Annual college basketball preview magazines have started to hit newsstands and provide an early look at national expectations for the 2017-18 Wolverines.
Both Athlon Sports and Lindy’s project Michigan to finish fifth in the conference and both have Michigan State, Minnesota, Purdue and Northwestern as the four teams ahead of the Wolverines in some order. Neither magazine picked the Wolverines as a top-25 team in the preseason.
Here are some assorted Michigan and Big Ten notes from each magazine:
- Athlon predicts the Big Ten standings as follows: Michigan State, Minnesota, Purdue, Northwestern, Michigan, Wisconsin, Maryland, Iowa, Indiana, Penn State, Illinois, Ohio State, Nebraska and Rutgers.
- Lindy’s is higher on Northwestern and lower on Indiana with this projected order of finish: Michigan State, Northwestern, Minnesota, Purdue, Michigan, Maryland, Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio State, Penn State, Illinois, Indiana, Rutgers and Nebraska.
- Athlon has Moritz Wagner tagged as an All-Big Ten first team player while Lindy’s places him on the second team with Jaaron Simmons on the third.
- Lindy’s All-Big Ten first team includes: Nate Mason, Bryant McIntosh, Miles Bridges, Vincent Edwards and Ethan Happ.
- Athlon projects eight Big Ten teams to make the NCAA tournament field: Michigan State, Minnesota, Purdue, Northwestern, Michigan, Wisconsin, Maryland and Iowa.
- Lindy’s projects seven Big Ten teams to make the NCAA tournament field, all of Athlon’s picks except for Iowa.
- Several of Michigan’s non-conference opponents are in Lindy’s top-40 including North Carolina (12), UCLA (24) and Texas (32). Potential future Maui opponents Notre Dame (13) and Wichita State (3) are also in the top-40.
- Athlon ranked the top 100 players nationally and Moritz Wagner was the only Wolverine to make the list (37). Michigan State (Bridges, 1; Ward, 39), Purdue (Edwards, 36; Edwards 98) and Minnesota (Mason 57; Coffey, 85) had two players on the list.
- No Big Ten freshmen made the cut for Athlon’s “15 most impactful freshmen” list.
- Two Wolverines cracked Lindy’s top 25 players by position lists: Moritz Wagner (23, power forward) and Jaaron Simmons (21, point guard).