What a roller coaster type of year and a half for University of Michigan former star PF/C Mitch McGary.
To recap, McGary was a potential lottery pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, before ultimately deciding to return to college. As he went back to school, he experienced problems with his back, and surgery forced him to miss virtually the entire season, only playing in eight (8) games last year.
But the real trouble came in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. McGary dressed against then opponent, Tennessee, but failed a random NCAA drug test later in the tournament. Although never checking into the game, McGary still was suspended for an entire year for testing positive for marijuana.
After the suspension, McGary decided that he wouldn’t serve it, and head straight to the NBA. Thursday night, McGary heard his name called by the Oklahoma City Thunder, and he was officially an NBA player.
He has a chance to right a wrong, and I truly believe he is a man of high character, so that shouldn’t be an issue for the big man. Oklahoma City is a city that embraces their team, and have only known success, so there are similarities to his professional and college teams. The communities care about their players, their team and their cities, so McGary will have plenty of chances to be a model citizen, even if it was only marijuana.
McGary can bring intensity, a high basketball IQ, and can develop into a dominant physical player if coached correctly. Scott Brooks seems like a great coach for McGary, and the Thunder are a nice fit for him. He will not be rushed in his development, the Thunder have several big-men on their roster already, so he will actually have a chance to learn and grow.
McGary was the fourth (4th) 1st round draft pick for Michigan Head Coach John Beilein in just two years. McGary joined former teammate Nik Stauskas as Michigan’s first round picks this year.