By GEOFF MEHL, Staff Reporter
The University of Michigan men’s basketball team has started off shaky with a 2-1 record in the early non-conference schedule.
Some of the new faces are already making an impact while the old faces are settling into their new roles. This is part two of the positional breakdown of the men’s basketball roster.
The Wolverines were lucky to roll over a young class of forwards into the 2013-14 season with no impact losses to graduation or the NBA. This is a reason why Michigan is poised to compete, yet again, for a Big Ten title and make a NCAA tournament run.
The most impactful forward for the Wolverines this year has to be sophomore Glenn Robinson III. The 6’6” 220lbs Robinson made a name for himself last season in the NCAA tournament. He has the skills to breakout this year with the ability to rebound and score from everywhere on the court. Last season he averaged 11 points per game and 5 rebounds per game as a freshman and is looking to improve upon those numbers this season.
Redshirt sophomore Max Beilfeldt may also play a larger role than he has in his first two seasons. He played in limited time last season but may see more minutes if Michigan needs help rebounding or size on defense.
The Wolverines also have a lot of developmental players at forward as well. Brad Anlauf and Sean Lonergan are undersized forwards who may not see a lot of playing time this year but will be relied on as depth as the season carries on.
Coach Jon Beilein also has the flexibility to use Caris Levert, Nick Stauskas or Zak Irvin at the small forward position.
Michigan returns an experience group of centers who will play a big part for this year’s team. First is returning starter sophomore Mitch McGary. McGary considered leaving for the NBA after his freshman year when he catapulted to star status in the NCAA tournament. He will now be leaned on as the front court force Michigan will need to compete with the top big men in the Big Ten.
A more experienced center, redshirt junior Jon Horford will also be leaned on for leadership and a bigger role. Horford has fought through injuries in the past but is looking to stay healthy and contribute lots of minutes this season.
The most experienced of all is senior center Jordan Morgan. It seems like Morgan has been on this team forever, which could be a good thing. He is a guy that younger players can look at for leadership and experience in big moments. He also will have a role for this team down the stretch. McGary has been hurt and Horford has a history of injury so Morgan will be looked on as key depth for Michigan.
Beilein has his work ahead of him this year with such a young team. The returning players from last year need to step up and fill the roles left by former stars Tim Hardaway Jr. and Trey Burke. If Beilein can get the most out of his new freshman and experienced youth, then Michigan will have a chance at the Big Ten title and another exciting run in the NCAA tournament.