Michigan State got great news earlier on Thursday when Gary Harris announced that he would be returning to school, and now it’s Ann Arbor’s turn to celebrate.
Mitch McGary, the break out star of the 2013 NCAA tournament, and Glenn Robinson III will both be returning to school, according to a report from CBSSports.com. They have a 4:30 p.m. press conference scheduled to announce their decision.
McGary averaged just 7.5 points and 6.3 boards on the season, but he became a star during Michigan’s run to the national title game. He got in shape, he refocused himself and he averaged 14.3 points and 10.7 rebounds in the six games on college basketball’s biggest stage. There was speculation that he could have played his way into the lottery.
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There will also likely be some backlash for this decision. McGary is 21 years old, which is old for a freshman. He’s not overly skilled and relies on effort, toughness and size to succeed. There’s an argument to be made that his NBA Draft stock will never be higher than it is right now. But, as I said when Marcus Smart announced that he would be returning to school, if it makes him happy and he was informed, than we have no right to criticize.
Robinson had a bit of an up and down season, as he thrived against lesser competition but struggled against the big boys of the Big Ten. He’s got worlds of potential as a 6-foot-7 wing with a ton of athleticism, but he needs to become more aggressive and less of a standstill jumpshooter. He likely would have been a first round pick as well.
Michigan lost Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. to the draft already this month, but with McGary and Robinson back in the fold, they should have a chance to be pretty good. Spike Albrecht, who scored 17 points in the first half of the national title game, and Nik Stauskas are both back, and point guard Derrick Walton headlines another good recruiting class for John Beilein.
Michigan should be a player in the Big Ten race next season, even if Adreian Payne does return.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.