Big Ten’s Top 25 Players: 20-16

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With the official start of practice less than four weeks away, UM Hoops and Inside the Hall have again partnered to bring you a preseason breakdown of the top 25 players in the Big Ten for the 2014-2015 season. Our selection process involved much deliberation to arrive at a list we hope will provide plenty of reaction and debate. The series will be broken into five parts and our second installment of players 20-16 is available below: (Previously: 25-21)

20. Zak Irvin, Michigan (6-foot-6, wing, sophomore)

15.4 mpg, 6.7 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 0.4 apg, 0.2 spg, 59.1 eFG percentage

Last year we had Zak Irvin a bit overrated at No. 22 entering the season, but we also had his teammate Nik Stauskas dramatically underrated at No. 18. Irvin had a good freshman season – averaging 6.7 points off the bench while knocking down 43 percent on his three-point attempts – but he’ll have much bigger expectations as a sophomore. If Michigan’s trip to Italy was any bellwether, he’s ready to make the jump. Irvin averaged a team-high 20.8 points per game, shooting 70 percent on 2s and 67 percent on 3s in four games overseas. As a freshman, Irvin fell in love with the three-point shot. Three out of every four shot attempts last season was from long-range and he managed 146 three-point attempts despite only playing 38 percent of available minutes. Irvin will score a lot this season, simply because he’ll have so many more opportunities as he steps into the starting lineup, but don’t expect him to make a Stauskas-like leap into a complete playmaker just yet.  [click to continue…]

Big Ten’s Top 25 Players: 25-21

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With the official start of practice less than four weeks away, Inside the Hall and UMHoops have again partnered to bring you a preseason breakdown of the top 25 players in the Big Ten for the 2014-2015 season.

Our selection process involved much deliberation to arrive at a list we hope will provide plenty of reaction and debate. The series will be broken into five parts and our first installment of players 25-21 is available below:

25. Romelo Trimble, Maryland (6-foot-2, guard, freshman)
McDonald’s All-American

Dez Wells is the top returning player for Mark Turgeon and the Terps as the program enters the Big Ten, but an argument can be made that Trimble, a McDonald’s All-American who chose to stay close to home, is the team’s most important player. On a roster that was rocked by transfers in the offseason, Turgeon is planning to slot Trimble in as the team’s point guard after the departure of Seth Allen, who transferred to Virginia Tech. The Upper Marlboro native was a big-time scorer (23.1 ppg) in high school at Bishop O’Connell, but will need to be more of a distributor capable of running the offense as Maryland looks to bounce back from a disappointing 17-15 season.

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Recruiting Roundup: Fall evaluation period starts today

2964104[1]The fall contact and evaluation period begins today which means college coaches are allowed back on the road to conduct in-home and in-school visits. News that Michigan will be checking in on top-30 guard PJ Dozier on September 17th was reported yesterday, but several other in-home visits have also been announced.

Class of 2016 point guard Derryck Thornton Jr. will have a long list of observers as Kentucky, Michigan, Louisville, UNLV, USC, Cal, Arizona, UCLA, Duke, Oklahoma and Miami are expected at Findlay Prep to watch the five-star point guard this week.

Michigan will also join Arizona, UCLA, Florida and Xavier in checking out five-star forward TJ Leaf this week on the West coast.

Michigan’s entire staff will check in on five-star guard Tyus Battle next week. Seton Hall, Rutgers, Louisville, Virginia, Villanova and Ohio State are also scheduled to watch Battle according to Adam Zagoria.

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Michigan ranked 23rd nationally, fifth in Big Ten by Athlon Sports

Michigan 73, Tennessee 71-12College basketball preview magazines have been hitting shelves across the country and the latest preseason top 25 to be unveiled is Athlon Sports.

While the magazine isn’t expected to hit stores until later this month, Inside the Hall reports that Athlon has Michigan ranked 23rd in its preseason top 25 and fifth in the Big Ten.

After starting the last two years in the Preseason Top 10, it appears that Michigan will face dramatically different expectations this season. Lindy’s had ranked Michigan 24th and sixth in the Big Ten while Sporting News had Michigan outside of its top 25 and fifth in the Big Ten.

Athlon has five Big Ten teams in the top 25: Wisconsin (2), Nebraska (11), Michigan State (14), Ohio State (20) and Michigan (23). The complete predicted Big Ten order of finish:

  1. Wisconsin
  2. Nebraska
  3. Michigan State
  4. Ohio State
  5. Michigan
  6. Illinois
  7. Iowa
  8. Indiana
  9. Minnesota
  10. Maryland
  11. Penn State
  12. Purdue
  13. Northwestern
  14. Rutgers.

Report: PJ Dozier sets in-home visits

2962335[1]Michigan’s class of 2015 recruiting has focused primarily on one target for much of the last month: South Carolina guard PJ Dozier.

Dozier has Michigan in his final five and is scheduled to take his first official visit to Ann Arbor on September 26th. He’ll also visit Louisville (Oct. 3), Georgetown (Oct. 17), North Carolina (Oct. 24) and South Carolina (Oct. 31).  Dozier doesn’t have a formal scholarship offer from the Wolverines because he hasn’t visited campus, but is expected to receive an offer on his trip.

SportsTalk South Carolina’s Phil Kornblut reports that Dozier is also going to host in-home visits before he takes his official campus visits. Dozier’s in-home visit schedule is:

  • September 9th – South Carolina
  • September 10th – Georgetown
  • September 12th – North Carolina
  • September 17th – Michigan

Dozier, the 247Sports Composite No. 26 player in the class, has the ability to play both guard spots at the next level and has emphasized the importance of playing on the ball in college. He’s coming off an impressive summer where he demonstrated that he was fully healthy after missing his junior season due to knee surgery.

Former Wolverine Chris Hunter named Director of Player Personnel

hunter_300_091120[1]Former Michigan center Chris Hunter was announced as Michigan’s Director of Player Personnel this afternoon. Hunter played at Michigan from 2002 through 2006 before playing professionally for the last seven years, most recently with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. Here’s the complete University of Michigan release on Hunter’s hiring.

University of Michigan men’s basketball head coach John Beilein announced today (Friday, Sept. 5) the hiring of former Wolverine Chris Hunter as the program’s Director of Player Personnel.

"It is always great to have a Michigan alum on staff and we are looking forward to Chris Hunter’s return to Michigan Basketball in this new role," said Beilein. "With Chris’s experience as a former student-athlete, his degree from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, as well as his professional playing experience, we know he will bring great talent and expertise to our program. We are excited to have Chris and his family back in Ann Arbor."

"I look forward to assisting the student athletes in having a valuable and productive academic experience," said Hunter. "I am thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to advance the Michigan Basketball program everyday through hard work and diligence.

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