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Way-too-early 2015-16 Big Ten basketball rankings

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5. Michigan Wolverines

aubreydawkins

For all the ups and downs the 2014-15 version of the Wolverines had, there was plenty of good that came for the future of the program. That’s because a lot of young players got to see major minutes and the experience could pay off in a major way come next season.

There’s little doubt that a wing player like Aubrey Dawkins is a budding star, and given all that will be gone from the Big Ten after this season he looks like a sure-fire pick for preseason All-Big Ten honors. Add in the potential also shown by the likes of Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman and Derrick Walton Jr. and Michigan has a youthful, but experienced core of players to lean on in 2015-16.

Michigan also has a nice problem with a glut of guards that can flat-out play, as Spike Albrecht will also be back for his senior season and so will Caris LeVert, who spent most of the last two months of the season on the shelf.

Of course, that is if LeVert does the smart thing and doesn’t declare for the NBA Draft. That’s a decision that is likely to come right up to the finish line for underclassmen to declare for the daft.

The only question mark comes up front, where Michigan still isn’t the biggest of teams and still appears to be in search of an answer in the middle of the defense. U of M added just one player in this upcoming class, 6-9 Moritz Wagner  out of Belgium.

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Andy Coppens is the Founder and Publisher of Talking10. He's a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and has been covering college sports in some capacity since 2008. You can follow him on Twitter @AndyOnFootball

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