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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Michigan Basketball Ranked #18 In Preseason Poll

In the first poll released for the coming college basketball season, the USA Today Coaches' Poll has placed Michigan at #18. This is quite an improvement from last season (Michigan was not ranked in both the AP poll and Coaches poll).

This ranking does warrant some excitement, even though fans should remember the 2009 basketball season when Michigan was ranked #15 in the preseason, but ended up missing the postseason.

However, I think this coming season will be a little different than 2009. Michigan's 2009 team should have been better than it finished, but it had a lot more flaws than the 2011 Michigan team. For instance, much of the '09 team focused on 2 players, while this year's team seems to be much more of a combined and focused team effort. As we all know, the ability to rotate players and involve others, the more likely the team is to be successful.

With the return of 4 starters, and essentially every backup player from Michigan's 2010 team, I find it quite unlikely to endure the same collapse fans experienced in 2009. For instance, only 2 other Big Ten teams are ranked (Ohio State - #3, Wisconsin - #14) and only 2 other Big Ten teams are receiving votes (Michigan State - #28, Purdue - #35). This clearly doesn't mean Michigan will beat all the other Big Ten teams, or even those receiving votes, but it does bode well for the coming season.

So before you start thinking back to 2009 remember that this is a different team with experience, depth, and teamwork that should propel the team to a great season.