The Wolverine

November 2011

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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2011-12 basketball preview freshman Burke and Carlton Brundidge, the former listed as Michigan���s ���top newcomer.��� Lindy���s overview on the Wolverines states: ���Michigan���s ability to not be dictated by outside expectations was critical to its success. Beilein believes that if his team can play with the same hunger and through some tough stretches that include a demanding Maui Invitational slate, it could prepare the Wolverines for a push toward a Big Ten championship. ���But if the Wolverines can establish a point guard early on and see Hardaway and Morgan take the necessary steps forward, Michigan could play into the mix for a league title. ������They���ve got to put everything aside and focus, just like they did last February and March,��� Beilein said.��� Lindy���s lists Burke as the No. 66 incoming player in the nation. It calls U-M 2012 commitment Nick Stauskas No. 71 among the ���Top 100 Rising Seniors.��� Athlon Sports On the flip side of the optimism ledger, Athlon doesn���t place the Wolverines in its preseason top 25. It does slip U-M into a No. 7 seed in its projected NCAA Tournament bracket breakdown, so the publication must be expecting some improvement along the way. Michigan is one of six Big Ten squads projected to make the tournament, under the ���two and out��� assessment. Athlon figures U-M for a fourth-place finish in the conference, accompanied by the notation: ���Losing Darius Morris is a blow, but Tim Hardaway Jr. is emerging as a star in Ann Arbor.��� Hardaway turns up at No. 6 nationally among the magazine���s list of ���Scorers,��� and he���s also on the list of honorable mention preseason AllAmericans. Hardaway makes the preseason All-Big Ten second team, while Novak lands on the third unit. The analysis of the Wolverines focuses on Beilein���s challenge in replacing Morris, citing Burke as a strong candidate. It also notes Beilein would like to feature a bigger lineup at times this year, and explore a greater use of the 1-3-1 zone defense that gave opponents fits at times late in the year last season. ���There���s no question the Wolver- ines have the talent to win a game or two in the NCAA Tournament,��� Athlon projects. ���The only concern is whether they can break in a new point guard fast enough to get there. In late November, Michigan could face Duke, Memphis and Kansas at the Maui Invitational. They���ll return to the mainland and travel to Virginia in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge. Early on, we���ll know whether the Wolverines are fighting an uphill battle or if they���ve scored some serious clout with key non-conference wins.��� Lindy's Sports magazine pegged the Wolverines, led by head coach John Beilein and "star in waiting" Tim Hardaway Jr., to be the No. 7 team in the nation. Photo by per kjeldsen In the publication���s recruiting assessment, Burke gets the nod as the No. 94 incoming freshman in the country. Brundidge is No. 98, while big man Max Bielfeldt is tossed into the category of ���The Next 200 Overall,��� without a specific ranking attached. Glenn Robinson III, a 2012 U-M commitment, gets notice at No. 38 in that year���s Top 100. Derrick Walton, a 2013 commitment, makes the No. 57 spot among his class. Sporting News Michigan checks in at No. 19 nationally on this list, the publication taking note of Beilein���s ability to fashion a team concept in a developing program. ���As reckless as it was for point guard Darius Morris to chuck his first-round potential by entering the 2011 NBA Draft, there didn���t seem to be many objections from the Wolverines,��� it noted. ���They believe they can survive without him, that the John Beilein system is effective enough and that there are enough good players to progress. Michigan has no singular player as capable of creating spectacular moments as Morris, but Beilein basketball has always been about making magic collectively.��� That magic should take Michigan to a No. 5 seed in this year���s NCAA Tournament, Sporting News figures. That will come after the projected third-place finish (behind Ohio State and Wisconsin) in the Big Ten. That ranking would have been even higher had Morris opted to stick around. ���Michigan would have been set to contend if point guard Darius Morris had stayed in Ann Arbor,��� the magazine posited. ���The Wolverines will go as far as whoever becomes his replacement takes them.��� On a power rating system topping out at five, U-M scores fours on offense, defense and coaching, along with threes for rebounding and playmaking. Burke is listed as Michigan���s ���Impact Newcomer,��� with the observation that ���He���ll have every chance to replace Darius Morris at starting point guard.��� The 2010-11 campaign is revisited as one of the ���feel-good��� stories of the year in college basketball. The magazine describes Michigan���s two wins over Michigan State as a ���stunning development,��� one that helped propel a squad that had lost its two best players from the previous year into the NCAA Tournament. Much this season depends on how the Wolverines get along without Morris in the lineup, Sporting News declares. ���If Hardaway and Morgan improve their games without Morris, then Michigan will test the best in the Big Ten this year. But if not, the Wolverines will wonder what happened, just as their critics asked that question last winter.��� Robinson is slotted at No. 55 on the magazine���s list of the Top 100 seniors in the nation. ��� November 2011��� ������ the wolverine��� 71

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