What Now With Michigan Basketball?
As you've probably heard by now, a pair of University of Michigan freshmen men's basketball players have decided to remain in the upcoming NBA Draft and forego their final three years of eligibility in Ann Arbor.
I'm talking, of course, about forward Moussa Diabate and guard Caleb Houstan (pictured, #22). Projections are mixed as to where and when they'll be drafted. But they are now officially gone from Ann Arbor.
So where does that leave the Wolverines heading into the 2022-23 season?
WHO'S LEFT EARLY OR GRADUATED
Guard Eli Brooks (graduated), guard DeVante Jones (left for NBA Draft), forward Brandon Johns, Jr. (transferred to Virginia Commonwealth), guard Frankie Collins (transferred to Arizona State), center Jaron Faulds (graduated), forward Adrian Nunez and forward Brandon Wade (both graduated).
BROCK, THAT'S A LOT OF GUYS LEAVING!!!! WHO'S COMING BACK??
Redshirt sophomore center Hunter Dickinson is returning. As is redshirt sophomore forward Terrance Williams, II. They'll be in the starting lineup. Joining them are sophomore guard Kobe Bufkin and redshirt freshmen Ian Burns, Isaiah Barnes, and Will Tschetter. Point guard Jaelin Llewellen is also transferring in from Princeton for his final year of eligibility. And head coach Juwan Howard's older son, Jace (a redshirt sophomore), is back, too. Everybody mentioned here are expected to contribute almost immediately.
WHAT ABOUT THE INCOMING FRESHMEN?
Oh yeah, forgot about them. The Wolverines have four incoming freshmen this fall. They are: Forward Tarris Reed, guard Dug McDaniel, forward Gregg Glenn, and Coach Howard's younger son Jett. Jett is a highly touted small forward who played at the IMG Academy in Florida last season. Wait and see on all of these guys.
WHAT ARE THE EXPECTATIONS?
If Diabate and Houstan would've returned, they would've been very high (Big Ten title and Final Four). But with them gone, not so much.
But with all the early player departures around the conference (too many to mention here), they could still be at or near the top of the league. And another trip to the Sweet 16 is possible. But they would need a good draw and some help to reach the Final Four next April.