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March 21, 11:00 AM ET
Chat with Michael Rothstein

Michael Rothstein
  (11:01 AM)

Greetings from the Palace of Auburn Hills, where I'm sitting courtside getting ready for NCAA tournament games today (you'll see me on TV later, too, as I'm in the seat right behind Bill Raftery apparently).But let's chat some Michigan for a bit before it gets started. Get those questions in.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Who will be the Starting Defense for Michigan in College Football for 2013?

Michael Rothstein
  (11:03 AM)

Chris, that's up in the air right now as spring practice is less than a week old. Right now I think you've got Quinton Washington as a likely starter. Thomas Gordon will start at safety and Raymon Taylor probably at cornerback. Every other spot is at least somewhat up in the air.

Mike Kaiser (Jacksonville, FL )

Do we know if Michigan's Couach Bee - has had these clowns shooting extra FT's leading up to teh NCAA Tournament? They were absolutely pathetic against Indiana.

Michael Rothstein
  (11:03 AM)

I wouldn't call them clowns, Mike. Not at all. They practice free throw shooting every day in practice so yes, they have been working on it. These things happen, though, regarding missed free throws.

Matt (Ann Arbor)

What teams could Michigan realistically add to the schedule for 2016 and 2017 to replace ND? My hope is for Florida State. Michigan would have a great chance at winning against a high profile team that is not often as good as its national perception. Playing in Florida would help recruiting and both teams need to improve strength of schedule!

Michael Rothstein
  (11:04 AM)

I think a lot of that is still fluid, at least until the Big Ten figures out its new scheduling and what will happen following the additions of Maryland and Rutgers as well whether or not they'll go to a nine-game conference schedule.

Adam (Iowa)

I know Jake Ryan redshirted as a true freshman, but now that he's torn his ACL would he be able to receive a medical redshirt?

Michael Rothstein
  (11:05 AM)

I do not believe he will be since to my knowledge he was not injured his freshman year, just redshirted.

Matt (Ann Arbor)

With the Ryan injury, is LB still our best and deepest position or is it now DB or possibly O-line?

Michael Rothstein
  (11:07 AM)

Yes and no. The two outside spots, MIKE and WILL, have a lot of depth between Desmond Morgan, Joe Bolden, Royce Jenkins-Stone, James Ross III, Mike Jones and Kaleb Ringer. The SAM spot, which Ryan occupied, is a lot more in flux. Cam Gordon, a fifth-year senior, will likely see time there. Other than that, you'll likely see someone move over, be it another linebacker or possibly one of the rush ends, like Brennen Beyer, re-learning how to play standing up.

Matt (Chicago)

I realize that Jake Ryan has already received a redshirt and also might be back by midseason (if the college football gods love him as much as Adrian Peterson) but if he does not play can he receive a medical redshirt for a sixth year of eligibility?

Michael Rothstein
  (11:08 AM)

I do not believe he can because his initial redshirt year was not for injury. I will double check on that.

Cory (NY)

Was wondering who you think the Wolverines will end up getting committed at the WR position?

Michael Rothstein
  (11:13 AM)

Not sure yet as there's a long time between now and signing day but Drake Harris has been up to visit Michigan a lot. He would be a very, very good get for the Wolverines if they could pull him in.

Chad (Pittsburgh)

Will Michigan's offense look much different this season?

Michael Rothstein
  (11:14 AM)

Yes, if you're talking about the beginning of last season. I think you'll see an offense looking somewhat similar to what you saw toward the end of last season with Michigan. A lot of pro style, some power running and downfield passing out of playaction. There will be some wrinkles, though, to take advantage of Gardner's size/speed combo, too.

Chad (Pittsburgh)

Next season, which basketball player do you think will have a break out year?

Michael Rothstein
  (11:16 AM)

The freshman guard Derrick Walton. While he doesn't have all the skills Trey Burke has, he is an elite point and a very good distributor. He's going to be another good one for the Wolverines. Among current players, Mitch McGary should take the next step to elite big man status next year.

Charles (GRap)

If you were playing in a flag football game and wanted to make sure you won, which Wolverine would you put on your team? If it were round robbin, who would you put on Tom's team and Chantel's team?

Michael Rothstein
  (11:18 AM)

Ha. In a flag game, I would have taken J.T. Floyd if I could pick guys from last year's team, too, because he can play both ways. Of this year's guys, I'd probably go with freshman Dymonte Thomas. It's all about the potential of two-way players. And clearly, if I want to win, Tom and Chantel are getting whoever they want after I pick my whole team.

Mikey (Ann Arbor)

Why hasn't beilien run much zone this year?

Michael Rothstein
  (11:19 AM)

They did in small increments here and there throughout the season but they haven't been a 1-3-1 primary team in a couple of years now. My guess is you might see it pop out in the tournament here this weekend.

Matt (Ann Arbor)

The b-ball team has to Gatorade players of the year coming in next year! Walton for Michigan and Irvin for Indiana. If only 2 of 3 out of Burke, Hardaway jr and Gr3 leave I think we will be a deeper team and just as good next year! Remember when Darius Morris left and everyone thought we would struggle? Similar situation for nex year!

Michael Rothstein
  (11:20 AM)

For the record, I did not think they would struggle because I knew Burke was a good, good player. So did Darius Morris. Walton and Irvin will add some depth to Michigan, as will Mark Donnal.

Rick (Ohio)

Do the freshman look star struck? Or do they seem grounded?

Michael Rothstein
  (11:20 AM)

If you mean Michigan's freshmen, they won't take the court until this evening. So tweet at me then and I'll answer you.

Cory (NY)

Do you think the Wolverines can win a Basketball title with Beilein as head coach?

Michael Rothstein
  (11:21 AM)

Yes, I do. He is a good enough coach to be in the conversation. It is just about a little luck and matchups and timing.

Shane (AZ)

What do you think is a realistic outlook for Michigan's football season, and do you think the loss of Ryan will change that outlook dramatically?

Michael Rothstein
  (11:22 AM)

The benefit of Ryan's injury coming when it did is this -- Michigan has a while to figure out exactly what it will do to replace Ryan. But he was Michigan's most experienced and most talented linebacker, so it forces the Wolverines to re-evaluate things. It might cost them a game.

Mikey (Ann Arbor)

Who do you think will be captains for football next season? Any chance Hoke names three again?

Michael Rothstein
  (11:23 AM)

That won't be until the fall, but it wouldn't shock me if you saw a combination of Taylor Lewan, Devin Gardner, Thomas Gordon, Quinton Washington, Jeremy Gallon and Fitzgerald Toussaint as your potential captains.

Lukas (Bloomfield Hills)

Were you surprised Michigan didn't lose Mone after Montgomery went to Oklahoma?

Michael Rothstein
  (11:23 AM)

No, because not every commit chooses a school because of a position coach. Is it a factor? Sure. But not the be all, end all.

Trent (Toledo)

Why does seem that Michigan has little trouble getting the offensive lineman they want but struggle to get the top notch skill players (wr/cb) while Ohio and Urban seem to have the exact opposite issue? Is it a mentality/personality issue or more of a focus on those positions by the coaches?

Michael Rothstein
  (11:25 AM)

With the skill position guys, I think it was still a leap of faith situation for Michigan because every recruit knew the offense they were seeing from Michigan most of the past two seasons was not going to be what they would play in most of their careers in Ann Arbor. I think you'll see things start to change a bit more in the future as Michigan can show the actual offense and point to guys where they will fit. They did get their top flight RB, though, in Derrick Green.

Matt (Ann Arbor)

What are the chances Michigan will have a full recruiting class before NSD again this year and miss out on some top talent because of it? OR will we have a more exciting/nervous NSD in 2014?

Michael Rothstein
  (11:26 AM)

Way to early to tell, but Michigan's coaches obviously prefer to lock up as much of their class as possible before signing day.

Lukas (Bloomfield Hills)

Who's in your title game?

Michael Rothstein
  (11:26 AM)

I have Ohio State knocking off Florida.

Paul (Muskegon)

Would Michigan match up better against VCU or Akron?

Michael Rothstein
  (11:27 AM)

Akron, no question. VCU will give Michigan problems if both advance. The whole key to that matchup would be if Burke could break Havoc.

Mitch (Cleveland)

Does VCU scare you if Michigan wins this first game?

Michael Rothstein
  (11:28 AM)

Yes, I think that is a bad matchup for Michigan. I know not everyone agrees with me on that, by the way. But I actually think VCU would win that game. That's what I picked, anyway.

Trevor (Detroit)

Do you see all the sophomore linebackers, Bolden, Ross III and RJS having a chance at winning all the starting spots?

Michael Rothstein
  (11:29 AM)

It kind of depends now on whether one of them moves to SAM. If one does (Bolden would be likely) then it is possible. But Desmond Morgan is likely winning one of those two outside slots. All three (four with Morgan and maybe five with Kaleb Ringer) will be in the rotation in my opinion, though.

John (Akron)

If Burke and Hardaway leave after this season what does Michigan's team look like next season?

Michael Rothstein
  (11:30 AM)

Think they would have a lot of adjusting to do and would take a huge hit in the backcourt but Derrick Walton is a strong player and mature point guard who can handle responsibilities. He isn't Burke, but Burke wasn't this Burke last year, either. I think Michigan would maybe bounce Stauskas down to the two and then use Zak Irvin at the three or Robinson III at the three with two big guys. There's still flexibility there.

Matt (Ann Arbor)

Who will have the best bracket out of you Tom and Chantel? My money would have been on you until I saw your Championship game!

Michael Rothstein
  (11:31 AM)

Ha. It isn't all about the title game, but I'm going with me. And I'm guessing my girlfriend, who asked me last night "What's a Pacific," will beat all of us.

Lukas (Bloomfield Hills)

If there was one part of practice you could see, what would it be?

Michael Rothstein
  (11:32 AM)

Football? Two-minute scrimmage situations. I think you learn a lot about the makeup of a team and the mettle of its players in those situations.

Trent (Toledo)

Who do you seeing going pro after the basketball season is over? I know Burke said he wasn't sure yet but it's still fairly safe to assume he's one. Hardaway? Robinson?

Michael Rothstein
  (11:33 AM)

I'm out of predicting those things after Lewan shocked me and stayed. But I think Burke, Hardaway and Robinson III will at least investigate the possibilities after the season. A coach I know well (not Beilein) used to say if a guy is a first round pick and knows it, it is tough to convince them to stay. That's always been my working theory with this stuff.

gotti Coden (royAl oAK MI)

How do the Maize n Blue match up today against SD state. And can the Wolves D up enough to make a long run in this tourney?

Michael Rothstein
  (11:34 AM)

It'll all be about Michigan's defense. Both teams can score in bunches and like to run a bit, which plays into what Michigan likes pretty well. But if the Wolverines can't guard all five positions on the perimeter, it could be a long day for Michigan.

Scott (miami)

If Stauskus puts on twenty pounds could we be talking NBA?

Michael Rothstein
  (11:36 AM)

He has a lot of growing to do in his game, but I think the potential is there for him to be an NBA player. He certainly has the 3-point shot for it and can handle the ball well enough. It'll be about how much he learns and wants to defend.

Cory (NY)

Hey Michael, I just wanted to say I agree with you that most basketball pools seem to be picked by people who don't know that much about the sport. At least that's what happens in my pools

Michael Rothstein
  (11:37 AM)

My girlfriend beat me in the football bowl pool on WolverineNation as well, so I have my honor to uphold.

Paul (Muskegon)

Are you a Michigan fan? Or just assigned to them with ESPN? Who'd you grow up rooting for?

Michael Rothstein
  (11:37 AM)

I grew up in New York, so it was more pro sports for me as a kid. I was hired to cover Michigan two years ago.

Michael Rothstein
  (11:38 AM)

To add to that, my rooting interests are good storylines these days and that's about it.

Patrick (Dexter)

Does Michigan recruit another LB because of the Ryan injury

Michael Rothstein
  (11:39 AM)

I don't think it matters in that respect because Ryan will be a fifth-year senior in 2014 anyway and it isn't a career-ending injury, either.

Michael Rothstein
  (11:40 AM)

Hey everyone, just a few more so get those final questions in.

Scott (miami)

With Robinson looking at a lottery pick in the draft is he gone after this year?

Michael Rothstein
  (11:41 AM)

I don't know if he is a lottery pick yet. He has the potential to be one down the road with his size/skill combination.

Michael Rothstein
  (11:44 AM)

Well everyone, I'm going to get going to prep for a full day of basketball. I'll be chatting over in our basketball live chat for a good amount of the afternoon and you can always find me on Twitter @mikerothstein and on http://www.wolverinenationespn.com.Enjoy your weekend and the NCAA tournament!