Only one of the top eight players who finished Michigan’s 2016-17 season will be on the roster in 2018-19.
That player is Zavier Simpson, who averaged just 3.7 minutes per game in the NCAA Tournament as a freshman. Other than Simpson, the Wolverines will turn over almost their entire rotation in a two-year timespan.
While Michigan’s program feels as healthy as ever and is clearly headed in the right direction, the turnover of multi-year starters over the last two seasons as been significant. The Wolverines replaced three starters last year and will replace three players who played starter’s minutes this year.
Michigan will lean on a highly regarded freshman class to replace 48.1% of last year’s minutes and 53.1% of last year’s scoring.
Those numbers provide a baseline, but using play type statistics from Synergy Sports we can take a closer look at what part of the offense will be most affected by the departures while taking a stab at projecting which players are the roster are well-equipped to fill the void.
% of Poss. Lost: 50%
% of Offense: 28%
Top Candidate: Charles Matthews (139 possessions, .885 PPP, 45th percentile)
If you like to worry, this is where you should start. Michigan loses 50% of its spot up possessions — defined by Synergy as catch and shoot or catch and drive plays, or attacking a closeout — from a season ago. The Wolverines lost 53% of their spot up production the previous offseason and were able to rebound, but the offense still took a step back and the underlying numbers are particularly ugly this time around.
As a team, Michigan scored 1.054 points per spot up possession last season, good for the 91st percentile nationally. The players that Michigan loses from last year’s team scored 1.17 points per spot up possession (which would rank 3rd in the country), the returning players scored just .938 points per spot up possession (which would rank 188th nationally last season).