SI Article on McGary at the LBJ Skills Academy

Submitted by JimBobTressel on July 16th, 2013 at 3:47 PM

Mitch McGary squatted into a textbook defensive stance -- feet spread, knees bent, arm extended toward the dribbler. Normally, McGary would not have had a hard time locking down his opponent from that position, but on this occasion he just happened to be facing the best player on the planet. It only took LeBron James one power dribble to his left to separate from McGary, rise up and drill an easy 15-foot jumper. As McGary glanced over his shoulder to see the ball go in, he could only shake his head.


"I tried to do my best out there," he said later with a smile.

The sequence could have been from one of McGary's dreams, but it happened for real last week at the LeBron James Skills Academy, the Nike-sponsored gemstone of the summer hoops circuit. McGary was one of 23 college players invited to work out in front of dozens of NBA scouts at the Cashman Center in Las Vegas. Unlike three years ago, when McGary was one of the hundred-plus high school players at the camp, The King knew exactly who he was this time.


(Imagine the twinge of glee McGary felt when, during a defensive switch, LeBron shouted, "I got Mitch!") James' cameo at the college workout happened to occur on the three-year anniversary of his ill-conceived announcement that he was signing with the Miami Heat. McGary had his own Decision to make last April, and if it received a fraction of the attention that the King's got, it also demonstrated a lot more maturity and judgment.

Read More:



July 16th, 2013 at 6:45 PM ^

Ford doesn't deal so much with player developmnet but in the politics of the draft and prospects' draft position. In that light, his comments make sense, as McGary will probably go lower next year than he would have this year. That said, staying an extra year will allow him to develop skills (particularly a pick and pop game) that he'll need to be successful as a 4 in the NBA.


July 16th, 2013 at 4:28 PM ^

document. if he blocked lbj he would be like the guy on the bengals who chased Bo down from behind, a superstar in the making(he wasn't). one play doesn't mean anything.


July 16th, 2013 at 4:43 PM ^

"I study him," [Michael Jordan] says.

When LeBron goes right, he usually drives; when he goes left, he usually shoots a jumper. It has to do with his mechanics and how he loads the ball for release. "So if I have to guard him," Jordan says, "I'm gonna push him left so nine times out of 10, he's gonna shoot a jump shot. If he goes right, he's going to the hole and I can't stop him. So I ain't letting him go right."

Looks like Mitch played LeBron like MJ would have. I think the most rational conclusion we can draw is that McGary will be the next Michael Jordan.


July 16th, 2013 at 5:25 PM ^

"With defenses focusing on the Wolverines' star-studded backcourt of Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway, Jr., McGary had 21 points and 14 rebounds in a third-round win over VCU and 25 points and 14 rebounds in the Sweet 16 overtime triumph against Kansas. He also showed his versatility by dishing six assists (to go along with 10 points and 12 rebounds) in the Final Four win over Syracuse."

It seems like McGary added dimension to his game almost by the minute in the postseason, but over the course of the season, he accounted for almost 1/5th of Michigan's total rebounding and almost 10% of the scoring. In the postseason alone, he accounted for 11 of the 116 assists, about 1/4 of the rebounds and 1/6th of the scoring. The contributions were enormous overall as it is, and to see him add this outside dimension to his game is another thing to be excited about this season, I would think. 


July 16th, 2013 at 7:00 PM ^

and wasn't able to play as aggressively. There's still a part of me that thinks if he and Trey hadn't each picked up a couple of ticky-tack fouls, we would've been able to win that game. Yes, we would have been denied the spike-pocalypse, but trey would've been better on defense than spike was, and Beilein wouldn't have kept spike in for that early second-half offensive Louisville put on. McGary would have been able to attack the basket and grab a few more rebounds than he did.