Starting lineup and minutes

Thoughts on starting lineup through six games? Does Coach switch Robinson for Dawkins and Wagner for Doyle? Does it matter who starts? Thoughts on minute distribution going forward?

I kind of like Wagner on the bench better to bring some pop off the bench and to help the 2nd team, which is often stagnant on offense. Same with Robinson: I just see him as that prototypical “microwave” type player that wouldn’t do as well as a starter.


Duncan played 31 minutes tonight. If Dawkins isn’t gonna D up, might as well play Robinson. Duncan has actually played more minutes than Dawkins in each of the past three games. Based on minutes, our rotation/depth right now is about

PG - Walton - Rahk
SG - Caris
SF - Robinson - Dawkins
PF - Irvin
C - Doyle - Wagner

Approximate three guard of Walton, Caris and Rahk. Three forward rotation. And then two centers with the majority of minutes. We’ve basically somehow settled into a classic Beilein 8 man rotation.

Besides that Albrecht is getting random scrap minutes at guard. Chatman is getting random scrap minutes at PF. And then Wilson and Donnal are fighting for the emergency 3rd center spot.

Don’t really have an opinion on the starting lineup at this point because the team is a work in progress. For the first few games of 2012, some folks said things like “I like Stauskas giving us a spark off the bench behind the more experienced Vogrich” which sounded silly at the time and was ridiculous in retrospect. But so far, we haven’t seen any across-the-board “stars” who demand the start – Wagner and Robinson do some great things on offence but need more work on the other end before meriting the start. Also, neither of those guys strikes me as someone who would be offended by coming off the bench. If a likely lottery pick (say Jaylen Brown) was putting up Wagner/Robinson numbers for us, I would be more adamant about him getting the start, to send the right recruiting message.

In terms of minutes, I know Doyle and Wagner had a bunch of fouls, but Texas started to crawl back into the game immediately when Donnal was inserted. Cam Ridley started to look like Ridley again. They should really hold him back until garbage time if possible.

Also, Robinson is starting to diversify his offensive game – notice the four assists. He’s not just a shooter.

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Call me crazy if you feel for saying this but I like donnal over Doyle. By the Numbers donnal is playing better. Let’s face it, neither play defense and neither rebound well, but the offense runs better with Donnal. I think Moritz is our best big and best all around big.

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I like the rotation of
Pg: Walton/MAAR (and spike in for MAAR when he’s healthy enough)
Sg: LeVert
Sf: Dawkins/DRob
Pf: Irvin/Chatman
C: Wagner/Donnal (feel free to call me insane)

I like what Chatman has been doing this year and feel like he deserves minutes. I also would keeping Dawkins starting I feel like he needs more touches. Once spike is back and not limited this team will have another dimension.

How can you run the pick and roll with a big man that has as bad of hands as Ricky Doyle. Easy buckets turn in to quick turnovers with Doyle. Moritz is the future no question. Great left hand, recovers very quickly to the basket. Gets pushed around easily but at least plays hard on D. Donnal looks like he’s in a trance on defense.

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I’d actually love to see Duncan get the start at the 3 and play close to 30 minutes a game. His floor-spacing ability for the big three is a huge asset, and he will get even more open looks playing off of caris/DW. At the same time, I think Dawkins is a better fit in the 2nd unit maybe when MAAR is in. He can be a volume scorer in spurts as he showed last year but so far I feel like he hasn’t been a natural fit as a 4th option with Irvin/Caris/DW. Obviously the spot could be won either way based on defense/rebounding but I loved what Duncan brought in 30 minutes against Texas

I don’t agree with the philosophy of getting a boost off the bench. Start your best 5 and get a boost right from the opening tip. If Robinson is playing better, start him and don’t get cute about the whole “microwave” thing. Maybe he hasn’t earned 30-35 minutes at the 3 versus Dawkins yet, but give him the most pt if he’s the most productive.


1 = Walton - MAAR - Spike
2 = Caris - MAAR - Irvin
3 = Irvin - Dawkins
4 = Robinson - DJ
5 = Wagner - Doyle/Donnal

Whatever it takes to keep Dawkins from leaving early and keeping this forum sane, I’m all for. That was the madness Pre C so just no more of that please.

I think that Beilein should swap Robinson for Dawkins. Both have the same strengths (Spot up 3 pt shooting), but Dawkins seems more suitable for a 6th man role. Even though it was Division 3 basketball, Robinson was the man on that team and was able to sort of lead the offense and distribute a little more. I’ve seen more potential for a pick and roll man from Robinson than Dawkins. Until Aubrey can prove he’s a willing passer, I’d like to see Robinson starting. Both need to improve their defense though. As far as the 5 spot, Ricky Doyle seems fine for the starting gig, but he is on a short leash. Moe Wagner should be the first big man off the bench. Has more size and creativity around the basket than Doyle, which is key for a Beilein offense. Also, Doyle has dropped a few LeVert bullets underneath that would have been easy buckets.

You are insane (you asked for it). Donnal is useless and Chatman has no real role. It is pretty clear the rotation has been whittled down (and rightly so) to:

  1. Walton
  2. Levert
  3. Dawkins
  4. Irvin
  5. Doyle
  6. Robinson,
  7. Mo
  8. MAAR

When Spike gets healthy I expect him to be added to the Mix. Chatman and Wilson might get spot minutes here or there while Donnal will get McLimans like minutes (i.e. only if in a blowout or massive foul trouble).

First off I don’t mind being called insane for saying that. I just like the flow of the offense with Donnal in over Doyle. The rotation is set and once Spike is back I think MAAR will see a decrease in minutes.

You have a fair point about offensive flow being a problem with Doyle, because his hands are so bad, but I think those questions have been answered by having Mo as the 2nd Bigman. I agree that MAAR’s minutes will decline as Spike get healthier, but I have a feeling he will stay in the rotation because he is our best on the ball defender and he does things other players don’t. Plus, Spike may never be able to play 15-20 minutes a game this year.

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MAAR is the only player even remotely close to a lock down defender. His role needs to expand as the season goes on IMO.

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And take who’s minutes? LeVert should be getting 30+ mpg and Walton should be getting 25+ mpg. I think MAAR will be right around 15-20mpg over the course of the season unless he magically becomes a good offensive player to go with his solid defense.

That’s where we disagree. If We need to sacrifice a little offense (though I don’t think we even do by playing MAAR) for more defense, I’m all for it.

MAAR also brings a different offensive element to the team. He can put pressure on a defensive player by penetrating with body control. With the way the game is now being called, putting the other team’s guards in foul trouble should be a priority. (See Caris with the auto bench).

Who on our team can do that? Walton is quick but he rarely uses his body this year to draw a foul. Duncan can’t. Spike can’t. Irvin can’t.

So though MAAR may not fill a stat sheet up, he does other things that in the long run, puts the team in a better position to win games.

I think the limited production we’ve seen from MAAR this year reflects a degree of deference on his part/an understanding that the offence doesn’t flow through him when LeVert/Walton is on the floor. His few buckets have been quite nice and suggestive of his greater potential if given a longer leash. Maybe he doesn’t have a green light to drive much. I would like to see him be less passive (and take fewer long jumpers when he does get the ball) but I think part of the problem is the role he has been given. As you say, he is one of our few plus defenders and while as Michigan fans we are conditioned to treat defense as an afterthought, it can make all the difference against opposing guards of the Trimble/Ferrell variety. He is also Michigan’s quickest player and probably only second to Dawkins in leaping ability. Next year, he is our starting 2 guard and I expect he will surprise a few people in a good way. I wish I could say the same about Chatman (who people still assume has a higher ceiling based only on HS ranking) but I just don’t see it.

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I don’t get the MAAR debate. Yes he can do some great things, but there just aren’t minutes for him this year.

LeVert is going to play 35, Walton is going to play 30. Right now MAAR will play the other 15. That’s probably going to be the way it is this year, and will only compound more when/if Albrecht is healthy.

Next year? MAAR is probably one of the most important guys on the roster. He’s going to need to step into that Caris role and play 30 a game as Michigan’s two-guard. So I do think it’s important to get him some reps and I think they’ve been doing that.

There’s something very different about saying that there aren’t minutes for MAAR and not realizing how important he is to the future of the program.