The silence has been broken. Michigan Wolverines forward Mitch McGary has announced that he will declare for the NBA Draft. This makes him the third player from the team as well as the third sophomore from the team to declare for the draft this month as he joins Nik Stauskas and Glen Robinson III.
In his two years at Michigan, McGary was a solid shooter as well as a strong defensive presence. He scored 367 points, recorded 312 rebounds, and blocked 34 shots for the Wolverines. McGary played only eight games in the 2013-2014 season due to back problems for which eventually went for surgery. Despite his absence, the Wolverines went on to reach the Elite Eight before being eliminated by Kentucky.
McGary would have faced punishment if stayed at Michigan for another year. He failed a drug test during the NCAA tournament testing positive for marijuana. The result was a one-year suspension. In other words, McGary is avoiding not being allowed to play basketball for a year by declaring for the NBA Draft.
What made this decision intriguing in addition to the failed drug test was the silence of McGary during the whole process. The 6'10" Charleston, Indiana, native remained very private about the topic and gave no hints as to what direction he would go. McGary wanted to fully think it out without any distractions. "My family and I want to thank everyone for giving us privacy and the time to make this decision," said McGary. "As you know, it was important for us to weigh all the factors that go into something like this. With that being said, I am ready to move on to the next stage in my life and enter the NBA Draft."
Michigan head coach John Beilein appreciates everything that McGary has given to the program and knows they will be missing something next year. He had a lot of positive things to say about the young forward.
"Mitch has had a tremendous impact on our program from the moment he committed to us. He has injected an enthusiasm that cannot be matched. This is why he is loved by the coaching staff, his teammates and Wolverine fans. The progress he has made on and off the court has been outstanding. His willingness to face a personal issue head on and his positive work ethic during his recent injury have helped him to grow in many ways. We know that he will put all of his energy and effort toward achieving his goals. We will continue to assist and support Mitch as he pursues a career in the NBA."
Entering the season, McGary was projected as a possible first round selection, but now he has slipped to a projected second round pick. There are critics who feel he should have stayed to earn his first round status back. Either way, there will be a team that sees his talent, effort, and potential and give him the opportunity to be a big part of their goal to the championship.
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