After playing in just eight games due to a back injury, Michigan center Mitch McGary made the decision to enter the 2014 NBA Draft. It was deemed possible that McGary would leave Ann Arbor after two seasons, especially in the aftermath of his performance in helping the Wolverines reach the national title game in 2013, but the reason for his departure caught many by surprise.
McGary tested positive for marijuana in an NCAA-administered drug test following the team’s Sweet 16 win over Tennessee, and while school-administered tests can be more “forgiving” the same can’t be said when the NCAA is running the show. At the time the mandatory penalty was a year-long suspension, which meant that McGary would be losing his junior season. That led to his decision to turn pro, and in June McGary was picked 21st overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder.
McGary discussed his path to the NBA with Vice Sports, stating that he believes that the entire experience was good for him.
“Overall I think it was good for me; it’s a learning moment,” McGary said. “The way I handled it was mature and responsible, so I think people actually took my side and went against the NCAA, rather than being like, ‘Hey, you’re some sort of druggie.'”
It should be noted that the NCAA has shortened the length of a suspension for testing positive for drugs in an NCAA-administered test, with athletes now required to sit six months.
h/t Matt Norlander
GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 10 West Virginia at No. 6 Kansas, 7:00 p.m.
The last time these two teams got together, West Virginia actually knocked off Kansas in Morgantown. It was the third time in the last three seasons that WVU has beaten KU at home. So there’s some revenge at stake here. But there’s also the whole Big 12 title race, which West Virginia currently leads. If the Mountaineers win tonight, they’ll be up by two games on Kansas with the tie breaker and just seven games left to play. The Jayhawks regular season title streak could be over if that happens.
THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 8 Michigan State at No. 18 Purdue, 7:00 p.m.
We think the Spartans are back to their early season form after wins over Maryland (at home), Northwestern, Rutgers and Michigan. If Michigan State really wants to prove something to the college basketball world, they will go into West Lafayette tonight and get a win. Denzel Valentine vs. Raphael Davis will be fun.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR
- Pitt will pay a visit to No. 12 Miami in a game the Panthers could really use a win in. Pitt hasn’t been the most consistent team in the country and without adding a few quality wins they could be looking at the bubble.
- Duquesne will be paying a visit to No. 19 Dayton, who moved into a tie for first place in the Atlantic 10 thanks to VCU’s loss on Saturday.
- Georgia is right there on the bubble, and they will have a chance to try and push themselves into a better spot when they play at No. 22 Kentucky tonight.
- Creighton probably has to win out to have a shot of making the NCAA tournament, and that includes tonight, when they host No. 5 Xavier.
- No. 7 Virginia will be hosting Virginia Tech, who picked off the Wahoos in Blacksburg earlier this year.
THE REST OF THE TOP 25
- No. 1 Villanova at DePaul, 8:30 p.m.
- No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.
It’s Tuesday, which means that it is once again time for the NBC Sports Player of the Year Power Rankings.
And you’ll be shocked to find out that Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield is still No. 1 in those rankings. By a pretty wide margin.
The rest of the top 10?
They can be found here, at the CBT FaceBook page. Follow that page for the countdown: