It might be asking too much for the Michigan Wolverines to duplicate or improve on what they did last season when they were 31-8 and lost in the NCAA national championship game. Now that Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway have departed for the pros, it will be next to impossible for them to be that good — but not totally impossible.
The 2013-14 Wolverines do have some talent to be a top-three team in the Big Ten and a Sweet 16 squad in the tournament. A solid recruiting class could help make Michigan fans forget about Burke. For now, Nick Stauskas has proven he can get the job done at guard, considering he’s coming off a season where he averaged 11.0 points per game.
Eventually, Derrick Walton Jr. is expected to be the team’s point guard while Mr. Basketball from Indiana, Zakarie Irvin, is also slated to get plenty of playing time. Coach John Beilein realizes it will take awhile for those two standouts to emerge as capable Big Ten players. But with a solid month of November and December, they could be ready to make the Wolverines one of the league’s most dangerous teams.
The frontcourt could be powerful for Michigan if sophomore forward Glen Robinson III scores more points and gets more boards, although he didn’t too badly last season, considering he was at 11 points and 5.4 rebounds a game. If he can turn himself into a dominant player, the Wolverines will be in excellent shape.
Forwards Jordan Morgan, a senior, and Mitch McGary, a sophomore, are also expected to play key roles in the frontcourt. The Wolverines will finish third in the league, be runners-up in the Big 10 tournament and make it to the Sweet 16.
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