Form Tracker: November 18th, 2015

Dylan Burkhardt

After a year on the shelf, we’re bringing back our Form Tracker feature. Roughly every two games we’ll check in and grade Michigan players’ performances over the last week.

Caris LeVert: 7.5

LeVert played a great game (18/5/4) against Northern Michigan and an average game (11/7/4) against Elon to open the season. The ball has still stuck at times when LeVert gets it, but he’s been distributing and scoring effectively. His assist numbers have been solid, he’s attacking the basket well (he settled for a few too many mid-range jumpers against Elon) and has been very aggressive in the passing lanes, forcing turnovers and creating easy points.

Derrick Walton: 7.5

Walton played arguably his best game — statistically speaking — in a Michigan uniform on Monday. He scored a career high 24 points on just 10 shot attempts and handed out seven assist and six rebounds for good measure. On the other hand, he had just 4 points on 4 shots and one assist in the opener against Elon.

“That hunting mentality is something that he has to have,” Beilein said of Walton after his big performance. “I think Trey was more of a scorer playing point guard and Derrick is more of a point guard who can score. We have to keep getting him more aggressive.”

If Walton can replicate 75% of his performance against Elon on a consistent basis, he’ll be in for a big season.

Aubrey Dawkins: 6

Dawkins continues to be lethally efficient on the offensive end, but needs to continue to strive for efficiency on both ends of the floor (a trend among Michigan’s sophomore wings).

“We just talked about how efficient it was,” Beilein said of Dawkins’ performance against Northern Michigan “He didn’t have to force anything, he’s making more plays. He made a 2-on-1 play that he blew up in practice yesterday. He watched the video with us today, and then he made it perfect today.”

Duncan Robinson: 6

Here’s what we know about Duncan Robinson: he has an incredible shooting stroke, he needs to be more aggressive offensively and he’s a below-average defender. Through two games we’ve seen the whole gamut. Robinson hasn’t looked great defensively and only took one shot in Michigan’s season opener, but he notched 19 points on 6-of-6 shooting against Elon.

Kameron Chatman: 4.5

Chatman hasn’t shot the ball that well from the perimeter, but just about every other aspect of his game looks improved. 6-of-12 on twos and 0-of-3 on threes. He’s moving the ball well and shows great vision, but he’s also a very good cutter. The playing time crunch at the wing will be tough, but right now he’s starting and giving Michigan solid production in just under 20 minutes per game.

DJ Wilson: 4

Wilson has shown flashes of potential at the four and five position, but he hasn’t really looked at home at either spot. His length should make an impact at some point this season, but it will be interesting to see if Michigan focuses his effort at one position in particular.

Ricky Doyle: 4

Doyle showed some nice flashes in the second half of Michigan’s win over Elon, scoring on a post up and grabbing some tough rebounds, but he hasn’t put together a complete game to prove that he deserves the starting spot. Doyle showed the most last season, but he’s yet to prove he can play consistent on both ends and stay out of foul trouble.

Mortiz Wagner: 4

Wagner has only played 13 minutes this season, but he’s brought energy into the mix. He drew a charge and picked up a steal against Elon and scored his first collegiate points against Northern.

“I like what Moritz is doing,” Beilein said on Monday night. “He weighed 231 (pounds) today so we’re now plus-20 from when he walked in. He’s on a different weight lifting thing.”

Moritz needs more opportunity and it’s hard to imagine that it doesn’t come given the lift that he’s gave Michigan in small spots thus far.

Spike Albrecht: 3

Michigan’s other member of the walking wounded, Albrecht doesn’t look close to 100%. He’s made a few of his patented assists and steals in limited playing time through two games, but appears to just be working his way into shape. Overall, Albrecht seemed to defer a bit in his first two outings.

“He needs to shoot the ball when he’s open, so when you talk to him, tell him to shoot when he’s open,” Beilein said after the opener. “He’s got to shoot instead of trying to do these other things. He’s an incredible shooter, and he needs to do that. But other than that it was good to have him out there.”

Mark Donnal: 3

Donnal has been Michigan’s starter through the first two games of the season, but he hasn’t really shown many major reasons to leave him at that spot. He’s grabbed only one defensive rebound in each of Michigan’s first two games and missed a couple of bunnies against Elon.

Zak Irvin: 3

Zak Irvin made his return to the floor on Monday and missed all five shots he took. He did hand out three assists, but we’re confident his better days are ahead as he gets back to health.

“He looked great out there. Our defense changed the minute he walked in that game,” Beilein explained. “I’m not measuring him by whether he makes threes, I’m measuring him by his defense, his rebounding and his passing. As a shooter, that will all come.”

Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman: 3

Give Abdur-Rahkman credit, he’s been able to make plays in limited playing time. He scored on a devastating hesitation move against Elon and knocked in a three against Northern Michigan. He’s only played 22 minutes this season — after averaging 35 per game over Michigan’s last 12 games last year — and that will take some getting used to.

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  • UMHoopsFan

    Nice job, but you forgot someone…

  • Corperryale

    Hard to knock MAAR for his reduced PT — he has shown good judgment overall and made nice plays in his limited allotment. He could stand to be a bit more aggressive in the time he does get. I’d probably rate Robinson higher than a six since he has answered the question of whether he is an elite shooter with a resounding “yes”. The rest should come. I’d probably knock LeVert down a half-point below Walton due to turnovers and getting stuck in the lane a bit more than hoped. Let’s hope Irvin finds he shot again soon.

    • Fair all around… MAAR could probably be a bit higher, he’s made some nice plays.

      Robinson did almost nothing in the opener so was tough to go much higher. Also never want to go too high with the first version of this since everything is sort of based on that as a baseline.

  • bobohle

    I expect Spike and Zak at 7.5 or higher shortly. You were generous for Doyle and Donnal.

  • Wayman Britt

    I don’t see Donnal getting higher than 4 all year. Watch out for Wagner in February and March, he will be playing many more minutes.

  • DetroitDan

    Based upon my expectations a week ago, Robinson is off the charts. He hit every shot against Elon (the most serious opponent to date) and could not have done any better were he Lebron James and Michael Jordan rolled into one (those guys hit 100% of their shots?).

    Meanwhile, Chatman just continues to not be able to shoot. He gets a very low score from me until he is able to shoot more than 30%. He’s no great shakes on defense either. He may be moving the ball well, showing great vision, and cutting, but until he can improve on his shooting percentage, he is destined for the sitting end of the bench. He hasn’t hit a free throw or a 3-pointer so far this year. Last year, in extensive playing time, he was horrible in both of these categories. I hope that he turns this around, but to grade him relatively high based upon what he has shown this year is ridiculous.

    Beilein seems to have developed a policy of letting the non-rotation players prove their incompetence in the early part of the season. We will witness what Donall and Chatman can do as starters, then understand why they are not part of the rotation come the B1G season. Glad to be wrong….

    • mikey_mac

      GR3’s career 3PT: 31%.
      Chatman needs to be surrounded by 3 other elite shooters when he’s on the floor, but it’s been proven there is room for important contributions from a non-shooter at the 4 in UM’s offensive system. He does need to pick up the slack somewhere else, though, namely defense and rebounding, to deserve a bunch of minutes. We’ll see if he can pick up his game a bit.

  • Mattski

    Love this feature–and anything that makes the normally cautious Dylan voice his very learned opinions. But I have never been satisfied with giving poor grades to players who are dealing with injury or limited playing time. Maybe something like an “I” for incomplete and a tentative grade in parenthesis?

    • geoffclarke

      I love this feature too. It’s clear that it’s based on some combination of playing time (regardless of how it’s earned or lost) and how they do while they’re in. As long as we all recognize that, I don’t see an issue.