What Needs to Change for Michigan Basketball?

Photo: Isaiah Hole, 247Sports

Some may think that being ranked in the top 25, at this point in the season, would mean that the team has everything all figured out.

With Michigan, that is far from the truth. There’s no denying the talent on this team, it’s apparent when you watch them play. The problem is that sometimes, in my personal opinion, the players can sometimes get sidetracked by the hype.

When this happens, Michigan plays stagnant on offense and even plays lackluster defense. As of late, this has happened two obvious times in this grueling Big Ten season.

The first was when Michigan got blown out at Nebraska. And, the other being when Michigan lost at Northwestern this past week.

This type of play goes beyond the common narrative that all Big Ten road games are tough. It has led many to wonder if lineup changes are needed. With that being said, this is what I think Michigan should do in terms of their lineup.

 

PG/SG

Michigan’s main offensive problem this year in my oppinion is lack of scoring from the PG spot. This is why I think that Michigan should play MAAR and Jordan Poole at the 1 and 2 spot.

They can split ball handling and point guard duties while both being on the floor. Jordan is electric every time he touches the ball. Playing around 11 minutes per game, Jordan averages 6.0 PPG (6th on the team).

He is a defender’s nightmare with every type of shot in his arsenal. Additionally, he plays tough D. With MAAR and Jordan Poole both on the court and helping to run the point, I think Michigan’s offense will be much better.

I would still give a good amount of minutes to Zavier Simpson. Zavier is crafty, and simply just knows how to run the point. But with our offensive struggles, I think MAAR and Jordan can get the job done.

MAAR is a competitor that does just about anything. At times he can seem zoned out, but this is Michigan’s go-to-go in crunch time. Hopefully after the losses to Northwestern and Nebraska, he uses that as motivation and gets back on the right track.

 

SF

I don’t think Michigan needs any changes at the 3 spot. Charles is an absolute beast at times, and Michigan just needs to get him going.

I think it’s only a matter of time before he explodes in one of our next games. He has struggled as of late but his defense and rebounding has continued to be solid. 

 

PF

The 4 is an interesting dilemma. The ideal scenario would to be to put Isaiah Livers at the spot, however with the injury to Livers unclear, Duncan may be the only viable solution.

Duncan is a great spot-up shooter and scorer, the only problem is that when he matches up with the other team’s four, he seems a little outmatched down low. Don’t get me wrong, he does a hell of a job in D. I’m always watching him fight for position down low. It’s just that sometimes opposing 4’s are way more athletic.

And, when Livers comes back, he needs to score more. He needs to get more involved in the offense because he wasn’t named Mr. Michigan for nothing.

Livers is shooting 44% from 3 this season and over 50% overall. He needs to shoot and get involved more. Even when Livers comes back, this spot at the 4 should be split between the two.

 

Center

Not much to say here. It’s pretty obvious that Moe should be in this spot, he’s Michigan’s best player. Averaging around 14 PPG and 7 RPG, he is so gifted.

With the moves of a point-guard and the height of center, nobody seems to be able to guard him. The only critique I have when watching Moe is that sometimes all he wants to do is shoot threes.

I get it that he’s a good shooter, but I truly believe that in the games where he plays great, he goes inside first and then works his way out.

 

Bench Play

With this new starting lineup, like I stated above, I think that Zavier and Duncan should get key minutes off the bench. Both are great players that impact the game in their own unique way.

I also would like to Jon Teske get more minutes in order to give Moe a little bit of a break as we head into the final stretch of the season.

Teske is a giant, and his transformation as a player from last year is unbelievable. He grabs the boards, and runs the floor; he’s just a great asset that deserves some more minutes.

In the end, as much as I may critique the lineup going out each and every night, I still have the utmost confidence and respect for John Beilein.

He’s been in this situation long enough to not only know how to get over this hump, but to get his team ready for the tourney. This team is talented and at sometimes they lose sight of what’s in front of them, and that’s why each loss hurts so much (because they’re so good).

I truly believe that this team could make a deep-run in the tourney, and I can’t wait for what’s in store.  

 

 

Joey Wolberg

About Joey Wolberg

Joey Wolberg will be attending his senior year at Berkley High School in Berkley Michigan. Joey is one of the founders of Michigan Sports Zone. He has grown up as a true Detroit/Michigan sports fan and loves to follow each team.
Joey Wolberg

Joey Wolberg

Joey Wolberg will be attending his senior year at Berkley High School in Berkley Michigan. Joey is one of the founders of Michigan Sports Zone. He has grown up as a true Detroit/Michigan sports fan and loves to follow each team.

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