With Glenn Robinson III and Nik Stauskas among the four members of the Michigan rotation having moved on following a season in which the Wolverines won the Big Ten regular season title and reached the Elite Eight, a summer trip to Italy comes as just the right time. Head coach John Beilein and his assistants will be able to evaluate the returnees and newcomers in game action, with the program leaving the States on August 15.
“This is an unfortunate injury for D.J.,” Beilein said in the release. “However, we have the best training and medical staff here at U-M, so we know he is in good hands. We anticipate a speedy recovery so D.J. will be back and at 100 percent when we start our September workouts.”
With Robinson, Jordan Morgan and Jon Horford (graduate transfer to Florida) all having moved on, the play of the front court is something many will keep track of while the Wolverines are in Italy. Heading into the 2014-15 season Michigan has just one upperclassman in its front court and that’s senior Max Bielfeldt, who played just 4.7 minutes per game (19 appearances) last season.
Wilson is expected to compete for playing time alongside the likes of redshirt freshman Mark Donnal and classmates Ricky Doyle and Kameron Chatman (who’s listed as a guard/forward by the school). It goes without saying that the opportunity to see Wilson in game action would have been a positive for Beilein and his staff, but the good news is that they expect him to be ready for workouts ahead of the start of practice.
The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.
This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.
The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.
Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.
Jeter, the 6-foot-10, played in a reserve role as a freshman, averaging 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. He will be part of a loaded frontline that includes heralded freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, as well as redshirt senior Amile Jefferson, who returns to the lineup following a foot injury.