Prior to the start of the 2021-22 season, just about everyone projected the Michigan Wolverines to be one of the top 10 teams in college basketball. In fact, when the Associated Press Preseason Top 25 rankings were released, the Wolverines came in at No. 6.
By the time the season ended, Michigan has not only slid out of the top 10 but actually moved all the way out of the top 25 (they did not receive a single vote) heading into the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
As we look forward to the 2022-23 season, the first thing that stands out is that they will have to replace the scoring and distributing that DeVante’ Jones and Eli Brooks provided last season.
In a recent article published in The Athletic, they take a look at the top newcomers in college basketball and for Michigan, it came down to transfer Jaelin Llewellyn and freshman, Jett Howard.
Michigan will need Jaelin Llewellyn to ball out
When it came down to it, Austin Meek named Llewellyn as Michigan’s top newcomer for the 2022-23 season.
From The Athletic:
Jaelin Llewellyn. It’s a close call between Llewellyn and incoming freshman Jett Howard, a top-50 recruit and the son of head coach Juwan Howard. Both should have significant roles, but Llewellyn gets the edge based on his experience and Michigan’s glaring needs in the backcourt. The Princeton transfer should be the scorer and ball-handler Michigan needs to offset the departures of DeVante’ Jones, Eli Brooks and Frankie Collins, who transferred to Arizona State after Llewellyn committed.
During his 2021-22 season at Princeton, Llewellyn averaged 15.7 points per game and shot 38.6 percent from 3-point range and he could end up being one of the most important players on the Wolverines this coming season.
With Mousa Diabate and Caleb Houstan potentially heading to the NBA and Jones and Brooks both moving on, not to mention Frankie Collins transferring, Llewellyn will have to step up if the Wolverines want to contend for a Big Ten Championship and potentially more.