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Posted on Thu, Apr 12, 2012 : 11:39 a.m.

With Trey Burke back, ESPN slots Michigan basketball at No. 5 in its 2012-13 preseason Top 25

By Nick Baumgardner

Let the hype begin.

Three days after announcing the return of freshman point guard Trey Burke and one day after adding a fourth member to its 2012 recruiting class, the Michigan basketball program received a lofty, and early, preseason national ranking Thursday. released its updated "way-too-early Top 25," and Michigan sits at No. 5 on the list.

"After flirting with the NBA, Trey Burke decided to remain in Ann Arbor," ESPN's Andy Katz wrote. "That's huge for the Wolverines, who would've had a serious void at the point without the invaluable Burke.

"He will join Tim Hardaway Jr., and a loaded freshman class that includes ESPNU 100 recruits Mitch McGary, Glenn Robinson Jr. and Nik Stauskas. This team is loaded, and as long as the newcomers blend in, there's no reason to believe Michigan can't compete at the highest level in both the Big Ten and nationally."

The Wolverines received a high spot on ESPN's early list, but they're still behind Big Ten cohort Indiana, which Katz projects as the No. 1 team in the country next season.

ESPN ranks Ohio State at No. 8 and Michigan State at No. 10, giving the Big Ten four top 10 teams.

Wisconsin (No. 22) and Minnesota (No. 24) also made ESPN's early rankings.

Nick Baumgardner covers Michigan basketball for He can be reached at 734-623-2514, by email at and followed on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.

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Sun, Apr 22, 2012 : 7:32 p.m.

I see that San Diego State is ranked #16. Is that because Brady Hoke used to coach there? The chance of Michigan being a better basketball team than MSU in 2012-13 is has been the case for 20 years. Where's the threat? Bring back Tommy Amaker. He was a much better coach.


Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 1:53 p.m.

I agree that naming pre-season favorites is nothing more than a parlor game but it does stoke the fires of discussion during the off season and the favorable view of Michigan will not hurt any further recruiting efforts. Prospects may be drawn to a team that is expected to do very well next year.


Fri, Apr 13, 2012 : 2:13 p.m.

Well the 5 rating is a touch high, but these days the rankings are more about incoming recruits then existing players. Hardaway is the big question mark here. In my opinion, which is much more qualified to talk about hockey, he needs to eliminate the 3 from his game and drive, drive and drive some more! When he does that he opens so much up on the inside and outside because he draws double teams consistantly. He also needs to stop the moping around and the temper tantrums that we see every once in a while when things are not going well. I think that adding length down low is huge for this team and will give them more consistancy on offense. Go Blue!!!


Fri, Apr 13, 2012 : 3:38 a.m.

It's cute to see all the Wolvie fans get all excited about a preseason ranking, which means absolutely nothing...just ask MSU how well that worked out for them a few years back. The bottom line is this: until you can win in March, and continuously prove yourself when it counts, only then will you be taken seriously. A career record of 8-7 in the NCAA tournament speaks for itself. Congrats on preseason #5 and enjoy, again, an early exit from the tourney under the master known as Johnny B.


Thu, Apr 12, 2012 : 7:41 p.m.

More like in the Top 15-20 range. Save it for the NCAA Tourney.


Thu, Apr 12, 2012 : 5:49 p.m.

I need to see where the leadership and toughness will come from on this team. A lot of that left w/ Novak and Douglas and a remember the falloff when Merritt and Lee left. Despite winning a tourney game and gaining talent the next year was lacking after losing two leaders. Morgan is tough as is Burke, but I'm not sure who will be the vocal leader.


Thu, Apr 12, 2012 : 5:23 p.m.

This team better learn how to play on the road


Thu, Apr 12, 2012 : 4:15 p.m.

This article is to inform people ESPN made an article.

Calvert T. Hoskins I

Thu, Apr 12, 2012 : 4 p.m.

Number five ranking quite impressive this early! We some serious pieces now to contend nationally and be taken seriously..... But chemistry will be the main factor on how far this team can and will go! GO BLUE!!