Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 4/27/15
Caris LeVert For two consecutive years, the Michigan basketball program has been a pipeline for early entry in the NBA Draft. Entering last year, Michigan had lost National Player of the Year Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. Even without those two stars, the Wolverines and John Beilein  had an extremely successful year with an outright Big Ten Championship and Elite 8 appearance. Can they do it again? This past offseason saw Glenn Robinson III, Mitch McGary and Nik Stauskas jump to the NBA. With the loss of these three highly talented players, the graduation of long time center Jordan Morgan and transfer of Jon Horford, a quick rebound to powerhouse status seems unlikely. In the last two years, Michigan has lost their starting five from the National Championship runner up team. The loss of Big 10 player of the year Nik Stauskas is a crushing blow to this already weakened roster. Returning juniors from the national championship berth in 2013, Caris LeVert and Spike Albrecht need to step up and elevate their games alongside returning point guard Derrick Walton. Walton had some bright spots but was inconsistent this past season. Without a senior leader holding this roster together, these three returning guards need to mold the group of highly regarded  incoming freshman to continue the success of Wolverine basketball since Coach Beilein arrived. High hopes and expectations loom around this recruiting class as they have the 25th ranked incoming freshman class. The highest expectations are placed upon Kameron Chatman as well as NBA star Johnny Dawkins’ son, Aubrey Dawkins. Chatman is a 6-foot-7 swing man and a four star recruit with very high hopes. Dawkins is a 6-foot-6 athletic swing guard who can play inside or outside.  Beilein hopes Chapman and Dawkins can come in early and replace the loss of Stauskas and Robinson III. With MSU and OSU in similar positions this upcoming season, the Big 10 is up for grabs, especially with the addition of long time ACC power Maryland. Michigan has represented a formidable force to compete with Ohio State, Michigan State, Wisconsin and Indiana since the arrival of Beilein and firing of Tommy Amaker.  Some believe this incoming freshman class might be able to continue this streak of success as of late. But this may be difficult, because of the lack of leadership coming from Walton and the loss of superstar Stauskas, this roster is lacking in many facets. Without any experienced big men due to the loss of Jordan Morgan and Jon Horford, Michigan could have trouble competing in the tough, brute and low scoring Big 10. With all that said, returning guards Walton, Albrecht, and LeVert combined with high powered freshman Chatman and returning Zak Irvin could mold together to make some real noise once again this season. As always, expectations remain high for the Wolverines, but can the success continue?  The Wolverines should have success for the majority of the upcoming season, except possibly when running in to teams with too much size and strength up front. But the elevation of LeVert and Walton with an extremely talented stretch four in Chatman could make up for lack of size inside. The post Can the Michigan basketball team stay atop the Big 10? appeared first on isportsweb.
PLAYERS: Caris LeVert
TEAMS:
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Kyle Lowry isn't exactly endorsing coach Dwayne Casey

J.R. Smith suspended two games for hitting Jae Crowder

Duke takes over as the No. 1 recruiting class

Kevin Love not expected to be available next series

Titans have reportedly been 'all over' Marcus Mariota

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Browns talked with Redskins about trading up

Doc Rivers tore into Clippers in film room after blowout loss

Jon Jones facing felony charge for leaving scene of crime

Josh Hamilton officially traded back to Rangers

Report: Landing Adrian Peterson too costly for Cardinals

Report: Antonio Brown joins Steelers voluntary work outs

Report: Brady was at stadium day of White House visit

Arkansas has leather belt to commemorate Texas Bowl win

John Angelos, Orioles got it right with Freddie Gray protest

Belichick's girlfriend fine with coach checking out Teigen

V. Stiviano posts birthday message to 'BFF' Donald Sterling

Mark Cuban and the inevitable playoff peril of the Mavs

Wizards made Raptors look bad while remaking themselves

Previewing Game 7 showdown between Islanders and Capitals

WATCH: Rick Carlisle tapes mouth shut so he can't rip refs

NFL Draft 2015: Ranking the quarterbacks

Greg Hardy faces teammate, Cowboys locker room leak

Top 10 storylines for the 2015 NFL Draft

Wolverines News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Duke takes over as the No. 1 recruiting class

Titans have been 'all over' Mariota?

Doc Rivers tore into Clippers after loss

Jon Jones facing felony charge

Worst picks ever by every NFL franchise

Report: Cowboys not in on Peterson

NFL Draft 2015: Ranking the QBs

Top 10 storylines for the 2015 NFL Draft

Paul Pierce trolls Raptors fans

Yes, ESPN2 is airing video games

Darko Milicic is enjoying life

Pitcher throws perfect game, still loses

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.