While many expected Mitch McGary’s Michigan career to end early, no one expected this.
McGary is headed to the NBA but not because of his talent alone. He was left with little choice after failing a drug test during the NCAA tournament. Yahoo.com reported that he was facing a one-year NCAA suspension for recreational drug use.
“I made a terrible decision that I do regret,” McGary said in an mgoblue.com video. “I tested positive for marijuana during the drug test during the Sweet 16. I do regret this decision. It’s hurtful for me. I want to put it behind me and move past it.”
Michigan basketball coach John Beilein said the incident surprised him.
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“The Mitch McGary I know, this is out of character,” Beilein said in the video. “We’re very disappointed that he had a lack of judgment to put himself in this position. But that’s not the true Mitch McGary. We’ve learned that over the time. We’ve learned a lot about who he is, and this speaks a lot to his integrity, that he’s coming out publicly and telling people that he made a poor choice. He wants to get this behind him because I know it’s been bothering him since the NCAA informed us of their decision. As a result, he’s ready to move forward, and we’re ready to move forward. We’re with him every step of the way.”
Michigan is not allowed to reveal drug-test details without student consent.
“He’s not hiding behind this,” Beilein said. “He’s made a very difficult decision while he’s going through exams here to finish up strong. This took a lot of guts to do. And he’ll learn from this, and I sense that he’s learned from it and one of his hopes is others learn from his error in judgment here.”
McGary was a sensation as a freshman in the 2013 NCAA tournament and could have been an NBA lottery pick, according to many analysts last year. But he returned to school and injured his back in August. That limited him to just eight games this season, before he had season-ending back surgery in January.
The 6-foot-10 sophomore from Chesterton, Ind., will be 22 years old at the time of this year’s draft.
He joins fellow sophomores Glenn Robinson III and Nik Stauskas, who declared for the draft earlier this month.
Mark Snyder writes for The Detroit Free Press
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