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.”