Coming into college at Michigan, Mitch McGary was a highly-touted big man that was ranked No. 2 in the nation by recruiting sites like Rivals.com, and now, the freshman has a big decision to make.
It took McGary longer than he would have liked to break into the college basketball scene because of his lack of confidence and playing time for the first couple months of the season. He was playing the role of backup, getting about 15 minutes per game while starting big man Jordan Morgan was getting most of the minutes.
As the season progressed, however, the freshman from Chesterton, Ind., started seeing the floor more. Coach John Beilein had entrusted the forward/center with most of his post presence. Then, Morgan was struck by the injury bug and the junior’s minutes were slashed. He was not nearly 100 percent and Beilein needed a guy that could give it his all.
Enter McGary. He came in midway through the season and started getting the minutes he wanted, and essentially needed.
Despite some ups and downs, the NCAA Tournament was where his true potential really shined through. McGary was a big reason the Wolverines made such an improbable appearance in the national title game as a No. 4 seed.
Opening eyes around the nation, McGary put up 16 points and almost 12 rebounds a game leading up to the championship. His potential was illuminated and people began to see just why he was so highly recruited out of high school. Although his performance in the national title game was not up to par according to his new standards, he is still considered a top draft pick.
Sure, it might be crazy to base the drafting of a player to the NBA on just the success he had in five games alone, but the potential that was shown by the freshman was second to none. Talks are that he may be a lottery pick in the upcoming 2013 NBA Draft if he chooses to leave, and he should do just that.
It’s almost impossible to have his stock rise even more if he stays another year. Any college athlete would kill to be a lottery pick coming off a freshman season, especially after the average regular season he had.
So, if the big freshman who has had only 12 double-digit games in his college career is considered a top pick, then why not strike while the iron’s hot?