DeShawn “Peedi” Sims showed signs of improvement from his tragedy filled freshman year and handled to transition to a new coaching staff in stride. DeShawn had his good moments such as starting out the first half of the UCLA game hot and scoring 22 against Ohio State at home. But overall DeShawn just gave us a glimpse of his potential and never proved to be the player we needed him to be night in and night out. I think DeShawn is one of the most critical pieces to this teams success moving forward so it’s encouraging that Beilein has declared DeShawn his special project. More after the break…
DeShawn oozes with potential in Beilein’s system as a player who has an inside-out game at 6 foot 8 and seems to be a good fit for the four position of Beilein’s offense. Sometimes I think DeShawn himself doesn’t realize the kind of potential he has. Right now he is too much of a streak shooter but hopefully a little more time with the Beilein ball can help that as well.
Rebounding, I ripped DeShawn a lot earlier in the season about not giving it his all on the boards and not making the hustle plays. As the season progressed though I thought the light started to turn on a little bit and he really started stepping up. DeShawn averaged 5.4 rpg for the season but averaged 5.7 in conference compared to 4.3 in the pre-conference. Six of his seven games where he grabbed 8 or more boards were in the Big Ten season as well. This improvement on the glass is definitely encouraging and hopefully the trend continues into next season.
Inconsistency was a huge issue for DeShawn. “Peedi” had 7 games where he scored 17 or more points but had 11 games where he scored 10 points or less. It was basically boom or bust for DeShawn last year. It’s hard on the team when their second best player could give you absolutely nothing on any given night. I think the inconsistency issue is almost entirely mental and will improve when DeShawn learns to bring it night in and night out.
DeShawn shot the three ball at only 30% clip while taking the most three pointers on the team. He is clearly comfortable shooting the ball and likes the shoot the three but he is taking a few too many if he is only going to shoot 30%. I think everyone can agree that it would be nice to see DeShawn get in the post a little more where he has a very quick spin move and first step. It also would be nice to see him take the ball to the rack against bigger and slower defenders. He shows the ability to score in the post or off the dribble at times but is just too quick to settle for a three point shot.
Finish the bunnies. Peedi has struggled with layups and finishing around the basket since he arrived in Ann Arbor. It has to be some combination of both mental confidence and bad hands but it is painful to see a great post move ruined by a blown lay up. By not finishing well he is just leaving points unscored that should be automatic.
Overall I think Peedi has the chance to really breakthrough in John Beilein’s system next year. The signs are there but he just has to put everything together mentally and physically night in and night out. Performances like these just wont cut it next year:
- 1 pt (0-4), 1 reb, 5TO (Georgetown – L)
- 0pts (0-5) 0 reb (Eastern Washington – W)
- 2 pts (1-10) 7 reb, 3TO (Penn State – L)
- 4 pts (1-9) 5 reb, 3TO (Northwestern – L)
Michigan was 2-8 when DeShawn scored in single figures last year with the only wins coming over EWU (61-53) and Illinois (49-43). With the lack of offensive threats Michigan needs DeShawn to turn into a consistent scorer and step up next year. He is the biggest x-factor toward next year’s success. Adding another guard who is a threat with Laval Lucas-Perry hopefully will help open up DeShawn as well.
In the end though it is going to come down to DeShawn himself stepping up and putting it all together. This team really hinges on Peedi next year so hopefully he can flip the switch.