Hoops Team Remains at #5 in AP Poll

Submitted by Mike Damone on December 10th, 2018 at 1:00 PM

Appropriately passed Virginia - but Tennessee leaped over us, and somehow Gonzaga stayed ahead of us, despite this loss and looking mediocre against Washington at home.

The sports press are dolts.  Can't admit when they have it wrong at the start of the season, and are always underestimating us.


Mike Damone

December 10th, 2018 at 1:05 PM ^

We have been stronger than the top teams all year.

Kansas – Seriously?  No road games, two wins in OT (one v a bad Stanford team), held on to beat New Mexico State by a bucket at home this weekend.  Not the best team in the country.

Duke – Has a loss.  Have played no road games.  That impressive game v. Kentucky to start season wearing thin as Kentucky has looked mediocre.  Worth mentioning again - they have a loss.

Tennessee – Undisciplined talent.  Beilein teams always win over this.  Has a loss.  No way.

Gonzaga – Loss at home against undisciplined talent.  Earlier in the week, last second shot to beat Washington at home.  Will walk over their terrible conference opponents.  Don’t say this much – but hope North Carolina kicks their ass all the way back to the Northwest.

Virginia:  Yeah…No.  Second best defense in the country combined with a Wisconsin-like offense.  Makes them 50% great.

NET has it right – 10-0 Michigan is #1 team in the country.  Andy Katz said it pretty well when issuing his ranking on NCAA.com – “Michigan is playing like the best team in the country at both ends of the court. The results don’t lie.


December 10th, 2018 at 1:14 PM ^

Duke's loss was by two points to Gonzaga on a neutral court 4000+ miles from Durham.  They're really, really good.

Kansas is being given credit for Azubuike being out.

Gonzaga is also really, really good, and they're likely being given some credit for Killian Tillie being out too.

Tennessee is a bit surprising, mostly because their entire résumé seems to be "beat Gonzaga."  But that'll sort itself out.

Honestly, I'm glad that the voters look beyond the number of losses.  I prefer to see teams get rewarded for playing a challenging non-conference schedule.  Basketball teams aren't going to go undefeated for the whole season, so let's not punish them for having a loss come early instead of late.


December 10th, 2018 at 1:17 PM ^

I get ya (although some homerism you have to admit there Mike) but no need to get worked up; these things will be sorted out over the rest of the season. 

I thought Gonzaga especially yesterday looked like a fairly frightening team.  Those two bigs are so damn tall, athletic and disciplined.  Tennessee is awfully athletic too but I can see why you say undisciplined.  I don't know that anyone can deny that Duke will be scary good by season end.  And those I respect in the know, believe Kansas will be simply great by season end.  So lot of top end competition. 

Reggie Dunlop

December 10th, 2018 at 1:17 PM ^

Kansas has wins over #9 MSU & #3 Tennessee, and #21 Marquette. They have no losses.

Michigan's super-impressive wins are over #12 UNC, #17 Villanova and currently unranked Purdue.

I'll admit, it's much easier to discredit a team when you ignore all of the good they have done and make mountains out of their struggles.


December 10th, 2018 at 3:30 PM ^

Yeah, but you make the argument that Michigan played lesser ranking lights by contrast, except when they played all those teams, Villanova, UNC and Purdue, they were all ranked higher, and part of the reason they aren't ranked as high now is because they got beat soundly by Michigan.

Michigan beat Villanova by 27 on their home floor on the night they inaugurated their new gym.

Duke took out Hartford by 30 on their home floor but led by 9 at half. They've played Army and Yale besides Gonzaga. Not exactly a murder's row lineup. And they are getting substantial credit for that win besides preseason ranking based almost exclusively on one-and-done frosh reps and historical success.

And why do you get credit for beating teams at home by a small margin despite a player being out? That again, has more to do with reputation than performance. Kansas is not the second best team in the country, regardless of how they are ranked. They aren't a great offensive or defensive team. And Bill Self's  best player is a transfer from Memphis.


December 10th, 2018 at 1:52 PM ^

Kansas has neutral court win against MSU and neutral court win over Tennessee.

Duke has a loss, but they've also demolished Kentucky and beat Auburn on a neutral court. Only loss is by 2 to Gonzaga on a neutral court, probably have the 3 most talented players in the country on their roster.

Tennessee's only loss is in OT on a neutral court to Kansas. Just beat Gonzaga. Have an All-American on their roster plus another first team All-SEC player. Also what in god's name undisciplined talent? Who cares if you think Beilein would beat them, this isn't the does a random MGoBlog poster think Michigan would beat them poll, this is the AP Poll. The point isn't to compare every team to Michigan.

Gonzaga didn't lose at home, it was a neutral court. Beat Duke. Has one of the most talented teams in the country.

Does Michigan have a legit argument to be #1? Of course. But acting like it's moronic to put anyone else above Michigan and that Michigan is by far and away #1 is some straight homer/RCMB type nonsense.


December 10th, 2018 at 1:05 PM ^

To me the games against NW and USC were "normal", especially because Michigan hoops now will have a bullseye on their back due to their recent success under Coach B. When this team is clicking, they have shown the ability to be the outright #1 team in the country. Compare those "not exactly stellar" wins against our wins at Nova, and home against UNC and Purdue. We should have moved up.


December 10th, 2018 at 1:09 PM ^

Michigan actually rose significantly in the AP poll, from 1339 points (83.7% of the total possible) to 1398 (87.4%).  If all votes were unanimous, 1st would be 100%, 2nd would be 96%.. so they moved from "between 5th and 6th" to "between 4th and 5th."

In fact, they're closer to the 3rd place team in this week's poll than they were to the 4th place team in last week's poll.

I'm surprised, honestly, since it's fairly rare for a team to jump the way Tennessee did.  But if this team keeps winning, it'll take care of itself.



December 10th, 2018 at 1:19 PM ^

Eh, don't really care too much. Yes we deserve to be higher, but the polls aren't all that relevant right now. Also, I'm willing to bet that the Coaches' Poll will have us at 4 or maybe even 3 (other coaches seem to respect Beilein and Michigan more than the media does because obviously).


December 10th, 2018 at 3:45 PM ^

These other teams, especially Duke and Kansas, get rated preseason based on their historical reputation and incoming recruits. I don't even think Kentucky is a very competitive team within their own conference, but beating them gave Duke this huge leg up the first game of the season.

These veteran coaches know if you get a big win early or a loss, you will ride the tide of that victory, and if you lose, you won't be tagged so badly, because the matchup is regarded as courageous.

From my standpoint, Michigan is the best team in their league, but documenting that all season long is a tough grind. If Michigan gets to the 20-win mark without a loss, then we will be looking at a year that goes back in time when Ricky Green and company challenged Bobby Knight's best-ever team in Indiana. Michigan was almost just as great but the Hoosiers had all the right stuff that year.


December 10th, 2018 at 1:22 PM ^

Others more tuned in have said the polls are somewhat meaningless. Michigan is doing well and is improving, which is mostly what matters. I want to see the following:

  1. Figure out what to do with X if teams are daring him to take the three.
  2. Develop another Big. Davis? Castleton?
  3. Develop a couple more. Johns? DDJ? Need more depth to spell starters.
  4. See Brazdeikas take the next step. He has been great, but I think he can do more.

If several of these things happen, Michigan will be fine.

True Blue Grit

December 10th, 2018 at 1:33 PM ^

Given a choice on the bigs, I'd vote for Johns to get more minutes at the expense of the other two (Davis and Castleton). Right now at least.  

I think if Brazdeikis can just continually improve his judgement on plays, he will become a lot better.  Being a freshman (albeit an incredibly confident one), he just needs to get a much better feel on when to dial it back, when to pass it off, and when to take control.  


December 10th, 2018 at 2:07 PM ^

1. When given the open looks, Zavier needs to attack the basket and create a play. His shot isn't there, and really never has been, but he can attack the hoop and see the floor well. They give you space to shoot, you take the space on the dribble and force them to come down on you to open something up. 

2. Austin Davis has shown that he is unable to make strides and develop. I was excited for the kid when we got him, but he hasn't developed since. Put extra effort into Johns and force him to mature quickly and rise to the occasion. Trial by fire. I think he can handle it and the next run of games is a great time to pop that cherry. Utilize Johns and Livers when you need to spell Teske and work with a small ball rotation that can spread the floor and offers an extra challenge for teams to prep for. If Johns can simply acquit himself well on the glass and play some solid defense, he will be a step up from Davis; no need to score or be able to work the post much. Save Castelton if his redshirt is still available

3. Obviously see point 2 for take on Johns. I think the next stretch is going to be huge for DDJ. If he can start to come on and put it together, maybe we can scrape out 8 minutes or so a game from him as a combo. Would be luxurious to have a playmaker at the point who can shoot and see the court well. I think the next 3 weeks or so of games is also an important time to get Eli Brooks extra minutes. Currently he is in a role that I would like to see expanded. Nowhere near X on defense, but if he can learn to be vocal and run the point, attack the basket a bit to help open the wings up, and get some solid minutes to get into a groove, I'd like to see if he has the ability to heat up and start stroking it. The 1 or 2 3s he takes a game have looked good, his shot looks to have improved, I just wanna beef up th3 usage and get a larger sample size. A DDJ and Brooks back court could produce big numbers on offense.

4. Iggy. Fuck I have been waiting a full year to see this kid do what he's been doing. I'd like to see his vision open up. He's phenomenal attacking the basket, and he's shooting very well from deep this season, however I think he will come back down to earth from beyond the arc. I'd love to see him continue to attack the basket hard, but find ways to share the ball as well. He's in a position moving forward where attacking the basket should draw tons of help side defense. I'd like to see him start averaging a few assists a game come conference play. Certainly not expecting it, but that would really round his game out. Aside from that, I just want to see him play with a meanstreak, like when he tried to get that put back against SC. Just rude as fuck and tons of attitude. Part of what makes him great, though, is his finesse, and I don't want to temper that at all 


December 10th, 2018 at 1:24 PM ^

"Sports writers! We're talkin' 'bout sports writers!"  (Per Allen Iverson) Seriously folks. Sports writers have nothing on the most generic fan-except they have a press pass and get in free. As a player and coach I would often read the press clippings and wonder how we possibly could have been at the same game. These matters pretty much work themselves out...at the end of the year a group that has a much better clue will then take a shot at the real rankings. 


December 10th, 2018 at 1:36 PM ^

kansas beat tenn, tenn beat gonzaga, gonzaga beat duke... all close games.


should be: 

1. kansas

2. michigan 

3. tennessee

4. gonzaga

5. duke



.. but for now its just a poll, and its close enough. im  impressed they dropped uva

UM Fan from Sydney

December 10th, 2018 at 1:39 PM ^

I don't know why anyone frets about basketball rankings. Other than causing debates like this and getting people to watch games on TV simply because the teams have a shiny little number by their names, they mean absolutely nothing for the entire season. In football, rankings actually means something, at least 1-4.