The Point Guard Spot


Who does everyone want to see win the spot? Simpson had 9 assists in 18 minutes tonight. Brooks and Simmons combined for 1 assist in 23 total minutes. I felt the offense flowed best with Simpson, followed by Brooks and then Simmons. At the very least if Simpson becomes “the guy”, we know we’re getting a tough on ball defender who can push the break and get others involved.

I’m sort of hoping JB gives Simpson even more of a chance to lock down the position before the big non-conference games. There was no flow whatsoever to our half court offense in the first half tonight and I don’t think the constant shuffling of those 3 guys helped. I know now is the time to see what you’ve got, but Id like to see Simpson get 25-30 minutes like the other 4 starters did tonight before Maui and see what the results are.

PG Battle 2017-18

One game doesn’t mean much. But the Simmons pre season hype appears incredibly misguided.

It’s going to be extremely difficult for this half court offense to function effectively if none of the PGs are a threat to score.

Interested to see how they look against a m-m defense going forward.

Also thought the 9 assists credited to Z were very liberal scoring decisions. He’s such a different player in transition situations. That’s his game.

It’s Simpson’s job to lose going forward. Still needs to prove he can hit an open jumper occasionally though.


I want the best player to win the spot. We just don’t know who that will be, yet. Simpson may look like he leads right now, but his game is by no means complete. I don’t think we’ll know until some time in December. Simmons failing to show much of anything so far is concerning, though, not to mention surprising.



Not entirely sure I buy that. Simpson had 9 assists in 18 minutes, Brooks and Simmons had one combined in 24 minutes. Things certainly aren’t settled yet, but if Simpson didn’t advance his cause tonight, then I’m not sure what Beilein WILL be basing his final decision on.

I get that Beilein may not want to come out and say that anyone is ahead at this point, because he wants all three guys to keep working their asses off, but I can’t believe that tonight’s game had no influence on his thinking.


I certainly came out of that game with no idea who the best option is. Simpson got some stats but I’m not sure many of those assists meant anything. I certainly can’t remember him making any plays that weren’t just making the next or right pass. Simmons barely played at all and in the minutes he had, he seemed very passive on offense. I like the way brooks plays particularly the pace to his game but he made several mistakes and missed a couple open threes.

The whole offense was out sync in the half court until midway second half so hard to make any judgments there. The transition offense was more a product of the defense than it was any point guard play in the transition game.

Definitely need to see how these guys look against a man to man to make a further determination. The only thing I know for sure is that Michigan needs one of these guys to step up soon. There were a lot of opportunities to make plays against an aggressive, undersized zone team, and none of them tested it much off the bounce. Pretty much all of beileins good Michigan teams have had great point guard and all his bad teams have had poor point guard play.


There was a really short 2-minute stretch where JB had Brooks, Duncan, Matthews, Livers, Wagner in. I wonder if we could use this lineup more going forward with MAAR at the 1 spot? Not ideal but I thought that was a really interesting look to roll out game 1


How about the even weirder stretch where the lineup was Brooks, MAAR, Watson, Robinson and Livers


We really need MAAR to step up too, particularly if none of the point guard options are getting it done scoring-wise. He doesn’t have to be spectacular, but he needs to be a consistent double-digit scorer against quality opponents. Hopefully last night was just clearing the cobwebs and getting used to new teammates, but until our younger guys start hitting their stride, we really need an experienced guy like him to get it done on a regular basis.


I think the fact that Simpson only got 18 minutes is indicative of the fact that Beilein isn’t completely sold on him yet. It’s going to be tough in general of our starting backcourt is as passive as it was tonight. Maybe he got out over his skis a little too much, but at least Ibi let it fly some.


Zavier’s distribution and defense was great. Curious to see how Z, Simmons, and Brooks compare when running more pick and roll against man to man. This game was not close as Z did the best by far. Very encouraging!


Totally disagree. Those were good assists by Z. Precise and quick passing.

Also, it wasn’t like Z was not seeing the passes. His vision and awareness is better than Walton’s—who, except for the last two months of his college career, would regularly just not see the right pass.


I just think there is a difference between creating shots and having the offense create shots by you running it correctly. Obviously, you want the offense to create shots for you by design, but at some point, against good competition, you’re going to have to create your own at some point. To my eye, Simpson did everything correctly, but created very little on his own. This team will need someone to do that - Irvin could some for both himself and others, Walton eventually could mostly for himself. I’m not sure who that is right now.


The offense since Darius Morris was around has had a point guard that could create for themselves and others when the shot clock got to single digits. They’ll have to figure who can do that and my guess MAAR might be the only one to that is able at this point.

In reality, UM is looking at a fifth senior with no experience within the offense, a sophomore that got very little run last year and seemed to be told not to make mistakes when Walton was out, and a freshmen that has more of a scorer’s mentality that isn’t use to distributing the ball.

It’s all a work in progress and it’s only the first game of the year. North Florida playing zone is very different than most Big Ten or high major teams that UM will face throughout the year.


I have to go back and watch the film, but Beilein said after the game basically ‘those assists we’d expect against a zone, we need X to look to score and not just be a swinging gate on offense’


It’s funny that nobody believes that Brooks will be the guy. Really, if he is this good as a freshman with limited AAU experiences, maybe he’s a special talent who will blow by the other two by February. I am rooting for Eli.


They like his shooting and if he can shoot then he’s going to play… but he also needs to show it in the game. Despite getting a lot of time last night, he didn’t play particularly well.


Yeah but everybody sees things through the same glasses it seems. Charles Matthews wasn’t great last night and has still only made two 3’s over two games. And yet Ethan’s takeaway #1 was “Charles Matthews will be a go-to scorer”. I dunno, the evidence is still out on that, particularly with a JB offense and playing teams with quality defense.


He took 19 shots. That’s why the takeaway was that he will be a go-to scorer. Clearly we went to him a lot.


Fwiw, being the first college game he’s played in, Eli looked rather confident out there. For a first game, playing against an active zone is pretty tough. Monday should be much more telling. Also, Our PGs need to excel at running pick n roll and we ran that exactly 0 times yesterday. Now, we may face a zone again but most likely not from a team that plays 100% zone. I liked what I saw from Eli much more than Simmons and hopefully it was just facing an odd defense as I expect Simmons to run pick n roll pretty well. To me, Xavier looks like he should be our PG moving forward.