In Mitch McGary, Michigan is getting a post player who will score in a variety of ways. The No. 2 overall player in the country is a high-energy power forward who will thrive in the half-court set or transition game. McGary will also capitalize on broken plays and get his share of second-chance baskets thanks to his motor.
"He thinks he can really make a big difference at Michigan, I mean he really believes that," said Mitch's dad, Tim.
When he stepped on the campus of Brewster Academy a year ago he needed to work on many aspects of his game, but coach Jason Smith still insists McGary is the "most coachable kid he ever had." That is high praise from a coach who has won the prestigious NEPSAC Class A championship two of the past three years and coached some of the nation's best talent over the last 12 years.
"I love being coached," McGary said. "I love to learn the game. That’s the exciting part."
All of McGary's hard work paid off this summer.
I had the privilege of coaching the Chesterton, Ind., native this past summer at the NBA Top 100 Camp in June and I was impressed with how good of a teammate he is and his non-stop aggressiveness. Following that performance, he more than held his own against the nation's best shot-blocker in C Nerlens Noel (Everett, Mass./Tilton) at the AAU Super Showcase in July. McGary brought it hard to the body of Noel to negate his jumping ability and made some difficult shots in the post, even making adjustments over Noel’s outstretched arm, which usually results in a missed attempt or blocked shot.
"Mitch benefits from his energy, plays the game hard and scores with his physicality," Noel said. "And he never backs down.”
Now McGary will be backing down the post players in the Big Ten after deciding Michigan was the best fit for him.
"I picked Michigan because I really trust the coaching staff, I know and feel comfortable with their players," he said. "I played AAU basketball with Glen Robinson Jr. (on the SYF Players) and high school basketball ball with Zack Novak. We all have a good relationship both on and off the court. We have good chemistry. Plus, I am only three hours from home. It is a great fit."
McGary is physically ready for the Big Ten and his work ethic is at a level it needs to be for success. However, thanks to his strong work ethic and desire to be coached look for him to work on his face-up game, extend his shooting range, improve his go-to up-and-under move in the post and add a counter.
Overall, he will have an immediate impact from the minute he steps on the campus in Ann Arbor.