Michigan preseason No. 3 in Lindy’s Sports, No. 6 in Athlon Sports

Dylan Burkhardt

ca73022c55f2469[1]Michigan’s first basketball game is still over two months away but it’s never too early for preseason hype. Expectations are high in Ann Arbor and early returns in national preview magazines will only increase the buzz around John Beilein’s basketball program.

Both Lindy’s and Athlon Sports have Michigan ranked firmly in the national preseason top ten.

Lindy’s Sports has Michigan ranked No. 3 in their national preseason rankings, behind Louisville and Indiana. The Lindy’s magazine is due on shelves on September 11th, 2012 and features Trey Burke and Michigan State’s Brandon Dawson as regional cover athletes (pictured). North Carolina State (a U-M non-conference opponent), Kentucky, Ohio State, Duke, Creighton, St. Louis and UCLA round out Lindy’s top ten in order.

Athlon Sports is also high on Michigan, slotting the Wolverines in the No. 6 spot in their preseason publication. Athlon features a top three of Indiana, Louisville and Kentucky. The Athlon Sports preview magazine will be on shelves September 25th.

Let your voice be heard in the comments below. Where should Michigan be ranked? Top five? Top ten? Top 15?

  • Alex

    I would say Top 15 but this time a legit Top 15. The team broadly reminds me of the Kentucky team last year in the sense that we are blending an infusion of talent with proven stars that have experience. We should definitely expect to make the Tourney this year (much different than the recent past) and could potentially have a deep run dependent on matchups. As Dylan says it is so early.

    • Mattski

      Agree. Say top 15, leave it at that. If you drink the no.3 kool-aid you are setting yourself up for disappointment. The team may take some time to gel, for starters.

      Going to be big fun, though!

  • If they are top 10 they should be #10. I love em, but 3 is way too high.

    • Mr_Sledge

      There’s always questions with any college basketball team due to attrition, but I agree that the bottom of the top 10 is more appropriate. Until I see someone step up as the leader on the court (vocally & by play) and see how the freshmen blend in, it’s hard for me to go any higher. 3 is way too high.

      Are there any videos from summer games or pick-up?

  • One way of looking at it.. What’s Michigan’s ceiling? Final Four? Elite Eight? Sweet 16?

    Does U-M have what it takes to defend Big Ten crown?

    • Steve2081

      National title.

    • Tony Toronto

      Too early to make a prediction but on paper i would say Elite Eight realistically…unless Horford & McGrary step up, and give us that much need post presence then anything is possible…

    • A2JD

      Michigan’s ceiling is winning it all. Their floor is probably losing in the round of 32. I think a preseason ranking in the 10-15 range is more fitting but I’m all for Lindy’s being right. Go Blue!

  • Tony Toronto

    If Mitch McGary steps up as an elite post-player as a freshman i dont see no reason why they cant be ranked top 5 in the country. I think that is our biggest question mark…down-low players…if Horford improved, Morgan stays solid, and McGary steps up i think its justible for top 5 in the country with Hardaway, Robinson, Burke leading the charge…along with Vogirch & Staukas…
    On another note will we have a 3 man rotation down-low? or do you guys think Max Biefeldt will also get playing along with our other 3 bigs?

    • DeepBlue83

      Bielfeldt will not see the floor much against quality competition, unless we have serious foul trouble. He’s in McLimans’ class. For bigs, we’ve got Morgan, Horford and McGary, and that’s pretty much it.

  • Tony Toronto

    By the way very amazing website…up to date and precise on information…congrats on a great job…im getting amped up for the season just looking at the website…glad i found it
    Whats our expected rotation this year? Majority of the minutes
    G – Burke
    G – Hardaway
    G – Robinson
    F – Morgan
    F – McGrary?
    F-Biefeldt ?

  • DoubES

    Classic Old-man-Burke face!

  • JimmyZ5

    #3 is very high but I think have all the pieces to justify a lofty ranking. On paper, we look fantastic.

    Experience? Check – Morgan and Hardaway are seasoned.
    Star Power? Check – Burke and Hardaway
    Prototype Athletes? Check – Robinson and McGary are young, but prototype at their position.
    Frontcourt Depth? Check – Horford is an X-factor. McGary is here. Biefeldt and McLimans are valuable in their roles.
    Shooters? Double Check — Hardaway should bounce back, Burke, Vogrich, Stauskas.

    I think we can go big, small and everything in between. I don’t think a lack of leadership will crush us like it did a few years ago. We return plenty of guys who have been effective against high competition and add a few more with impressive pedigrees. If I’m ranking I place us at #5-10 with Elite Eight the goal for this season, assuming of course no major injuries.

  • Guest

    I have Final 4 expectations for Michigan. They won a share of B1G last year and they return 4 starters plus a stellar freshman class. Yes, they lost Stu and Novak, but their play on court should be easily replaced with McGary, GRIII and Stauskas. However, their leadership will be greatly missed, but I am confident that Trey, THJ and Morgan won’t let them become complacent.

    The biggest test will be against NC State to see how far both team have come. They are very similar that they return their best player as well as 3 other starters plus a great recruiting class. One difference is Michigan got knocked out in 1st round and NC State made a surprising run in the NCAA tourney.

    • section13row15

      Guest, who are the 4 returning starters? I only count 3…Burke, Hardaway, and Morgan.
      Michigan is a top 15 team ideally but I’ve watched way too much of them over the last 10 years to believe they deserve to be top 5. One of the things people keep bringing up that I am really interested to see is if Hardaway will move over to the 2 at all or if he’ll remain the primary weapon on the wing (3). Dylan, correct me if I’m wrong but THJ hasn’t played the 2 guard since he’s been at Michigan.

      • Guest

        Whoops, for some reason I was thinking 4.

        Which team that you would rank Michigan ahead based on returning players and incoming freshman class? I honestly only see about 3-4 teams better than Michigan at this point. I have Indiana, Louisville and Kentucky ahead of Michigan.

  • Mattski

    For me the wild card could be Stauskas. If he can start at the 2, take a little pressure off of Hardaway, and proves to be just crazy dead-eye, then–with McGary filling up the middle, Robinson killing it, Burke–the sky really could be the limit. Vogrich, McLimans, JoMo back and forth with McGary, HORFORD–Dayrum! Hard to believe Michigan may finally be that strong in the frontcourt.

  • Wayman Britt

    UM will definitely improved next year, but in the top ten in the nation is pushing it. It will take a year or so to learn to be a top team.

    • Retiredat23

      Disagree…you can go from average to great in 1 year. This team was already good, and Beilein’s a heck of a coach, so making another huge leap is definitely not out of the question. Don’t sleep on this recruiting class, they could make all the difference.

  • James Lipson


  • Kenny

    I believe that there is a Beilein factor when people rank Michigan at # 3 or # 6. This is for sure the best group of talents Beilein has ever had. And given Beilein’s tracking record of winning with much less talent in the past, it is easy to for someone to extrapolate for the unnecessary hype.

    • Retiredat23

      Beilein won with Mike Gansey and Pittsnoggle…..can we imagine what he’ll do with top 50 talent?!? National Championship is not out of the question, even THIS season.

  • troy

    who does a better job? lindy’s or athlon? i used to like sporting news/street & smith’s, but i heard they won’t be doing an issue this year.

  • BH Spartan

    Top 15ish team, not a Final Four contender. No inside scoring presence, average rebounding and defensive team. Will struggle against athletic teams and teams with length on the wings. Good team, but overrated.

    • Mac

      No inside scoring presence? I call slashers inside scoring presences, so that’s 3 (Burke, Hardaway, Robinson) also Horford/Mcgary/Morgan should combine for 20 or so PPG . Above average rebounding team (Mcgary is a REALLY good rebounder). We have some good athletes, especially the freshman. We’ll be fine against teams with length on thw wings, we have Hardaway and Robinson,2 lengthy athletic wings. Get your facts straight. We may not be a top 3 team (we’re not) but you can’t say we’re not a final four contender.

    • Wow this guy must not know anything about basketball not athletic enough what are you smoking that is one of there strengths and no length on the wings another strength puff puff give you have been smoking on that pipe to long!!!

  • Bigrange

    I think #3 is a bit high, even for this talented group of players. There are a lot of factors that have to fall into place to deserve this ranking; 1. The freshman have to play up to or above their recruit ranking. 2. The bench has to be able to provide some scoring and quality minutes. 3. The leadership void of Zac and Stu has to be filled 4. Hardaway and Burke have to take the next step in being stars of the team.
    All said, I would slot them between 8-13. Finishing 3rd in the Big Ten would be a good finish for the team, as young as they are. We have IU, OSU, MSU and Wisconsin to deal with in the conference. I like where we are headed but don’t care too much for early preseason rankings. The hype gets blown up too much.

  • DeepBlue83

    Hard to judge this team without seeing it play against some quality opposition. Too much of their success, and too much of their potential improvement over last year depends on guys who haven’t even see the floor yet, and who are not quite in the “can’t miss” category. If McGary, Robinson and Stauskas all live up the their billing, and if Hardaway can stop being a head case, this is potentially a top 10 team. If our new guys take time to come along, and if Hardaway shoots like he did last year, we’re more like 15-20 at best. Our bench will probably be thin, regardless.

  • This team is without a doubt top 10 I have them as 5 they are a national title contender jb is one of the best coaches in the country Mitch is a perfect fit on this team they are athletic with good shooters but most important they have the best pg in the country we will not recognise this team from the one we have seen the last 5 years jb for the first time in his 30 years of coaching will get to install his full system with that said it is time to take the next step final four or bust!!! Go blue