Michigan Basketball Starting Lineup Prediction
2016-17 was a very surprising year for Michigan Basketball as they won the Big Ten Tournament. They beat down teams like MSU, Purdue, Wisconsin, and even Louisville. Led by Derrick Walton Jr. and Zak Irvin, the Wolverines made it to the Sweet 16 before losing to Oregon. However, Walton, Irvin, and Wilson are all gone, so it is now time to fill out a new starting lineup for the 2017 squad.
John Beilein does a great job of recruiting, (better than many Michigan fans give him credit for) and did so again for the upcoming season. In this article you will see the predicted starting five for the 2017-18 Michigan Wolverines.
Xavier Simpson seems to be the favorite for the starting PG position. A kid from Ohio who was quiet his freshman year, has a ton of potential. Trey Burke was the same way coming into college. However, Simpson didn’t get much time on the court due to Walton being the starter.
Learning from Derrick was important for Xavier. His shot has improved and he can also dish the ball. Ohio transfer Jaaron Simmons also will look to make a push for the starting job. He averaged 16 PPG last season with the Ohio Bobcats and declared for the NBA Draft before deciding to come back and pursue a grad transfer to Michigan.
Even with Simmons making a push for the starting job, still look for Simpson to be the starting Point Guard for the Maize & Blue this season.
Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman has become a very reliable player for the Wolverines, and coming into his senior year, he should start. MAAR has solidified himself as a great shooter, passer, and rim attacker. He averaged 9.1 PPG and had 75 total assists last season. MAAR also shot 76.5% from the charity strike.
So look for Rahkman to be one of the senior leaders this year as he starts for Michigan in 2017.
A name that many people don’t know yet, but will is Charles Matthews. Coming out of the state of Illinois, Matthews was the #2 ranked player, and #42 ranked player in the country in 2015. Matthews began his career at Kentucky, but transferred to UofM.
Charles had to sit out due to NCAA eligibility rules. He is a 6’6″ stud who can shoot the ball and attack the basket. He averaged 21.3 PPG his senior year of HS. There is not much to say about his college career, but look for it to jump start quickly as he begins his career in Ann Arbor.
Duncan Robinson, who is back for his fifth year, looks to continue his success with the club ever since transferring to Michigan. Robinson is a sharpshooter from deep, and reminds many of Nik Stauskus who was lethal for UofM. He was not a starter last year so points were never a huge factor for Duncan.
However, when he was in the game it was meaningful minutes. He averaged 42.4% from 3pt land, and 7.7 PPG. Many think Duncan may be a lock to start for Michigan, however he will be challenged by incoming freshman Isaiah Livers. Livers is the reigning Mr. Basketball for the state of Michigan and has incredible upside. If he comes in and has a good fall, he could start. With the loss of Irvin and Wilson, I still look for the 6’8″ forward Duncan Robinson to start for Michigan in 2017.
And finally, the man everybody thought was entering the draft, Moe Wagner rounds out the starting lineup for Michigan. This is going to be his squad. Moe has shown he can lead the team, and good thing he returned, because those are tough shoes to fill. Wagner is entering his junior year, averaging 12.1 PPG, 4.2 RPG last season.
During the tourney he averaged 13.0 PPG, which shows Moe can step up when it matters. With much improvement from 2015 to 2016 look for Moe to be even more lethal in 2017. Not many centers can drive to the rim and take step back three’s like Moe. So look for another stellar season from Michigan’s big man.
Featured Image: mgoblue.com
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