This is maaaaybe premature there, ESPN. Maryland #1 FWIW.
Despite losing star guard Caris LeVert for a month due to injury, Michigan currently sits in fourth place at 7-2 in the Big Ten; after a so-so non-conference showing, the Wolverines’ strong start to conference play has allayed any concerns about missing the NCAA Tournament. Still, there’s a lack of clarity with this team – even disregarding the uncertainty regarding LeVert’s return and ability to quickly and seamlessly reintegrate into the lineup.
With the notable exception of the win over Maryland, Michigan still is essentially a team that’s beaten the teams they should’ve beaten and lost to the teams they should’ve lost to (two neutral site games, UConn (loss) and Texas (win), were the only two against opponents close to U-M in Ken Pomeroy’s ratings). For the most part, the Wolverines’ wins in the Big Ten have been rather pedestrian: Rutgers and Minnesota were uninspiring home victories over terrible teams, sweeping Penn State isn’t a notable resume event, and the road wins in Big Ten play – over Illinois and Nebraska – were against teams that will surely miss the NCAA’s.
Still, between that win over the Terrapins, the complete lack of bad losses, and the tantalizing potential of adding an All-American level player to a team that’s already playing pretty well, there’s reason to hope that Michigan can round into a formidable squad heading into postseason play. The schedule from here on out in the Big Ten is undeniably harder – starting this week with home contests against Indiana and Michigan State. After Michigan’s solid start to the conference season, there are a few things we can point to as pretty important moving forward:
[After the jump, those things]
This was RT'd on Ace's twitter but I didn't see an MGoPost about this so thought I'd share. A classic example of the sly, self-deprecating humor that makes Spike the most eligible bachelor on campus and another example of the likeable bunch of guys we are priveleged to watch represent U-M
LEVERT IS COMING BACK, WE'RE GOING TO WIN THE BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP NEXT YEAR, AND HARBAUGH... so POSBANG
UMhoops just posted an interesting article about the Basketball Awards Banquet. I found this part particularly interesting:
Michigan has no available scholarships, but Beilein is on the recruiting trail anyway in case the junior goes pro and frees a spot. The coach admitted the situation has left him in somewhat of a bind, but he isn’t too worried about it.
“It always works itself out,” Beilein said. “You go and you try to look at what you have and just say, ‘OK. Time will pass and we’ll have an answer.’ We’ll have the best answer you can get. Still, you have to think what’s best for the student-athlete. What’s best for Caris right now is to wait as long as we can to get him the most information.”
This weekend, Beilein will visit four-star prospect Kenny Williams in Virginia, and five-star forward Jaylen Brown is also considering Michigan. The coach also wouldn’t eliminate the possibility of Bielfeldt returning for a fifth year.
“There’s several wheels spinning,” Beilein said. “Where that all stops has yet to be determined.”
The graduate senior didn’t rule out a potential return to Michigan either.
“Right now I’m waiting to see if there’s an offer here (at U-M) next year,” Bielfeldt told MLive. “I have been talking to schools all over and just kind of figuring out what’s out there for me, who wants me and what the situations are.”
The Kenny Williams and Jaylen Brown part we all knew about but the fact that Beilfedt's retrurn is still a possibility is perplexing. Does this mean that there is another potential transfer? Is this just Belien covering his bases in case LeVert leaves and he strikes out on both Brown and Williams? Does anyone have any more info on this situation?
I was hoping for an actual interview with Caris, but it's fairly fluffy stuff about his journey and UM bball's journey back to relevancy. Likely nothing new for any serious patron of our fair blog, but always nice to get the exposure.