Saturday, September 22, 2012
Previewing The Roster: Matt Vogrich
Vogrich will be entering his senior season with mixed expectations and performances. He was a 3* recruit when he committed to Michigan back in 2009 and has improved largely from his freshman season. However, he took a step back in his junior year. Not just in production, but he played an average of 3.3 fewer minutes per game last year than he did the year before. Typically, when a player's time is reduced from their sophomore to junior year, it's a sign of one of two things. Either newer players are stepping up and taking the playing time, or the player has taken a step back. Unfortunately for Vogrich, there wasn't much roster transition at his spot last year, which probably signals that it was more of a step back.
Now, this doesn't mean that Vogrich is a bad player, it just means that he's really going to have to step it up if he wants to make an impact this season. Not only because his playing time was cut last year, but also because there will be a few more players challenging him for playing time, including Glenn Robinson III and Nik Stauskas. Vogrich certainly has the possibility to step up his game and get some solid playing time in the coming year, particularly because he is the most expected backup on the team, but also because Michigan could really used some increased play on the bench going through the season and Vogrich could be leader of that improvement.
Things To Look For In 2012-2013:
1. Improved 3-Pt Shooting
As noted above, Vogrich's production decreased significantly last year. One of the primary reasons this happened was because Vogrich was not as effective outside the arch. Not only did Vogrich make 42.9% of his shots during his sophomore year, but he made 38.7% of his 3-pt shots. Let's put that into perspective by looking at last season. Only 4 players on the team last year made a higher percentage of 3-pt shots than Vogrich did as a sophomore. When you consider that only two of those players actually played the entire season, Vogrich's sophomore production is pretty impressive.
For Vogrich's role on the team, keeping a high percentage outside the arch is essential. Not just because so much of his production is linked to these shots, but also because the team's offensive capabilities are largely linked to this as well when Vogrich is on the floor. To be honest, Vogrich really doesn't have the ability to attack the basket very well and doesn't have tremendous passing abilities. As a result, he has to be an accurate shooter in order to be a threat when he's out there. In order for Vogrich to return to his sophomore production or be even better, making his 3-pt shots will be key.
2. Increased Versatility
Michigan will have more depth on this year's roster than they have in years. Not only in the frontcourt, but also in the backcourt, where ESPN has argued that they may be the best in the entire country. Not only do Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway, Jr. return, but the team will be bringing in Spike Albrecht, Nik Stauskas, GR3 and will be bringing back Eso Akunne from injury. The only player on that list that I think won't be challenging for playing time is Spike, who I have predicted will redshirt in the coming season. The basic concept is that it's going to be very hard to get serious playing time.
As a result, it's going to be vital for Vogrich to be able to play multiple positions in the coming season. Getting playing time will be pretty difficult, but if Vogrich can play anywhere from the 1-3, it's going to be a lot easier for him to get on the court. Just look at the point guard position. Trey Burke has solidified the starting position, but the backup role is definitely open with Eso Akunne returning from injury and Spike Albrecht being a low rated true freshman. I'm not saying Vogrich should move to point guard, but he definitely has the ability to play several positions and need to utilize that ability to make a serious impact.
3. Instant Firepower
The bottom-line for Vogrich in the coming year is that he needs to bring instant firepower from the bench. Vogrich will get limited attempts in the game to make an impact and he needs to make the most of them. This may either sound too general or obvious, but if you analyze the way Vogrich has been used by Michigan, either as a backup or to mix things up for the offense, his time is really going to be limited, even if he's better than he has been in the past. This means that the few minutes Vogrich gets on the floor (he averaged 10.7 last year) are going to be key.
If Vogrich can come in, heat things up with a few 3-pt shots or great passes, he will probably get a lot of time and truly make an impact for Michigan. However, if he comes in and the offense doesn't pick-up, the coaches may look to some of the younger players on the roster to make an impact. I truly believe that Vogrich will be able to make an impact this year, but being productive in his small playing time will be essential. My prediction is that Vogrich will get more minutes this year, but will get them in a more diverse way, as I talked about earlier.