The Big 10 Basketball schedule has been released for the 2012-13 season. The Michigan Wolverines officially have their conference roadmap in place. How the new look roster will handle it will be the storyline all season long.
Gone are leaders and best Stu Douglass and Zack Novak to graduation. To measure their contributions via statistics alone, which weren’t too shabby, would be folly. These two have moved on to start their professional careers overseas, leaving behind a talented, yet largely untested group.
The return of Trey Burke was monumental for this program. Had he cut and run for the NBA this team would have been in scramble mode. As it is, with Burke still in the mix, he likely becomes the default leader of this team.
Still on campus and ready to increase their contributions are big men Jordan Morgan, Blake McLimans and Jon Horford, as well as swing man Matt Vogrich. With the transfers of Evan Smotrycz, Colton Christian, and Carlton Brundidge, Michigan needed to shore up their firepower and depth and they did that with an outstanding recruiting class.
Blue chippers Tre Robinson, Mitch McGary, and Nik Stauskas will see lots of playing time. They will be joined by point guard Spike Albrecht and Caris LeVert to help round out the roster.
And as usual, Michigan will be getting all kinds of leadership out of senior reserve Josh Bartelstein.
John Beilein’s team will negotiate a treacherous Big 10 slate. But let’s be honest, that’s why these players come to Michigan – for this very chance to play against, and be amongst, the elite.
Michigan’s 18-game Big 10 season tips off on January 3rd on the road against Northwestern. Their first home game in the burgeoning Crisler Center will be against Iowa on January 6th.
The gauntlet portion of the schedule commences on February 2nd with a roadie in Bloomington against the surging Hoosiers. Michigan follows that up with a home date against the Buckeyes and then hits the road for back-to-back dates at the Kohl Center and Breslin, two of the most hostile environments the Big 10 has to offer.
For a team that went an impressive 13-5 in Big 10 play last year, this is the stretch that will test them the most. They do get 8 Big 10 games prior to that run to help get them fully prepped.
Michigan will only see Wisconsin (road), Minnesota (road), Nebraska (home) and Iowa (home) one time each. They’ll get 2 cracks at everyone else, including most of the Big 10’s best, save Wisconsin.
Look for a starting lineup for most of the season that looks something like this:
PG – Trey Burke
SG – Tim Hardaway, Jr.
SF – Tre Robinson
PF – Mitch McGary
C – Jordan Morgan
Jon Horford could certainly get his fair share of starts and it wouldn’t surprise me if Matt Vogrich cracked the starting lineup a time or two throughout the season either.
The last time Michigan had a freshman class of this stature traversing the campus was probably in the Maceo Baston era. With the infusion of talent and confidence that this team has added, there is simply no limit to where they can go.
|January 3||@ Northwestern|
|January 13||@ Ohio State|
|January 17||@ Minnesota|
|January 27||@ Illinois|
|February 2||@ Indiana|
|February 5||Ohio State|
|February 9||@ Wisconsin|
|February 12||@ Michigan State|
|February 17||Penn State|
|February 27||@ Penn State|
|March 2 or 3||Michigan State|
|March 6||@ Purdue|
|March 14-17||Big Ten Tournament|