When Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary announce they will return to Michigan next season, as CBS Sports’ Jeff Goodman has reported they will today, it will mean Michigan will be just as young next season and may be just as explosive.
Both Robinson and McGary projected as potential lottery picks in the NBA Draft this season. After impressive freshman campaigns and a run to the national championship game, nobody was sure whether or not they would make the jump to the next level.
When AP Player of the Year and Wooden Award winner Trey Burke announced he would be heading to the NBA last week, few were surprised. He will be a top-10 pick and proved and achieved everything he could possible do at the collegiate level with Michigan. When Tim Hardaway Jr. announced he too would enter then NBA Draft, it was not surprising either, as his stock has likely hit its peak this season.
But Robinson and McGary were both wild cards. Would they capitalize on big freshman seasons and throw their hat into the ring for the June draft or return for their sophomore seasons? Nobody really knew.
Now that they will both be returning, we can finally look at next year for Michigan.
I can already tell you that next year will be exciting. McGary and Robinson will join fellow sophomore Nik Stauskas in the starting lineup, just as the three did this year. Those three are certain starters for next year, but where will everyone else fall?
Fellow sophomores next year, Spike Albrecht and Caris Levert, will have increased roles. Levert will take the biggest leap of any player in my opinion, as he has so much raw potential in him. Although Albrecht was a major storyline out of the national championship game, I don’t think he will make the move to the starting lineup with Burke gone.
The starting point guard will likely be true freshman Derrick Walton. Walton is a point guard from Detroit and Rivals has him ranked as the eighth-best at his position in the country and No. 37 overall for the 2013 class. Walton told M-Live, “The coaches always told me to watch Trey, watch the point guard position, because that’s where I’d be playing”.
The final piece in the starting lineup will likely be fellow freshman, Zakarie Irvin, a five-star small forward who Rivals placed at No. 24 in the country. The 6-foot-6 star is from Indiana, a gold mine for Michigan recently and the home of McGary, Robinson, Albrecht and further back, Stu Douglass and Zack Novak.
So, as the way things sit here in April, Michigan’s 2013-14 starting lineup projects as: Walton, Stauskas, Irvin, Robinson and McGary. Two freshmen and three sophomores will take the court for the Wolverines, a year after three freshmen, a sophomore and a junior did so.
Will next year’s team have as much success as this year’s team? Who knows. But they will have just as much youth.