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How Zavier Simpson ended the season as one of the B1G’s best point guards

Michigan, Zavier Simpson
Isaiah Hole / 247 Sports

Michigan point guard Zavier Simpson was a main component of his team’s B1G Tournament title.

In the tournament, he was hounding opposing guards and controlling the offense.

Defense

This is Simpson’s best attribute.

He commonly locks up opposing point guards. Let’s look at the stats of those guards in the four games that Michigan played in the B1G Tournament:

  • vs Iowa: Jordan Bohannon – 11 points, 21 FG%
  • vs Nebraska: Glynn Watson Jr. – 10 points, 33 FG%
  • vs Michigan State: Cassius Winston – 11 points, 30 FG%
  • vs Purdue: Carsen Edwards – 12 points, 25FG%

The most impressive defensive performance was against Carsen Edwards and Purdue in the B1G Tournament finals.

Edwards was a unanimous All-B1G 1st team selection that averaged 18.5 points per game while shooting 47 percent from the floor. With quick feet and aptitude to play defense without fouling, Simpson forces opposing players into difficult shots:

 

Pick & Roll, Pick & Pop

Combining great vision, passing, and quickness, Simpson is a perfect pairing with Moe Wagner.

Despite standing only 6 feet tall, he always seems to find a way to get the ball to his bigs:

Simpson more often than not puts the ball in the exact spot it needs to be:

With the Wolverines multiple options out of screens, defenses have trouble communicating and figuring out what is coming which leads to buckets.

Wagner’s versatility to both pop or roll really puts a strain on defenders, and Simpson uses that opportunity to get past bigger defenders and score at the basket. This leads us to the next trait…

Ability to finish around the rim

Simpson has shown his ability to beat defenders off the dribble, and an uncanny ability to finish over much bigger and taller opponents like Texas’ Mo Bamba:

Here you can see Simpson gets Vince Edwards switched onto him, a slower bigger opponent than PJ Thompson, and he beats him off the dribble then finishes over the 6-foot-8 Edwards and 7-foot-2 shot blocker Matt Haarms:

All of these attributes that Zavier Simpson holds put him above the other guards in the Big Ten.

 

 

About the author

Landon Dillion
Basketball Reporter at The Wolverine Lounge | | + posts

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