Freshman Impact: Michigan

Wolverines need new PG, other freshmen to play big roles right away

Updated: May 21, 2013, 11:32 AM ET
By Seth Greenberg and Reggie Rankin | ESPN Insider

Zak Irvin, ESPN's No. 22 overall player in the 2013 class, figures to play a big role for Michigan next season. Kelly KlineZak Irvin, ESPN's No. 22 overall player in the 2013 class, is expected to contribute immediately.

For the "Freshman Impact" series, Insider's college basketball and recruiting experts will be teaming up to examine how 15 of the nation's best recruiting classes will fit in with their teams in the 2013-14 season.

Today, Seth Greenberg and Reggie Rankin look at the Michigan Wolverines. For links to the rest of the articles, click here.


Seth: Michigan is a very intriguing team for next season. As significant a loss as Trey Burke is, the return of Mitch McGary, Glenn Robinson III and Nik Stauskas gives the Wolverines as good a foundation as any team in the Big Ten outside of Michigan State.

They've got winning experience, an elite frontcourt guy in McGary and two very good wings in Robinson and Stauskas. The big question for me this season is whether, without Burke, the Wolverines can score easy baskets. Is Derrick Walton, their true freshman point guard, going to be able to give them the burst and energy they need to get easy shot opportunities and make plays in transition?

Reggie: I agree completely, Seth. The biggest key for this team will be how it responds to the loss of Burke. The point guard position is the most important in college basketball, and how well Walton performs and how quickly he learns the system will ultimately determine how successful the Wolverines are this season.

I know Spike Albrecht is coming back, and he'll be a very solid contributor for them this season, but Walton is really talented. If Walton doesn't turn over the ball, I think he'll be the starter. As good a player as Albrecht is, he'll have to play some really athletic point guards in the Big Ten who could make things very difficult for him on the defensive end.

Reggie Rankin

College Basketball Recruiting