FWIW, playing 18 minutes is usually described as playing 45% of available minutes
Went back and watched Simpsons’ 9 assists, my tally of ‘type’:
- 5 assists that were ‘zone’ assists, basically making the next pass or throwing it into the open guy in the middle of the zone.
- 3 in transition
- 1 off the dribble dump off to Moe for a layup.
Not sure that says much about Simpson, more just that when you play a team in a zone like that there are a lot of easy assists and it is hard to rack up off the dribble type of assists.
I imagine his mentality moving forward is fragile… guy was the preseason MAC player of the year, scored 30 on CMU last year, and will play what, 15 mins tops tonight?
I wasn’t blown away by any insane vision from Simpson either. But if all of his assists were so easy and readily available against a zone, what does that say about Simmons and Brooks’ ability to run the offense that they didn’t tally any at all?
A couple things IMO:
- Eli was in the game to shoot against the zone. He did that, but they didn’t go in.Simpson only shot the ball twice in 18 mins, Eli had 4 shots in 14. I thought Eli had a couple good passes that weren’t finished as well.
- Simmons never really looked comfortable against the zone IMO and then he just wasn’t on the floor. He only played 7 or 8 minutes before garbage time.
Eli looked most capable to me of being a full package offensive threat. His jumper looked fine and I’m not worried yet that they didn’t go in. But if he’s to be taken seriously as a contender for starting point guard (I think at this point he is), he’s not just in the game to shoot. I do agree he had a few nice passes that didn’t result in makes.
Simmons is definitely feeling the most pressure right now I’d say. JB brought him in to be the safe, proven option and if he’s not capable either due to higher competition level or struggles learning the offense I don’t see much benefit in waiting around until February hoping it clicks for him to take over with two promising underclassmen to develop.
Excited to see this play out starting with CMU tonight, that will definitely give us a better look than that zone did. A bad ball screen defense that Simmons tore apart previously…
It makes sense to me that we would refrain from concluding much from Z’s performance against a zone we will rarely see. However, facts are facts. The dismissive talk of “easy assists” just seems, to me, like a misguided way of expressing caution. It would make about as much sense to just chalking the assists up to luck. What are the odds that the person playing 45% of the PG minutes would randomly get 90% of the assists from the pg position? Very bad odds, for sure…
On the other hand, JB and others here are being wise imo when expressing their caution about reading too much into Z’s performance. It is true, we ideally need someone who can excel in initiating pick and roll. Ideally, that person can be a scoring threat off the bounce as they curl around the screen, mid range, and at the rim. Z has his work cut out for him especially—regarding off the dribble shooting i think.
However, again, it does not make sense to willfully fail to acknowledge Z’s strengths and his performance—which was clearly better than the other 2 pg’s on that one night. We should just be cautious about drawing a conclusion from that one night.
That’s my concern, too. He’s obviously a talented young man in a difficult position. I hope he has a great game tonight, but then, I hope they all do!
Article is a good read:
This one is really interesting… Some really good quotes in the post.
To me it comes down to this: for Michigan to be the best team it can be this year, it needs Simmons to be better than he’s been. I think he has the ability to elevate them to that higher level. TBD if he gets there right now.
Combine that with SImpson playing better than most expected early on and here we are.
Doesn’t “better than he’s been” seen a bit much? He hasn’t played a single game that counts yet.
Based off of the quote in the article from Beilein.
I don’t have the subscription so I didn’t read the whole article after the opening lines. Anyway beat writers tend to over-dramatize simple situations. The better one btw Simmons and Simpson will play more minutes, simple and fair, no complicated psychology here.
Doesn’t seem a bit much too me. Simpson has outperformed Simmons in practice is how I read it. Always good to know where you stand. Coach Beilein letting the fellas know what needs to be done
If there is enough offense at the other positions (which if MAAR is himself and the others look like they did in against NF), I don’t think I mind Z’s defense and play making in the starting lineup. Maybe Simmons or Eli will bring the offense off the bench.
Sorry tried to merge these threads and stuff got a bit out of order.
Here are the quotes from Beilein on X at the PG in the last game.
“His defense, there’s a certain clarity there. He’s the best defensive point guard without question. Now he’s trying to shape what he can do offensively and understand the nuances of being a point guard in this style.”
“Against the zone we should have a lot of assists, but it was good. I just want him to be more aggressive looking for the basket, not be a swinging gate. Look at the basket, be more engaged.”
I believe he has great vision and feel, I’m not going to discount 9 assists because he’s smooth and makes it look easy. I’m quite confident he sees the court as well or better than anyone on the team. Time will tell the tale. I saw his vision and ability to set up teammates last year as well, in limited minutes. He came to M with this ability.
this is a heated debate, i rewatched the game and paid attention to PG plays. I don’t see anyone of the three distinguished himself from the competition. there was not much highlight to talk about but each had some silly turn overs.
Well - Simpson still struggled a bit tonight in the 1/2 court to my eye, but man he’s way ahead of Simmons, who doesn’t even seem to know when to shoot - I counted twice where he hesitated in open looks and allowed the defense to recover.