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Michigan Basketball: Wolverines' Best Situational Lineups for 2014-15

Daniel StackContributor IIJuly 28, 2014

Michigan Basketball: Wolverines' Best Situational Lineups for 2014-15

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    Leon Halip/Getty Images

    When it comes to Michigan basketball, head coach John Beilein loves to switch up his rotation and usually has interchangeable parts he could move in and out of the lineup. Whatever Beilein has done, it has worked, as Michigan has gone 150-94 with five trips to the NCAA tournament (and a trip to the 2013 NCAA title game included) in his tenure in Ann Arbor.

    Whether it is playing small ball, going big or going athletic, Beilein has the pieces to create some interesting situational lineups this year. With many versatile and exciting athletes to work with, Beilein has many ways he can go.

    So, in this slideshow will be five situational lineups Beilein and Michigan may tinker with during the 2014-15 season. It remains to be seen, though, which will be the most effective lineup.

Likely Initial Starting Lineup

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    USA TODAY Sports
    • PG: Derrick Walton Jr.
    • SG: Caris LeVert
    • C: Mark Donnal
    • PF: Kameron Chatman
    • SF: Zak Irvin

    Basically, these are the five players most ready to make the biggest impact in 2014-15

    The lineup has a bit of everything: leadership, fantastic scoring, defense and intensity. However, this lineup is a bit void of rebounding and an interior presence, but the sum here is better than the parts

    Sure, there will be some holes to plug with the departures of Nik Stauskas, Glenn Robinson III, Mitch McGary, Jon Horford and Jordan Morgan, but this unit should be good enough to contend with the rest of the Big Ten.

Three-Point/Shooting Lineup

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    USA TODAY Sports
    • PG: Derrick Walton Jr.
    • SG: Caris LeVert
    • G: Spike Albrecht
    • C/PF: Mark Donnal
    • F: Zak Irvin

    This is the lineup where super-sub Spike Albrecht will do most of his damage.

    As a three-point specialist off the bench, Albrecht is a bona fide spark plug. Last year he converted .387 (24-62) of his three-point attempts. While he is limited athletically, Albrecht can get the team going with his shooting.

    Mark Donnal has been hailed as a player who can go inside and outside, so expect him to launch some threes in this offense.

    Zak Irvin told Brendan Quinn of MLive.com that Donnal may surprise some folks this year.

    “He was a great practice player,” U-M sophomore guard Zak Irvin said. “He’s a big who is able to shoot the 3 and he can play inside. He learned a lot from Horford and J-Mo.”

    Meanwhile, Irvin, Caris LeVert and Derrick Walton Jr. have already shown (all three shot over .400 percent from three-point range last year) they are capable of shooting from long range.

Defensive Lineup

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    Tony Ding/Associated Press
    • PG: Derrick Walton Jr.
    • SG: Caris LeVert
    • F: Zak Irvin
    • F: Kameron Chatman
    • F: D.J. Wilson

    With freshman D.J. Wilson a part of this lineup, this gives the Wolverines their most athletic lineup, as well as perhaps their best defensive unit

    Although Wilson and Kameron Chatman are slight unknowns considering they have never played a college game, the scouting reports suggest they are immensely talented on both ends of the floor. While this lineup is a tad bit on the short side, this is a group that could go after it defensively.

    The wingspans and reaches of those included here could cause major havoc on defense and disrupt passing lanes, which could result in many fast-break possibilities.

Big-Man Lineup

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    Tony Ding/Associated Press
    • PG: Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman
    • SG: Caris LeVert
    • SF: Zak Irvin
    • PF: Mark Donnal
    • C: Ricky Doyle

    Grated, Walton Jr. is not part of this lineup (he'll have to be rested occasionally anyway), but this is a unit that may be able to rebound the ball effectively. One of the major issues facing the Wolverines this year is rebounding and legitimate post play.

    Well, with this lineup, you have some beef with Donnal and Ricky Doyle (who both can step out and knock down some Js) down low, as well as some great athleticism on the wings in Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, LeVert and Irvin. With LeVert being Michigan's leading returning rebounder (4.3 rebounds a game), Beilein is going to have to mix and match to find guys to make up for the loss of McGary, Horford and Morgan on the front line.

    This is where Doyle and Donnal will especially be given extended looks. Also, expect Beilein to give Wilson and Max Bielfeldt some run with this unit, too.

Quick/Small Lineup

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    Leon Halip/Getty Images
    • PG: Derrick Walton Jr.
    • SG: Caris LeVert
    • G: Spike Albrecht
    • F: Zak Irvin
    • F: Kameron Chatman

    With this lineup, you have versatility and a good combination of athleticism and shooters.

    This particular unit will be effective at spacing the floor, and with LeVert, Irvin and Chatman, they have hybrid guard/forwards who can crash the boards, while also playing tough man-to-man defense.

    During the early parts of the season, expect Beilein to do a lot of experimenting while trying to find that perfect lineup. Nonetheless, Michigan has some really talented playmakers, and it should be a fun season seeing what these players got.

    Follow me on Twitter @Stacdemon

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