April 5th, 2011 at 11:52 AM ^


The skinny: Best team in the Big Ten? I’ll make that leap. Every starter returns from a team that posted a negative efficiency margin during conference play, but has the talent to do more than make small improvements. Michigan’s good enough to be next year’s breakthrough team, much like UConn was in 2010-11. Morris, Hardaway and Morgan are a solid young trio who will be reason why. Morris and Hardaway can create their own shots, while Morgan’s a beats on the boards. The wild card? John Beilein’s offense relies on 3-pointers more than just about any other team. The Wolverines were about average (35.3 percent) this season; a slight uptick next year would be the difference between 20 wins and 27.


April 5th, 2011 at 2:32 PM ^

these instinct these guys showed to win, definitely wolverine like! They will be a year older, a year more experienced, look out! That said, there will be some differences that may make it difficult to have success; they will now be the hunted, teams will be getting up to play THEM, and also might they be a tad complacent after the unexpected flush of success from this year.

I tell you what, I haven't looked forward to a basketball season this much since the Fabs were here...


April 5th, 2011 at 11:58 AM ^

Thats great and all, but a quite a bit higher than I'd expect and/or like to see. We all know what happened last time we came out ranked highly. I'd be much more content with around 20th or so. That way the kids get a taste of being ranked, but not enough to where they get big heads and are full of themselves.


In other news its refreshing that MSU is no where to be found on that list.


April 5th, 2011 at 11:53 AM ^

He needs to develop his shooting and his left hand....he'll get picked early second, he'll stay a year and improve his draft stock. 12 seems high, but coach B. is building a legit program

Mr Mackey

April 5th, 2011 at 11:58 AM ^

Not mentioned in the top 25 and 5th in the Big Ten... 

Nothing would make me happier if this becomes true. Other than a national championship, of course.


April 5th, 2011 at 11:59 AM ^

If Sullinger and Buford come back, they're still the favorites IMO.  I say this in part because, similar to raptor, I don't want expectations getting too wild for next year. 

The Baughz

April 5th, 2011 at 12:04 PM ^

Why would they make this list now? The deadline for guys to enter the draft is April 24th.Just wait a couple of weeks. It is too hard to make a this list without knowing who will be entering the draft. If Darius stays, then Michigan is a top ten team. Obviously, if Sullinger and Buford stay,  then they are the team to beat in the big ten like already mentioned. Also, if Barnes, Henson, and Zeller all come back, they the Tar Heels will clearly be the #1 team coming into next year.


April 5th, 2011 at 12:32 PM ^

I have all the faith in the world in this team, but 9 is far too high for a preseason rank. There's way too many what-ifs. They must first prove they can play consistent. Nevertheless, very encouraging, GO BLUE


April 5th, 2011 at 12:35 PM ^

I'd rather just be unranked to start the season.  This is why I hate preseason polls. [Except, of course, when MSU is preseason #2 and falls into the pit featured on the movie 300, then I like them]


April 5th, 2011 at 12:40 PM ^

Big Ten next year: http://basketball.realgm.com/article/212838/On_To_The_Next_Season_Of_College_Basketball


Sleeper Teams for Next Year?

Teams that give freshman a lot of minutes tend to improve significantly the next season. The biggest jump is usually from freshman to sophomore year. Here are the top-10 teams that gave the most possessions to freshmen this year:

Playing Time for Freshman


Percentage of Possessions

Percentage of Minutes




Ohio St.



Wake Forest



NC State






Louisiana St.



South Carolina













Kentucky gave over half their possessions to their younger players. That’s usually a strong indicator that the team will play better next year. Of course it only works if those players come back. NC State, Michigan, and Stanford could all be real sleepers.


April 5th, 2011 at 12:41 PM ^

I see know way we're better than OSU if Sullinger comes back, which, it seems pretty clear he will. Add Buford, DeShuan Thomas to the starting 5, and that slew of highly-ranked freshmen...yeah.


April 5th, 2011 at 12:42 PM ^

I see no way we're better than OSU if Sullinger comes back, which, it seems pretty clear he will. Add Buford, DeShuan Thomas to the starting 5, and that slew of highly-ranked freshmen...yeah.


April 5th, 2011 at 12:55 PM ^

I'd say the potential is there to be better than Ohio State. We were so damn close this year to beating them. If THJ learns to take over the game like he did on occasions this season, and we can get some solid development out of Smotrycz, Horford, and Mclimans (or better yet all three) we're looking at a very, very good team. I see Horford making huge strides this offseason. Morgan raves about that new assistant and the work he did with his low post game.


April 5th, 2011 at 1:41 PM ^

#9 or #12 sounds nice, but remember MSU was #2 going into this season.  How'd that work out for them.  I know there were extenuating circumstances that caused their season to tank, but let's try to keep a little perspective. 

I can't wait for the fall: an exciting football season, followed by an even more exciting basketball season.  That sounds weird.  Oh well, I'll take it. 


April 5th, 2011 at 4:29 PM ^

While we're keeping perspective, we should note that most preseason top 25 teams . . . stay in the top 25.  I'm not sure why people are obsessing over the handful of outliers.


April 5th, 2011 at 1:56 PM ^

that he thinks we made it to the third round of the NCAA tourney.  Close.... but not quite.

Edit:  Bah... nevermind.  I don't know if I will ever get used to calling the "First Four" the "First Round."