Brock’s Random Thoughts: Mitch McGary’s Early Departure Not Surprising, But Failed Drug Test Is
It's not a huge shock to me that Michigan sophomore center Mitch McGary announced he would forgo his final two years of eligibility to enter the NBA Draft.
It is a surprise in the manner that he's doing it, however.
According to Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports and later confirmed by the University of Michigan, McGary tested positive for marijuana during the NCAA tournament, which carries a 1-year ban from the NCAA. When he was told by Michigan coach John Beilein and Athletic Director David Brandon that he failed the test, McGary took responsibility for his actions and apologized to everyone for his mistake. And then he declared for the draft.
I give McGary credit for owning up to his mistake. He says it was a one-time deal in an Ann Arbor bar and I believe him. I don't excuse his behavior. However, as prevalent as marijuana use is on college campuses these days, I'm surprised this doesn't happen more often. Or maybe it does, and it just goes unreported. I'm also not sure a 1-year ban from the NCAA fits the punishment for the crime.
I don't think McGary's draft status is hurt at all by this He is projected to be anywhere from a late first-round pick to anywhere in the second round, or even undrafted. The back injury he suffered has really hurt his status more than this: He would have been a mid-late first round choice had he declared after his freshman season, when he helped the Wolverines get to the national championship game.
I wish McGary the best of luck. I don't think that one mistake like this will affect people's view of him, especially if he goes on to be an effective pro.
Michigan will be in a rebuilding mode for the 2014-15 season, to a degree. Caris LeVert and Derrick Walton return, and the addition of Mark Donnal will help. But expectations won't be as high as they have been the last two seasons.