Brian and others have said several times that the men's team is playing with house money this year and that it is a year to be purely enjoyed - no angst merited. I agree completely, but a long-time poster yesterday said that that is not a common view. I don't know if he's right or not, but with the hope of helping other people to see that everything this team does from here on out is gravy - and just to celebrate the team - I decided to take a look at the next-best offers received by each player while they were being recruited and post a list of those offers. I think the list below speaks for itself as far as how much this team has exceeded expectations.
Quick notes: I defined the "next-best" offer as the non-Michigan offer that came from the school that has experienced the most success recently. I used Scout, Rivals, and UMHoops to gather the information. You'll notice that I sometimes listed more than one school when I wasn't sure what school was the best of the non-Michigan bunch. Finally, I put Big Ten offers in bold.
Burke - Penn St./Iowa
Douglass - Western Michigan
Hardaway - Minnesota
Novak - Valparaiso (offer pulled at one point)
Morgan - Xavier
Smotrycz - Northwestern (would probably have received better offers if he had extended his recruitment)
Vogrich - NW, Stanford, Baylor, Ga. Tech, Wake Forest, Notre Dame
Horford - Providence
McLimans - Ga. Tech/Boston College
Brundidge - MSU
Biefeldt - Illinois
Christian - Penn St./Cal
I said that the list speaks for itself, but I can't resist: Michigan is competing for a Big Ten title with a team that looked in high school like they might be a nice haul at Northwestern or one of the better teams in the Atlantic Ten. The fact that the best non-Michigan offers on the team belonged to Brundidge and Bielfeldt makes the team's performance all the more remarkable.