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November 01, 2011 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2011-11-01

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+ . .






The Daily basketball beat offers its predictions for the conference standings
(in order from first to worst, from left to right)

Michigan basketball is finally on the rise. After a season of defying expecta-
tions, the Wolverines must now live up to them. In his fifth season at the
helm, John Beilein will have to adapt to life without star point guard Darius
Morris. Luckily for him, everyone else returns from a team that nearly beat
Duke in the round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament, and a talented crop of
freshmen will join them. The only question - how big of a leap can Michigan
BEWARE OF BURKE: Luke Pasch tells you why Michigan's
freshman stud will impress; BIGS BULKING UP: The front-
court looks tough after adding muscle this offseason.
4 THE SHADOW OF A NAME: With his father's legacy behind
4 him, Tim Hardaway Jr. is poised to take his game - and
Michigan basketball - to the next level.
6 BIG TEN PREVIEW: We break down every Big Ten team and
* weigh in on what the conference standings will look like by
year's end.
Center spread design by Helen Lieblich and Arjun Mahanti
Cover photo by Marissa McClain

Daily Basketball Beat
Ben Estes, Luke Pasch,
Neal Rothschild, Daniel Wasserman
No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Year Hometown
0 Zack Novak G 6-4 210 Sr. Chesterton, Ind.
1 Stu Douglass G 6-3 190 Sr. Carmel, Ind.
2 Carlton Brundidge G 6-2 200 Fr. Southfield, Mich.
3 Trey Burke G 6-1 175 Fr. Columbus, Ohio
5 Eso Akunne G 6-3 220 Jr. Ann Arbor, Mich.
10 Tim Hardaway, Jr. G 6-5 185 So. Miami, Fla.
13 Matt Vogrich G 6-4 190 Jr. Lake Forest, ll.
15 Jon Horford F 6-9 250 So. Grand Ledge, Mich.
20 Josh Bartelstein G 6-2 205 Jr. Highland Park, Ill.
22 Blake McLimans F 6-10 240 Jr. Hamburg, N.Y.
23 Evan Smotrycz F 6-9 235 So. Reading, Mass.
24 Sai Tummala F 6-7 200 Fr. Phoenix, Ariz.
32 Corey Person G 6-3 200 Sr. Kalamazoo, Mich.
44 Max Bielfeldt F 6-8 240 Fr. Peoria, Ill.
45 Colton Christian F 6-6 215 So. Bellevue, Wash.
52 Jordan Morgan F 6-8 240 RS So. Detroit, Mich.

After three years of
ineptitude, Indiana will
no longer be an easy win
thanks to the arrival of
6-foot-11 forward Cody
Zeller - ESPN.com's 14th-
ranked incoming freshman.
In fact, if Zeller lives up
to the hype, the Hoosiers
have a chance to equal, or
even exceed, the eight con-
ference wins head coach
Tom Crean has in his three
seasons at Indiana. But a
shadow was cast on the off-
season when the Hoosiers
lost junior guard Maurice
Creek to a season-ending
injury. Creek, a double-digit
scorer, has now missed at
least half of three straight
seasons due to injuries. Still
recovering from the mess
left by former coach Kel-
vin Sampson, Crean finally
enters a season with experi-
ence. After last year's roster
featured just one senior, this
year's team has five seniors
and four juniors, which
should make playing against
Crean's vaunted defense
increasingly difficult.
Bottom line: Another
bad season will turn the
shade of Crean's chair from
crimson to red-hot.

. ' L/ 6/ /L /S

r i

Northwestern missed its
chance to reach the NCAA
Tournament last year. The
program had never made a
trip to March Madness, but
there was promise with then-
senior point guard Michael
"Juice" Thompson break-
ing school records. After a
quick start in . conference
play, though, the Wildcats
fell flat down the stretch and
finished with a losing record
against league opponents for
the 43rd consecutive season.
Senior forward John Shurna,
who shot an impressive 43
percent from 3-point range
last season, is expected to
fill the leadership void left
by Thompson's departure.
And regardless of his success
or failure in that regard, he
will inevitably draw national
attention for his awkward
shooting form. For now, head
coach Bill Carmody is dealing
with question marks at point
guard, which doesn't bode
well for a team that runs the
Princeton offense.
Quote: "I think that good
things are on the horizon. Or
near horizon. Is there such a
thing as near horizon? I don't
know, help me out." - Bill

The tough part is over for
Fran McCaffery. The sec-
ond-year Iowa coach won't
have to worry about instill-
ing a new offensive system,
or about getting his players
used to a new coaching staff,
the typical growing pains
when a new coach takes over
a team. The Hawkeyes strug-
gled to a 10th-place finish in
the conference, though they
did upset Michigan State
and Purdue. The challenge
this season is to take a step
forward. Melsahn Basabe
will be a big part of that. The
forward surprised the Big
Ten as a freshman, showing
great athleticism. The back-
court should be solid with
the return of point guard
Bryce Cartwright and run-
ning mate Matt .Gatens. The
main issue right now is depth
- Andrew Brommer and
Devyn Marble both won't be
able to start the season on
time. But the program is on
the rise, recruiting is improv-
ing, and the fans are starting
to get on board.
Bottom Line: For the first
time in a while, the basket-
ball team might actually be
better than the football team
if things fall into place.

The Daily basketball
writers do their best
to predict what will
happen in the world of
college basketball this
Ben Luke Neal Daniel
Estes Pasch Rothschild Wasserman
Michigan regularseason record 23-8 21-10 23-8 22-9
BigTen Champion Ohio State Wisconsin hi State Ohio State
BigTen second place Michigan Ohio State Wisconsin - Wisconsin
BigTen third place Wisconsin Michigan Purdue higan
Big Ten Tournament champ Ohio State Ohio State Wisconsin Ohio State
.Big nM.PJred Sullinger, Ohio State Sulling dn Taylor, WNisconsin Sulinger .
BigTen CoachoftheYear John Beilein, Michigan Bo Ryan, Wisconsin Ryan Thud Matta, Ohio State
BigTen s priseteam Minnesota Iowa Indiana Indiana
Michigan MVP Tim Hardaway Jr Hardaway Jr Hardaway Jr. Hardaway Jr.
National Player of the Year Sullinger Harrison Barnes, North Carolina Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut Sullinger
National Freshman oftthe yea Austin Rivers, Duke Anthony Davis, Kentucky Rivers Davis
Michigan's season ends here NCAA Elite 8 NCAA Sweet Sixteen NCAA Sweet Sixteen NCAA Elite 8
NCAA "Bracket Buster" Belmont Harvard Long Beach State Richmond
NCAA Final Four North Carolina North Carolina Florida North Carolina
Vanderbilt Kentucky North Carolina Duke
Ohio State Arizona Wisconsin Ohio State
Connecticut Baylor Baylor Syracuse
25 Tipoff - November 1, 2011

It's hard to imagine the It'll be especially difficult
Illini as non-factors in the for a program that hasn't
Big Ten, but that's what made the NCAA Tourna-
they could be if they don't ment since 1998 to join a
find someone who can put league that sent seven teams
the ball in the basket. Illi- to the big dance last year.
nois lost its top three scor- The upside for Doc Sadler's
ers from last season and Cornhuskers is experience.
doesn't have a lot of options There's lots of it on this ros-
for players who can pick up ter, and the conference as a
the slack. Guards Brandon whole is relatively inexperi-
Paul and D.J. Richardson enced. Expect junior center
have shown flashes of abil- Jorge Brian Diaz to impress.
ity, but not the type that The guy can bang under-
can carry a team. Sopho- neath, drain the midrange
more 7-foot-1 center Mey- jumper, and Sadler - in his
ers Leonard will be the perfected Southern drawl
Illini's go-to guy in the - says Diaz is in the best
post, but he hardly saw the shape of his career. With
court as a freshman. Lead- him, the frontcourt will be
ership will also be hard to defensively sound as well.
find on the young Illinois Nebraska's weakness will
roster. The only senior is be the backcourt. The ros-
point guard Sam Manis- ter features a couple solid
calco, who transferred from combo guards, but lacks the
Bradley last year, using the leadership of a true point
rule that allows a player to guard. And sometimes,
transfer, provided he has you're only as good as your
already graduated and will point man (see: Minnesota).
be in a graduate program Quote: "When every-
not offered at the previous thing is said and done, these
school. guys are going to have had
Bottom Line: Bruce the opportunity to play in
Weber's voice could get some of the greatest are-
even raspier if the Illini nas in college basketball.
can't find a true leader this There's so much history in
season. this league." - Doc Sadler

After reaching the NCAA
Tournament for the first
time in 10 years last sea-
son, Penn State's basketball
program must be on the
upswing, right? Well, when
you take into account that
the NittanyLions lost every-
thing from last year, the
future at Penn State looks
dreadful. Big Ten teams
will rejoice knowing that
guard Talor Battle - the
program's best ever player
- is gone, along with three
other senior starters, leav-
ing the Nittany Lions with
less than 23% of last year's
scoring. To make matters
worse, coach Ed Dechellis
left Penn State for Navy in
a move that had even mid-
major coaches scratch-
ing their heads. Enter Pat
Chambers, who arrives
after a two-year stint as
Boston University's head
coach. With little talent and
even less experience - Penn
State has just one senior
and 11 underclassman - the
Nittany Lions are likely the
conference's worst team.
Bottom Line: Penn State
should beat Slippery Rock in
its opener. That may be it.

TheMichiganDaily - www.michigandaily.com 175

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