Michigan picked to finish seventh in Big Ten by Blue Ribbon

Dylan Burkhardt

Michigan is picked to finish 7th in the Big Ten by Blue Ribbon Magazine.

“This season’s group is light on depth, but has skill and experience at every position,” MLive’s Brendan Quinn writes in the Blue Ribbon Michigan preview. “There can be no injuries and no growing pains, though. Beilein’s primary options are known commodities, for good and bad.”

The Wolverines are unranked in Blue Ribbon’s top 25 projections as preseason expectations continue to be mixed for the 2016-17 season. Most magazines have Michigan slotted somewhere between 5th and 7th in the Big Ten.

Here are some other notes from the magazine’s season preview:

  • No Wolverines are tabbed in the preseason all-conference team, which includes Malcolm Hill, Nigel Hayes, Thomas Bryant, Melo Trimble and Peter Jok.
  • Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes is named the preseason player of the year and Michigan State’s Miles Bridges is the newcomer of the year.
  • The predicted order of finish in the conference is: Wisconsin, Purdue, Michigan State, Indiana, Maryland,Ohio State, Michigan, Illinois, Northwestern, Penn State, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Rutgers

This chart from Inside the Hall breaks down the major preseason prognostications that have been published this summer.

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  • Champswest

    We will do better than seventh.

  • Mattski

    I have been a Beilein diehard, but I do see injuries, early entries, and some difficult recruiting luck clouding ongoing odds for success. Don’t know how short the leash is, but I think we need to do better than 7th this year. The bar is set relatively low. . .

  • EchoWhiskey

    Yeah, I feel like this setting up to be a year to outperform expectations greatly. Take that as you will though, because the expectations are pretty low.

  • David DeMember

    We got major upside and/or veterans in our entire rotation… I think we can challenge for the B1G champ, likely finish 2-4 and get a 3-4 seed in the tourney and with some luck, make another run. Like JB said, last time we lost a bunch of transfer, we went to the championship game. We’re potentially getting Trey 2.0 too.

    X (factor) Simpson (could be a top frosh and maybe even our top player)
    Walton – Senior
    MAAR – Senior
    Irvin – Senior and health
    Wagner – massive upside, he’s allegedly put on 30 pounds. The skills/motor were there, the size and experience was not.
    Donnal – senior (RS) who’s flashed some abilitiy the past season
    Duncan – senior (RS)
    Wilson – Junior (RS) / talent / upside
    Watson – another wildcard

    JB’s never had so many seniors at UM, plus if you look at the rotation, everyone is expected to improve and we’ve lost nothing from our core from last year.

    CBB is about guard play… this may be our most solid guard team year with 3 legit PGs. We’ve never really had that, I think the ball will flow well this year.

    Spike was amazing, but seemed to be a major liability on defense. We always had to sacrifice offense for defense. This year, we can run some 2 big lineups and 2 PG lineups, 4 out 1 in, we can do just about anything to match up.

    • David DeMember

      JB almost never is optimistic about anything it seems like… I sense a lot of confidence from him.

      “The last time we had three transfers, the next year we went to the national championship game and, the following year, we won the Big Ten championship (outright),” he said. “Sometimes it works out well for everyone. It really does. Teams can sort of retool themselves and the young man gets a chance to redshirt and go on and have a really good year.”

      I just don’t see him making these comments unless he feels good about this team.

    • David DeMember

      and my bad, MAAR is a JR…

      • GTFOmycourt

        Robinson is a Junior and Wilson is a red shirt Sophmore.

    • Mattski

      I don’t see a bonanza of crazy-good talent there, although I love all these guys. There is quite a bit of experience, though. This is going to be a year, a proving year, in which John’s system will really have to prove itself. Appreciate the optimism, though.

    • Leslie Hoerwinkle

      A little too optimistic…

  • Barth Applefeld

    I’m with DeMember! There is a lot of upside to this group. Walton and Irvin have been healthy for two years. Duncan and Donnal were essentially freshmen last year and hopefully can grow a fair amount. MAAR has the most talent of these last three, and he showed growth.
    Last year we were set up for Caris LaVert to be the guy and he got hurt. It’s hard to change a set up completely in mid-season. We have a new defensive coordinator. There’s reason for great optimism!

  • PeteM

    7th sounds really disappointing though I suppose it depends on the record. Could 10-8 (or even 11-7) put us in 7th if there are teams bunched together at the top? Assuming we don’t win the conference I’m mostly concerned with making the tournament and winning a couple of games in March.

  • MChem83

    If we finally manage to stay healthy, we can do better than 7th, although there may be little or no difference between 5th and 7th in the standings. I think we have more potential for improvement among existing players than they’re giving us credit for. If we can somehow improve our defense, especially on the interior, 4th is possible, but we seem to be lacking the kind of elite players you need to finish in the top tier.

    • bobohle

      I agree most importantly with your last point. That’s why we need to wrap up Bamba for 2017.

      • Wayman Britt

        Yep, get Bamba then UM will be picked in the top three. Our arch rivals in the conference MSU and IU keep getting 5 stars or potential NBAers. UM needs to get back to the top three in the conference.

  • section13row15

    A few thoughts…need to be a lot tougher this year. That starts by taking pride on defense. There was 0 pride on that side of the ball last year. MAAR was a huge bright spot for us last year. Without him, this team would have been tough to watch (i.e, nothing going toward the basket). Duncan Robinson needs to become more than just a shooter this year. He was absent from the offense in the middle of the season last year (and he’s a huge defensive liability). It killed us. Lastly, Walton needs to take charge and know when to dominate the ball. He’s capable of taking over a game but he’s too (gulp) unselfish.

  • Leslie Hoerwinkle

    They’ll be the best 7th place team in the B10.