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Graduate guard Mike Smith will enter the upcoming NBA Draft, Smith announced Wednesday afternoon on Instagram

Smith could have returned to Michigan next season for his sixth year of college, with the NCAA granting all student-athletes an extra year of eligibility due to COVID-19. Instead, he will pursue a professional career. 

Smith transferred to Michigan from Columbia last April and admirably filled the void left by Zavier Simpson, quickly assuaging apprehensions regarding his 5-foot-11 stature. 

Though he led the Ivy League in scoring as a senior, Smith adjusted effortlessly into his role as a facilitator, leading the Big Ten with 5.4 assists per game. Against Maryland in the Big Ten Tournament, Smith set a conference tournament record with 15 assists. He also averaged 9.0 points per game and shot 42% from beyond the arc. 

With Smith officially not returning to Ann Arbor, the Wolverines will have to replace their starting point guard for the second time in two seasons. Sophomore Zeb Jackson along with incoming freshmen Kobe Bufkin and Frankie Collins will likely compete for the starting spot come fall. 

Smith’s decision is the first domino to fall in what figures to be a busy offseason for Michigan and coach Juwan Howard. It remains to be seen whether any of the Wolverines’ seniors will take advantage of the extra year of eligibility.