By: Doug Karsch
With the news late last week that Michigan freshman Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary were returning for their sophomore season, Michigan coach John Beilein can start working on his line-up combinations for next season.
The Wolverines have an opportunity to create match-up problems for opponents AND help those freshman prepare for life at the next level.
Both McGary and Robinson were playing out of position their freshman seasons. McGary was playing primarily at the center spot. Robinson played big minutes at power forward. Both players are projected to play different positions at the next level: McGary the power forward, Robinson the small forward. Rest assured John Beilein will do his players right by using them in those roles. Plus Beilein has the personnel to make this a win-win.
Rumors ran-rampant that 5th year senior, Jordan Morgan, would take advantage of a rule that would allow him to transfer without sitting out a season and pursue his graduate degree elsewhere. With the emergence of McGary, Morgan saw his minutes decline in the NCAA tournament. Eventually, Morgan found a role coming off the bench.
Morgan needs to work on his hands, and finishing around the basket. And don’t count out Jon Horford who contributed as a redshirt/sophomore, but never really seemed comfortable coming off an injury.
I expect Beilein to start Morgan or Horford at the 5, McGary at the 4, Robinson at the 3, true freshman Zach Irvin could compete with Caris LeVert to start at the two guard and Spike Albrecht and true freshman Derrick Walton at the point guard.
With the departures at Indiana and Ohio State — and Michigan State still awaiting word on Adreian Payne, this Wolverine line-up has every chance to compete for the Big Ten crown again next year.