Report Card 2011: Matt Vogrich

Dylan Burkhardt


14 3.2 56.0 38.7 0.4 1.6 108.3 12.8%

In his first college basketball game, against Division II Northern Michigan, Matt Vogrich hit five three point shots, he was also crossed over several times and looked completely overmatched defensively. The latter turned out to be a much bigger factor in Michigan’s 2009-10 season. Vogrich seldom played after that first game, severely limited by his lack of quickness defensively, and made just six more three point shots over the next 31 games of his freshmen season.

There were serious concerns over whether Vogrich could play at this level, even as a shooter off the bench. In his sophomore season, Vogrich tripled his playing time and improved his shooting numbers, seeming to provide Michigan with an opportune boost off of the bench in several key moments.


  • Three Point Shooting: Vogrich finished the season with a team best 38.7% three point shooting percentage on 62 attempts. He hit an even more impressive 48% of his triples in Big Ten play. Michigan seemed to run a number of sets designed to get Vogrich open shots and by the end of the season he was knocking them down with consistency.
  • Back door cuts: Zack Novak is probably the best Michigan player at throwing the back door pass, but Vogrich is the best at making the cut and getting open. This is a natural relationship because defenders have to respect Matt’s three point shooting stroke. He’ll improve finishing inside the arc as he gets stronger but he still made a respectable 51.7% of his twos.
  • Energy: Matt first showed the ability to inject energy off the bench during his freshmen year during a home win versus Ohio State. He demonstrated a similar quality this season and it’s no surprise that he was frequently featured in our Five Key Plays pieces. It wasn’t just hitting threes, Matt came up with some big jump balls, rebounds, steals and other energy plays as well.

Room for Improvement

  • Ball handling and passing: Vogrich began the season playing almost exclusively at the three position but, as the season wore on, he began to spend time at the off guard as well. He’s not a great ball handler, which makes facing pressure defense a chore, and he rarely creates for others. His assist rate (percentage of U-M field goals that he assisted while on the court) was just 6.1%, which is closer to Jordan Morgan’s (4.9%) assist rate than players like Evan Smotrycz (8.1) or Zack Novak (8.7).
  • Quickness: Vogrich is still a liability defensively against quicker guards. The problems might not be as dramatic as a year ago and he has certainly improved, managing to keep most players in front of him, but he is still a liability defensively.


Shining Moment: 11 points (5-5 fg), three rebounds and one steal in NCAA Tournament win over Tennessee. Vogrich spearheaded a first half run that earned Michigan a small halftime lead before the Wolverines were able to break the game open in the second half. Video.

Bottom Line

Vogrich proved that he can come off the bench and hit open threes. He’s far from a perfect player, and he’s probably only capable of doing half of the things that Tim Hardaway Jr. can do at the same position, but he fills a specific niche on the offensive end. Michigan is able to run a variety of sets for him when he’s in the game and if he ends up with an open look, there’s a good chance it’s going in.

With two freshmen guards arriving in Ann Arbor this summer, there has been heated debate over Vogrich’s role on next year’s team. There is certainly a log-jam developing in the backcourt – Morris, Burke, Douglass, Brundidge, Novak, Vogrich and Hardaway all play the 1-3 positions – but Vogrich has some distinguishing traits. First off, he’s able to play two positions, the two and the three, while most of the freshmen will likely be groomed into specific roles. That versatility coupled with his shooting ability should guarantee that he finds some minutes somewhere. It’d be crazy to expect Vogrich to play more minutes next season, but I don’t see why he can’y play a similar 10-15 minutes per game off of the bench.

  • Quick Darshan

    Ditto. Well-written piece. I have nothing of substance to add.

  • ScottGoBlue

    Good assessment. I think his role going forward will be what it was by season’s end. He’s great coming off the bench and knocking down a three or two, maybe a backdoor cut, and some hustle plays. When he comes in, he’s giving every play all his effort, which is a great trait for someone playing 14 minutes per game. I mean, you run a couple plays to get him open, and then the defense starts to adjust to Vogrich … and that gives everyone else more opportunities. He’s a good spark for us.

    Defensively, he made up for his lack of quickness with hustle steals and rebounds. I don’t recall him getting burned this year like he was prone to last year. I mean, you still get nervous watching him. But then he does something completely unexpected and good.

  • Kenny

    Well said Dylan. As one of a few on this board who defended Vogrich before the season and at the beginning of the season, I would say that he fully met or even exceeded my expectation. He is one of those bench players that every championship team has. While we were all surprised by Morris and Morgan, Vogrich showed significant improvement as well. It says a lot of Beilein and his coaching staff when almost every player on this team showed processes from the year before and continue as season goes.

    I expect Vogrich to be in a similar role next season before heading into 2012 when he is going to be the only senior on this team with a relatively inexperience back court.

  • Section13Row15

    Like Kenny said, it is really impressive that pretty much every player on Michigan’s roster improved from a year ago. Matt Vogrich is no different. Certainly, Matt hasn’t gotten the playing time he would’ve hoped coming in as a high 4 star recruit but he’s focused on his niche which is providing energy and production off the bench. I think he’s been more than serviceable at the top of the 1-3-1 that Beilein mixes in, and I’ve really been impressed with how good of a rebounder he is in the limited minutes he plays. That Tennessee game says it all on what Vogrich brings to this team. A little more strength and some quicker feet and you could see him being a potential starter at the 2 when Novak leaves.

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      Who had Vogrich as a high four star recruit?

      • KRN

        Scout had him as a four star but more as a low four star.

        • Dylan Burkhardt

          I think Scout had him at 100, stating that they always had a spot in the top 100 for who they felt was the best shooter in the country. Still, that’s one service and the last four star they hand out. Considering he wasn’t top 100 anywhere else, I’d call that a fringe four star at best.

  • georgeesq.

    It should be said that Vogrich has a nice mid-range jumper, which is a rarety these days. He is also great at coming off screens on the move, receiving a pass and going up immediately for a shot. We successfully ran an inbounds play to Matt several times this season that took advantage of his mid-range accuracy. He also can spot up on the break and nail threes – those are daggers to the opponent.

    What limits his minutes the most is having THJ, Novak and Stu ahead of him at 2 and 3.

  • Mattski

    This kid delights me with his hustle and enthusiasm. There aren’t a lot of minutes lying around on the Crisler floor, but I would love to see him have some big games next year and play major minutes as a senior.

  • billiam

    Gah, Dook. On the first picture that girl on the court looks like a guy. ARGHH!!!!

    • MH20

      I am convinced that one of Kyle Singler’s parents is an alien.

  • Tyler

    Vogrich really did play well at the end of the season. He is very compatiable with this offensive scheme (ie the three point shooting and back-door cuts). I think calling him a defensive liability against smaller guards is a bit harsh. I know he struggles, but not to the point of hurting us every game in and game out. It’d be great to see him develop him growth because this is a guy I personally believe we are expecting to start in ’12 (no factual evidence. I just don’t see a lineup where he doesn’t start).

  • Sam

    It should be noted that, with the perceived logjam at the guard position next season, either freshman could still redshirt. The unlikelihood of Morris staying for his senior season (assuming he returns next year) makes it unlikely that Burke will redshirt, as Beilein will want to get him some game experience before he becomes the starting PG, but Brundidge might be a candidate for one. I’m not guaranteeing anything here, I just want to point out that I think Vogrich’s minutes will at least remain constant and a redshirt could play a factor in that.

  • I have been fairly critical of Vogrich in the past, however he did improve this season. I admire his hustle and was surprised with his rebounding. I hope he continues to work on foot speed this summer so he can keep players in front of him on defense.

    With two penetrating guards coming in, he may get some more open looks next year. There is no doubt what so ever he can shoot if left open.

    • JD

      “Surprised with his rebounding” sums it up for me. He had some great boards in the 2nd half of the season where I was shocked to see him go above the crowd to grab the ball. He looked like Manny out there, if only for a moment.

      I’m really happy with what Matt brought to the table in the 2nd half of this year. I hope he keeps getting better.

      • MikeSal

        A lot of that had to do with the scheme they were playing of letting the guards clean up. He was an underrated rebounder in my opinion. I think he will get about the same mins and he should. He can hit the shot when open and with some more lifting in the offseason can possibly provide some toughness in the back court. Foot speed is a must though. Great season Matt!

  • Azad

    Vogrich’s confidence on the floor increased dramatically as the season went on, which made his time on the court so much more productive for us. He found ways to impact the game even when he wasn’t getting open looks. With Burke coming in, plus Hardaway’s hopeful improvements handling the ball, I hope that better ball handling on the court will result in more open three point looks for Vogrich (and everyone else). Regardless of his talent limitations, gotta love the heart and effort that this kid provided for us this year, and I hope he continues to make good contributions for us next year.

  • Section13Row15

    I subscribe to Scout. Probably should’ve checked the other boards before I wrote that about him being a high 4 star. However, #12 or 13 SG in the country (according to Scout) seems like a pretty highly recruited guy to me, and my point was that instead of moping about a lack of playing time, Vogrich has focused on getting better and playing a role that our team needs.

  • Section13Row15

    In other news…Kyle Singler’s mom is definitely an albino alien.

  • Steve A

    Does Joe Dumars kid, (Jordan), even have a role on this team? He seems like a good character filled young man, but we really could have used his scholarship on a good recruit, am I wrong thinking that? I mean he was a 2* coming out of high school if I’m not mistaken.

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      He’s not on scholarship.

      • rlc

        Well, would his dad pay Patrick Heckmann’s tuition, too?

        • Dylan Burkhardt

          Dumars being a walk-on has more to do with the fact that he’s a preferred walk-on type of prospect than anything to do with his dad.

  • Steve A

    Ok, thanks Dylan, I didn’t know that, any word if Larry Nance Jr. still might come as a walk on?

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      I don’t think there’s ever been talk of him being a walk-on. Has a pretty big collection of MM offers.

      • Steve A

        Gotcha, I’m glad we got Max.

  • billiam

    piggybacking off ric’s idea, I now know why Belein got so many former player’s kids. It’s so that we can have unofficial “scholarships” to give to “walk-ons”. For instance, we recruit the “tremendous ten” (top 10 recruits in the nation) and Big dog/Dumars/Tito (horford)/Hardaway Senior pay these kids way. Awesome, no?