April 28th, 2013 at 3:26 PM ^

I would imagine the preseason polls will have the B1G order as something like:





Ohio State









April 28th, 2013 at 3:37 PM ^

People seem to like OSU more than that. I don't entirely buy it. They'll be, perhaps, the best defensive team in the nation but you still have to put the ball in the hoop. They don't have anyone who's proven to be able to hit even a 15-foot jumper. But I expect them to be the 3rd favorite. The rest looks good.


April 28th, 2013 at 4:09 PM ^

I'm not sure how they are going to score at an efficient clip. I mean they will be a good team and maybe a great defensive team but without Thomas they don't really have too many guys who can score much on their own. We'll see. Maybe Ross steps it up. Or perhaps Scott or Thompson.


I think most folks will have MSU, U of M and Indiana predicted ahead of them anyway. Iowa is debateable I guess but I like them a lot for next year. They return basically everybody and they lost a lot of close games this year, 7 games by 4 points or less so they may have been better than their record indicated. Kenpom even has them finishing as #23 with their NIT run.


April 28th, 2013 at 5:10 PM ^

I agree very much with the majority of that list, but my personal opinion is that OSU and Indiana should be switched. OSU is going to have Scott-Craft-Thompson-Ross-Williams, (I'm assuming that Lenzelle Smith Jr. actually gets knocked out of the starting lineup and becomes their 6th man) which I think will be the best defensive team in the league and possibly the country. I think Ross can replace a lot of what they're losing in Thomas. The guy is a phenomenal scorer and Thomas was the weak link defensively, which has been the knock on Ross. On the other hand, outside of Smith coming off the bench, they're going to have a virtually non-existent bench. With regards to Indiana, I think they're really going to struggle. Even if Vonleh comes in and wins FOTY (which I do not think he will), they only have Yogi and Sheehy returning. It'll be tough to win games at Assembly Hall (as always), but they're going to struggle to get road wins. I see them going 12-6 or 11-7.

MSU will be tough as they have, in my opinion, the two best players in the league in Harris and Payne, but the rest of the team is very mediocre. They won't have great depth, they'll have average at best outside shooting and they seemed to have suspect discipline/chemistry this season. Overall, it should be a great season again and I very much like our position. I'm really excited about Walton and Irvin.


April 28th, 2013 at 6:22 PM ^

For the most part they mean nothing it is pretty much to hype up early games. Of course it is always amazing to be ranked high regardless of the time of year. Yes we were ranked top 5 and finished number 2, so there is some correlation, but Kentucky was also ranked #3 and lost first round of the NIT. Even if Noel stayed healthy they would have been a bubble big dance team.

Perkis-Size Me

April 28th, 2013 at 3:36 PM ^

Who cares? MSU has experience coming back, but so do we. We've got guys coming back who have played for a national title, so they won't be fazed by anything little brother throws at them. I'm confident Beilein will find a way to beat them at least once next year.


April 28th, 2013 at 3:56 PM ^

I kind of disagree with that because the Sweet 16 isn't anything to scoff at in college basketball. I mean hell, look at us we lose to Ohio in round 1 in 2012 and make it to the national title last year. If you look at just the sweet 16 last year, you have to think they are on of the best teams going into the season, of course that all changes when the games start. Here is the list of last year's sweet 16:

Teams probably not likely to make it back: Oregon, Wichita State, La Salle, and, FGCU.

Teams that lost a lot and will have a difficult time: Miami(FL), Kansas, Indiana, and Marquette.

Now to the individual teams remaining:

Sparty - only lost Nix, who had his moments, but the only thing I remember him for is his ball-tap on Zeller.

Michigan- We lose Burke and THJ, but we have a more experienced roster now, and if Irvin and Walton are as good as advertised we can make another deep run.

Duke - Lost Kelly, Curry, and Plumlee, but will have a good recruiting class, and Coach K always seems to be in the hunt.

Louisville- Should be pretty good with Russ returning.

Ohio- Losing Deshaun Thomas, but will have a very good defense.

Arizona- Good recruiting class and returning some good players.

Florida- Returning a decent amount and have a pretty good recruiting class coming in.

Syracuse- lost MCW, but return CJ Fair, so they could be good.


If I had to pick 5 teams who could win the title at this point they would be, in order: Kentucky, Louisville, Florida, UNC, and Sparty. Of course this is April 28, so any speculation is pretty meaningless because there have been no games played yet.


April 28th, 2013 at 4:29 PM ^

True, but it is not that big of a jump to think a team who reached the sweet sixteen, again nothing to scoff at, can win the national title. I guess the better one would be 2011 Uconn, even though their previous recruiting class had Jeremy Lamb.  I know we aren't supposed to care about them, but I think we have to agree they will be a top 10 team next year. We probably will start the season right outside the top 10, possibly 11 or 12,but after a few games when everyone can see Walton and Irvin, we should easily move into the top 10. Note, I am not saying we aren't a top 10 team because we are, but I feel the media and coaches will rank us around there because of Burke leaving.


April 28th, 2013 at 3:43 PM ^

The difference between Michigan and MSU will be based on which players take their game to the next level.  If McGary plays like Bill Walton circa 2013, Glen Robinson becomes an All-American or one of the freshman surprises, I like our chances. 

For State, if Harris becomes an All-American or someone else becomes a force, then Sparty will be tough to beat.

El Bandito

April 28th, 2013 at 3:43 PM ^

From what I've heard, they were planning on moving Payne to the 5. That would nulify the major improvement he's shown by being able to step out and hit long jumpers.

If he continues to play at the 4, Costello or Gauna come in to the 5 which still leaves a major hole with Nix departing.

I think the only way MSU gets over what they did last year is if the recruits they have coming in can make an impact.


April 29th, 2013 at 12:14 AM ^

Everyone here seems to be forgetting about Kenny Kaminsky.  Kid is a stud and is fully recovered from shoulder (?) surgery and is a classic stretch 4 who can shoot and play inside.  He and Costello will replace Nix's minutes and make the team more athletic overall.  Costello really came on at the end of the year in his own right.  

No one seems willing to acknowledge that Harris was hurt all year and still won frosh of the year.  if he's 100% healthy he'll be scary good.  Schilling will probably redshirt, and the young guys will all be better - THAT is what will make them the favorite.  Not sure why that's so hard to understand.  Valentine will be more controlled, Trice healthy (also hurt all year), etc.  They have depth everywhere.  

Dawson is the real wild card.  Kid could be a lottery pick if he could learn how to shoot.  Right now he's just a freakish athlete...but not yet a basketball player.  if he puts in the time in the gym they will be tough to beat.

Give credit where it's due: they have a classic set up for a run: RS Frosh to Seniors evenly spread across the court and two bonafide stars.  


April 28th, 2013 at 3:50 PM ^

Dawson was terrible for the last two months of the season.  Payne and Harris are studs.  Appling is terrible.  They also lose their ability to go big with Nix, Payne, and Dawson in the game at the same time and I also think that Walton will be better than Appling because that isn't hard to do.


April 28th, 2013 at 3:55 PM ^

I don't really think their depth is that good.  Valentine turned the ball over a ton last year, Trice gotowned on screens, Byrd couldn't hit a shot or do anything, and MSU got abused in the paint when Costello or Gauna came in.


April 28th, 2013 at 4:01 PM ^

We also gained 2 4 star and 1 5 star recruit in the offseason last year to vault us into the NT game.  It's hard to expect a team that didn't gain anybody and lost one of their starters to make it further in the tournament than they did.


April 28th, 2013 at 4:33 PM ^

I agree that we did bring all those in and it without a doubt helped, but with what the other sweet 16 teams lost, they have a very good chance at making an elite 8/final four run, and once you get to that point almost anything can happen. Also, a lot will be dependent on how the teams are seeded in the tournament because that can make a huge difference


April 29th, 2013 at 12:21 AM ^

This may be difficult for you to comprehend, but players actually improve from freshman to soph seasons.  Especially when they were injured for most of their freshman year.  an Improved Harris is a scary thought, and Valentine showed some pretty heady game in the last few weeks of the season.  He's very good.  

Why is it so difficult to give them credit?  you sound like the tyipcal rcmb whiners who bag on Mcgary for being old.  And Trey was a 3 star....stars don't mean shit.  Players play...doesn't matter how many stars they were arbitrarily labeled with in high school. 

Bleedin Maize …

April 29th, 2013 at 10:23 AM ^


Harris can improve all he wants but if he as an incompetent Appling running the point he won't get as many looks. Appling is a great athlete who is more of a combo guard being forced to run the point, who also struggles mightily when shooting the ball, I believe he had multiple 0-10+ games last year. Then add in that Payne is gonna want to "get his" and this team has the makings of a team that could implode if they struggle early and they lose chemistry. Yes give them credit now, but you also have to realize that guys plateau, a la Hardaway, and Appliing probably isn't going to get much better in the next year, especially in the areas that he needs to improve in: shooting the ball consistently and setting his teamates up. 


April 28th, 2013 at 4:05 PM ^

I think the hype is relying on some improvement by the young kids. The first summer is usually when players make their biggest jump. This will be the first summer for Harris, Dawson, Trice, Valentine, and Costello. 

School 4 the Gifted

April 28th, 2013 at 4:23 PM ^

McGary, Stauskas, GRIII, and Albrecht all are rising sophomores with one 1 year (OK, a LONG one year thankfully) of college experience.

Add in experience from Morgan, a developing Horford (with practically only one full year of game experience), another freshman phenom in Zak Irvin, and a solid freshman PG in Derrick Walton, a redshirt year from Donnal....I argue that this team may be a more complete team than last year. 

The incremental gains in experience and fabulous incoming freshman should keep us in the Top 5 discussion....but I really don't care if we are in that discussion early on anyway. 

I just hope we are in that discussion at the end.


April 28th, 2013 at 5:55 PM ^

I think Michigan will be good next year, but they do have a couple questions which will keep them out of the top 5. Mainly, replacing the POY at PG, a player that made everyone around him better and drew the defense towards him, leaving others with open looks. MSU dealt with that last year too when they lost an All-American and do-it-all player. 

You also lost the only 2 players that could consistently create their own shot. Stauskus can do that next year, but he needs to get stronger. Maybe Walton and Irvin can be that guy too. But you guys saw firsthand in the season how freshmen don't always show up for big games. 


April 28th, 2013 at 6:53 PM ^

Michigan's offense is not at all based on a player creating his own shot.  Burke could do it when the team needed it, but it was usually with the shot clock winding down.  THJ certainly didn't get to the hole based on his own moves dribbling the ball.  He would get to the hoop on occassion after the ball moved around within the offense or off of a set pick or screen.

Beilein tweeks the offense each season to his personnel.  Before Burke, the offense was based on the skills of Morris (a completely different PG than Burke).  The last year and half, Beilein adjusted it to Burke's strength.  I think you're kidding yourself if you think Beilein can't adjust the offense to all the different talent he will have next season.

Also, getting into the lane is not the same as "creating your own shot."  Once a pick or screen is set, it's up to the player to read the defense and take what the defense gives him.  You seem to be suggesting that Spike and Walton won't be able to get into the lane and draw the defense. If your fellow fans think this, you will be disappointed.