ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The University of Michigan men’s basketball team will begin the 2012-13 ranked fifth following the release of the preseason ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll today (Wednesday, Oct. 17). It marks the third time in the last four seasons the Wolverines were named to a preseason top 25 ranking.

Along with the Maize and Blue at No. 5, its highest ranking since the 1993-94* season, fellow conference member Indiana is ranked as the nation’s preseason No. 1, while No. 2 Louisville, defending national champion and No. 3 Kentucky, and No. 4 Ohio State round out the top five. A total of five Big Ten teams are ranked in the preseason’s top 25, with Michigan State coming in at No. 14 and Wisconsin at No. 21. The preseason AP poll is expected to be released Oct. 26th.

Last season, U-M finished with a 24-10 overall record and a 13-5 Big Ten, giving the Wolverines a share of their first conference title since 1986. The 24 wins marked the third 20-plus win season and the most wins in the five-year John Beilein era. U-M closed the season with its second straight trip to the NCAA Tournament, earning the No. 4 seed — the program’s highest since 1988.

This season, the Wolverines will be led by a pair of guard in sophomore Trey Burke (Columbus, Ohio/Northland HS) and junior Tim Hardaway Jr. (Miami, Fla./Palmetto Senior HS). Burke, who was U-M’s first All-American since 1998, was the Big Ten’s Co-Freshman of the Year. He averaged 14.8 points and 4.6 assists per game. Burke’s 156 assists broke the freshman single-season record previously held by Gary Grant (1986). Hardaway was an All-Big Ten second team member and closed last season averaging 14.6 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. He needs just 20 points to become the 46th member of U-M 1,000-point club.

The Wolverines begin the 2012-13 season with a pair of exhibition contests at the newly renovated Crisler Center. U-M takes on Northern Michigan on Thursday, Nov. 1, followed with a Monday, Nov. 5, game against Saginaw Valley State. Both exhibition games are scheduled to tip at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast via All-Access and

ESPN/USA Today Coaches Preseason Poll
Oct. 17, 2012

1. Indiana (21) 761
2. Louisville (5) 738
3. Kentucky (5) 718
4. Ohio State 617
6. N.C. State 581
7. Kansas 563
8. Duke 516
9. Syracuse 502
10. Florida 422
11. Arizona 411
12. North Carolina 401
13. UCLA 396
14. Michigan State 391
15. Creighton 325
16. Memphis 307
17. Missouri 289
18. Baylor 266
19. UNLV 203
20. San Diego State 196
21. Wisconsin 191
22. Gonzaga 166
23. Notre Dame 122
24. Florida State 61
Texas 61

Others receiving votes: Saint Louis 58; Virginia Commonwealth 40; Cincinnati 33; Murray State 30; Kansas State 13; Saint Mary’s 11; New Mexico 10; Tennessee 10; Minnesota 9; Pittsburgh 9; Marquette 8; Stanford 7; Butler 6; Oklahoma State 6; Colorado State 4; Middle Tennessee 3; Drexel 2; Georgia 2; Miami (Fla.) 2; St. Joseph’s 2; Marshall 1.


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