Tuesday, April 9, 2013

How hard will Michigan be hit by the 2013 NBA Draft?

It was a great run for Michigan.
I for one didn’t see the Wolverines coming within six points of a national championship at the end of the regular season, but Michigan really played its best basketball at the right time.
There are plenty of ways you can analyze Monday’s game. You can be critical of the coaches or players or the refs, but I am just going to let that all go.
Michigan had a great season and accomplished something big for its program by reaching the national championship game. I didn’t think John Beilein was a coach capable of taking Michigan to that next level, but he proved me wrong and he deserves credit for that. I think he has secured his spot as head coach of the Wolverines for a long time to come.
This season had the makings of being a disappointing one after Michigan failed to win a Big Ten title of any kind, but the Final Four and national championship game appearances made up for all that.
This last month can do a lot for the Michigan program going forward. It should do a lot for recruiting, which is already going well for the Wolverines (three ESPN Top 100 recruits joining the team next season).
Next season will certainly be interesting for Michigan, but the big question heading into the offseason is who will be back for the Wolverines?
Four of Michigan’s starting five all have the potential to leave for the NBA.
It is more than expected that Trey Burke is leaving. The sophomore point guard nearly left after his freshman year, but decided to stay. Now he is the National Player of the Year and doesn’t have any reason to come back outside of wanting to win a national title. I’d be shocked if Burke returned. He is a guaranteed lottery pick.
Junior Tim Hardaway Jr. also seems set to leave. I personally think he could benefit from coming back and being the focal point of the Michigan offense. Hardaway disappeared at times throughout the season and another year to develop his shot would be beneficial in my opinion. His family pedigree helps his draft status, but I am not sure he’s ready.
Glenn Robinson III also has the family background to go pro, but I really think he needs a second year of college. The freshman has good length, at 6-6, but I think he could use another year in a strength and conditioning program to bulk up a little bit. He was frequently out-muscled when playing defense this year and became somewhat of a defensive liability for Michigan. With his athleticism, Robinson III can be a great pro player if he develops his shot. He was just a 32 percent shooting from 3-point land and 67 percent shooter at the free-throw line.
Mitch McGary wasn’t really on the NBA radar entering the tournament, but he certainly is now. I don’t expect him to leave, but his stocker has never been better. He already has pretty good size at 6-10, 250 pounds, and his outside shooting has noticeably improved. McGary also runs the floor well and has great court awareness. I still think it would be wise for him to return to Michigan and work on his post moves and try to develop his scoring inside with both hands. I think McGary could really dominate if he continues to develop. He would be a featured player for Michigan and I think he could be a Player of the Year Candidate with another year of progress.
So, of the four, how many do you think will return. Right now, I think Burke and Hardaway Jr. are leaving. I am on the fence about Robinson III. He may not feel comfortable coming back with the others leaving, or he could embrace the challenge of having to be a featured player. I think McGary will be back for sure, which will help Michigan a great deal.

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