2014-15 Season Predictions

We’ve seen some preseason prognostications from journalists and some predictions from this UMHoops community. MattD made a point in another thread that because of our fanaticism, we can’t be objective or realistic about our expectations for our team. I think that’s hard to argue. That, as a group, we tend to have higher hopes, etc. in our team, even if every individual truly believes they are being completely reasonable and objective (which isn’t the case either). On the other hand, people like us generally know a lot more about our team (I would hope) than the national writers who do many of these polls.

So what I’d like to do is poll everyone who wishes to respond and compare it to the predictions of the national media (and at the end of the day, compare both to postseason results). In fact, I’ve already been collecting data from posters in this Forum and also on the Blog side of UMHoops and from the following national publications: informal B1G writers’ poll, Blue Ribbon, Athlon, Lindy’s, Sporting News (are there any more currently? I know more will come so if you see one, feel free to link it).

Personally, I sometimes have a hard time even predicting, with all the unknowns, let alone publicizing my predictions. But I think it’s a fun exercise. (If other fan-bases would do it, we could actually find out which fan-base is most objective and/or knowledgeable.) Without further ado, please predict any or all of the following (feel free to use ranges if that’s what you feel comfortable with):

Data point - My Prediction
B1G Ranking - 3
B1G wins - 12
National Ranking - 22
Overall Wins - 24 (includes postseason - please specify)
Tournament Seed - 6

Finally, please try to refrain from responding to others’ predictions, or at least criticizing, but feel free to provide justification for yours (in may help educate others). I’d like to gather as much data as possible and would like to avoid this thread being closed.

B1G Ranking - 4
B1G Wins - 10
National Ranking - Unranked (35-40 area)
Overall Wins - 22 (Second round of B1G tournament and round of 32 in NCAA tournament)
Tournament Seed - 8

B1G Ranking - 2-4
B1G Wins - 12
National Ranking - 20-25 (if they win both games in NYC, maybe a pop to 10-13, especially if it’s over Nova instead of VCU)
Overall Wins - 25 - We only lose 4 non-conference games (Arizona, one of the games in NYC, maybe Syracuse, and a random other game/the other NYC game). 2 wins in B1G tourney (with a bye), 3 wins in NCAAs
Tournament Seed - 6/7 (if we can get the win over Arizona or if we beat a team in NYC and they blow up, that could definitely bump the seed up to 4/5)

I wanted to and write something ridiculous like Undeafeated, National Champs, but GC was so sincere and I like the exercise so I didn’t want to ruin it two comments in.

This is fun.
B1G Ranking - 3
B1G Wins - 11
National Ranking - 18
Overall Wins - 25 (including BTT and NCAA)
Tournament Seed - 6

Great post Geoff, I agree it is a fun exercise, especially with football’s fortunes.

B1G Ranking - 6
B1G Wins - 10-11
National Ranking - Unranked -24,25
Overall Wins - 19-20

This is such an interesting year to me. We have the “fan base expectations” that this massive roster turnover is somehow going to make us immune to a drop off. I am a contrarian, believing that this years team is very vulnerable. Seven scholarship players that have never played a second of D1 ball, the most inexperienced front line in the country, a horrible perimeter defense that somehow touts Irvin as a stopper ( huh? ), and an inevitable drop off in offensive efficiency compared to last season. I already know the narrative of those who disagree with me ( and that’s fine ) but we will not be #1 in Ken Poms OE this year, no way. Add in the loss of Morgan’s leadership and experience, and our front court looks overmatched by its youth and inexperience. That will be exposed noticeably and repeatedly. Just see a lot of growing pains that will take awhile to iron out. We do “seemingly” have an advantageous B1G schedule, but who knows how that will play out? Too many variables for me to forecast an obligatory continuation of the last few years, we’re gonna need some luck to succeed. I see us as a borderline tourney squad, with all hopes that my fears are unfounded. Go Blue!!

B1G Ranking - 5
B1G wins - 10
National Ranking - 22-40
Overall Wins - 22 (includes postseason)
Tournament Seed - 7

B1G Ranking - 4
B1G Wins - 11
National Ranking - 20-30
Overall Wins - 25 (1 BTT, 2 NCAA)
Tournament Seed - 7

I’m on the optimistic side I guess.

Agree, chezaroo, a very interesting year, with a lot of unknowns.

B1G Ranking: 3rd
B1G Wins: 12

National Ranking: 16th
Overall Wins: 26 (includes all post-season)
NCAA Seed: 4

Sweet 16 appearance

Let’s look at last year vs. this year

Point guard-This is the area where I think we can expect really notable improvement from last year. Walton was fine in 2013-14, but if he shows anything like the same degree of improvement in his sophomore year that guys like Burke and Morris did, he could one of the top two or three point guards in the Big Ten. Albrecht was probably closer to his ceiling last year than Walton, but he’s a very solid backup, and will have another year of experience under his belt.

Shooting guard-Last year we had LeVert and Stauskas, with Irvin coming off the bench. LeVert may not quite improve to Stauskas’ level this year, though he may very well be a first team BT player and POY candidate. Irvin in his turn may not quite improve to the level that Levert was at last year (and may actually play some at the 4), but he looks poised for significant improvement. Off the bench, we’ll have Dawkins and MAAR, both of whom seem to have potential to contribute, based on early returns from Italy, though it may be too much to expect them to do quite as much as Irvin did last year. Overall, at the big guard positions, a slight, but not significant dropoff from last year seems like a reasonable expectation. Nevertheless, looking at the backcourt as a whole, if we get the kind of improvement that I think we can reasonably expect from Walton, LeVert and Irvin, this could potentially be one of the best, if not the best, starting backcourts in the Big Ten.

SF/Wing-This was mainly Robinson last year. Just to make things easier, let’s assume that this will mainly be Chatman this year, though depending on how things shake out, we might see him doing some duty as a SG, with Irvin more at a 4. Chatman probably won’t match Robinson’s 12 ppg from last year, though maybe his 4 Rb. Being a lefty, he will open up aspects of the offense that Robinson couldn’t, and he will almost certainly be more effective as an outside shooter and passer. Probably some overall dropoff here, but not huge.

Bigs-For the BT season, this was basically Morgan and Horford, who averaged about 12 ppg and 10 rpg at the 5. I don’t think there’s any reason to think that a combination of Doyle, Donnal and Wilson can’t match that this year. Even as a freshman, Morgan averaged 9/5 in 24 mpg, and I think that any of the guys we have now could replace Horford’s contribution. Experience obviously drops way off, and this group will probably be more foul-prone, but they will also be more versatile on offense. As far as defense, it may not be reasonable to expect too much, but our interior D was pretty soft last year too, and we at least have a decent shot blocker this year. In the end, we’re replacing two role players, so I think expecting overall statistical performance similar to last year is not a stretch. Maybe a little better, maybe a little less, but not hugely different.

Overall, it’s hard not to see some offensive dropoff from last year, but we should still have a very good to excellent backcourt, and that will keep us in a lot of games. Last year we had four of our main guys shooting 43% or better on 3 pointers in conference play, which is astounding, and probably will not be matched, but our four leaders in the backcourt all have more experience. The frontcourt is clearly a work in progress, but with the potential to be very solid by the end of the season. The two keys are how much Walton improves, and how quickly our bigs come along.

BT Rank: 3-4
BT wins:11-12
Overall RS wins 20-21
Ranking: 22-25
Tournament seed 5-6

I think some of you are overanalyzing things with regards to this years team… from a talent and coaching standpoint I don’t expect much of a dropoff. As good as Stauskas was last year, just as we saw with Burke and Hardaway the year before NOBODY is IRREPLACEABLE OR UNTOUCHABLE. I also don’t think it’s unrealistic that one of LeVert, Walton, or Irvin takes the leap we saw Burke and Stauskas take the past 2 years… in fact I think it’s likely.
1 thru 5
Starting lineup

  1. Walton(consensus Top 35 talent)
  2. Levert(1st round pick, with a chance to be a lottery pick with a great year)
  3. Irvin( consensus Top 25 talent, 5 star on pretty much every site)
  4. Chatman(Top 30 talent on every site borderline McDonalds all american)
  5. Doyle/Donnal( Donnal top 100 player on multiple sites, Doyle a top 150 guy)

6. Spike(Proven capable backup, sounds like he has improved over the summer as well)
7. Doyle/Donnal(See above)
8. Rakhman(Comes in older and more mature for his class, reports have been very positive on him)
9. Dawkins(Same as Rakhman older and more mature for his class, reports have been very positive on him)
10. Wilson(Wildcard, been hampered by injuries this summer but he has alot of talent… whatever he contributes only makes this team deeper)
11. Biefeldt(Been in the program, provides depth and leadership)

Based on talent and coaching
BIG Ranking: 1-3
BT Wins: Whatever amount of wins that gets them a top 3 finish
National Ranking: Don’t care
NCAA Seed: 1-4
Ncaa Tournament: The tournament is a crap shoot as we all know, but this team has Final Four potential. Guard play is soo critical as we have seen and I don’t see many trio’s better then Walton, LeVert, and Irvin in college basketball this season.

I completely agree with Michiganbasketball90. Our presumptive starting 5 is very strong from recruiting\potential standpoint.

Our “big 3” (and Spike) have some big game experience that will prove vital. What Derrick was able to do at Neb., at Ohio St., and at Mich St last year was nothing short of miraculous (No reason not to expect more of the same at the most opportune times). Caris will be tremendous and Zak will be a big time PTP’r (sorry, had to throw in the DickyV). Mix in the others, coach them all up and we have ourselves a team!

I say 11-12 B1G wins.
Semi-finals in B1G tourney.
3-4 seed to Sweet16
Final ranking will be in top 12.

Go Blue!

Probably being overly optimistic, but I have high expectations for this team. Can’t wait for the season to start.

B1G Ranking - 2
B1G wins - 13
National Ranking - 12
Tournament Seed - 3 to the Final Four

Because it’s for science, my guesses:
B1G Ranking - 3 (confidence range 1-6) (note: Michigan doesn’t have to go to Wiscy, Neb, Iowa or Minny, which is a pretty good draw on single plays)
B1G wins - 13 (confidence range 11-15)
National Ranking (at end of regular season?) - 15 (confidence range 8-22)
Overall Wins - 27 (confidence range 22-30)
Tournament Seed - 4 (confidence range 2-7)

B1G Ranking - tied for third
B1G Wins - 11
National ranking pre-tourney - 22
Seeding - 6
Overall wins - 23 including postseason
Sweet 16 appearance and a loss at that stage.

It’s going to very tough for other teams to stop LeVert, Walton, and Irvin. I just think we are going to struggle on the road with so much youth in the front court. I see potential road wins @ PSU, Rutgers, and Maryland ( not buying the hype on the terps ). The other road games worry me. The only home games that concern me are Cuse and Wisconsin.