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Posted on Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 5:03 p.m.

Top recruit Mitch McGary picks Michigan basketball program

By Nick Baumgardner


Mitch McGary, a 6-foot-10, 250-pound power forward, says he'll play for the Michigan basketball team.

Bloomington Herald-Times

Mitch-igan basketball has its man.

Mitch McGary, the country's top-rated power forward and's second-ranked prospect for 2012, made his intentions official Thursday in a live ESPNU broadcast.

He'll play college basketball at Michigan.

The 6-foot-10, 250-pound McGary, wearing a dark suit jacket and a salmon shirt, chose Michigan over Duke and Florida. "I'm going to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to become a Wolverine," he said.


A senior this season at Brewster Academy, a prep school in Wolfeboro, N.H., McGary joins Lake Central (Ind.) High School small forward Glenn Robinson III and St. Mark's (Mass.) shooting guard Nick Stauskas in coach John Beilein's 2012 recruiting class. Currently, Robinson III and Stauskas (both four-star prospects) are rated inside's top 80 for next season.

All players will have the opportunity to officially sign their national letters of intent on Wednesday (Nov. 9).

McGary said the main reason for his decision had to do with the comfort level he felt with Michigan coach John Beilein and his staff.

"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 during the broadcast. "I know they're on the rise again, and I feel like I can build that program up and make an impact my freshman year."

During the on-air interview, McGary said he wasn't sure whether or not he'd sign his letter of intent next week.

"I'm not sure at the moment, I'll have to talk it over with my parents," McGary said. "I think they'd like to be there when I sign, so I'm not really sure if I'm going to next week."

A native of Chesteron, Ind. (Michigan senior guard Zack Novak's hometown), McGary transferred to Brewster Academy prior to the 2010-11 basketball season.

A left-handed big man with the ability to run the floor, dominate the glass and knock down the open jump shot, McGary became one of the country's hottest prospects in the summer.

"The lefty is a man in the lane and the other guys know it," ESPN senior basketball recruiting analyst Dave Telep wrote of McGary's performance in the NBA Top 100 camp in June. "He's a feared competitor who owns touch and has a passion for punking people at the rim. You play in rotations at camp but McGary begged to get double-shifted by his coaches.

"You want this guy on your team."

McGary's recruitment turned him into a minor Internet celebrity recently. He ran his own personal recruiting blog on From August on, he had the collective attention of Michigan, Duke, Florida, Maryland, North Carolina and Kentucky before trimming his list to the Wolverines, Blue Devils and Gators.

With his commitment, he goes down as Michigan's highest-rated verbal since Pioneer High School's LaVell Blanchard (the 1999 Gatorade national player of the year).

The highest-rated prospect since Blanchard, McGary may well be Michigan basketball's most ballyhooed prospect since Chris Webber highlighted the Fab Five in 1991.

"(McGary's) a better prospect than LaVell Blanchard was," Telep told this week. "The program is set up now to where you can bring an impact player like McGary in and there's enough talent surrounding him to make a considerable difference and to raise the expectation level.

"Michigan has the structure of a really good team. And now if you take an elite player and throw it into the mix, everything becomes more competitive at practice. Expectations rise. The whole team has to adjust to a guy like McGary."

In McGary, Beilein has the biggest fish of his coaching career, and Michigan has its biggest recruit in decades.

What exactly are his plans for next season?

"I'd like to bring a national championship to Ann Arbor next year," he said.

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


Elaine F. Owsley

Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 12:35 p.m.

You can always trust a left-hander to get the job done. It's that "right brain" thinking that does the job.' Go Blue!!!


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 2:30 a.m.

This is a huge day for Michigan basketball. McGary is a likely NBA lottery pick type of player who is just beginning to show his potential. With Beilein and staff's coaching, you're going to see him emerge as a top college player. Mitch is clearly Beilein's best recruit ever, but the recruiting has turned around dramatically for Michigan in the last few years. The program will be back at the top of the Big Ten next year (if not this year). I can't wait to see where this program will go within the next 5 years.


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 2:18 a.m.

I've been a skeptic of Beilein's recruiting ability, thinking he would shy away from a possible one and done player such as McGary. Now if he can only recruit from big city public schools (e.g., Detroit), he'll be a complete recruiter, and a more complete coach.

Elaine F. Owsley

Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 12:36 p.m.

There is always the "scholar" side of "athlete" to consider. Maybe when Detroit Schools get their educational goals in line with their athletic.....


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 12:09 a.m.

Congrats Coach Beilein..Congrats Mitch!! ..say Yes to MICHIGAN!.. ..can't wait to see that 1st dunk.. Go Blue! v


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 11:51 p.m.

"SOBBING...NNNOOOOOO...WHY ME?" Quoted by Coach Izzo. TiM


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 10:31 p.m.

I knew holding onto Michigan basketball season tickets all these years would payoff. I've loved watching all of Beilein's team developed and improve each year and through out each season. Thank you Coach Beilein.

Terry Star21

Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 10:18 p.m.

Also, forgot to mention...ESPN claims his nickname is 'white thunder'....don't know if that's true, guess we'll find out soon enough.


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 12:32 p.m.

His teammates started calling him that, after he broke the backboard at a tournament. Here's the clip: <a href="" rel='nofollow'>;feature=player_embedded</a>


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 10:16 p.m.

This kid is a stud,he runs the floor agressively for a big man(6'10&quot; 250lbs),and J.B. &amp; coaches will improve him while he's a Freshman.. and he's better looking than Pittsnoggle spelling ? MMM = Mitch McGary Michigan GO Blue..


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 10:09 p.m.

Put on your maize and blue people - this year's UM basketball team is going to be hard to beat; and with McGary joining the team next year we will be heading straight to the Final Four! Go Blue!


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 10:07 p.m.

Heartbreak, the reason Ward and Blanchard didn't play on great teams but adequate teams was because of the turmoil we were starting to deal with in Wards case and the terrible coaching we had in Blanchard's case. We now have one of the best minds in Beilein and staff for that matter. This program is gonna be loaded now with top notch talent all throughout the squad. We have a diverse amount of talent in all key positions. Strong PG's, SG's, SF's, PF's and Center. We're going to have a strong 10-12 players for an awesome rotation and stamina to finish off games and withstand possible foul trouble to anyone. The way the recruiting is going in Football and B-Ball is wonderful to see, these 2 sports work hand in hand, without cheating. It's great to be a Michigan Wolverine!!!


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 10:28 p.m.

Agree Mick. I hope for the best, just using caution. That's all. (Hate seeing these youngsters with so much pressure thrust on them). Go blue.

Macabre Sunset

Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 9:53 p.m.

2012-13 will be exciting in Ann Arbor, that's for certain. We may get another year of Hardaway because of this. Michigan will be in everyone's pre-season top five. The spotlight will be firmly on Crisler Arena. Welcome, Mitch.

Dr. Vag

Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 9:48 p.m.

and the heavens open up


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 9:41 p.m.

It's an exciting recruit pick-up, and awesome for the Michigan program, but before we go declaring championships, let's wait until the players get here, qualify, adjust to college life, put some muscles on, and take some fouls in the B10. (Same caution that I give to highly rated football recruits). The last few &quot;can't miss&quot; guys that Michigan got were relatively misses (Ward, Blanchard) in terms of getting us over the top, though they were through-and-through good guys and people to be proud to be associated to Michigan. Hope that McGary pans out and develops that same love for michigan, and vice-versa. Good day to be a Wolverine!! Go blue.


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 9:49 p.m.

McGary will work out for us, trust me. On size alone most players can be dominant in college basketball and McGary has skills to go along with his size. Trey Burke to McGary for the oop! I can hear it now.


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 9:42 p.m.

Oh, and if he doesn't pan out, can we figure out a way now to blame RR?


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 9:32 p.m.

Getting Big dogs kid was great addition, and so is this. Lets just hope they pan out. I do feel bad for Lavell, He made the decision to stay home and the program imploded.


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 9:27 p.m.

But can he also play tight end? :-)

Jake C

Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 9:32 p.m.

I'd be more interested in whether he could play Safety. But at 6'10 &amp; 250 lbs, I'm guessing he might not be quite quick enough...


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 9:26 p.m.

i really do not care about the basketball program. what i like is that michigan is starting to get some good players. that is good for the program. got to crawl before you walk. i think it is starting to stand up now and walk. nice pick up.


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 9:53 p.m.

Basketball is the greatest sport, so maybe you'll start caring for it once this team gains some steam :)

David Vande Bunte

Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 9:46 p.m.

Got to crawl before you walk? You do realize that Michigan was one 3-pointer away from the Sweet 16, right?


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 9:25 p.m.

This is great news, looks like those basketball additions are paying immediate dividends for Michigan. McGary is a monster in the paint and is very aggressive, something you couldn't say for any player on the Michigan hoop team for quite awhile besides Sims awhile ago. Michigan basketball is on the rise again. All the loyal fans rejoice, bandwagoners hop on and start buying tickets again (finally), haters cringe. : )

Terry Star21

Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 9:24 p.m.

Great news....with the other new recruits, the current team plus our great coach - a return to a Top 10 (maybe 5) team is inevitable. Good times a plenty for MgoBlue !!!!!!!!

Terry Star21

Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 10:21 p.m.

No disrespect meant for fab five, but this kid nicknamed 'white thunder' is hopefully the final frosting on the championship cake.


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 9:51 p.m.

Hey now, this Michigan team is a lot better, but the Fab Five are legends for Michigan. It's possible that Michigan can make the top 10 soon though, look at the strength of the Big 10 and that game vs. Memphis coming up in that other tournament.

Terry Star21

Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 9:25 p.m.

ps.....fab five who ?????????