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Posted on Wed, Nov 2, 2011 : 9:37 a.m.

Mitch McGary handicaps his final three, decision between Michigan, Florida, Duke on Thursday

By Nick Baumgardner

Brewster Academy power forward Mitch McGary posted the final entry of his ESPN basketball recruiting blog Wednesday, confirming he'll make his decision known Thursday on ESPNU.

He also confirms that he's got a rather difficult decision to make.

McGary, the country's top power forward prospect for 2012, puts out the pros and cons for each of his final three (Michigan, Duke and Florida) and says, at this point, he's unsure where he'll end up.

At Michigan, McGary really likes the coaching staff.

"What I really like about Michigan is its coaching staff, especially Bacari Alexander," McGary wrote. "He’s probably one of the most underrated coaches in the country. He really knows what he’s doing with the big men.

"I just like that I can trust the coaches there, and I actually like that they’re not on the biggest stage yet. That gives me the opportunity to go there and make a huge impact from day one."

McGary's con for Michigan had less to do with the school and more to do with the Big Ten.

"The Big Ten has a reputation for being a slow paced conference with slow big men who don't really get out and run the floor at all," he wrote. "That's not the way I want to play so I've definitely got to take that into consideration.

"I know that if I went there it would help change the perceptions a lot."

As for Florida, McGary says playing for coach Billy Donovan and lead assistant John Pelphrey is a pro, as is Donovan's system, which would allow McGary to run the floor. A negative for Florida is the setting.

"I didn't get a feeling of comfort there," he writes. "I know that I would be comfortable there over time but that's something that I've been thinking about."

As for Duke?

"They're coached by the legendary Mike Krzyzewski, who I've developed a great relationship with and have a great deal of respect for," McGary wrote. "I really liked the whole staff there and I really bonded with the players during my visit too. Those are my boys.

"I really like their style of play too. It's an NBA offense so that's definitely attractive."

The con for Duke, McGary writes, is the "perception that all their big men do is set screens and rebound and that they don't get a lot of touches."

Several analysts, including ESPN's own Dave Telep, have speculated McGary is leaning toward Michigan with his decision looming.

Not surprisingly, McGary says his mind's not made up just yet.

"Honestly, all three of these schools are the right choice," wrote McGary, who said all three coaches have given him space to decide lately. "I can't lose with any of these programs.

"I don't know where I'm heading at this point and obviously there are a lot of analysts out there that are saying I do, but it's not true. Hopefully I'll figure it out within the next 24 hours."

Nick Baumgardner covers Michigan basketball for He can be reached at 734-623-2514, by email at and followed on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.


Dave Bola

Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 1:57 a.m.

The last highly touted big man to not choose Duke and go to the Big Ten was Chris Humphries. Let's see how his stardom (in and against the Big Ten) panned out: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> How about Carlos Boozer?: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> And if you want a real close comparison, how about Jeff Capel (now at Duke) prodigy Blake Griffin: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Oh, and Duke beat the Fab 5 TWICE. I think you have flawed logic in support of Michigan. Blue *IS* the right color, just more royal in shade...


Wed, Nov 2, 2011 : 4:56 p.m.

Sounds from his quotes that it'll be between Michigan and Duke. His lack of &quot;comfort&quot; with Florida is a huge negative I would think if I were in his position. I don't think his perception of the Big Ten as being a conference with big men who don't run the floor should impact his decision at all. I'm pretty sure that if you ask any Big Ten head coach if he wants his big men to run the floor, he'd without any hesitation say &quot;of course!&quot;. The challenge is FINDING bigs who can run the floor. Rest assured that John Beilein will let McGary run as much as he wants. But McGary is right about Duke's big men. They haven't done nearly as well in the pro's as Duke's guards and forwards for the reason he cited. Duke has built it's offense around the guards and forwards for the most part. The choice is clear Mitch: Go Blue on Thursday.


Wed, Nov 2, 2011 : 3:11 p.m.

He will make the biggest impact at Michigan. He'll start, make highlight reels, and give Michigan the strong big-man we've been lacking for a long time. Go Blue!

Gabe Callender

Wed, Nov 2, 2011 : 2:01 p.m.

Just pick the Wolverines already.