With the start of basketball practice less than a month away, preseason preview magazines have started to leak out across the country. They haven’t necessarily been favorable to a Michigan team which returns last year’s starters.
Lindy’s Sports preview magazine picked the Wolverines to finish seventh in the Big Ten this season.
The magazine bluntly questions Michigan’s ability to improve defensively.
“Who’ll get better on defense so opponents don’t shoot 51 percent on 2-pointers again?”
Lindy’s also quotes John Beilein on what this team needs to do to improve.
“Our upperclassmen have to just realize that what happed last year cannot happen again,” Beilein told Lindy’s. “We’re going to be better than we were last year and the only way we can be better is if we’re better defensively.”
Here are some other Michigan and Big Ten notes from the magazine.
- Derrick Walton is projected as a second-team All-Big Ten performer with Zak Irvin earning a mention on the third team.
- Walton is also named as the 15th best point guard in the country while Irvin is ranked as the 17th best small forward.
- The magazine notes Xavier Simpson as the “best shooter/scorer” in the freshman class, but also gives Cassius Winston a “slight edge” over Simpson as the best playmaker in the class.
- Lindy’s ranks the top 40 teams nationally and six Big Ten teams made the cut. Wisconsin is No. 6, Michigan State is No. 11, Purdue is No. 12, Ohio State is No. 29, Maryland is No. 37 and Indiana is No. 38.
- The publication predicts the order of finish in the Big Ten as follows: Wisconsin, Michigan State, Purdue, Ohio State, Maryland, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Northwestern, Iowa, Penn State, Nebraska, Minnesota and Rutgers.
- The magazine projects Wisconsin to make the Elite Eight with Michigan exiting the tournament in the first round.
- The Big Ten is ranked as the third best conference in the country behind the ACC and Pac 12.