Media Day: Big Ten Opponents Size Up Michigan

012711_SPT_UM at MSU bball_MRM

At Big Ten Media Day on Thursday, I talked to several different players around the conference and asked them a handful of questions about playing Michigan and Michigan’s key players. There were only two or three players there from each team, so the guys there were some of the best players in the league who have been around for awhile.

I never asked about the departed Darius Morris but, nearly every player I talked to mentioned him. “I bet there’s a lot of teams in the league that are pretty happy that Darius Morris left,” said Wisconsin guard Jordan Taylor, “because that definitely makes a difference.” Added Michigan State guard Austin Thornton: “Anytime you have a point guard like they’ve had in Morris, it makes for a very good team.” So does that mean since Darius gone, the Wolverines will be a bad team this year? Not necessarily – but it did seem pretty clear that opponents are sleeping easier knowing that Darius is gone.

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Michigan Ranked 18th in AP Preseason Top 25

7774d1313850464-aptop25_logo[1]Michigan is ranked 18th the Associated Press Top 25 media poll that was released this afternoon. The Wolverines are also ranked 18th in the USA Today Coaches Poll which was announced last week.

Michigan is the one of three Big Ten teams ranked in the top 25, coming in behind Ohio State (3) and Wisconsin (15). Michigan State, Purdue, Illinois and Minnesota also received votes.

Memphis, the Wolverines’ opening opponent at the Maui Invitational, is ranked 11th in the preseason poll. Three other schools in the Maui Invitational are ranked in the top 25 including Duke (6), Kansas (13) and UCLA (17).

The last time Michigan was ranked in the top 25 poll was November 23rd, 2009 when the Wolverines were ranked 15th. Click here to view the complete AP Top 25 preseason poll.

Video: John Beilein Big Ten Media Day Press Conference

Find video of John Beilein’s official press conference from Big Ten Media Day. You can the previously posted transcript here.

More Media Day Coverage:

John Beilein met with the media in a roundtable discussion at Big Ten Media Day on Thursday. Here’s video of what the coach had to say, followed by notes and quotes after the jump.

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More from 2011-12 Big Ten Media Day, Stu Douglass and Tim Hardaway Jr. face the cameras during the roundtable session this afternoon.

Footage of Hardaway along with several additional quotes after the jump.
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Video: Zack Novak at 2011-12 Big Ten Media Day

Here’s footage of senior captain Zack Novak addressing the media this afternoon in Chicago at Big Ten Media Day. Novak was in attendance along with head coach John Beilein, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Stu Douglass.

Find all of our Big Ten Media Day Coverage here as well additional quotes and video from Novak after the jump. [click to continue…]

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