A much better defense
The Wolverines were great offensively the past two seasons, but the defense wasn’t. Part of that is a function of playing with a guy like Hunter Dickinson who is a liability on defense.
Michigan baskeball doesn’t have the elite offensive weapon in Dickinson. They also don’t have to compensate for his poor defense every single game. The defensive scheme will probably include more switching screens.
Not only is Tarris Reed able to do that, but Olivier Nkamhoua can too along with Tray Jackson, a 6-foot-10 transfer from Seton Hall who could end up starting on the wing. Jackson should play some 3/4 minutes for Michigan, sort of like Terrance Williams.
That seems to be the final starting spot available — the three. Nimari Burnett should be the top two and he’s the defensive stopper on the perimeter Michigan basketball has lacked.
There are question marks on offense. But if Reed and McDaniel take a leap defensively too, Michigan’s defense could look much more like the first two seasons under Juwan Howard, which to me, is the best path to the NCAA tournament.