UM basketball underrated but will rise, analyst says

The Detroit News
Caris LeVert

Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports says Michigan is the underrated team in the Big Ten that could emerge as a top-10 program next season.

"John Beilein's team is a bit of an afterthought heading into next season," Rothstein says. "It won't stay that way for long."

The Wolverines were 16-16 last season and did not make the NCAA Tournament or the NIT. In the various early preseason rankings for 2015-16, Michigan is near the bottom of the top 25 or not ranked at all.

The return of Caris LeVert and Derrick Walton Jr. -- limited to 18 and 19 games, respectively, last season due to injuries -- should help the Wolverines exceed preseason expectations.

Rothstein: "Walton, LeVert, Spike Albrecht, and Zak Irvin give this team a savvy and experienced perimeter while both Aubrey Dawkins and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman got valuable minutes last season as freshman.

"Ricky Doyle, D.J. Wilson, and Mark Donnal should stabilize the post, and if the Wolverines can get more out of the stretch four position they should be loaded for bear."