Michigan’s 2022-2023 Basketball Starting Grid Prediction

Barring any late surprises, Michigan’s basketball roster enters the 2022-2023 season now the Wolverines landed Youssef Khayatthe Lebanese basketball sensation, on Sunday.

While the Wolverines lost some of the team’s contributors from last year: Caleb Houstan and Moussa Diabate to the NBA, Frankie Collins to Arizona State and Brandon Johns to VCU, Michigan added some significant pieces this summer with the additions of Jaelin Llewellyn ( Princeton) and Joey Baker (Duke) along with Khayat.

The Wolverines have a solid recruiting class coming up in the fall with Juwan Howard’s son, Jett Howard, headlining the class. Since Moussa Diabate had been nominated for the draft, upcoming center Tarris Reed should get significant playing time, and point guard Dug McDaniel should also see some backup play. The bigger question mark from the incoming freshman will be how does new forward Gregg Glenn fit into this year’s rotation, or does he see a red shirt year?

That said, we’re going to do our best to predict what next year’s lineup will look like when Michigan first enters court.

List

10 Bold Michigan Football Predictions for 2022 Summer Edition

Point guard

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – MARCH 12: Jaelin Llewellyn #13 of the Princeton Tigers dribbles the ball during the game of the Ivy League Basketball Tournament Semifinals against Cornell Big Red at Lavietes Pavilion on March 12, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Rachel O’Driscoll/Getty Images)

Starter: Jaelin Llewellyn (21-22 stats: 15.7 points per game, four rebounds per game, 2.5 assists per game and 39% of 3)

Backup: Dug McDaniel (incoming freshman)

Michigan is bottom of the top two on last year’s Sweet 16 team, having lost Devante’ Jones through graduation, and Frankie Collins through the transfer portal. Collins was set to be the starting PG this season and it looked like Llewellyn would fit right into the shooting guard – a more natural position – but with Collins choosing to leave, Llewellyn will have to be the floor general. Llewellyn only scored 2.5 assists per game at Princeton, but he was the top scorer there and he will get some help on the floor next season.

Michigan will get a nice increase in 3-point shooting when it comes to the senior guard as he shot nearly 40% of 3 last year. Jones shot 34% of 3 and Collins shot 16% of 3. Since the Wolverines were a poor wing shooting team last season, Llewellyn will definitely help there.

Not only does Llewellyn have to be the starting PG on this Michigan team with Collins leaving the program, but there’s no one else on the roster to fit in the backup role except new freshman Dug McDaniel. McDaniel is a 5 foot-11, quick, quick guard with a good view of the field. It will be interesting to see how his attacking play fits the Wolverines.

Shooting Guard

Nov 16, 2021; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Michigan Wolverines guard Kobe Bufkin (2) goes to the basket on Seton Hall Pirates forward Tyrese Samuel (4) in the first half at Crisler Center. Mandatory credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Starter: Kobe Bufkin (21-22 stats: three points per game, one rebound per game and 22% of 3)

Backup: Jett Howard (incoming freshman)

The Wolverines lost their glue man from the past five years after Eli Brooks ran out of playing years. Brooks was a great team leader and 3-point shooter. I believe Michigan could try to replace Brooks’ precious minutes against the Wolverines by playing a bigger lineup this year. The corn and blue may get Jett Howard to be the starting shooting guard, but I also believe Kobe Bufkin will get the first shot.

Bufkin is entering his second season and has a lot of work to do for his attacking play. Bufkin was an occasional offensive problem, especially behind the three-point line. The 6-foot-4 guard found his role towards the end of the season playing 10 minutes per game, becoming a slasher and a solid defenseman. The Wolverines will have to see Bufkin continue to improve his outdoor shots, but Coach Howard will also appreciate Bufkin’s defense in the starting lineup.

Jett Howard is a six foot player who can do anything and he could get a few minutes off Bufkin if Coach Howard wants to shoot more on the pitch. Jett Howard is expected to become an elite player in his first season at Ann Arbor, so he will somehow get enough minutes.

Little Forward

Jett Howard

Jett Howard

Jett Howard (13) of IMG Academy dribbles the ball during the 48th annual City of Palms Classic between IMG Academy and Milton HS on Wednesday, December 22, 2021 at the Suncoast Credit Union Arena in Fort Myers, Florida.

Starter: Jett Howard (incoming freshman)

Backup: Joey Baker (Stats 21-22: 4.5 points per game and 40% of 3)

The Wolverines lost their five-star freshman to the NBA draft after Caleb Houston announced he would be relinquishing his three remaining years of eligibility. As mentioned, Michigan Jett Howard gets a lot of playing time.

Howard was the 39th-ranked recruit according to 247Sports composite and he has an elite offensive game coming out of high school. Howard played for IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, and he has the ability to play all three perimeter positions. Michigan fans should be thrilled to see Howard take the field for the Wolverines after seeing his ability to shoot the 3 and play defense.

Also previously mentioned, the Wolverines had a really tough year shooting the 3. Coach Howard made a point of bringing in shooters through the transfer portal and he did just that by bringing in Duke’s Joey Baker. A former top-40 high school player on his way to Duke, Baker was a high four-star recruit. Baker got lost in the shuffle with the Blue Devils after they brought in five stars after five stars, but Baker does one thing really well: shoot the 3. Baker could get the start here if Michigan moves Jett Howard to shooting guard, but for now he will be the backup for the Wolverines.

Power forward

Michigan Terrance Williams II reacts after hitting a basket during the first half of a college basketball game against Tennessee in the second round of the NCAA tournament, Saturday, March 19, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Starter: Terrance Williams (stats 21-22: 4.7 points per game, 2 rebounds per game and 39% of 3)

Backup: Youseff Khayat (21-22 FIBA ​​stats: 16.7 points per game, 7.6 rebounds per game, 43% of the field and 35.2% of 3 over 33 games with Limoges)

Michigan lost its other five-star freshmen from last year’s team when Moussa Diabate decided to stay in the NBA draft, but the Wolverines have two players who might be a better fit for Hunter Dickinson.

I believe Terrance Williams will get the nod to start the season. Williams is entering his junior season at Ann Arbor and he has shown the courage to play against anyone. The 1.80m-7 attacker can hit the post if needed and he has shown the touch to make clutch shots deep into the game. The Washington, DC product is a great compliment to Hunter Dickinson on the field.

The primary backup here should be Youseff Khayat, who has the potential to wreak havoc for Michigan but may take a while to get used to college ball in the Big Ten. Khayat who is 19 years old is six feet and can also play the ‘3’ position but I believe his game is playing the ‘4’ in Ann Arbor. If Khayat’s role is to play second-unit for the Wolverines, he could score some points off the bench and lead the Michigan bench next year. The European product has a myriad of ways to score and is also known for being a good defence.

I also believe that Juwan Howard will give Jace Howard some playing time behind Khayat as well. Jace Howard saw just four minutes per game last year, but he wasn’t afraid to jump into action and do whatever it took to help his team win.

Centre

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – MARCH 19: Hunter Dickinson #1 of the Michigan Wolverines reacts after defeating the Tennessee Volunteers 76-68 during the second round of the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on March 19, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Starter: Hunter Dickinson (21-22 stats: 18.6 points per game, 8.6 rebounds per game, 1.5 blocks per game, 56% of the field and 33% of 3)

Backup: Tarris Reed (incoming freshman)

No big surprise here, but Hunter Dickinson will reclaim his starting role in downtown Michigan next season. Dickinson is an All-Big Ten player and has the ability to double-double every game. The aspiring junior has developed an offside in which he shot 32% of 3 during his sophomore campaign in Ann Arbor.

Michigan should once again continue its inside-out offensive game plan next year, and Dickinson is a player who should be competing for Big Ten Player of the Year, and possibly National Player of the Year.

Where it gets tricky is who will be the primary backup? I would think it will be the incoming six-foot freshman, Tarris Reed. Reed was the 33rd ranked player in the nation according to 247Sports composition, and he chose Michigan over Michigan State, Ohio State, Purdue and others. Reed would be the size to come in and bounce back for Michigan whenever Dickinson needs a breather.

Another player who can see a few minutes here is Will Tschetter who wore red shirt last year. Tschetter is better suited for the ‘4’, but if Michigan wants to play a small ball then Tschetter would be a good player to post ‘up down low’.

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