I think Anthony Wright and Ron Coleman were two players who were called “perfect Beilein fits” before the season because of their touted three point shooting. While he didn’t have an outstanding season you have to remember that Anthony came to Michigan as the unheralded recruit that we stole from Woffard. He took a redshirt his freshman year and burned off enough pounds to actually be able to start a few games this year for Michigan. I would say he certainly over achieved in terms of what anyone thought he was capable of but there is a lot of room for improvement going onward.
Ant had some big games when he really showed off his shooting ability this year. His best two games of the year were probably at Illinois (5/8 3pfg for 15 points) and vs. PSU (3/5 3pfg for 13 points). Ant certainly wasn’t scared to shoot and looked very comfortable working to get open shots, whether it be popping out or coming off picks. I would say that Anthony definetely improved as the season went on and that he looked far more comfortable on the court. Ant’s steady increase in minutes as the season went on shows that Beilein also saw some improvement in Ant’s game. Ant also made strides on the glass. Some early games he had me pulling my hair out with poor box-outs and lazy effort but by the end of the year he really hit the glass hard.
He took a lot of shots and shot a low percentage. While Ant has the prettiest three point stroke on the team the numbers are a bit staggering. Wright attempted 123 three point shots and only made 35 (28.5%) and had the third lowest three point shooting percentage on the team. Another negative is 14/29 (48%) free throw shooting for the year which ranks 2nd to last on the team.
Defense. Defense. Defense. The bottleneck in Ant’s game right now is quickness and defense. While he works hard he is just so physically limited on the defensive side of the ball he doesn’t have the quickness to guard the wing in the Big Ten.
Ant Wright’s future in the Michigan system clearly revolves around his ability to shoot the three ball which is a major plus for John Beilein. However I think the real question with Anthony is where is his true spot on the floor. At 6-6 235 he is traditionally too short to be a 4 and too big to be a 3. However I think that you are what you can guard and because he is too slow to guard Big Ten wings on the perimeter that he is a better fit at the 4. Especially in Beilein’s system which requires mostly outside play from the power forward.
Next year I still see Anthony playing backup to both the three and four spots. There is no one else behind DeShawn at the PF to push him and if Ant can keep improving on the glass he can be a weapon off the bench at the 4. I think the long term goal for Anthony is to be a Roger Powell type, a skilled tough undersized 4 who had a great Big Ten career.
Three point numbers should improve next year when Ant is not relied on as much in the offense to take shots one would hope. His stroke looks nice so you would think it will start falling if he is not worried about forcing it. I think the additions Laval Lucas-Perry, Novak and Douglass will pry into his minutes some by forcing Manny to become the starting 3. However there is definetely a role for Anthony in this offense if he can hit his threes off the bench.