MBB Silver Linings Thread

Submitted by Bambi on January 9th, 2018 at 11:57 PM

Maybe it's too soon for this for most people, but despite the shitty ending, shitty refs and disappointing loss, I figured we could use some positive thoughts.

-The result of this game won't end up making that big a difference long term. We're going to make the tournament regardless and no one was expecting us to win/compete for the B1G title so seeding wise it won't matter too much. It may hurt NCAA seeding a line or two, but that's very manageable. 

-In terms of eye test, this game only helped our stock. Anyone who watched that game came away impressed with how we played. The offense had it's down moments at time but overall was pretty productive against a good Purdue team, and the defensive effort was good as well. Credit to Purdue as they hit a lot of contested shots even when we played good D. If we play like this from here on out we'll be winning a lot of games, and in almost all of them.

-On a personnel basis, this game was awesome for the continued growth of both Livers and Simpson. Both made huge plays all game long on both sides of the ball and look to be legit B1G starters growing into stars. The year started with the 1 and 4 as the two question marks on this team, but if those two play like this the rest of the way, the ceiling for this team is high.

-Related to that, but the future here is bright. Even if this year isn't the year and we get knocked out 1st/2nd round due to poor seeding, this team will be a force next year and the year after. Livers and Poole look like future stars as Freshmen, Simpson the same as a Sophomore. Teske is a force defensively and looks to be a great heir apparent to Moe. Brooks is a good contributor as well as a Freshman. Combine that with the great recruiting class coming in and the potential (likely?) return of Moe and/or Matthews, and this team could be making noise nationally next year, and definitely the year after that.

 

Comments

Wolverine Devotee

January 9th, 2018 at 11:59 PM ^

Couldn't help but think during the game how fun the next 3-5 years will be with these freshmen and then next year's class which is dynamite. 

Jordan Poole is great. He just doesn't give a fuck in the best way possible, launching 3's from anywhere not afraid to shoot and having fun out there. 

Bambi

January 10th, 2018 at 12:32 AM ^

154 minutes or 10.3 a game. So 1 shot every 2.33 minutes. Today he had 4 shots in 7 minutes. And none of this includes FTs.

Charles Matthews has 187 shots in 488 minutes, or one every 2.6 minutes.

Walton last year had 392 attempts in 1323 minutes, or one every 3.375 minutes.

Trey Burke in his NPOY year had 560 attempts in 1378 minutes, or one every 2.47 minutes.

When you're attempting shots more often than Burke in his NPOY year, you're shooting too much. I'm sure Beilein is telling him to be confident, be aggressive, take his shot and make plays. But that has to be within reason and include creating for others. And right now he's shooting too much and stagnating the offense too much, which is why Beilein keeps taking him off the floor. Long term it's fine, this is a common freshman issue, but it does not to get fixed.

Ajcoss

January 10th, 2018 at 12:42 AM ^

He didn't take a bad shot tonight though. He definitely is one of the best shooters on the team. I don't recall a lot of bad shots all season to be honest. He finds ways to make things happen with the ball in his hands. I look at that as a gift, and not just "you need to pass more". Again, he's a freshman with his mistakes. Not saying he's their best player. Saying they are better with him, and he needs more than 10 minutes a game. 15-20 will do.

Bambi

January 10th, 2018 at 12:57 AM ^

I never said I disagree that he should play more. He is a dynamic shooter and shot creator. I don't think he forced anything tonight either. All I'm saying is he needs to contribute more in other ways than getting his.

That's one thing Zak Irvin did very well. He could create for others and play good D even if he wasn't scoring. Poole just needs to add something else to his game. I'm not sayiing don't be aggresive and still shoot with that same confidence. I also agree he should play. But he needs to diversify his portfolio, which won't happen til the offseason which is fine.

We're also biased because he hasn't been missing yet. Which inevitably he will (I'd love it if he didn't but he will). And when he isn't scoring, he becomes another Duncan on the court (defense not as bad but still). That's his issue right now.

Ajcoss

January 10th, 2018 at 1:02 AM ^

Needs to develop some before next year. Don't think you give him the keys to the O and play him 35+ right now. Just more than 8-10. I personally think him and Livers could be 2 of the better UM players in a long time if they stick around. Love their games as freshman. Plus, JB's teams/kids get better under him. Should be exciting the next few years.

TrueBlue2003

January 10th, 2018 at 12:53 AM ^

but yeah, he needs to be a little more selective and pass it sometimes but he sure is fun. He'll get that part of his game.

He could be like Stauskas from freshman to soph year where he goes from shoot first to a guy that can make some great passes.

Ajcoss

January 10th, 2018 at 12:13 AM ^

Team is better when he's on the court though. He needs more minutes. Find a way JB to make it happen. Him & Livers are the real deal. I think good enough that we might not get 4 years of them.

Ajcoss

January 10th, 2018 at 12:30 AM ^

Personally I think Matthews isn't as good as some do, so maybe some of his minutes. With that said, he should get all of the bench minutes excluded from Teske for Mo. He or MAAR dribble up the court half the time anyways, so backup pg is doable. D-Rob sucks. So move Matthews to 4 when Livers is out. Not hard to find ways. Not saying 35+, but UM is better when he plays 15+ minutes. That is reality!

Kevin14

January 10th, 2018 at 10:48 AM ^

He's fearless.  He reminds me a bit of Aubrey Dawkins - in a good way. 

He has great confidence, can shoot, and can drive a bit.  Both prone to mistakes on the defensive end.  Although, it never clicked for Dawkins and I think Poole is already a better defender than him. 

Dawkins shot 56% on twos and 44% on threes.

Poole is at 60% on twos and 42% on threes (small sample size).

It could just be the short shorts

fharajli

January 10th, 2018 at 12:00 AM ^

But, I feel like there are so many of these cheer up guys, at least there is always tomorrow threads on here. Let me sulk on my anger. I understand we have a very good team this year and hopefully we kick butt in the tournament, but I just can't turn a blind eye to the bad officiating. I'm going to sulk and complain. Give me time. Maybe that's just me.

Orlando2

January 10th, 2018 at 12:05 AM ^

Has been a life-changer for me. I used to get so angry after losses and referee screwjobs (FUCK GENE STERATORE) and it would turn me into a complete dick for the next twelve hours towards my family, friends, etc. Venting on this website with other people who understand what it's like to be angry at sports helps me cheer up a lot faster.

Goosfraba

January 10th, 2018 at 12:01 AM ^

The game itself is not that consequential.  Michigan looks like they should make the tournament as a 7-9 seed.  Still, that was some fucking bullshit.

rice4114

January 10th, 2018 at 1:42 AM ^

a 7-8 seed. Everyone keeps saying this but is this really true? We are 3 inches of rim from having the exact same conference and overall record as Purdue. The team that they said was the best team in the country at half. Tennessee is at 10 wins right now and ranked. I dont even know what make sthese huge divides between teams that are close in resume and talent.

Bambi

January 10th, 2018 at 12:34 AM ^

I feel like you'd have to be a moron not to. Zak Irvin gets the rawest deal on this site and I don't get it. He didn't develop in the manner we thought he would after his 3 point chucking freshman year as a highly rated recruit. But he still ended up averaging 13 points a game, 4.5 RPG and 3 APG on 45/34/67 while playing very solid defense and hitting some clutch shots (B1G tournament vs Purdue and Wisconsin come to mind).

And this is all despite his terrible mid season stretch and him being the 5th option at times. He was an all around solid player, not great at anything but solid-good at pretty much everything and an emotional leader on the team. He wasn't a star but a great guy to have on any team and helped that team run.

Robinson, on the other hand, is at 10 PPG, 2.8 RPG and 1.2 APG on 43/36/91 while playing awful defense and most of that production coming against cupcake teams. Him and Irvin don't even compare right now.

trueblueintexas

January 10th, 2018 at 12:49 AM ^

Most people did not notice last year, but the defense the second half of the season was built around Irvin. Walton, Wilson, and Wagner got most of the credit for last years run, but none of their offense prowess would have mattered had they kept playing horrible D as a team. That can mostly be attributed to the role the coaches created for Irvin and his willlingness to take on that challenge.

FGB

January 10th, 2018 at 12:57 AM ^

I think your goal was to suggest that Irvin was better than people gave him credit for....but I didn't realize he shot 45/34/67 shooting percentages, that is shockingly mediocre-to-bad. 

All this did was make me realize he was actually much worse than i thought he was.  

TrueBlue2003

January 10th, 2018 at 1:16 AM ^

This guy used total FG% for the first number, but when you do splits, you're supposed to do 2pt/3pt/FT and for that, Irvin was 52/34/67.  That's not bad considering he had a couple of games that were really, really bad early-mid season (SC, at MSU) and dragged down his total.

He was an absurd 65% from 2 and 48% from three in the BTT and NCAAT combined, had double figures in all seven games and didn't have an Ortg below 100 in any of those 7 games.

Not to mention he was our best perimeter defender last year and he was very valuable.

Any comparison to Duncan is ridiculous.

Bambi

January 10th, 2018 at 1:21 AM ^

It's not great but I wouldn't call it bad either, it's solidly mediocre. DWalt shot 43/42/88 as a senior and 40/40/84 for his career. Irvin's overall shooting percentage was fine, similar to Walton's. His actual shooting ability wasn't close to the same, but we knew that and know Walton was a much better player last year. 

Keep in mind that also includes the 4 game stretch where he was just dreadful. Ignoring that he becomes a 48/37/68 shooter. Once again not great, but pretty solid, especially for a guy who played good D and rebounding/created as well as Zak did.

MGoCali

January 10th, 2018 at 12:01 AM ^

- A seed or two matters when you are going from 6/7 to 8/9. Don't want to play a 1 in round 2. 

- While I appreciate your positivity. The eye test argument isn't great. Yes, we look good. I agree and so does anyone else who watched. But in the face of 100s of games, this will be washed away and the committee will see a home court loss, yes to a good team, but it's a loss in one of our very few chances to have nice wins versus the RPI (why do they still care about RPI) top X.

I agree on the last two points. Great signs of a team getting better, and we will be better than this by the end of the year. 

 

Bambi

January 10th, 2018 at 12:09 AM ^

The two negative points you have go hand in hand. The committee will see it as a loss and that could push us from a 6/7 to an 8/9, which would be less than ideal. That being said, regardless of where we're seeded we are the team that we are. We may have to face a 1 now instead of a 2 in the second round, but regardless that was always going to be a hard game. 

That's probably pretty simplistic, and dropping to an 8/9 may end up being the reason we're knocked out 2nd round, but it could also drop us form an 8/9 to a 10 and help us. Or maybe we get a weak 1. Things happen, and overall I'm just mainly encouraged by the play.

Naked Bootlegger

January 10th, 2018 at 12:07 AM ^

Livers + Simpson defense was a thing of beauty in the 2nd half (I didn't see the first half - damn work).    I think Matthews can be a plus defender at times, too.   Add a functional Teske to that mix, and we can actually stop some people again.   

 

 

Yessir

January 10th, 2018 at 12:23 AM ^

Livers stood out to me tonight... again.  He got the ball off a steal and blazed to the other end leaving the defender in his dust.  He must be a tremendous athlete, not just BB.  

He plays D. He can shoot the 3.  He seems so much more relaxed than he did early on.  I know you'd expect that, but some freshman play like they don't want to make a mistake even late in the season.  He doesn't.  He has a nice stroke.  He's big to battle for boards.  Really impressed with him.

Teske with another solid performance for the most part again tonight.  

TrueBlue2003

January 10th, 2018 at 1:24 AM ^

with tree trunk thighs.  Put 60 pounds (easily done) on him and get him out there with the OTs.

He is looking so good though.  He's now 64 percent from three in conference play!  That gets him over 40 percent for the season after a slow start.  Outstanding defense.  Had a nifty drive late.  Guy is playing near perfect as a stretch four right now.