Report Card: Anthony Wright

Dylan Burkhardt

Anthony Wright Shoots the JI 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.

The Good
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.

The Bad
Ant Wright After Losing To NW 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.

The Future
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.

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  • Steve

    Another positive: Ant almost always seems to get that loose ball on the defensive end. He’s got really good hands, and has the potential to be a pretty solid rebounder. I think Anthony also had the best “off ball” movement out of anyone on the squad, and I think that’s one of the reasons that he was given so much time from John Beilein.

    If he can get his shooting to 33% in the next year or two, I’d say he’s a good fit for this team. I think improvement will come in his percentages….

  • cwood

    The dude shot 28% from beyond the arc and constantly took ill advised and rushed shots. You are way to optomistic on this guy. The only reason he got more playing time as the year went by is because Coleman showed that despite being a SR., he offered nothing to the team on the floor.

    AW is a career bench player at best. Anything more is over rating his abilities considerably.

  • Benjamin

    This report is missing a grade.

    I give him 3 of 5 block M’s.

  • Giddings

    Yes, he did shoot 28%, but if my life depended on one guy on the team making a three (let’s hope it never comes to this), I would choose Anthony. He does have the best stroke on the team, he’s got a very quick release, he has size to shoot over people (unlike Grady), and if it wasn’t for a big slump at the end of the season that 28% would be much higher.

    Having said that, I do agree that he should come off the bench. The slump came when he was starting, where we basically tried to get him as many threes as possible and he would end up going 1-7 or 2-10 or something. He was very effective in the middle of the season where he would come off the bench and hit a couple threes right away, really giving the team a spark.

  • cwood

    I wouldn’t trust anyone on the team this year to make a three with anything on the line.

    And yes, having his size is a plus, but how much of a plus is it really for him if he still cant make over 30%? It doesnt matter how much eaiser ut is for himt i shoot over people if he cant drain it consistantly.

  • Ky Fox

    i think people are forgetting that we have john B on the sidlines and not Amaker! Could you imagine Ant W with Amaker coaching him up?? Wowee what a disaster that would be! You also have to understand the youth on this team! I also agree that wright will definitley come off the bench…i think thats pretty obvious to most of us….but just like i said about sims…now that we have a couple guys that can shoot the ball a lot better that will keep guys like sims, wright, and even gibson from having to force the issue..and take shots when its within the flow and when they are comfortable. I think with Beileins skill development we will see wright only improve…as well as everyone else on the team! Theres only going to be progression..not degression in Jb’s program…and thats a big plus coming from the amaker’s days!

  • gooter9

    The one big miss I remember was vs. NW (would like to forget that game). Ant will be a good player off the bench in Beilein’s offense over the next few years. I hope he’s already started that off-season shooting program to get that 28% up around 35%.

  • Ky Fox

    yup! And i think he will gooter! Beilein has a whole offseason to work with these guys now and i believe you will see the benefits of that! JB had a short offseason last year…and now everyone knows what to expect as far as what beilein wants from everyone! Next year should be very very interesting! Cant wait until november!!

  • old fan

    It’s true, I can’t wait for November either. Hard to say for a team that I didn’t even watch at the end of the year out of disgust. However, I really like the Douglass/ Novak additions and the team will be one year older. It was incredibly young and this is the first time that I have felt that time will actually improve our players. With Amaker, if they weren’t good the freshman year I could write them off. No longer. Development is the key.

  • sid

    The question for me is whether getting one year older will help any of last year’s starters shoot better. 500 shots every day during the off-season would help some, but none of them really have that shooter’s mentality that says “I’m shooting this because I know it’s going in.” Wright might be an exception, but then again, 28 percent speaks for itself.

    I agree that if the incoming freshmen can shoot as advertised, they could provide some help.

  • sid

    Oh, and keep up the good work on the blog. Nice to have a place to find hoops news, as it’s pretty scarce otherwise.

  • Ky Fox

    And i think thats exactly why JB brought in Novak and Douglass. Its going to take the pressure off guys like Sims, Wright, and Gibson…guys that do not necessarily think shoot first, although I think Beilein is changing the mindset of a lot of these guys. Hes trying to develope multi-faceted players, and not one dimensional players! And is why we will start seeing sims, wright, and gibson become more of a threat on offense! It is a ton easier on you as a player if you can shoot the basketball! It makes it twice as difficult on the defender! Which is why a guy like sims really could benifit from JB’s develpoment and become a dangerous player in that he could drive on his opponet or shoot it over them or even post them up! Look at sims last year…he took something like 2 or 3 three pointers the whole season! Sims just being a post up player isnt going to help him or the team! Sims along with everyone else needs to add a dimension or two to theyre games!
    Udoh is extemeley good on defense…he should really work on his offense(a few post moves and a midrange from him could really help the team!)
    Gibson is not particularly strong or tough minded enough…he should work on getting a bit more physical down low since he can already shoot fairly well(not saying he should neglect working on his shot tho)
    Manny can already drive the ball very well!…he might want to continue working on his mid to deep range shot!
    I would guess thats Beileins mindset with these guys! Especially sense a lot of the guys amaker recruited were not exceptional on the offensive end of the floor! Which is why it probably is a bit more of a challenge for Beilein in that hes trying to get these guys to think offense and teach them offensive skills…which I believe is far more difficult than to teach a guy how to play defense! defense is 80% effort.

  • Ky Fox

    Hey Dylan! whos this kid c.j. harris?? and how high is he on Beileins list?? He looks pretty solid!!

  • a2matt

    I think CJ Harris is like a PLan b if we dont get Darius Morris.

  • Ky Fox

    ya! I mean I would hope darius would be pretty much a lock for us! Not that i am big into star rating but I think Darius will end up being a 4 star straight across the board by next year! That could do a lot for us in grabbing more higher profiled guys in the future

  • a2matt

    Yeah, pre-junior year rivals had him as a four, and i hear he did really well this past year.

  • peedi’s got the best stroke on the team. fa sho. ant’s too up and down.

  • hoosierine

    totally agree that this is overrating anthony wright. coleman is worthless and that is the only reason this guy played. a commentor said his 28% was only that low because of end of season slump?! ha! his 28% is only that high because of mid season hot streak. He shot 24% before the NW game. Then he got hot. Then he sucked.

    The only positive was his rebounding and his not coleman-ness.

  • Ky Fox

    hoosierine!?? Im guessing thats part hoosier fan and part wolverine fan……??? Hmmm thats an interesting phenomenon!!

  • hoosierine

    Actually, just an alum living in indiana. My fiancee (also a UM alum) goes to IU school of medicine, so I follow the hoosiers with half invested interest, only because of proximity.

  • Ky Fox

    gotcha! Hows life down in Indiana?? And please tell me your close to Indianapolis! I only hope that you are!
    Well lets both hope Beilein can make a decent player out of Anthony Wright, whata ya say fellow wolverine fan!! Oh…. and hoosier fan!
    GO BLUE!!

  • mark battles

    This guy rides the bench too much. Sure, he shoots well but his neglect toward his physical fitness and getting his speed up is evident. Maybe Wright should focus more on his game and fitness than traipsing his girlfriend around campus.

  • diehard_wolverine

    I agree that this guy has lots of potential. I’m excited to see what he will do next year off the bench. I dont think having a girlfriend has anything to do with his athletic abilities though lol