Michigan Wolverines star forward Mitch McGary will enter the NBA Draft despite not having played all season because of a back injury.
Yahoo Sports is reporting that McGary’s declaration for the draft stems from a failed drug test during the NCAA tournament that will net him a one year suspension.
For months, McGary had struggled to come to terms with the back injury that limited him to just eight games for the University of Michigan this season, none after mid-December. Less than a year earlier, he helped lead the Wolverines to the 2013 national title game as a star freshman. Now, he was a spectator.
One night in mid-March, with the NCAA tournament about to begin without him, McGary was hanging out with a group of friends at Michigan. He had a few drinks. Someone offered some marijuana – a common occurrence, he said, on campus.
“I always turned it down,” McGary told Yahoo Sports. “But that night I didn’t.”
During championship tournaments or bowl games, however, the NCAA takes over and now may test not just for PEDs, but all banned drugs classes, including recreational. The NCAA penalties are also harsher.
He averaged 9.5 points and 8.3 rebounds before undergoing Jan. 7 back surgery.
At this time last year, McGary turned down the opportunity to be a potential lottery pick. He chose instead to return to Michigan for his sophomore season, looking to build off an NCAA tournament showing that turned him into a household name.
Now McGary is loosely projected as a second round pick in the 2014 draft.
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