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Michigan Men’s Basketball Preview

Michigan Wolverines

 2018-2019 Overall Rank: #21

Conference Rank: #2 Big Ten

 

Once again Coach John Beilein led Michigan to a deep NCAA Tournament run. The Wolverines made it to the national championship game without playing any team higher than a six seed. Still it was a great run and this group will hope to continue that momentum. That will be relatively tough though with three starters gone. Mortiz Wagner is gone after leading the way with 14.6 points and 7.1 rebounds. Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman was third on the team with 12.9 points, while Duncan Robinson added 9.2 points per game. Those three were also the most prolific three-point shooters on a team that wants to shoot a lot of long balls.

 

2017-18 Record: 33-8, 13-5

2017-18 Postseason: NCAA

Coach: John Beilein

Coach Record: 248-143 at Michigan, 541-318 overall

 

Key Departed Players:

Moritz Wagner, Forward, 14.6 ppg

Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, Guard, 12.9 ppg

Duncan Robinson, Guard/Forward, 9.2 ppg

Ibi Watson, Guard/Forward, 2.2 ppg

 

Key Returning Players:

Charles Matthews, Senior, Guard, 13.0 ppg

Zavier Simpson, Junior, Guard, 7.3 ppg

Jordan Poole, Sophomore, Guard, 6.0 ppg

Isaiah Livers, Sophomore, Forward, 3.4 ppg

Jon Teske, Junior, Center, 3.4 ppg

Eli Brooks, Sophomore, Guard, 1.8 ppg

 

Key New Players:

Ignas Brazdeikis, Freshman, Forward

Colin Castleton, Freshman, Forward

David DeJulius, Freshman, Guard

Brandon Johns Jr, Freshman, Forward

Adrien Nunez, Freshman, Guard

Jaron Faulds, Sophomore, Forward, Transfer from Columbia, not eligible

 

Projection:

Charles Matthews and Zavier Simpson are the only returning starters. Matthews is a versatile scorer who is at his best using his 6-6 frame to attack the basket. Simpson is the point guard of the team and dished out 3.7 assists per game. He can do some scoring too, but is also a superb defender. Sophomore Jordan Poole made some big shots in the NCAA Tournament and will now be asked to be more consistent. Jon Teske will have to step in for Wagner after learning behind him last season. The 7-1 junior is a fine defender, but will now be expected to boost his 3.4 points per game total. Isaiah Livers will provide an option, but Coach Beilein will need some of his freshmen to add depth in the frontcourt. Brandon Johns, Ignas Brazdeikis and Colin Castleton are all more than capable of earning quality minutes right away. This is a relatively young team and there will likely be some growing pains. But Coach Beilein has been down this road before and always remains competitive in the Big Ten.

 

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

 

By the Numbers:

Scoring Offense: 73.6 (176th in nation, 8th in conference)

Scoring Defense: 63.3 (8, 1)

Field-Goal Percentage: 46.8 (64, 6)

Field-Goal Defense: 42.6 (91, 8)

Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.8 (75, 2)

Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.7 (137, 6)

Free-Throw Percentage: 66.1 (323, 12)

Rebound Margin: 0.3 (186, 10)

Assists Per Game: 14.3 (122, 6)

Turnovers Per Game: 9.3 (2, 1)

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