Going into thick of big 10


#1

What do you guys see for this team? What’s the ceiling? Your predictions? I’m a " homer" I suppose but much like last year I think thIs team could be pretty damn good.

Ucla and Texas wins are looking better. Ohio st and Lsu were huge collapses where I thought we were clearly better. Vcu was a decent win. We beat down Indiana pretty good too. I think we have a pretty good resume. I also think we’re a top 25 team.

Let’s hope we can be consistent. I think we need to find a way to get Poole 15-25 min a game, we need his offense in my opinion. For once our offevse might be the thing that hurts us.

I’m predicting we finish in the top 4 in the big ten. I think we got it in us, although I think a lot of big ten teams will be much better than their early season results. Being 2-0 right now would have been nice. I think we could pull off another sweet sixteen run. Second round at least. If everything falls into place though , then who knows. Lots of solid talent just need some consistency.


#2

I have been saying all year that I thought we would finish top 5 in the conference and that would be good enough to make the tournament. Still think so.


#3

I was talking with a knowledgable MSU fan and he thought we were likely to end up in about 4th place. Fourth sounds about right to me if I was forced to guess.


#4

I can’t see us beating Msu out. All the other teams I think we can beat though if we play well. I’m banking on some more inconsistencies out of this roster and some trouble scoring at times so I think we finish about 4th. If you asked me to change rosters with any other big ten team outside of msu I’d say no though.

You can make the argument Purdue is better for sure but in terms of potential I think our ceiling is higher. Northwestern , Iowa, abd Maryland too. All those teams might be better at times but none of them have our potential imo. I think Mathews and Wagner might be the best duo in the league. If they can find consistency in scoring particularly Charles then this teams upside is enormous.

Best defensive team I can think of for sure. Teske, Poole,z and livers could round into a pretty damn good bench. I’m much higher on z than most on here, although I think he converted some folks lately and I certainly think he’s a tough matchup for most back up guards.

I always thought he showed flashes of being able to get buckets. You saw it once or twice a game late last year. He gets into the lane pretty easily. I still think he could be a menace on the fast break too. Would Winston have been better and should we have waited on him? For beileins system probably but z is closing the gap imo and his intangibles and defense are a nice change of pace. Plus you combine him with Eli and you get an interesting dynamic. Best of both worlds. I see them being a great tandem for the next 3 years. Also makes me wonder how dejulius gets in.

Hell even in the unc blow out we hung tight for the first 17 minutes. The missed Duncan lay up to take the lead changed everything. Should be intersting to watch this play out. I couod see inconsistency plaguing us or this team gelling and is going on a huge sleeper run. Let’s hope it’s the latter.

And finally it just keeps you so excited for next year. A completely stacked roster with tons of versatility and options.


#5

I agree.

UM looks like an 11-7 or 12-6 B1G caliber team to me. And off what should be a 10-2 non-conference slate (with 3 wins away from home), it would be a good enough resume to make the NCAAs.

MSU & Purdue should have dominant conference teams. And there should be a slew of teams around .500. So I guess 12-6 could be good for 3rd in the Conference or 11-7 might be good enough for 4th.


#6

If we do come in fourth place; and If Wagner and Matthews stay; and, if Izzo fails to keep his star players out of the NBA draft.; then, In my mind the stage will be set for us to be preseason favorites to win the big ten next year. The key phrase is “in my mind” because I suspect most media sources will pick MSU as the preseason favorites next year even if Bridges and Jackson go to the NBA. MSU will almost certainly underachieve next year and Izzo will be forced to again refer to his top 100 freshman and sophomores as a bunch of “weird guys”.

Fourth place or better would be good for a sort of rebuilding year…


#7

You don’t think we have a chance at beating MSU even if we play well? Seems somewhat harsh. They’re playing incredibly well, yes, but as time goes on their schedule looks worse and worse. Their Duke loss still had Bagley out for a half, Notre Dame is barely top 25 on kempom and they’re falling, and UNC didn’t have Cam Johnson for that game. MSU is certainly a top team this year, but I think we absolutely have a chance.


#8

11-7 seems like a good baseline to me. It’s about where the numbers say we should wind up and it’s probably where we need to be to feel safe based on the big ten being down. While we saw last season to wait until the end to make final judgments, we have a couple pretty big swing games in the first 3 in January - @Iowa and vs PU. We need to win at least one of those to keep on track for an 11-7 type record and both would be nice in other ways – the former to improve the road record and the latter to get a high level top-25 win (for which we have limited remaining chances).


#9

MSU has the clear advantage over Mich in the front court. Mich will have to hit shots early and often. I feel three point shots will be available. Charles Matthews is going to have to make Bridges work on defense and guard play will be pivotal. I feel Zavier can give their guards fits with his defense. With the exception of Nairns MSU’s guards defense is suspect. To me the only thing to keep it from being at least interesting is Mich’s ability to handle stage fright at the Brezlin.


#10

Even if Bridges and Jackson leave, they’ll still have Ward, Winston and Langford as upperclassmen. That’s a very good trio IMo. I don’t know what their depth will look like though because they have a lot of upperclassmen in the front court IIRC. Solid class coming in though


#11

Re: MSU, I think our best chances come from two areas:
(1) TOs - they turn the ball over (237th in the country) and we get TOs (37th)
(2) We’re significantly better about getting up 3s and preventing 3s than they are. So if we have even a pretty good day shooting, that could be an advantage.

Then there are two wildcards:
(1) can we keep them off the offensive boards
(2) can Wagner have a big game. Ward doesn’t want to chase Wagner out to the 3 line and Mo could also get Ward in foul trouble - but the reverse could happen too.

MSU is a very good team (2nd in barttovik and kenpom) that will be fired up. UM will have to be tough and weather the storm. It could be the kind of game, though, where if we can hang around, the pressure late could shift to them. Still, barttovik gives MSU an 87% chance at the victory, and I think we have to assume for now it’s a likely loss.


#12

Any team is vulnerable to an opponent getting hot from three point land. We certainly have the shooters to do that.


#13

I think they lose Schilling, Narin and Carter to graduation (maybe others). Ward could leave early, also. They have an excellent class coming in and will be a top B1G team next year.


#14

If Ward gets any interest regarding first round I think he bounces. He reminds me of a Randolph type of player where he will be a better pro.


#15

I’m just not seeing how we match up with sparty and think it could be ugly especially at their place only (thanks Delany). I think we’ll challenge everyone else and could really make some hay. Can’t wait to get the buckeyes back in Feb.


#16

I think we have a good shot at 3rd place in the B1G - the missed opportunity in Columbus may end up being costly, though. To take 3rd place, we definitely want to win at least 7 more at home and 3 or 4 on the road.

We’ll know a lot more by the middle of January - if we manage to knock off Purdue at Crisler and then come back home and beat Maryland after the presumed loss in East Lansing, we will have the look of a contender. If we dig ourselves an early hole, on the other hand, then that season-ending road trip to PSU and Maryland will probably see us fall down into another multi-way tie for 4th place.


#17

It’s refreshing to hear the majority of the board is pretty optimistic about our B1G finish, and I agree with most that 4th place sounds about right if I had to predict.

That said, I don’t think it’s far from believable that we may finish anywhere from 5th - 8th in the league. I know the league is down, but behind Purdue and MSU, the next group of OSU, Minnesota, Northwestern, Penn State, Maryland are all coin-flip type games and I wouldn’t be surprised to see any of those teams get hot and knock us off. 4th place is absolutely possible, but that would be a pretty remarkable performance for a team in somewhat of a transition year after losing Walton, Irvin and Wilson. The 3 years where Walton/Irvin were the go-tos we never finished higher than 5th in the league.

My guess is we finish anywhere from 4th-6th, but more importantly set up for a big year next season where we may be projected top 2 in the conference


#18

To echo consensus, I see 11-7, 4th in the league.

To go on a little tangent - I don’t see what the hype surrounding Minnesota was, they’re just another pretty good, but not really good team. I think their quality is closer to last year’s overall record than thinking the club that won ten straight is who they really are.


#19

I think we can beat them in a game. I meant overall conference finish though. Honestly I really like our players, I think we can be very good but I’m not sold we will be consistent enough to finish first or second in the big ten. I certainly think the talent is there to do so but I can’t see us consistently being on top of our game all conference play.

In any one game I give us a chance against almost anyone if we play well. I think this team has shown signs of being a sleeper just like last year. Like I said only one team took us to the cleaners and that was just a half really. We’re definitely being overlooked though. As fans we have seen that two of our three losses were blown games so we know that this team was very close to only have one loss ( or two, depending on what would have happened versus notre dame).

I’m praying beilein intends to play Poole some more along side Mathews. His offensive spark is needed. I just think it’s important to get teske and him 15 -20 min. Somehow someway. Wagner at the 4 couod work in certain big ten matchups I believe. Should be a fun year and then next year we will all be hyped. I’m sure.


#20

I really like ward as well. I’m not totally sold on the 4 man who is a low post scorer days are totally over. I think people like that can still be useful if you build the roster corrextly and use their strengths. Like okafor for instance. I still believe jahlil could be very good in the NBA but you have to give him the touches. He’s a weak defender and rebounds yes but he could be such a tough guard in the post with that footwork and lots of teams playing undersized. You gotta feed him though and let him work.