Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Hot Topics: How Should Michigan's Backup Big Men Rank?

On a regular basis, our writers will break down a "Hot Topic" among the Michigan fans and express their personal opinions regarding the issue. Topics cover everything from major athletic department decisions to team apparel. Writers have their own opinions and readers and their views may not necessarily represent Hoke's Mad Magicians as an entity.  Readers are welcome to comment below or contact our writers via Twitter with their own thoughts.


Tyler Fenwick - Michigan's Backup Big Men Should Rank: Horford, McLimans, Bielfeldt
1) In my opinion, it's a lock that Jordan Morgan is the starter. When he is the same court as Trey Burke, David Blaine gets jealous. But I put Horford as my first guy off the bench because he simply has more talent than the rest. His college career hasn't been all we expected yet, but the kid is finally starting to catch a break, and I think he could be huge coming off the bench, given Morgan's notorious ways of getting into foul trouble. I like Horford's size and strength that he's been adding. Horford is the type of big man that could help solidify the position at Michigan. And I think that's really the only thing holding Michigan back from becoming an elite team right now.

2) I put McLimans in front of Bielfedt basically for the same reasons Thomas lists below. Bielfeldt has no experience at the college level, and, while Michigan has made bank off of inexperience in recent years, it's becoming something of the past as the team is maturing as a whole. I would much rather put McLimans right in front of Bielfeldt for that reason. Plus, McLimans has a shot, and that makes him very difficult to guard. He's such a diverse player. Playing time between the two may end up being pretty similar, but I think McLimans should get the nod over Bielfeldt for those reasons.

Thomas Beindit - Michigan's Backup Big Men Should Rank: Horford, Bielfeldt, McLimans

1)  To begin, I've already predicted that Jordan Morgan and Mitch McGary will both be on the starting lineup.  After that, there is no doubt that Jon Horford should be the first one off the bench for Michigan.  He has more experience than Max Bielfeldt and frankly, he is more talented than Blake McLimans.  McLimans is undoubtedly a better shooter than Horford, but Horford is significantly better on the defensive side of the ball.  Players coming off the bench usually struggle with defense and this is what separates Horford from the other two players.  Plus, he's the only player of the three that has ever started a game at Michigan.  If he hadn't went down with injury last year, he would have seen heavy minutes for much of the season.

2) Unlike my first point, putting Bielfeldt over McLimans is definitely controversial.  Bielfeldt has no experience in a college game and is pretty unproven up to this point.  McLimans on the other hand, has experience and may have struggled at points, but was a decent backup off the bench last season.  However, I think Bielfeldt has a significantly higher season and has the ability to make a much bigger impact on the court if asked.  McLimans can shoot the ball pretty well, but his defense and play in the paint is pretty suspect.  Bielfeldt has put on some solid weight by all accounts and was a very consistent scout player throughout his freshman year.  Scout play is obviously not gameplay, but when you're asked to replicate Jared Sullinger in play, that's a pretty big compliment.  Bielfeldt could turn out to not be that great, but I think this is a year that he should be used before McLimans.


Final Points

Tyler - First of all, I completely agree with that first point. Horford is just better than the rest of the back ups heading into the season, and the defense is what separates him. So no problems there. But I don't agree with putting Bielfeldt over McLimans. Although McLimans has never started a game for Michigan, what he can bring to the game is more impactful than Bielfeldt. Not to mention, Bielfeldt doesn't even have college experience. Like I mentioned above, I think they could both end up with similar minutes off the bench, but you have to put McLimans above Bielfeldt in my opinion.

Thomas - I think we're both in agreement that Morgan, McGary, and Horford are the first three big men and that Horford is the best guy off the bench.  While I agree that Bielfeldt is inexperienced, I think he has a much stronger game than McLimans, even though we haven't seen him in college play yet.  Last season, they actually thought about burning his redshirt after Horford went down.  If McLimans truly was better than Bielfeldt, I don't think they would have even considered it.  McLimans definitely has the shot and he actually made a few 3 pts last year, but he had virtually no production inside the paint, which is a major problem for a big man, plus he had some defensive and rebounding struggles.  I think Bielfeldt is better on the defensive side and he is a phenomenal rebounder.  When you add in these, I think he should be the next guy off the bench after Horford.


All writers are entitled to their own opinion and those may or may not represent the held beliefs of Hoke's Mad Magicians as an entity. Readers are welcome to comment below or contact the writers via Twitter with   their thoughts

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