Mar 15, 2012; Nashville, TN, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach John Beilein talks to the media before the second round of the 2012 NCAA men

Michigan Basketball: Things to Come (Maybe) -- An Early Look at 2012-2013 Wolverine Basketball

Posted at 6:00am — 5/27/2012

Michigan Basketball: Things to Come (Maybe) — An Early Look at 2012-2013 Wolverine Basketball

Last year Michigan basketball was hyped as high as top 15 in the nation. The season demonstrated that Michigan had too many deficiencies to reach that lofty plateau. Two valued seniors have graduated and three underclassmen have left, leaving a new landscape for next year’s team.

Again, preseason poll expectations appear to be high, but this time maybe not on the verge of left field. This Michigan team will have an upgrade of athleticism and actually an upgrade in shooting ability. The downside is the toughness and leadership of Novak is no longer available.

Michigan has two scorers returning that may not be able to single-handedly carry a team, but collectively are a concern to any opponent. The good news is other options should soon be in place.

Mar 16, 2012; Nashville, TN, USA; Michigan Wolverines guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (10) shoots against the Ohio Bobcats guard Walter Offutt (3) during the first half in the second round of the 2012 NCAA men

One option is Glenn Robinson the third, son of the Big Dog. His stock went straight up the last two years as he gained size and valuable summer experience. He is more athletic than the recent Michigan players and is a scorer. He possesses a good ability to slash and has improved his willingness to rebound. There are things to work on but think of another Michigan player, Tim Hardaway Junior when attempting to assess Robinson’s offensive potential as a freshman. There is one difference, Hardaway was the 2nd option in the offense during the later part of his freshman season, while “Little Dog” will be no better than the third option.

A second new scoring option will be the most welcomed arrival of a true big man, Mitch McGary. He will almost certainly play a Beilein version of a four position, slipping to the five maybe when Morgan sits. Do not expect McGary to be a scoring machine from the onset. He may be more valuable as a rebounder, passer, and step out option. But, Mitch is still a candidate for double digit scoring as a freshman. He is not the athlete that Robinson is but he is team-oriented and a system type player.

Michigan’s scoring could be enhanced by the most recent commit, Caris LeVert. Like Robinson, Caris is very athletic and is offensively minded. He has nice size for a two, and can create with the ball. Burke plays great going to the hole and LeVert is really tough going to the lane then finding multiple ways to hurt a defense. Indeed, the bet here is he plays quite a bit as a freshman.

The wild card for the newcomers is Nick Stauskas, a sharpshooter who is as athletic as the others. He needs weight for the Big Ten but think of a taller Matt Vogrich. He has skills and assets, and shooting from behind the arc is asset number one.

The rebounding may or may not improve. Novak is gone, McGary is on board, and the other newcomers again are unknowns.

The soft defense must improve if Michigan is to go further than two games deep in the tournament. None of the newcomers are known as lock down defenders, but all have the ability to become competent. Hopefully chasing the ball on the perimeter and playing soft on the arc become less of a concern, but with newcomers this may be wishful thinking.

Last year was fun and this year should be more of the same.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff

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