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Wednesday, May 8, 2013
WolverineNation mailbag

By Michael Rothstein

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Replacements and leadership are topics which come up during every offseason for every sport.

We'll examine those topics in this week’s WolverineNation Mailbag, featuring your questions. Have questions for next week? Send them to @chanteljennings on Twitter or at

Now, on to this week’s queries.

M2go4blue from The Den asks: How well can we expect Michigan basketball to continue the success from the last two years, with the lack of upperclassman leadership this coming season? From last year, five seniors and a three-year starter in Tim Hardaway Jr. are gone. That's a lot of leadership missing.

Mitch McGary
Mitch McGary (4) and Jordan Morgan (52) will have to take on leadership roles in 2013-14.
That is a legitimate question and one I’ve wondered myself, but not for the reasons you are suggesting. The one guy you left out of that list was Trey Burke, the national Player of the Year and point guard. No matter what anyone else might say, it was Burke’s team last season and that void will be missed. Look to Jordan Morgan as the guy who will end up having to step up, either by choice or default. You could see it more from Mitch McGary as well, especially because he seems to have that leadership gene handed down from Zack Novak before him. Those are the two places to start. After that, Michigan will have to kind of see how it plays out. Those sorts of things make a difference, though -- an example being the 2009-10 Michigan basketball team, which had talent but a major leadership void -- if there are bumps next season. Something to keep an eye on.

SEnferadi37 from The Den asks: Mike, what is your opinion on the playoff system as a whole, the rotation of the bowl games (including its effect on the other BCS games), and how the teams should be selected?

I like it, mostly because I’ve always been a believer that you should make the decision of who is the best team on the field and that’s what this does. I think, for now, four teams also makes sense as schools figure out the transition and work out the kinks in the entire system, although it would not surprise me at all to eventually see this bumped up to eight or more, much like the playoff system on the lower levels of college football. Also, I agree teams should be picked through a selection committee, since that is how it is done in almost every other college sport -- and is done similarly in basketball. Often, three of the four teams will have likely sorted themselves into the playoff regardless of selection committee, anyway. As for the rotation of bowl games, I really have no opinion. Do what you think is best because the bowl games aren’t going anywhere.

@JCurrey2 from Twitter asks: Which WR will be replacing Roy Roundtree's snaps?

As far as actual touches during games, you’ll see Jeremy Gallon and Devin Funchess likely get targeted more, especially early in the season as the rest of the receivers are figuring out playing on the major college level. A combination of Amara Darboh, Jehu Chesson and Drew Dileo will likely be the rotation of guys who see time opposite Gallon at receiver and, eventually, the majority of snaps and targets that once went to Roundtree. But Gallon and Funchess will be the two main pass-catchers in the fall.