Hey, Michigan basketball is back.
The Big House Report and its wonderful contributing staff have decided to cover the entire 2014-2015 men’s basketball schedule this season! We hope you choose to follow along as we will go in depth with season matchups, key players and moments, and hot takes from November through March (and hopefully April).
To get things rolling, the TBHR cast has produced a Season Preview Roundtable, where we will each give regular season predictions, key wins and losses, and calculate how the season will play out for the Wolverines come spring.
Von Lozon (@VonLozon09)
This season of Michigan Basketball will be one of the most interesting of recent memory. With key departures in Mitch McGary, Glenn Robinson III and Nik Stauskas, who will be the one to step up for the Wolverines and lead them to the tournament? All these questions will be answered relatively early in the season. Guys like Zak Irvin and Derrick Walton Jr. will have to be huge role guys to lead the Wolverines to another tournament run. This is a young team but I believe they will be one of the best in not only the Big Ten but also the entire nation.
Regular Season Record Prediction: 24-6 (13-5)
Key Wins: vs. Syracuse, @ Michigan State, vs. Michigan State, vs. Ohio State
Key Losses: @ Arizona, vs. Minnesota, @ OSU, vs. Wisconsin, @ Indiana, @ Illinois
I believe they will finish second in the Big Ten right behind Wisconsin, who will be a top five team all year long. Michigan is a young team that has potential to be a team like Wisconsin in a few years.
As for the tournament, I could see them going to the Sweet 16 but nowhere further. The talent across the country is incredible this season, with guys like Jahlil Okafor at Duke and Stanley Johnson at Arizona. The tournament is always up for grabs and although it isn’t impossible or out of reach for Michigan to make a run, I just don’t see it happening this year. Prove me wrong, Wolverines.
Tyler Fenwick (@Ty_Fenwick)
The full swing of basketball season can’t get here soon enough. I have lofty expectations for this year’s team, and I honestly believe it’s incredibly justified, given the way John Beilein is able to get the very most from his players, no matter their age or experience.
After watching the exhibition game against Wayne State and the opener against Hillsdale, I think it’s fair to say there is a lot of young talent on this team, and it looks like the offseason work has turned them into a very cohesive unit. The flow of the game has been almost flawless, which is the kind of thing we’ve grown to expect from Michigan basketball in recent years.
Regular Season Record Prediction: 23-7 (14-4).
Key Wins: vs. Syracuse, @ Ohio State, vs. Wisconsin, @ Indiana, vs. Michigan State
Key Losses: @ Purdue, vs. Minnesota, @ Michigan State
I think 14-4 is going to be good enough to win the Big Ten regular season, but I’m going to turn things down in the Big Ten Tournament. In the Big Dance, I’ve learned to not count this team out. Is a national title in the picture? Who knows. I’m going to predict an Elite 8 appearance.
Derek Devine (@TheDerekDevine)
First off, thank goodness basketball is here. I will forever love the Big House and everything about Michigan football, but I am absolutely craving a change of pace. Michigan basketball will provide that for me. Secondly, I am simply eager to witness another year of John Beilein and his coaching staff’s offseason work pay off. Recent history shows his ability to develop role players into stars, and this season could host much of the same.
Squad 99 may be young, but they ooze of potential and could be one of the most exciting teams to watch in the entire nation. They have already formed a brotherhood, and it will show week to week on the court. Caris LeVert may be the focal point, but I can almost guarantee we see more distribution than we have the last couple of years.
Regular Season Record Prediction: 23-7 (13-5)
Key Wins: vs. Syracuse, @ Ohio State, vs. Wisconsin, vs. Michigan State
Key Losses: @ Arizona, @Purdue, vs. Nebraska, @ Michigan State
Finishing conference play 13-5 should land the Wolverines a solid second place in the Big Ten. Wisconsin will be the team to beat, and even though I like Michigan to win the matchup at home, I do not think Wisconsin will lose more than three conference games overall. If Michigan is as hot as I expect them to be late in the year, expect to see them playing March 15th in the Big Ten Tournament.
As for the big dance… Well, let me just say they will be there. We can talk about the outcome at a later date.
Hunter Firestone (@HFirestone11)
I believe that Squad 99 will have a decent season this year. The team is very young, and with less experience comes growing pains. But I believe that Beilein will coach this team to a very solid season.
Regular Season Record Prediction: 23-8 (14-4)
Key Wins: vs. Ohio State, vs. Michigan State, possibly vs. Wisconsin
With the Big Ten being top-heavy with some very good teams, I don’t think Michigan can win the regular season title. I do however think that this team can make a huge impact when the Big Dance comes around. They have the potential to go into the tournament as a possible eighth seed. The fact that Michigan has to play in a tough Big Ten this year will only help them when it comes tournament time. This Michigan team could make it as far as the Elite 8 again, and maybe even the Final Four. Only time can tell how Squad 99 will do this season.