Up for Debate: Preseason Rankings

Dylan Burkhardt
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burke appling

Luke Winn has Michigan at No. 9 in his updated off season power rankings. CBS Sports ranks Michigan at No. 5 in the latest edition of its Top 25 (and one). Now that we know Trey Burke is returning to Ann Arbor, it’s finally fair to ask the question: where should Michigan be ranked in this year’s preseason polls?

A year ago, the Wolverines were slotted at No. 18 in the preseason and the projection was fairly accurate as Michigan’s ranking soared as high as 10th and as low as 23rd throughout the season. Vote in the following poll and share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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  • DingoBlue

    Even though offseason rankings are pure speculation, I have a hard time seeing Michigan as a preseason Top 5 team. That said, I also have a hard time finding other teams that I think deserve to be top 5/top 10. I’d say anywhere in the 6-10 range seems reasonable to speculate based on recruiting class and who we lost this season.

  • iluvthebullets

    I see no reason why Indiana is better than us next year. We will most likely be playing 4 if not 5 players who will make an NBA roster (depending on Staukas), and have arguably the best point guard of any team in the top 10. I truly believe this team will be our best chance at a Final Four since the fab 5, and see no reason we should not be top 5 if not top three in the country!

    • sane1

      IU has everyone but Jones back. We lose Novak, Douglass and Smotrycz. IU’s incoming class is rated higher than ours. That’s why.

  • Toblav

    We’ve lost our leadership, so until some body fills that roll it is a potential proplem. We’ll likely start two and play three or four freshmen. Freshmen are hard to predict in terms of how quickly they adjust. Expectations can be dangerous. I voted 11-15, but wonder if that isn’t a notch too high. I don’t see the value in high preseason ratings.

    • Retiredat23

      Ask Calipari if he thinks using freshman = dangerous expectations. We all act like having senior leaders = success. The truth is: talent = success. Whether that talent is all seniors or all freshman doesn’t matter. If this 2012 class plays as advertised, then top 10 = yes, easily. We’ve held on to a mis-timed timeout call way too long, these freshman will play and they’ll be good.

      • Toblav

        The key word might be “IF”, which isn’t far from what I am saying. Expectations in general are not met more often than they are. Can we be a National Championship team, yes. Is it more likely for us than all but 10 other teams, not so sure. I am hopeful and excited and still don’t want to duck reality.

  • Thomas Beindit

    Losing two starters, two captains, and playing two freshman is simply too much to make us top 5 in my opinion. Of course, other schools are doing this as well, but we still haven’t crossed the gap from good to great team. I think we will next season, but doing that takes time and we’re not ready as of yet

  • A2JD

    Unlike football, it doesn’t really matter where Michigan is ranked in the preseason. They have a chance to rise to the top in a tournament.

    • But it’s still a fun discussion.

      • A2JD

        My expectations of them are vying for another B1G title, top 3 seed in the NCAA’s and making it at least to the Elite 8. Sweet 16 at worst, so long as they stay healthy. Anything else and I’ll be pretty darn bummed.

        I think the players and Coaches have at least those lofty expectations. This is the most loaded Michigan’s been with talent since Traylor, Bullock and White’s Freshman year.

  • JayRich

    I think we deserve the 6-10 ranking based on who we have coming in and coming back. However, I believe we will finish the year in the 11-15 category due to depth in the Big Ten and some poor losses due to leadership issues.

  • Showtime

    Any updates on Caris Levert’s visit yesterday and where he stands? I think his added depth in the backcourt will be huge in pushing THJ, Staukus and Vogerich. It just gives us many more options as well in case someone isn’t playing well. We have also been lucky not to really been hit with injuries so any added depth will help. I think the final addition of Levert solidifies are recruiting class for this year and makes me confident to put them in 6-10 range to start the year.

    • sane1

      If he got an offer, I like our chances.

      • DingoBlue

        ESPN lists an offer from Michigan on Levert’s page. Not sure if that is true or not. I would certainly like to round off 2012 with a 5-man class.

      • Steve2081

        Why would we even bother bringing him in at this point if we weren’t going to offer?

        • Showtime

          I agree, no reason to really bring him in if we didn’t offer. On twitter, it seems like his high school coach is saying the following:

          GoldandBlack.com ‏ @GoldandBlackcomPickerington Central coach Jerry Francis said Caris Levert could decide by Monday or Tuesday. He visited Dayton and #Purdue. At Michigan now

        • sane1

          Up until his visit, the coaches had not even met him. It’s likely that he got an offer, but it is not a given just because he’s visited.

          • TKWolverine

            Spot on, sane1.

          • Steve2081

            fair enough.

  • BlueRev

    Top 7 very good on paper… Return 5 conference quality veteran players in 2nd yr Burke & Horford, 3d yr Hardaway & Morgan, 4th yr Vogrich. Replace 2 underated Srs with 2 top 25 frosh. Have some other guys for depth that could roleplay into 8/9th man minutes. I said top 6-10, but with more upside imo than down.

    • Steve2081

      Eso and Josh B have been around a while now too. That can’t hurt either.

      • TMURDA

        … and they certainly can’t help much. God bless ’em.

        • Steve2081

          Oh yes they can.

  • umnyc

    Getting Trey back is enough to keep us in the top 10… IMO. The X factor is GRIII. If he’s the stud that everyone expects him to be then Top 5 and possible final 4 is within grasp. IU is a sexy pick, but until they improve their defense, I think they’re questionable Top 5.

  • p-nickel

    Laedership? those two DII players. while they were in the system for four years I can’t see either one of them playing in Europe. Having a true point guard and talent around him, will suit this team just fine.

    • Retiredat23

      The truth hurts, but you hit the nail on the head. I loved Douglas and Novak, they were all heart and guts….but they weren’t recruited by anyone. I’m looking forward to watching some stud recruits play in Beilein’s offense. The freshman coming in will more than fill the void left by Stu, Zach, and Evan.

      • ForeverBlue

        They were both a lot more than heart and guts, they were brains on the court and leadership off. I’m not saying they are irreplaceable but as talented as this team might be they are not talented enough to make up for a lack of smarts on the court or leadership off. Burke has much to learn about running an offense after being schooled his last game and Hardaway much to prove in terms of providing a consistent presence on the court. The freshman have everything to prove at a college level. And who provides defensive communication, who will be the quarterback when an assignment is missed without Stu and Zac?
        It’s not that I don’t think this team could be great but greatness isn’t about who recruited you. And high school stats don’t necessarily transfer to college.

        • Steve2081

          Yes they are.

  • A State Fan

    I said 11-15, because… well, haters gonna hate.
    I think they will have a lot of talent, but it’s more about where you start than where you finish. So I’ll be interested to see how the young guys handle the big 10, because despite what everyone says about stu and novak on here being DII caliber players, they could guard in the B1G, and I haven’t seen the soon-to-be freshman do that yet

  • q-sac

    i cannot wait for this season. i think indy’s gonna win the B1G but we should be right there. sparty will always be in the picture and deshaun coming back was huge for the bucks – who also had their share of transfers. i like flying under the radar a little more but being in the preseason top ten… tough to have a problem with that.

    i see trey still being the most important player on the squad. probably the most talented team since the fab five (the teams w/ bullock traylor and taylor were solid) but i disagree with those who said zack and stu won’t be missed much. right kentucky won with freshmen and sophomores but as much as i love our squad i don’t see them all being projected lottery and first round draft picks.

    but defend home court like last year – steal some a W or 2 at osu / breslin / assembly… could be a special team

  • TMURDA

    82% think we should be between 6 and 15. Just saying. There is more of a consensus than the actual poll shows