Michigan basketball has had something of a topsy-turvy offseason this year. With numerous transfers out (star center Hunter Dickinson and forward Gregg Glenn III), in (guard Nimari Burnett and forwards Olivier Nkamhoua and Tray Jackson), and lost (Caleb Love committed but was not admitted, same with Papa Kante), even with just the main cast of characters, it’s been interesting. And that’s not even mentioning players who had Michigan interest in the transfer portal who ended up elsewhere.
That said, there’s still a lot to like about the current Wolverines roster. And 247Sports thinks it has a beat on who could be the most interesting five to be on the floor at the same time.
247Sports put together a list of the most interesting lineups for each Big Ten team, and in the section for the maize and blue, Isaac Trotter thinks it would be the most fun to see a guard-heavy lineup in Ann Arbor.
1. Doug McDaniel
2. Jaelin Llewellyn
3. Nimari Burnett
4. Olivier Nkamhoua
5. Tarris Reed Jr.
Why this lineup is fun: Michigan ran a ball screen on 19% of its possessions last year, which was the most of any Big Ten team, according to Synergy. It was the most of the Juan Howard era. Doug McDaniel (204 ball screens), Kobe Bufkin (157 ball screens) and Jett Howard (83 ball screens) earned heavy runs. Juwan Howard has been very willing to play multiple point guards together during his tenure, and he may have to lean on it with McDaniel and Llewellyn in 2023-24. It helps when both Reed and Nkamhoua can be really good pick-and-roll partners for Michigan’s lead guards. This roster needs more proven shooting, and it lacks an alpha on the wing, but Michigan’s roster-construction decisions hint at a lot of two-point-guard lineups and a ton of pick-and-rolls next winter.
There’s one obvious omission here: Terrance Williams. While there are some others who are likely to play key roles (Will Tschetter, Youssef Khayat), Williams is entering his senior year and likely second year as a starter. He regressed mightily in 2022-23, but if he was able to fulfill the promise of his potential, that would bode very well for the maize and blue moving forward.
Either way, after three years of Hunter Dickinson being the focal point for the Wolverines, what we see on the floor in Juwan Howard’s fifth year will be quite interesting, because even before Dickinson joined the team in 2020, Howard at least had a quintessential big man in Jon Teske. Tarris Reed is big, but he’s more of a forward than a true center.
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Story originally appeared on Wolverines Wire