Thursday, November 3, 2011
Mitch McGary commits to Michigan
By Jason Jordan
A week and a half ago, just after Mitch McGary listened intently to the final pitches from the head coaches of his top three schools -- Duke, Michigan and Florida -- he took out a piece of paper and began jotting down the pros and cons of each. Those lists came out even.
It wasn't until McGary, who is ranked No. 2 in the ESPNU 100, began to think about the intangibles that he zeroed in on a clear winner: Michigan.
"Looks like I'm going to be a Wolverine," said McGary, a 6-foot-10 senior forward at Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.) and native of Chesterton, Ind. "It was a hard decision, obviously, but when I started to focus on just what I was feeling, I kept going back to the fact that I felt like I could trust the Michigan coaches more than any other staff.
"No disrespect to Duke and Florida, but the whole Michigan staff came across like my brothers but coaches at the same time. I could tell them anything. That was key for me."
McGary announced his decision live on ESPNU on Thursday afternoon.
Ironically, the thing that attracts most recruits to Duke and Florida proved to be a detractor for McGary.
"Both Duke and Florida have had established programs for years and have won titles recently," McGary said. "I didn't like that as much as I liked the idea of coming in and helping to turn Michigan's program around. That's more of a challenge for me. With lots of hard work I hope to make a huge footprint in the program. For right now, I'm just happy with my decision."
McGary put an emphasis on those last two words.
He'd heard what he referred to as "the gossip" about his AAU coach, Wayne Brumm, supposedly steering him to Michigan, a claim McGary said was "ridiculous."
"Just to be clear, coach Brumm didn't have a say in my decision," McGary said. "The discussions were between me and my parents, but the decision was 100 percent mine. Coach Brumm's done a lot for me, but this was up to me to decide.
"With that said, I really appreciate the other two schools recruiting me. I've got a lot of respect for coach Mike Krzyzewski and coach Billy Donovan. They did a great job recruiting me, but I'm excited to be a part of the Michigan family."
Ann Arbor has been feeling like home to McGary for some time now, which makes sense considering all the connections he already has there.
"Zack Novak was my old high school teammate, so we're tight," McGary said. "Then you've got guys like Jordan Morgan and Tim Hardaway Jr., who have treated me like I'm their teammate already. Then my AAU teammate Max Bielfeldt is a freshman there, too. I'm going to be with my family. Plus, I think we can be national title contenders my first year with all of the talent we'll have. I'm excited."
McGary joins St. Mark's School (Southborough, Mass.) forward Nick Stauskas, who is ranked No. 83 in the ESPNU 100, and Lake Central (St. John, Ind.) forward Glenn Robinson III, ranked No. 94, to form the Wolverines' 2012 recruiting class thus far.
Jason Jordan is the basketball editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at jason.x.jordan.-ND@espn.com. Follow him on Twitter: @JayJayESPN