Today sucks. Mitch was a fan favorite and is irreplaceable on next year's roster. Beilein has coached and developed himself into this unfair predicament of having to start over every couple of years. He is producing really good talent at a higher and more effecient rate than nearly every other coach in America. Two 3 star 1st rounders last season and and Three 4 stars that will be selected this season. Thats the entire starting 5 from last year's Final Four.
We have now reached our new REALITY as a basketball program. We are firmly in Contender Mode and have become an NBA factory. We can no longer EXPECT kids to stay 3 and 4 years. If we are going to win a title under Beilein....it will be with squads similar to the outfits we have put out the last 2 years. 1 or 2 upperclassmen in rotation with a boatload of talented freshman and sophomores. This is simply here to stay. With that being said....let us take a gander at the 2014-2016 prospective squads. This will be fun......kind of.
Walton (so) Spike (jr)
Levert (jr) MAAR (fr) ??Hatch (fr)
Irvin (so) ??.....Dawkins (fr)
Chatman (fr) Biefeldt (jr)/Wilson (fr)
Donnal (fr) Doyle (fr)
notes: This team features GREAT perimeter potential. If Chatman is the real deal and Wilson is physically ready to contribute we could be in a great spot 1-4. Donnal is rumored to be very good and Doyle looks the part of a reliable B1G post presence. The question is what returns will we get on these investments in year 1?
Predictions: Top 5 B1G finish and Sweet 16. Caris runner-up to Kaminsky or Pettway for B1G POY. Caris enters draft as a lottery guy. Irvin flirts with NBA and then comes back in a mini-miracle by Michigan standards lol.
Walton (jr) SPike (sr) or Brunson (fr) *Spike likely transfers if we get Brunson
Irvin (jr) MAAR (so) / Freshman recruit..
Chatman (so) ??Dawkins (fr)/ Freshman recruit
Donnal (so) Wilson (so)
Doyle (so) ?????
***with a Cole addition.
Walton (jr) Brunson (fr)/ Spike (sr)
Irvin (jr) MAAR (so)
Cole (so) ??Dawkins (so)/ Freshman recruit
Chatman (so) Wilson (so)
Donnal (so) Doyle (so)
Predictions: Top 2 B1G finish. Legitimate Title Contender/ Final 4. This squad features depth at 4 positions with SF still up in the air. No freshman in the starting lineup and seasoned bigs all over 6ft8. We would be one of the tallest and most athletic teams in college basketball with this squad. Sprinkle in some Austin Hatch and our chi would on some CUDI level of un****withable.
BOTTOM LINE: I think this upcoming season will be a bit of a roller coaster. We have some very dangerous potential on the wings but we are SUPER green down low. Too much is predicated on unknowns at this point to properly gauge our potential. I don't think we are in danger of missing the Tournament but it's hard to see us going 30-8 again. We are in a very peculiar place nowadays. We churn out NBA talent at an astonishing rate...maybe even superior to that of the Blue Bloods. We still however, do not get the recruits that the Blue Bloods get and this makes our plight very difficult in terms of contending every year. Eventually the mass exodus(es) will catch up. We live in a fairly harsh REALITY of today's college basketball. John Beilein has his work cut out for him, but i think he can pull off a successful season next year and be special again in 2015/2016. Go Blue!