ESPN's 2016-2017 College Basketball Early Top 25

Submitted by Maizen on April 5th, 2016 at 12:50 PM

Michigan nowhere to be found. Hard not to feel like next year isn't a huge season for Beielin. He's due to make 3.37 million dollars in 2016. Only Coach K, John Calipari, Bill Self, Rick Pitino, and Tom Izzo will make more. Also of note is that 10 of the last 15 national champions started the year in the preseason top 5.



April 5th, 2016 at 1:06 PM ^

getting really angry with Lunardi this year. It was like with every Michigan win in the BIG tourney he kept changing the criteria/dynamic to still have us out.  Between Lunardi and Bilas I thought we were going to get snubbed from the NIT.


April 5th, 2016 at 2:20 PM ^

Even after we beat Indiana he had us out, then suddenly on Sunday he changed his mind and put us in.  Thanks for the expert "bracketology", Joe.



Mr. Yost

April 5th, 2016 at 7:31 PM ^

Did we do anything to prove we went exactly what he thought we were? A bubble team.

It's not like we were Syracuse and made the Final Four.

We looked awful in barely beating a team no one thought should be in the tournament and then we lose our very next game. We were bubble team personified.

I think he hit it right on the head. We were a last 4 in type team and played like it.


April 5th, 2016 at 12:59 PM ^

Recruiting is the lifeblood of your program. 

Needs to get better under JB. Not every class is going to be like the 2012 class, but he cannot have anymore classes like the 2014 class. This years class needs to pan out, especially the big guys.


April 5th, 2016 at 12:58 PM ^

we will be able to tell pretty early how next season is going to go.  For the last two years, I was immediately underwhelmed by our performances against early season cupcakes, and noticed either stagnant development or actual regression in some players.  If the first couple of Beilein press conferences next year consist of him explaining certain players recovery goals and explaining how long it is taking "this group" to get it I think we are in for another long season.  A quick start would be a welcome development next year.

oriental andrew

April 5th, 2016 at 1:43 PM ^

is that we get pretty much everyone back who played significant minutes, with the exception of Ricky Doyle. With the young bigs coming in and a year of maturing for both Donnal and Wagner, we should be okay there. This team should be at least 2-3 games better than last season and make the tourney more comfortably. Now they just need to quit scheduling RPI anchor opponents...


April 5th, 2016 at 1:46 PM ^

was the exact same thing that most people said at the beginning of this year, only instead of "2-3 games better" most people thought we would be a sweet 16 seed this year.  Then we watched the Xavier and UConn games and puked and realized that sometimes getting everybody back isn't all it is cracked up to be.


April 5th, 2016 at 2:15 PM ^

you do realize this past year, they absolutely demolished all the cupcakes on their schedule, with LeVert and Walton posting triple doubles.  It was the good teams they were getting blown out by.

And two years ago they got beat by Charlotte and then went to the elite eight.

JB's teams genreally get better as the year goes on.  I don't think the team you see against the early season cupcakes is the team you are going to see come March.


April 5th, 2016 at 3:30 PM ^

There is clarity in actually having seniors leading, for the first time since Novak/Douglass. There's been uncertainty about roles beginning every year since. Remember that it was no sure thing that Morris, Burke, Stauskas would be the players they was heading into their sophomore years.  Since then, injuries have derailed things and roles have never fully been clear. Even Caris had to figure out how much to defer and to whom. Injuries have really hindered team development (chemistry/roles) the last two years.

Next year's identity is already pretty well established - this is Walton and Irvin's team. Everyone else will fit around them. Although there is still some doubt about exactly how Walton/Rhakman/Irvin will distribute ball-handling duties, and how big of a role Simpson will have, and what the frontcourt rotation looks like - the core foundation is set.

I'm looking forward to seeing if Walton and Irvin embrace the leadership role and have big years. Feeling optimistic that they'll play better individually knowing what they have to be AND having more help next year. 


MI Expat NY

April 5th, 2016 at 1:01 PM ^

A post-championship basketball top-25 is even dumber than football.  No point in even discussing until after draft departure decisions are made.  Indiana could lose their top 4 scorers from when they actually played well, yet they're currently ranked #8.  He acknowledges this in the post, so why even do it?


April 5th, 2016 at 1:31 PM ^

It's because people will read it, and certain parts of it will get some variation of a conversation going, especially with all the emotions that come with a championship game and a season ending. Case in point, your very comment above.

I'm not saying it's not stupid, but it certainly serves it's purpose for what it is.

Rusty Knuckles

April 5th, 2016 at 1:02 PM ^

I have us as a 6 seed in the East, playing Pitt who won the play-in game in Dayton against the MAC winner.

Also, half these teams wil lose contributing players to the draft that have not declared. Michigan will not.


April 5th, 2016 at 1:39 PM ^

can't be in a play-in game.  They'd be auto-bid.  Unless the prediction is that this is the regular season MAC winner that loses their conference championship but still gets the at-large.  This would be even more oddly specific and unlikely because the MAC hasn't been a two bid league in a long time.  But let's go with it!


April 5th, 2016 at 1:41 PM ^

think that is true.  I think that all conference tourney champs are given an auto-bid to the tournament, and the First Four is "part of the tournament" or so they say.  The 16 v. 16 First Four games are almost always conference champions.


April 5th, 2016 at 1:54 PM ^

True...but the other 4 teams are the last at-large selections so Pitt would never play the MAC champion in a play-in game.If the MAC champion is in the play-in game they would be playing another conference champion for the right to face a top seed

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad

Rusty Knuckles

April 5th, 2016 at 2:09 PM ^

Sorry to not be more specific but yes, Buffalo will win the MAC regular season and get upset by CMUs crazy tourney run to get a 15 seed out west. Then Buffalo will lose to Pitt in Dayton. Set your DVR for TRU TV Wednesday at 9:15 to scout our upcoming opponent.  Thanks for the clarification.


April 5th, 2016 at 1:03 PM ^

I look forward to you telling us how disappointed you are in Beilein not being able to be in the top 25 a year before the season starts. I also look forward to you saying you have no agenda, you were simply stating facts.

Also on a side note, could you post a couple more times how much Beilein will make next year. I don't think I've seen you post that before


April 5th, 2016 at 2:17 PM ^

I was actually going to change it a long time ago. But it really upsets people, so I am keeping it because of that. There are plenty of names to be outraged about on the board but mine isn't really one of them. Trolls are allowed to stick around with Michigan sounding names so I'm not concerned about it. I'm more interested in what is posted


April 5th, 2016 at 1:51 PM ^

I am actually more intrigued by the nature and circumstances of the sex scandal that might get Rick Pitino in trouble rather than the specific quantity per se. It will be interesting to see what - under that sort of criteria - would catapult Lousiville into the presumptive #1 among very strange sex scandals. It must be an exclusive list, one that any school would be proud to inhabit. 


April 5th, 2016 at 1:12 PM ^

is not the kind of thing a national analyst is going to pay attention to. Walton and Irvin will be one year older, healthier.. sure. But to a national analyst, they're the same player, basically. Wagner barely even registers with them.  Simpson is just a generic 4 star to them.

I expect the team will be better next year, but up from an 11 seed to a 6 seed (ranked)? That is probably on the optimistic side, objectively. 


April 5th, 2016 at 1:18 PM ^

Agree.  I expect Wagner to take a big step forward next year but that's because I've followed the program closely.  A national analyst, who has to follow the entire country, won't take note of a guy who averaged 3 ppg this year.

I'm cautiously optimistic about next season, but the first thing I'm hoping for is no more offseason injuries.




April 5th, 2016 at 2:59 PM ^

I would think most teams have some young player or incoming freshman that will make a much larger impact than what people outside of the program/fanbase are going to expect. I don't disagree on Wagner, I just think an x-factor like him isn't that unique.

I think the real keys to success next season are improving defense and taking the load off Irvin so he can work off the ball more rather than running the offense directly through him. To those points, I do agree that Simpson and Wagner will be big factors.

snarling wolverine

April 5th, 2016 at 1:15 PM ^

You're really banging this drum hard, man.  

I think we all agree that Michigan's ceiling as a program is better than the round of 64.  And that yes, college coaches make a lot of money.

Do you actually want Beilein fired?  If not, what do you really want to see, other than "more wins"?


snarling wolverine

April 5th, 2016 at 1:28 PM ^

Well, I wouldn't want us to skimp on our coach's salary.  We did that in basketball for a long time and ended up losing two of other coaches to other schools (in lateral moves, at best).  

That Beilein is now among the highest-paid coaches is predictable.  Coaches generally get their deals renegotiated after big seasons, rightly or wrongly, and we had three banner seasons in a row.  OTOH, they never end up getting pay cuts after a down season.  




April 5th, 2016 at 1:33 PM ^

I am saying is that he is getting paid big money, and while I agree it is based on those succcesful seasons he needs to continue to justify that salary.  Those seasons and that money creates expectations, you can't have the fifth highest paid coach in college basketball and continue to miss the tourney and/or play in the First Four.