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Thursday September 18, 2014
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Hoops Forecast

 

continued

Once again, the U-M will be tangling in the best conference. But the prospects are reasonable, at least. McGary was one of the best centers in the country by the end of last season. For a big man, he has an uncanny ability to see the court. And though Hardaway will be missed, his absence allows GR3 to slide down from power forward to what many feel is his more natural position at small forward; few teams will have a defender who can check his inside and outside games. Plus, Glenn gives Michigan the flexibility to go large or small. Beilein now has a lot of size and a lot of different directions to go.

Caris LeVert, who grew to six-foot-six in the offseason, will see primary minutes at all of the perimeter positions, and, in the early going, he has proven to have a rounded game. He's backed up by frosh Zak Irvin, the best high school player in Indiana last year. Nik Stauskus is Michigan's primary two guard. Already a shooter with handling and passing skills, the Canadian has worked on getting more consistent in taking the ball to the hole and becoming a stronger and a better defender. If he can do all that, there may not be any better shooting guard in the country.

But college ball is a point guard's game, and Spike Albrecht is not quite as dynamic a playmaker as Burke and Darius Morris were, nor as comfortable generating his own shot. Also unclear is how fast freshman Derrick Walton can progress, particularly on defense and organizing the team in the half court. It appears Walton will get the first chance to run the team, and he is quick and good. But he isn't what Burke was last year.

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