Mens Bball- Are you a believer now?

Submitted by ATLalumni on December 18th, 2012 at 2:48 PM

So now that we're #2 in the nation, are we still "overrated"?  I know alot of the experts are starting to become believers, not so much by who we've played, but that we pass the eye tests.  We actually LOOK like a legit top 5 team.  Plus, looking back, Pitt is now 10-1, and Kstate and NCstate are 7-2.  Horfords injury could come back and bite us, but looking at the landscape of the B1G now, I am fully converted to believer from "we're not as good as our ranking".

Go Blue...



December 18th, 2012 at 3:35 PM ^

Let it stay that way.  Personally, one thing I love about our team is if we have one shooter that is cold, we have at least 2-3 more that can step up and score on our starting 5. 

Few teams can boast that.  And I've seen it night in and night out from our ball club.

Dutch Ferbert

December 18th, 2012 at 3:42 PM ^

that they are good enough to beat anyone and still have a very high ceiling. I'm not sure if they are the 2nd best team in the country right now. However, I believe they have the talent and coaching to win it all.

Plus, they are damn fun to watch.


December 18th, 2012 at 3:42 PM ^

I admit I was doubtful of our preseason ranking, felt like we should be back around 12 or 13.  Now, I feel like we are maybe top 6 and can beat anyone on a given night.  I'd like to see us in B1G competition a bit before feeling like we're the #2 (or #1) team in the country.

Burke has been awesome, Stauskas lights out, GRIII living up to his hype, and the three headed Morgan/Horford/McGary monster is definitely getting the job done.  Hardaway has been great at times, mediocre other times.  Defense sometimes seems lacking..... I don't have stats for it, just from the eyeball test. 


December 18th, 2012 at 3:43 PM ^

We've simply outclassed every team we've played this year. Even when we're not playing particularly well, we still beat teams pretty handily. That didn't used to be so. This team is several levels better than last year's team. Michigan is officially back to being an elite basketball program.


December 18th, 2012 at 7:48 PM ^

I wouldn't say "elite program" quite yet. I look at it with a more business like metric of measuring a company (program). The key is sustained success. I don't think we are an elite program yet. That's similar to Notre Dame football claiming to be elite after 1 good season out of every 5. We are certainly an elite team this season. It appears we have a coach that is inching towards the elite status. However, only sustained success can get you the "elite program" title. Or maybe I don't know what the hell I'm talking about & I just wanted to give my business degree some use after paying all that money for it :)


December 18th, 2012 at 3:47 PM ^

but thus far, all signs are good. Too early to say whether we're #2, and at some point we'll drop, but this seems like one of those years where any one of a number of schools could win it all, and we look to be solidly in that mix.


December 18th, 2012 at 3:53 PM ^

the foundation is there, but experience isn't yet. I think we lack that killer instinct though. The killer instinct will come with time. We get a decent lead and then get careless and sloppy. Right now, any team in the top ten can be beat any other top ten on any given day. 

The best team from my generation with the killer instinct was the early 90's UNLV teams. Some people might get butt hurt over not picking the Fab Five, but anyone who remembers watching Larry Johnson, Stacy Augmon, Greg Anthony, George Ackles and Anderson Hunt would agree.



December 18th, 2012 at 3:59 PM ^

Going into the Big Ten schedule, there will definitely be a rough stretch from about the middle of January to the middle of February where will definitely need to be running on all cylinders, but I can't see any game in the conference schedule ahead where this team would not have a liegitimate shot at winning it. What makes this season a flurry of excitement is the style of play that eminates from this team. If they miss a shot, they are great at getting the rebound. If there is a defensive miscue, this team is still good at getting in front of the ball. There is an aggression and an opportunistic approach to play that makes me think they can compete with anyone.

They very likely won't win them all, but they are equipped to be in them all, in other words.

We may not stay #2, but if they keep playing at this general level, they more than likely end the season in the top 10, I would say. As to the preseason ranking, I actually thought it was fair, but this was based on zero evidence from actual play, of course.


December 18th, 2012 at 4:20 PM ^

Pretty much agree about there being no games that we're out of in the Big 10, at least in terms of talent.

Indiana away will obviously be tough, but they have a huge issue of who Jordan Hulls guards (they lost to Butler because a walk on PG broke his ankles). He can't guard Burke and he's too short to check Hardaway or Stauskas. They also seem to forget to feed Zeller at times. We should also be able to slow them down, but they're always really tough at Assembly.

I think OSU will actually give us more trouble. They have the only guard in the conference that can check Burke, and they're long on the wing so they match up well. We haven't seen a scorer like Thomas either, and they're going to be the first game where we're on par talentwise. If they get a consistent second scorer, they'll be very good.

If we catch an insane Brandon Paul game where he's raining 3s, Illinois can beat us, and Minnesota in the Barn is never fun, but we're better than both those teams in terms of talent. MSU is doing there usual thing of scuffling against a tough schedule before they become difficult. 


December 18th, 2012 at 4:18 PM ^

What is this?  A practice speech for your sparty firends?  Man, I can't wait until newbies or longtime lurkers who've hardly contributed and have no idea what is/isn't acceptable on the board can no longer start moronic threads like this one.  Brian's offseason blog updates plans can't come soon enough.


December 18th, 2012 at 4:53 PM ^

Right now I will say that we look like one of the best teams in the country.  Whether we're #2 I can't say.  We're up there, though, and we will be competitive in every game we play this season. 

This team is capable of beating anyone on any given night. 


December 18th, 2012 at 4:53 PM ^

I'm convinced this team is a top 10-15 team, which means they are a really good basketball team. I'm not quite to the point where I believe they are a top 5 (1 seed) team. I think to do that, it will be necessary for McGary to do a little more, to get the ball a bit more down low, and for the Wolverines to show me good rebounding against a GOOD rebounding team, and find another way to consistently score when Burke is off/defended well. Yeah, Hardaway, Robinson, and especially Stauskas have been superb at times. Indeed, sometimes unstoppable in their own rights. But all three have had substantial bumps in the road, mostly when Burke either gets a bit too shot focused or is defended better than usual.

To put a number on what I'm talking about:

I think 12-6, 13-5 is a floor for their Big 10 record, which is pretty damn good. Main reason for these numbers - There are a LOT of super teams in the Big 10. 12-6 could happen with  losing road games to darn good teams plus one loss either at home to an excellent team or on the road to a team they probably should beat. .

OTOH, I think 16-2 or so is absolutely achievable, which would make them one of the better teams in the Big 10 over the last decade, and would be their best conference record in the last 20 years.



December 18th, 2012 at 5:02 PM ^

Once Big Ten play starts, we're not going to be winning as easily as we are now.  We play MSU, OSU, Indiana, and Illinois on the road before playing them at home.  The road trip to Minnesota looks much more difficult now and we don't play them at home.  We also have a road trip at Wisconsin (we don't play them at home either) and we haven't won there in over a decade. 

To go 13-5 in conference play would be a HUGE accomplishment I think. 

I like this team.  I look forward to every game.  But I think we're more in the 10-15 range.  I don't think we're top 5. 


December 18th, 2012 at 7:10 PM ^

in front of them at this point WolverineHistorian? From the games I have watched so far this season around college basketball, I really haven't seen five teams that have looked better or more talented. As far as trying to claim there are 9+ teams better at this point, that is extremely pessimistic based on what other teams have done and shown so far.

Something to consider is that this team, will only get better as the season goes along. Considering how good they are now, I am 100% certain they will have every oppurtunity to win it all when March rolls around. This team has the talent and athleticism to match up with anybody in the country. Their only significant weakness is a lack of a dominant inside big man on the offensive end, but the offensive firepower at other positions is more than enough to make up for that. Not to mention feeding the low post has never been a big staple of a Beilein offense anyways.

Just for the record I was a believer in this team's lofty ranking before the season, based on the fact that recent history in the college basketball has seemed to indicate raw talent is more important  than experience. I can't say I am really surprised  by what the freshmen have shown so far, with the exception of Stauskas being a little more atheltic than I thought he would be.



December 18th, 2012 at 5:32 PM ^

I would be surprised to see any team make it out of B1G play without atleast 6 losses, if not more, so let's not get too excited before B1G play either beats us down or makes us unstoppable.


December 18th, 2012 at 7:15 PM ^

Obviously this team is for real. Trey Burke looked good last year. This year he's been unbelievable. Pro scouts must be drooling. Good play from returnees and a fabulous freshmen class adds up to some potential good things at the end of the season. If Burke gets hurt, though, forget it.


December 19th, 2012 at 5:33 PM ^

When B1G play begins I will be a believer. Still early in the season. But are they deserving...yes, with the record they have and how they have been playing. Horford injury scares me but they key is consistency, consistency, consistency.