#10 Michigan Wolverines: College Basketball 111 in 111



Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

I think I’m one of the few people not drinking the Michigan Wolverines kool-aid this season.  Don’t get me wrong, they will be a very good team, I’m just not buying them as a preseason top five squad quite yet.

Last Season: T-1st, 13-5 in Big Ten, 24-10 overall
Predicted Big Ten Finish: 2nd

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Jordan Morgan (Jr)/Mitch McGary (Fr)/Jon Horford (So)
F: Glenn Robinson (Fr)/Blake McLimans (Sr)/Max Bielfeldt (Fr)
G/F: Tim Hardaway Jr. (Jr)/Nick Stauskas (Fr)
SG: Matt Vogrich (Sr)/Eso Akunne (Sr)/Caris Levert (Fr)
PG: Trey Burke (So)/Spike Albrecht (Fr)

Gone: G-Stu Douglas, G/F-Zach Novak, F-Evan Smotrycz (transfer-Maryland), PF-Colton Christian (transfer-Florida International), SG-Carlton Brundidge (transfer-Detroit)

2012-2013 Outlook:
U of M wouldn’t even be in the conversation as a potential top five team had Trey Burke stayed in the NBA Draft.  However, he made the wise decision of returning for his sophomore season and will undoubtedly be the driving force behind the Wolverines.

With veteran leaders Zach Novak and Stu Douglas finishing off their collegiate careers, their valuable roles will now be turned over to Tim Hardaway Jr. and Matt Vogrich.  THJ (forced that acronym) struggled with his outside shooting last season but is more than capable of scoring in a variety of ways.  Vogrich will be the glue guy in the starting rotation if he can hang onto that spot for the entire season.

Freshman Nick Stauskas will push Vogrich hard for minutes and might be too dangerous of a three point threat for John Beilein to keep off the floor.  Fellow newcomer Spike Albrecht looked extremely comfortable running the point in Michigan’s preseason game when Burke was sidelined and will be used in a reserve role.  Eso Akunne could see spot playing time as well while Caris Levert figures to be the odd man out of the rotation.

Another key freshman will be Glenn Robinson Junior.  Like his dad, he has good touch on his outside shot but is a bit longer and more athletic than “The Big Dogg.”  He is versatile enough to play either forward position which gives Beilein the option of using his at the four in a smaller line-up or at the three if the Wolverines choose to go big.

Despite seeing a dip in production as a sophomore, Jordan Morgan will anchor the post.  He will be pushed by active big man Mitch McGary and it will be a tough matchup for another opposing frontcourt if Beilein decides to use both guys on the floor at the same time.

The decision of Evan Smotryzk to transfer opens up minutes on the bench.  Getting Jon Horford back from a stress fracture that cost him most of last season adds depth even though he has been battling a knee injury this preseason.  Blake McLimans barely touched the floor last year and that should once again be the case for he and redshirt freshman Max Bielfeldt.

With an influx of talented freshman, Michigan has a lot of skill and versatility across their roster to build off last year’s team that finished in a three-way tie atop the Big Ten Standings.  Does that mean they are ready to make the jump to becoming one of the elite teams in the country?  Maybe.  I’m just ready to anoint them yet quite yet.

Player to Watch: Trey Burke
While I’m not jumping out of my seat to call Michigan an elite team, I’ll raise my hand if anyone asks whether or not Burke is one of the best point guards in college basketball.  His impact last year was far beyond what most were expecting right away and he should be even better during his sophomore campaign.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/21 & 23 vs. Virginia/Pittsburgh/Kansas State/North Texas/Lehigh (NIT Tip-Off)
11/27 vs. N.C. State (Big Ten/ACC Challenge)
12/8 vs. Arkansas
12/15 vs. West Virginia (in Brooklyn)

OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#14 Arizona Wildcats
#15 North Carolina Tar Heels
#16 Michigan State Spartans
#17 UCLA Bruins
#18 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
#19 Cincinnati Bearcats
#20 Marquette Golden Eagles
#21 Creighton Bluejays
#22 Gonzaga Bulldogs
#23 Minnesota Golden Gophers
#24 Memphis Tigers
#25 Baylor Bears
#26 Wisconsin Badgers
#27 Tennessee Volunteers
#28 Pitt Panthers
#29 New Mexico Lobos
#30 St. Mary’s Gaels
#31 Georgetown Hoyas
#32 North Texas Mean Green
#33 Ohio Bobcats
#34 Texas Longhorns
#35 Miami Hurricanes
#36 Purdue Boilermakers
#37 Alabama Crimson Tide
#38 St. Joseph’s Hawks
#39 Murray State Racers
#40 VCU Rams
#41 Davidson Wildcats
#42 Stanford Cardinal
#43 UMass Minutemen
#44 St. John’s Red Storm
#45 Butler Bulldogs
#46 Florida State Seminoles
#47 Drexel Dragons
#48 St. Louis Billikens
#49 West Virginia Mountaineers
#50 BYU Cougars
#51 Temple Owls
#52 Washington Huskies
#53 California Golden Bears
#54 Kansas State Wildcats
#55 Nevada Wolfpack
#56 Colorado Buffaloes
#57 Iowa State Cyclones
#58 Northern Iowa Panthers
#59 Colorado State Rams
#60 Iowa Hawkeyes
#61 South Florida Bulls
#62 Valparaiso Crusaders
#63 Illinois Fighting Illini
#64 Arkansas Razorbacks
#65 Wichita State Shockers
#66 George Mason Patriots
#67 Virginia Cavaliers
#68 Villanova Wildcats
#69 Maryland Terrapins
#70 Marshall Thundering Herd
#71 Iona Gaels
#72 Northwestern Wildcats
#73 Oklahoms State Cowboys
#74 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
#75 USC Trojans
#76 UConn Huskies
#77 Harvard Crimson
#78 Xavier Musketeers
#79 Ole Miss Rebels
#80 Clemson Tigers
#81 Oregon State Beavers
#82 Texas A&M Aggies
#83 Providence Friars
#84 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
#85 Oklahoma Sooners
#86 Lehigh Mountain Hawks
#87 Washington State Cougars
#88 Long Beach State 49ers
#89 Belmont Bruins
#90 Vanderbilt Commodores
#91 Dayton Flyers
#92 Houston Cougars
#93 UCF Knights
#94 Old Dominion Monarchs
#95 Oregon Ducks
#96 LSU Tigers
#97 South Carolina Gamecocks
#98 Seton Hall Pirates
#99 Georgia Bulldogs
#100 DePaul Blue Demons
#101 Boston College Eagles
#102 Penn State Nittany Lions
#103 Arizona State Sun Devils
#104 Virginia Tech Hokies
#105 Texas Tech Red Raiders
#106 Auburn Tigers
#107 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
#108 TCU Horned Frogs
#109 Mississippi State Bulldogs
#110 Utah Utes
#111 Nebraska Cornhuskers

David Kay is a senior feature NBA DraftNBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet (Yup, repeat champ… #humblebrag.)

You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.

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