As we get set to officially tip off the men's basketball season Friday night, it seems like a good time to review what the various preseason publications have said about the Panthers, the Horizon League and some of this season's opponents.
Now, take a lot of this for what it is worth - speculation compiled in the middle of the summer. Most of these magazines file stories in June or July, and rarely return to check for any sort of update. So, things certainly change for a lot of teams in that time. But, the compilation of predictions still provides a nice snapshot.
The Sporting News has UWM finishing third in the Horizon League, behind Butler and Wright State. Butler is 14th in the country, according to the publication. The magazine also has Tone Boyle on its all-league team.
Athlon Sports also has UWM third, with Butler #1 and Wright State #2. It predicts a Sweet 16 appearance for Butler, which it has ranked 12th in the country. And, the publication has Tone on its all-league team.
Athlon also has Western Kentucky and Wisconsin in the NCAA Tournament with Marquette in the NIT. It also says the with the addition of transfer Jake Kelly, Indiana State might have the best backcourt in the Valley.
Finally, there is Yahoo, which actually put out a magazine this season. It ranked every Division I team, putting UWM at #63 in the nation. Butler is 11, Wisconsin 40 and Western Kentucky 52. The next highest Horizon League team is Wright State at 71. Among other non-league opponents, LSU is 65, Marquette is 83, Miami is 133 and Bowling Green is 136.
Yahoo also put two Panthers on its 10-player all-league team, with Tone Boyle on the first team and James Eayrs on the second team.