Five takeaways from Big Ten Media Day

Michigan 57, Wofford 40-9
Dustin Johnston

ROSEMONT, Ill. — John Beilein, Caris LeVert, and Spike Albrecht were all in attendance to represent Michigan at Big Ten Media Day on Thursday morning. They were among the most popular groups at the event, fielding questions from reporters throughout the hour of availability.

Though Wisconsin is the unanimous favorite to win the conference, coaches and players alike asserted that several other teams, including the Wolverines, could compete for the Big Ten title. And given Michigan’s penchant to reload rather than rebuild under Beilein, the attention Thursday wasn’t much of a surprise.

Here’s what we learned from this year’s Big Ten Media Day.

Freshmen are acclimating quickly, but expect frustrating non-conference losses

Beilein has maintained that achieving success is difficult, but sustaining it might be harder still.

For the Wolverines to repeat as Big Ten champions, they’ll need to find a way to replace the bevy of talent that left after the 2013-14 season. And that means some of the burden will fall on Ricky Doyle, Kameron Chatman, D.J. Wilson, Aubrey Dawkins, and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, the freshmen most likely to contribute immediately.

“This could be three, four, five guys are going to play, and they’re first-year players,” Beilein said. “We have to get them ready.”

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Video & Quotes: Caris LeVert ready to lead Michigan

ROSEMONT, Ill. — Caris LeVert met with media on Thursday as part of Big Ten Media Day. The junior discussed his new role as Michigan’s key offensive player, what he learned from Nik Stauskas, and what motivates him to improve.

Notes and quotes after the jump.  [click to continue…]

Michigan ranked 23rd in USA Today Preseason Coaches Poll

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Michigan will start the season ranked once again this year, but the defending Big Ten Champions aren’t nearly as highly regarded as they were in recent years.

The Wolverines are ranked 23rd in USA Today’s Poll, behind four other conference foes, after starting the last two seasons ranked in the top ten.

Wisconsin (No. 4), Michigan State (No. 18), Ohio State (20), Nebraska (21) and Iowa (25) are the other league teams to earn a spot in the poll.

Michigan will face several top 25 teams during its non-conference schedule including a difficult road game at No. 2 Arizona. The Wolverines will also face SMU (No. 22) and Syracuse (No. 24) as well as a game against either Villanova (No. 12) or VCU (No. 16) in Brooklyn.

Find the complete USA Today Top 25 Preseason Poll after the jump. (Photo: Dustin Johnston)

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ROSEMONT, Ill. — John Beilein met with media in Chicago on Thursday as part of Big Ten Media Day. The Michigan coach discussed the state of other programs in the conference, the difficulties of sustaining success, and whether the Wolverines’ offense flows through Caris LeVert.

Notes and quotes after the jump.  [click to continue…]

ROSEMONT, Ill. — Spike Albrecht met with media in Chicago on Thursday as part of Big Ten Media Day. The junior guard discussed his surprising recruiting story, his improvements as a leader, and his expected role on the team during the upcoming season.

Full notes and quotes after the jump. [click to continue…]

Video: John Beilein at Big Ten Media Day

John Beilein met with the media this morning in Chicago at the Big Ten’s annual Media Day. Beilein discussed Preseason All-Big Ten junior Caris LeVert and a number of other topics and issues facing the Wolverines for the upcoming season.. Watch Beilein’s press conference in the embedded media player below or read the transcript here.

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