November 3, 2011 - 4:52pm
BY NEAL ROTHSCHILD
Michigan basketball won big on Thursday and the season hasn’t even started yet.
Mitch McGary, the No. 2 recruit in the country according to ESPN.com and Scout.com, elected to play at Michigan next year in a nationally televised announcement.
The 6-foot-10 forward chose to play for the Wolverines over Duke and Florida — powerhouses that typically lure top players away from Michigan with ease. McGary could be the most buzzed about basketball recruit to hit Ann Arbor since Chris Webber in 1991.
“Next fall, I’m going to Ann Arbor, Michigan and I’m going to become a Wolverine,” McGary said, after the host of “ESPN Recruiting Nation” asked where he would go.
“I felt most comfortable being there and I trusted the coaches, mostly, out of any other coaching staff and I could talk to them about anything,” McGary said. “And I know they’re on the rise again and I felt like I can build that program up and make an impact my freshman year.”
For his height and 250-pound frame, McGary has strong ballhandling skills and freakish athleticism. His versatility could prove to be a match-up nightmare for opposing teams who have neither the size to play down low with him nor the quickness and length to keep him at bay on the perimeter.
Originally from Chesterton, Ind. — the same hometown as senior guard Zack Novak — McGary is currently taking a post-graduate year at Brewster Academy, a prep school in New Hampshire. The post-graduate year is a relatively new phenomenon, often used by athletes to heighten their national exposure before playing college ball.
McGary joins 6-foot-6 forward Glenn Robinson III and 6-foot-5 guard Nick Stauskas in Michigan’s 2012 recruiting class which will replace seniors Novak and Stu Douglass next season.