John Beilein has made himself an immensely successful career based off of his three-point heavy offensive sets. His teams have always passed and moved around the perimeter, stretching the defense and opening up three-point opportunities for the many shooters on the court. This has been so successful for Beilein, as he has been able to take less talented teams and win by making threes. Beilein did this from the lower ranks of college basketball at Caniscious, to Richmond, then West Virginia and finally Michigan.
Beilein has had success at the highest level at Michigan, primarily with this three-point heavy offense. His early Michigan teams were led by Zack Novak and Stu Douglass, two terrific shooters. Michigan has been in the top 25 in the nation in three-point shots attempted every season since 2008 and in the top three in three-point attempts in the Big Ten every season Beilein has been there. Three-pointers have been Michigan’s offense ever since Beilein arrived.
However, it seems as though this will change next season. The major reason Beilein’s teams shot so many threes was because they lacked the athleticism and the ability to attack the paint. That is not true at all with Michigan’s team next season. Players like Glenn Robinson III, Mitch McGary and freshmen Derrick Walton and Zakarie Irvin are all able to attack the rim aggressively. Nik Stauskas, while being one of the best three-point shooters in the country, can also play inside. Also, the two players Michigan lost early to the draft, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Trey Burke, were both very good three-point shooters, who took a lot of threes. With them gone, more shots will go to McGary and Robinson, who are more of inside players.
Michigan doesn’t have any one-dimensional shooters anymore, instead multifaceted, dynamic scorers. Now, they will still shoot a lot of threes next year, as the Wolverines will have very good shooters. But the difference will be that Michigan won’t depend on the three-point shot. Beilein’s offense has been based around the three-point shot for decades, but next season, that will very likely change.