Head nod over to J.B. Bauer over at the “GopherHole” for a really good break down of each team in the Big Ten. I think too many previews are making too big of an issue with losing Darius Morris… now look it does hurt a lot but if you look around the Big Ten and many teams (outside of Ohio) have lost a lot of talent as well.
Another, point that I like is the small mention of Jon Horford. He had a freshman season that was weaker than I expected. I know he has a lot of talent and I have a funny feeling he will have a break out season. I think he could be a dark horse player that will be stepping up and helping with the production we have lost.
Of course as everyone that has been following this team knows this season will go as far as Hardaway and Burke take them. I expect production wise for Hardaway to make the same kind of jump that Morris did from Freshman to Sophomore season. I believe Burke is a stud, it just comes down to whether he can shake those Freshman mistakes early on. He has a real chance to do that before we get into the tougher part of the Big Ten schedule. Consider Michigan opens 4 of their first 5 Big Ten games against Penn St, Minny, Hoosiers and NW. They do have to play Wisconsin in there but they at least get them at home. The schedule is prime for Burke to work out the Freshman kinks of his game when you add a mediocre non-conference schedule, with that fact I don’t see why Michigan can’t at least be the 3rd best team in the conference (behind Ohio & Wis). And set up for an interesting run in the NCAAs.
Lastly, a lot of folks are speaking about a Sparty bounce back season… honestly I don’t know what the hell they are looking at because I really don’t see a reason to believe that. It’s the same pundits that had Sparty making a run last season in the NCAAs after such a horrible season. Don’t get me wrong, I think Sparty will be a solid team and of course make the tourney but don’t expect a run out of them at all.
If you want to check out the GopherHole preview of Michigan Click Here