The Wolverine

November 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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52 THE WOLVERINE NOVEMBER 2018 TOP FIVE PLAYERS ON U-M'S SCHEDULE 1. Purdue junior point guard Carsen Edwards He could very well enter the season as the Big Ten's Preseason Player of the Year, after averaging 18.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game last season, en route to National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) second-team All-America honors and the Jerry West Award given to the nation's top shooting guard. The 6-1 guard tallied 14.6 points per game in three outings against the Wol- verines last year and flirted with jumping early to the NBA before ultimately de- ciding to return to West Lafayette. 2018-19 BASKETBALL PREVIEW THREE BEST BACKCOURTS ON U-M'S SCHEDULE 1. North Carolina The Tar Heels' backcourt will feature a blend of both experience and youth, with five-star freshman Coby White replacing Joel Berry as the team's point guard and senior Kenny Williams (11.4 points per game last year) serving as the two guard. There is almost no proven depth behind those two, though. 2. Villanova The defending national champions lose star point guard Jalen Brunson, guard Donte DiVincenzo and wing Mikal Bridges — a trio of top-33 NBA Draft picks — but return fifth-year senior shooting guard Phil Booth (10.0 points per game). Five-star freshman Jah- von Quinerly will step in to replace Brunson as the team's point guard, and Albany graduate transfer Joe Cremo is a proven commodity (17.8 points per game). 3. Michigan State Junior point guard Cassius Winston (12.6 points and 6.9 assists per game) is the clear leader of the club in 2018-19, but will need senior Matt McQuaid (6.0 points per game) and junior Josh Langford (11.7 points per game) to step into spotlight roles. The latter showed flashes of doing so last season with nine games of 17 points or more, but lacked consistency. Lindy's dubbed the Spartan backcourt No. 5 nationally. — Austin Fox THREE BEST FRONTCOURTS ON U-M'S SCHEDULE 1. North Carolina Senior center Luke Maye (16.9 points and 10.1 rebounds per game last year) was a finalist for the Karl Malone (top power forward) and John R. Wooden (National Player of the Year) Awards last season, while fifth-year senior and 6-8 power forward Cameron Johnson (12.4 points per game) is mismatch nightmare who can play on the perimeter. Maye's presence is what makes the unit so dangerous, but Johnson's three-point shooting ability (he hit 47 of them last year) is an element most teams don't have from their four man. Lindy's listed the Tar Heels with the No. 4 frontcourt in the land and has high hopes for freshman forward Nassir Little, who the publication listed as the No. 44 player in the land. 2. Indiana Senior forward Juwan Morgan averaged 16.5 points and 7.4 re- bounds per game last season and has developed into one of the best big men in the conference during his three years in Bloom- ington. The frontcourt will receive a huge boost with the return of junior center De'Ron Davis from injury, who played in just 15 games and averaged 9.6 points last season before missing the rest of the campaign with a leg injury. 3. Maryland The Terrapin frontcourt will be incredibly young in 2018-19, but im- mensely talented. Sophomore center Bruno Fernando (10.3 points and 6.5 rebounds per game last year) will lead the charge, and will be aided by the arrival of five-star power forward freshman Jalen Smith, along with the return of 6-9 senior Ivan Bender from injury. — Austin Fox 2. North Carolina senior center Luke Maye He was named a third-team All-American by four outlets after averaging 16.9 points and 10.1 boards per game in 2017-18, becoming just the sixth Tar Heel in the last 40 years to average a double-double. The 6-8, 230-pounder posted 27 points in the Nov. 29 vic- tory against the Wolverines, though U-M junior center Jon Teske should be better equipped to handle him when the Tar Heels come to Ann Arbor Nov. 28. Lindy's ranked him as the nation's top player, just ahead of No. 2 Edwards. 3. Wisconsin fifth-year senior center Ethan Happ The 6-10, 237-pounder has been named to the first- team All-Big Ten squad the last two years, and checked in fourth in the league last season in both points and rebounds, with 17.9 and 8.0, respectively. He posted 29 points in the lone matchup against U-M in 2017-18, but will square off with the Wolverines twice (Jan. 19 and Feb. 9) this time around. 4. Maryland junior point guard Anthony Cowan The do-it-all guard led Maryland in both points (15.8) and assists (5.1) last year, and also racked up 4.4 boards per game, despite his 6-0 stature. He averaged 20.5 points and 6.0 assists in two contests against the Maize and Blue last season, including a 24-point show- ing on Jan. 15 in Ann Arbor. 5. Indiana freshman shooting guard Romeo Langford The five-star freshman was rated as the No. 6 player in the country out of high school and is expected to make an immediate impact in the Hoosiers' backcourt. At 6-6, 215, Langford should turn into one of the most dangerous scoring threats in the Big Ten. — Austin Fox PHOTO COURTESY GOLDANDBLACK.COM

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