Assuming Christopher Comes, How Many Have A Better Roster Than Michigan?

Steve Deace

Way too early preseason college basketball polls are way underrating the Wolverines.

With this college basketball season lost to the SARS-2 coronarvirus, attention is already being turned to the next one. 

CBS Sports has Michigan ranked No. 15. NBC Sports put the Wolverines at No. 22. USA Today listed Michigan at 22nd. ESPN has the Wolverines 19th. 

Are those justifiable assessments? 

Assuming 5-star shooting guard Josh Christopher ends up signing with the Wolverines soon, that would give Michigan three potential 2021 NBA first rounders on its roster for next season-- Christopher, 5-star stretch five Isaiah Todd, and swingman Franz Wagner. 

Are there really 15-21 teams in college basketball with that kind of top line talent? Furthermore, that doesn't even count senior Isaiah Livers, who is expected to test the NBA Draft waters and then return as possibly the best two-way wing player in the Big Ten. Eli Brooks can move over to run the point, where he began his career, and provide some valuable senior leadership as well as perimeter defense and shooting. How many starting fives in college basketball will be better than that? And look at the size that lineup has as well. Brooks would be the only player shorter than 6 feet 4 inches. 

If you're looking for depth, up front you've got Austin Davis and Brandon Johns, who has the athleticism to challenge for a starting spot. Don't count out the potential of Colin Castleton, either. David DeJulius is a known commodity as that third guard off the bench, and Michigan is looking for a grad transfer to compete there as well. And we haven't even gotten to center Hunter Dickinson, a consensus top-50 recruit, or swingman Terrance Williams (a consensus top-100 recruit). 

That is a filthy roster for Juwan Howard's second season. One of the most talented Michigan has had since Howard played here. 

In its detailed analysis, NBC Sports ranks West Virginia, UCLA, Houston, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Texas Tech, Michigan State, Virginia, and Creighton ahead of the Wolverines. But when you look at their rosters by comparison, they don't compare to what Michigan has if Christopher comes. 

This is at least a top 10 roster in college basketball. Now we just have to see how a second-year head coach manages the minutes and versatility. 

Comments (1)
No. 1-1
Over It
Over It

I agree in terms of talent, but Juwan has to prove that he can put all of those pieces together. I'm reminded of MSU when they had Langford, JJJ, Bridges and Winston. On paper, that was the most talented team of the Izzo era, but they could never put it all together until after JJJ and Bridges left. Even very talented freshmen are still just freshmen. This year, Juwan doesn't have the benefit of a 4th year PG starting for him either. It might be a bit of a rocky start to the year.