Tuesday, April 20, 2021

The Basketball Roster 2/2

For posterity.

I didn't think Chaundee Brown would come back.  I don't a thing about his classwork and I probably couldn't find out much if I tried, but he doesn't seem like a masters degree kind of guy right now.  He is correct in that he has had enough amateur basketball training.  At Michigan he showed that he is outstanding at learning and fulfilling a role--a defensive stopper, energetic 6th man, and 3-point shooter.  He is a talented basketball player, although not a superstar shot creator, assist man, or speedster; he is motivated and concentrates.  Brown would have been an asset for Michigan next year, but it is time to move on.

Ditto Mike Smith--I didn't think he'd be back--but for only slightly different reasons.  He already has a degree from Columbia and about half of a masters from Michigan; he has been very capable as a student, the door is always open for more, and it is enough for now.  He wants to be a pro basketball player for a few years and he knows he will be a life of short contracts and hanging-on.  No one is going to change that ambition.  Like Brown, he has achieved or come close to maximizing the college game along with an element of diversity.  At Michigan he was an excellent point guard and steadying influence.

According to the news, Austin Davis was glad and seemingly surprised to be offered a 5th year.  He represented Michigan well--always prepared and trying.  He got absolutely everything he could out of an amateur basketball career.  Particularly without Colin Castleton, Michigan had to have a back-up center, he was a known person, and it was a smart decision by Howard.  Michigan will need to replace him; out with the old and in with the new is the way it works.

Franz Wagner could come back and if the college game was really about growing he would, but he will not.  He has the physical frame and he is an excellent all-around player--the only ways to expand as a player are shot creation and leadership; the latter is difficult because he is still only around twenty and it is a second country and language.  One cannot argue with pro culture and when you are a first round draft choice, you take the money and go.  If you want more education you can do that too.

Finally, and we're almost done with this part of it, Isaiah Livers will not come back either.  Like Wagner, he is another could and should but it will not happen; recent news confirms this.  He is an exciting player and likeable guy but his Michigan career did not end that way.  With him and a bucket full of promising but green freshman, the team would be diverse, young and old, and great next year.  He has only had four, he would be a big man on campus, and politics and extracurricular activities are allowed, but he has other plans.

Like Davis this past season, Michigan needs a guard next year and Eli Brooks is a smart keep.  He is tough, a good ball-handler, and all-around.  I don't think his game will grow much as a scorer.  I don't even remember if he redshirted, his age is getting up there for a college student.  He works very hard on the court and is always chasing someone around.  I do not see that he has pro potential.

Who will transfer out?  Johns, Jackson, and/or Williams?  You never know what is boiling beneath the surface.  Which freshmen will not enroll?  There will be two transfers in, it seems.  And Nunez and Howard, is there any way?

This is why Livers' crusade is pretty ridiculous.  It is changing really fast.  There are a lot of opportunities.  It is pro-like, and the best teams next year will be those that manage the roster better.

No comments:

Post a Comment