January 6, 2013; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach John Beilein talks to guard Trey Burke (3) in the first half against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Crisler Center. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan Basketball: Annual Big Ten Basketball Predictions and Team Summaries -- The Final Two -- Part V

Posted at 7:00am — 1/10/2013

Michigan Basketball: Annual Big Ten Basketball Predictions and Team Summaries — The Final Two — Part V

Who will be the King Hog of the conference this year? Ohio State and Michigan State have a chance, but two teams, Michigan and Indiana probably have a better chance.

Michigan:
Strengths – versatile offense, speed, quickness, depth, coaching, great youth, transition offense
Weaknesses – soft defense, does not challenge good shots, transition defense

Michigan is a beautiful team to watch, but there are warts. Here is a team that can wow a viewing on offense and then give back an easy two at the other end with little challenge.

Michigan’s success starts with Trey Burke, one of the very best players in Michigan history. It would be unreal to see his level of play two years from now. He can pretty much do it all on the offensive end and has improved at the defensive end. Trey is a great point guard and perhaps his best asset is being able to put together periods of clutch baskets that can give the Wolverines space enough to gain the upper hand in games.

Hardaway Junior is much improved and his game is more well-rounded than in previous seasons. There is across the board improvement in all areas this season.

Glenn Robinson junior is very good for a freshman, very good. His overall game is impressively strong. He is a good fit for the veteran Wolverines.

Nik Stasukas is starting to regress to the mean a little, but few teams would not take him on a roster.

The middle is not spectacular, but is sufficient to be an asset. Jordan Morgan and Mitch McGary are good enough rebounders and defenders to at least not let the opposition run rough shod on the boards.

This team is one of the nation’s best offensively, and it is somewhat amazing how well the young players run the Michigan offense. The real question will be if Michigan can prevent so many easy baskets in conference play. This team has a style and will ride it to the end.

Indiana:
Strenghts – deep, good shooting, very tough defense, mentally tough, coaching
Weaknesses – Not as good as the NBA teams, precious little else

Every team in America should have an Indiana guard, to say Hoosier means to say basketball. This team could win the national title, but there are at least 8-10 teams that could beat the Hoosiers on a good/bad night deal.

This is the type of team the Hoosier faithful has been drooling for since THE GREAT ONE was kicked down the road several years ago. Few Knight coached teams had this much talent and depth.

Dec 28, 2012; Bloomington, IN, USA; Indiana Hoosiers head coach Tom Crean talks to Indiana Hoosiers forward Cody Zeller (40) during the second half at Assembly Hall. Indiana won 93-59. Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

The talk of Hoosier excellence starts with sophomore forward, near seven-footer, Cody Zeller. Big, tough, and always a threat to score, Zeller is on many watch lists for player of the year, as is Trey Burke. This guy is good and like Burke this may be his Big Ten swan song before the NBA lure sets in.

Zeller’s numbers are pretty staggering. He is averaging over 16 points and 7 rebounds a game, while shooting well over 60 percent from the field.

Victor Oladipo is the second of five Hoosiers averaging in double figures. He is a junior and a big guard. Oladipo is very athletic and defends well. Besides averaging 13 points per game, he is also averaging nearly six rebounds.

Christian Watford is a big 6’ 9” senior forward who is averaging over 13 points and six rebounds a game.

Will Sheehay is a big junior forward averaging 12 points a game. He is the type of player who is not afraid to do the dirty work.

To the author, the straw that stirs the drink is shooter Jordan Hulls, a six-foot senior that can just flat fill it up when hot. When Hulls and Zeller are cooking, the kitchen gets too hot for most other teams.

Indiana plays a nine-man rotation and has super numbers in two point and three point shooting. Coach Tom Crean is all about intensity and the intensity on the defensive end may just be the factor that brings the crown home to Bloomington.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff

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