Michigan ranked 5th in ESPN’s latest preseason top 25

Dylan Burkhardt


5. Michigan

After flirting with the NBA, Trey Burke decided to remain in Ann Arbor. That’s huge for the Wolverines, who would’ve had a serious void at the point without the invaluable Burke. He will join Tim Hardaway Jr., and a loaded freshman class that includes ESPNU 100 recruits Mitch McGary, Glenn Robinson Jr., and Nik Stauskas. This team is loaded and as long as the newcomers blend in, there’s no reason to believe Michigan can’t compete at the highest level in both the Big Ten and nationally.

  • Quaint06

    If we are actually ranked as high as 5 at various points during the season, that will be great.

  • gobluemd16

    I think we are overrated a bit here, especially considering we are losing our two senior leaders and will likely start two freshman.  However, I appreciate the love from ESPN, hopefully we can live up to the expectations because we do have the talent to do so.

    • Rkw

      When are we at a point when we are not overrated gobluemd16!?

      • eddieben

         Good question, although I think gobluemd16’s point about the graduation of Senior leadership is enough to put a shadow of doubt on this lofty ranking.  Last time we lost two senior leaders and were ranked highly in the preseason, the season was an absolute bust.  Granted things are different now, the foundation has been laid, and the talent is higher–but a ranking like this is still a little premature.

        • gobluemd16

          Yes, exactly my feelings. I think it is definitely possible that we are a top 5 or 7 team during the season, but to proclaim us as so with many moving parts before the season even begins is a little lofty, IMO. The fact that we are even talking about being top 5 is extemely exciting, nonetheless

          • q-sac

             agree. having a a realistic understanding that freshmen don’t always live up to hype – and that chemistry is an unknown at this point – doesn’t mean that you’re not as much a fan as the guy who picks michigan to win it all every time they make the tourney. high hopes for this team – and preseason polls mean nothing – but 5 does seem high right now.

    • Rkw

      It il b nice when [WE] fans start having more confidence in this team and program and not b so quick to use overrated everytime its convienient!

    • ETfromNU

      I think the thing to remember here is that the baseline for a top 5 ranking is not the fictional perfect college basketball team returning 5 senior starters.  This type of volatility is par for the course in college basketball so this really becomes a question of what are you adding/losing relative to the competition.  The teams they have projected below us typically have issues that I’d expect to have as large if not larger negative impacts than us losing Stu & Zack (not to under sell their contributions):

      e.g. – 
      6. Baylor lost Quincy Acy and Perry Jones III to the NBA
      7. NC State  C.J. Leslie still hasn’t said for sure whether he’s returning
      8. Ohio loses Sullinger & Buford
      9. Florida probably loses Bradley Beal
      10. MSU loses Big Ten player of the year Draymond Green, Brandon Wood and Austin Thornton.
      and so on…and so on…

      All of these teams also don’t have all of the positive additions that we can reasonably expect:
      Improvement of the young returning talent (Burke, Hardaway, Horford, etc.)
      Very highly regarded incoming class
      A coach who consistently has his teams outperform their perceived talent level

      I’m not saying we’re a guaranteed top 10 team next year but I do this early projection to be extremely well justified given the way the college basketball landscape for next year is shaping up.

      • gobluemd16

        Point taken, you’re right

  • Ampgraham

    I like the #5 ranking. Especially if you considered the players that other teams, who rank higher than Michigan this year, have lost. Another question is, what school that ranked higher than Michigan, returns all of it’s starters?    

    • q-sac

       hoosiers. plus a sweet recruiting class. they’re stacked.

  • Fresh

    its all goign to depend on if the freshmen live up to their rankings……..mcgary and one of the other 3 need to excel……….if they can learn the offense, create the necessary chemistry with the returning players and play like their rankings suggest then michigan is going to be really freakin good

  • Evansville Hoosier

    IU fan here, sort of obsessed with college hoops. I’ve made 2012 teams for IU, UL, and UK on college hoops 2K8, but I need a solid B1G team, and Yogi said he looked forward to playing Burke, so I figured UM was a good place to start. Can you guys give of players fornext year in order of most minutes? I’m not as familiar with UM’s bench with the loss of Douglass and Novak.
    My sincerest thanks!

    • Evansville Hoosier

      give (me a list)* of players for next*

      Sorry, typed on a phone.

  • I think there’s no doubt about the incoming top three. Robinson was recently promoted to a five-star and top 10-or-so recruit, and any doubts about Nik’s ability should end with this: