierce then so am I.


Pierce just texted me that he’s visiting North Carolina the week after Michigan.


Here we go again. JB needs to be convincing.