"Rodrick Williams Jr.'s 10-month old, 2-foot-long savannah monitor named "Kill" gets the RB some strange looks when they go for walks together."
I am higher on the Spartans than most people on here. I think that somehow Izzo is going to get this team to win games. I think that Valentine and Dawson are going to be two very good players. Michigan State loses Dan Chapman, Adreian Payne, and Keith Appling to graduation. In addition, Gary Harris is leaving for the NBA. Also, Russell Byrd is foregoing his final year of elgibility. Losing these players means losing:
Now this is quite a lot to lose but it could be worse. They could have three players going pro like other teams in the conference. Here is the catch, Alex Gauna has not decided if he is going to take his fifth year. And although he is not a starter, he is an important role-player. Here is what they lose if he leaves.
Not only do they lose some real minutes, they lose valuable experience. This player is not going to be all B1G but losing him means losing serious depth. Here is what their roster looks like:
# Name HT WT YR POS
15 Keenan Wetzel 6-4 210 RS.SR SG
Only played 22 minutes all of last year, will not play.
2 Alex Gauna 6-9 250 RS.SR C
Played 7 minutes a game last year. He will get about 10 minutes a game this year unless he decides not to take his fifth year.
20 Travis Trice 6-0 170 SR. PG
The starting Point Guard, candidate for "alien of the year". He averaged 22 minutes a game last year when Keith was being tough and he will get about 30 this year. He should be their 3rd option to score this year.
22 Branden Dawson 6-6 225 SR. PF
Branden is arguably their best player. He may not be a scorer but he is a man on the boards and a very good defender. He will start at Power Forward. If Dan Dakich does not break Dawson's hand again then he should be on track for all B1G.
41 Colby Wollenman 6-7 225 RS.JR SF
Will not play.
45 Denzel Valentine 6-5 225 JR. SF
The starting Small Forward, will be their go-to scorer. If he plays to his full ability he could be a lock to go to the NBA. Frontrunner for the "Needs Braces" team.
10 Matt Costello 6-9 240 JR. C
The starting Center, could be pretty good next year and a more than servicable starter.
13 Trevor Bohnhoff 6-7 215 JR. PF
Will not play.
30 Kenny Kaminski 6-8 225 RS.SO PF
A three point shooter, will pick up odd minutes at the 3-5.
34 Gavin Schilling 6-9 225 SO. C
An uber athletic fouling machine. He picks up 8 fouls every 40 minutes, which is good for him fouling out in 25 minutes. Not good. He will pick up minutes.
3 Alvin Ellis III 6-4 195 SO. SG
The biggest mystery on their team, he only played 7 minutes a game last year. I think he will start later on in the year. Early in the year I think Valentine will slide down with Dawson at the three and Kaminski at the 4.
Lourawls Nairn 5-10 170 FR. PG
A four star, the #15 Point Guard in this class. He will be the back-up 1 this year.
Javon Bess 6-5 195 FR. SG
A three star, the #20 Shooting Guard in this class. He will back-up Ellis at the 2.
Marvin Clark 6-7 219 FR. PF
A three star, the #40 Power Forward in this class. He will be the back-up 3.
Projected Starting Lineup:
Point Guard: Travis Trice
Shooting Guard: Alvin Ellis III
Small Forward: Denzel Valentine
Power Forward: Branden Dawson
Center: Matt Costello
Losing Gauna would make this team worse than Michigan, but with him, MSU barely has the edge. I think State will go 4th in the B1G and 12-6 in the conference.
Next up... Ohio State
Well, all of you are quite familiar with Michigan for obvious reasons so I will keep this brief. Michigan loses Jordan Morgan to graduation, Jon Horford to transfer and Nik Stauskas, Glenn Robinson III, and Mitch McGary to the NBA. This means losing:
That is the most to replace out of all of the teams so far. So what does the roster look like for next year?
# Name HT WT YR POS
44 Max Bielfeldt 6-7 245 RS.JR PF
With Calves as big as a house, and a shot selection worse than bad, Max is by far the oldest player on the team. According to Beilein, nobody can guard him. If that is true, we could be in for another ride this year. It is not, which is very likely he will play 5 minutes a game. Beilein could have meant that none of the coaches can guard him, or that he is very good 2K player.
23 Caris LeVert 6-6 185 JR. SG
Our go-to guy, will pick up some of the possesions left behind by Nik. There is no reason to be believe Caris cannot do the what Nik did if not more. He averaged 12.9 points per game last year so 15 is not unrealistic is it? The starting Shooting Guard.
14 Brad Anlauf 6-4 195 JR. SG
A football walk-on that decided to do basketball instead. Hopefully there will be a lot of opportunities for him to play this season.
2 Spike Albrecht 5-11 175 JR. PG
An experienced back-up Point Guard is a rare thing to have, and we have one this year. He may get the start early in the year next to Walton to ease the freshmen in.
34 Mark Donnal 6-9 230 RS. FR. C
The player that most likely makes or breaks this season. Can he hold his own in B1G play? Can he do more than that? As long as he holds his own Michigan will finish where I have them here. Starting Center.
21 Zak Irvin 6-6 200 SO. SF
After news that he is staying in Ann Arbor for the summer came out, people are pretty much guaranteeing that Irvin will have a Stauskas esque jump. If that happens, Michigan is golden, if not, we will still be fine. Starting Small Forward.
20 Sean Lonnergan 6-5 195 SO. SF
Walk-on with some bounce. I truly think he will be playing real minutes his senior year.
12 Cole McConnell 6-5 200 SO. SF
Walk-on coming off of a broken leg, probably will not do much.
10 Derrick Walton Jr. 6-1 185 SO. PG
Another player staying in Ann Arbor. Nobody expects him to be Sophmore Trey Burke, or even freshman Trey, but he will be good. Starting Point Guard.
5 Andrew Dakich 6-2 185 SO. PG
The best bench celebrater in the country, will most likely continue his cheerleading ways.
Kameron Chatman 6-7 197 FR. PF
I have Chatman starting at Power Forward which really is not that bad. GR3 did it for two years at 6-6 I think we can make due. He is a 4 star and the #11 Small Forward.
Ricky Doyle 6-9 255 FR. C
It would have been ideal for Horford to stay and Doyle get a redshirt, but that is not going to happen. Doyle will be a bench guy that takes about 15 minutes a game. A three star, the #22 Center.
D.J. Wilson 6-8 215 FR. PF
Holy long batman, finally a shot blocker! He will pick up some spare minutes at the 4 and three. Another three star #41 Power Forward.
Aubrey Dawkins 6-4 175 FR. SG
A three star from prep school. I think he will redshirt.
Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman 6-4 FR. SG
A two-star the #102 SG. Most likely a diamond in the rough. He should get about 10 minutes a game.
Austin Hatch 6-6 210 FR. SG
One of the saddest stories ever, Hatch should get a medical scholarship he is a one star and the #141 Small Forward. Most likely will never play.
Projected Starting Line-up:
Point Guard: Derrick Walkton Jr.
Shooting Guard: Caris LeVert
Small Forward: Zak Irvin
Power Forward: Kameron Chatman
Center: Mark Donnal
More information can be found in Brian' post which is really well done. I think Michigan will finish in 5th place goin 11-7.
Next up... Michigan State
This is the point where the order of the standings gets even more blurry. With Michigan losing all of their players and Ohio State getting every transfer in college basketball, it is hard to predict. Because I am a homer I am gonna put Iowa here. Now Iowa was a team last year that could have finished first or 10th depending on the night. Towards the end of the season Iowa completely faded and went on a losing streak. Iowa loses Zack Novak esque Zach McCabe, Roy Devyn Marble, Melsahn Basabe, Darius Stokes, and Kyle Meyer. This means losing:
That is quite a lot to replace, here is what they bring back:
# Name HT WT YR POS
30 Aaron White 6-9 220 SR. PF
Probably Iowa's best player to be, he is their starting Power Forward. He is surprisingly athletic and if he can fix his shot, second team all B1G is not out of the question. This will be his team.
23 Okey Utah 6-6 210 SR. SF
May play in ten plus games this year, but will not be needed at the 2 or 3 unless foul trouble or injuries happens.
0 Gabriel Olaseni 6-10 225 SR. C
The 6th man, came on towards the end of last year. Will probably get 20 plus minutes this year.
2 Josh Oglesby 6-5 208 SR. SG
The sharpshooting Shooting Guard, Oglesby picked up well after getting injured early last year. He will take quite a bit of their shots this year.
13 Kyle Denning 6-1 160 SR. PG
If he plays in every game this year I will be shocked.
34 Adam Woodbury 7-1 245 JR. C
The starting Center, will play the other half of what Olaseni does not take. There are not many players in the frontcourt, he has a chance to emerge.
20 Jarrod Uthoff 6-9 208 JR. SF
The starting Small Forward, is probably their third best three point shooter. Will do some things good and most things ok.
10 Mike Gesell 6-1 190 JR. PG
The starting Point Guard, will most likely make a pretty large jump since he has been starting for 2 years.
5 Anthony Clemmons 6-1 190 JR. PG
The back-up one and two, disappointed some last year. Could make a jump and jump into the starting line-up, bumping Uthoff out.
3 Peter Jok 6-6 200 SO. SF
The back-up Small Forward, only played 3% of their minutes last year and I do not see a huge bump.
1 Trey Dickerson 6-2 180 SO. PG
Will be the third string Point guard and maybe the third string Shooting Guard. He is from Juco.
25 Dominique Uhl 6-7 185 FR. PF
A three star, the number 52 Power Forward in the country, not impressive for a player that needs to come in and give 10 minutes a game.
22 Brady Ellington 6-3 170 FR. SG
A two star, the number 98 Shooting Guard in the country, that is not good for Iowa. They need him for about 5 to 10 minutes a game and he does not look to be polished.
Here is the projected starting line-up:
Point Guard: Mike Gesell
Shooting Guard: Josh Oglesby
Small Forward: Jarrod Uthoff
Power Forward: Aaron White
Center: Adam Woodbury
Michigan plays Iowa at home next year. It could be a relatively easy game as Iowa can play amazing or horrible on any given night.
This is a pretty experienced team that does not have much depth. I have them this high because a seven man rotation can still actually do some damage. I think Iowa will go 10-8 in the B1G Ten next year which is good enough for 6th place.
Next up... Michigan
The Terrapins are a hard team to predict next year as they have a lot of experience along with youth. However, they did not finish all that well this year. I did not watch a whole lot of Maryland last year so I really do not know how they play. Maryland loses John Auslander to graduation. They also lose Nick Faust, Shaquille Cleare, Roddy Peters, Dez Wells, and A.J. Metz who are transferring. This means losing:
When you bring in a top 10 recruiting class, which the Terps did, it is not all that hard to replace this production. Here is their senior laden roster:
# Name HT WT YR POS
1 Evan Smotrycz 6-9 230 RS.SR. SF
OH Lobstrycz Smotrycz, I think we are all familiar enough with Evan. In his first year off the transfer Smotrycz started and averaged 11 points per game. His stellar handle and amazing defense will be tough to match this year. He is like Larry Bird but way better.
24 Jacob Susskind 6-5 200 SR. SF
The back-up Small Forward, will hold that role until Nickens takes it over. He only played in 5 games last year. This means he will be the back-up for like a game.
11 Varun Ram 5-9 150 SR. PG
The back-up Point Guard, a towering man. Just kidding, he is short. He only played in 16 games last year so a freshman passing him up is not a bad bet.
25 Jonathan Graham 6-8 220 SR. PF
The back-up Power Forward, played a limited role last year. Will most likely maintain that role.
15 Spencer Barks 6-9 225 SR. PF
Played in four games last year, will not get much more time this year.
0 Charles Mitchell 6-8 260 JR. C
A mountain of a man, the starting Center. He averaged six points and six rebounds per game last year. If he lost 10 pounds, he may be a real force.
12 Conner Lipinski 5-10 155 JR. PG
Only played in 3 games last year. Will be the third string Point Guard if it falls to that.
10 Jake Layman 6-8 205 JR. PF
The starting Power Forward, averaged 11.7 poins per game last year along with decent rebounding numbers.
4 Seth Allen 6-1 190 JR. PG
The starting Point Guard with a 13.4 points per game average last year. Will be their second go-to-guy.
35 Damonte Dodd 6-9 240 SO. C
The back-up Center for the beginning of the season. Will likely be moved down due to incoming freshman.
Jared Nickens 6-6 185 FR. SF
Their highest touted recruit, a four star that will no doubt play right away. He will eventually end up passing Susskind for his spot.
Trayvon Reed 7-1 215 FR. C
Needs to add weight but will no doubt play. Will pass up Dodd for his spot. He is a four star.
Romelo Trimble 6-3 180 FR. SG
The starting Shooting Guard with pretty polished skills. A four star.
Dion Wiley 6-4 200 FR. SG
The second string Shooting Guard, could play the two with Trimble at the one. Yet another four star.
Michal Cekovsky 7-0 220 FR. C
I say he is going to redshirt. He is an okay weight, but passing up a higher ranked center and a Sophomore is not that likely. When you can redshirt four stars you are doing okay for yourself.
Projected Starting Lineup:
Point Guard: Seth Allen
Shooting Guard: Romelo Trimble
Small Forward: Evan Smotrycz
Power Forward: Jake Layman
Center: Charles Mitchell
Michigan plays them at Maryland which will be a tough game. They are good at home, along with every other college basketball team.
This will be an experienced and talented team that may have a hard time winning on the road in the Big Ten. However, I think they will have some growing pains with the new officiating and finish 9-9 in the B1G which is good enough for 7th place.
Next up... Iowa
Illinois was a confusing team last year. They were ranked at some point in January and somehow they failed to make the tournament. A defensive team that laid bricks, they could not score consistently enough to be any good. Towards the end of the season Illinois held a couple of really good teams, including Michigan State, to under fifty points. Illinois was a hard to project for this year as they do not lose a whole lot but they do not bring any thing special in either. They lose Jon Ekey and Joseph Bertrand to graduation. This means losing:
This really is not that bad as they return 3 starters and the rest of their bench players. Here is their projected rosters:
# Name HT WT YR POS
24 Rayvonte Rice 6-4 235 RS. SR SF
A bulldog of a player, had some trouble with his shot last year. Undersized for the three but makes up for it with his weight. The starting Small Forward, averaged 15.9 points per game.
32 Nnanna Egwu 6-11 250 SR. C
A very tall man with a very smalll rebounding rate. Uses his jump shot WAY to much. Scored 6.9 points per game last year. The starting Center, could make a huge jump this year.
13 Tracy Abrams 6-2 190 SR. PG
The starting Point Guard, averaged 11 points per game and 3 assists per game last year.
11 Aaron Cosby 6-3 195 SR. SG
The third guy off the bench, played at Seton Hall and had to sit out a year.
3 Ahmad Starks 5-9 170 RS. SR PG
A transfer from Oregon State, will get this year after sitting out last year. Back-up point guard. Probably good for 10 minutes a game.
35 Darius Paul 6-8 220 JR. PF
A good stretch four, a transfer from Western Michigan. Many of you will recognize him as Brandon Paul's brother. The back-up Power Forward.
10 Mike LaTulip 6-1 170 JR. PG
A walk-on that may get minutes in the beginning of the season. The 3rd string Shooting Guard.
31 Austin Colbert 6-9 210 SO. PF
The 3rd Power Forward, could player Center as well. More of a traditional Power Forward.
25 Kendrick Nunn 6-3 180 SO. SG
The starting Shooting Guard, started to really blossom at the end of last year. May be Dakich's new favorite player.
22 Maverick Morgan 6-10 250 SO. C
The back-up Center, will get about 10 minutes a game this year.
21 Malcolm Hill 6-6 210 SO. PF
A smaller type of Power Forward, may get passed up by a freshman later on in the season.
1 Jaylon Tate 6-3 160 SO. PG
The starting Point Guard, will not get many minutes.
Leron Black 6-7 215 FR. SF
A four star that will back up Rice, could start eventually.
Michael Finke 6-9 200 FR. PF
Once he adds weight he could be pretty good. A three star. With all the transfers they have that will be able to play right now, Finke may redshirt.
Projected Starting Lineup
Point Guard: Tracy Abrams
Shooting guard: Kendrick Nunn
Small Forward: Rayvonte RIce
Power Forward: Malcolm Hill
Center: Nnanna Egwu
Michigan plays them at home and away next year.
This Illini team will be very experienced and tough to beat anywhere. If they are shooting well, they will be very tought to beat. I project them to finish 8th in the conference with a record of 9-9 in the conference. The fact that this team will finish like this shows the depth of the B1G next year.
Next up... Maryland
Finishing 8-10 in the B1G last year was pretty disappointing for the Gophers. One more win would most likely have vaulted them into the tournament at 21-13. It is worth noting that they went on to win the NIT, which although it is the NIT, it still means you are the 65th best team in the country. And hey! Banner!!! This offseason Minnesota loses more than they gain. They lose Malik Smith, Austin Hollins, and Maverick Ahanmisi to graduation. Oto Osenieks is graduating early due to injury. Losing these players means losing:
Although this is not catastrophic, it is a good amount of their production gone. They do still have a big team (excluding Mathieu) and bring in three three stars. Here is their projected roster:
# Name HT WT YR. POS
15 Maurice Walker 6-10 250 RS. SR. PF
Maurice Walker had a incosistent year. He would have some games that flashed brilliance, runnning the floor, post moves. And some games where he picked up cheap fouls and quickly exited. He will start at Power Forward, which could present matchup issues for teams since he is so tall. He averaged 7.8 and 4.5 last year which is pretty good for his limited role.
55 Elliott Eliason 6-11 240 RS. SR C
The best big man in the B1G according to Pitino, had games where he was a complete beast. He will most likely improve even more. The starting Center, he averaged 5 points and 6.6 rebounds per game last year.
2 Kendal Shell 6-0 185 SR. PG
4 Deandre Mathieu 5-9 165 SR. PG
The starting Point Guard, arguably the quickest player in the B1G. Fastbreak and assist machine. Averaged 12 points and 4.2 assists last year.
1 Andre Hollins 6-2 195 SR. SG
The best player on this team, he is a good shooter and a good athlete. The starting shooting guard. He averaged 13.6 points per game last year.
24 Joey King 6-9 225 JR. SF
Tall but he does not really use it to his advantage. Almost half of his shots last year were three pointers. He averaged 7.1 points per game last year.
23 Charles Buggs 6-9 210 RS. SO. PF
Exploded late in the season after doing nothing all year. Will be the first forward off the bench.
5 Daquein McNeil 6-3 195 SO. SG
The first guard off the bench, he did not play much but he will play a similar role to Malik Smith last year.
Josh Martin 6-8 215 FR. PF
Needs too put on some weight but this 3 star should play about 15 minutes a game.
Carlos Morris 6-4 FR. SG
Morris, also a three star will come in and play about 10 minutes a game.
Nate Mason 5-11 160 FR. PG
A three star who will play about 5 minutes a game. If McNeil plays well, Mason will redshirt. If McNeil is iffy, Mason will be needed.
Gaston Diedhiou 6-9 225 FR. C
Will most likely be raw since he comes from overseas. Does not even have a star rating.
Point Guard: Deandre Mathieu
Shooting Guard: Andre Hollins
Small Forward: Joey King
Power Forward: Maurice Walker
Center: Elliott Eliason
Michigan plays Minnesota at home only. This favors Michigan as this team will be hard to beat at the barn.
This team is uber-experienced with 4 senior starters. This will contribute to early success and good road play. I see this team having a repeat 8-10 season as they lose a big part of their team in Hollins.
Next Up... Illinois