Michigan Basketball players and the NBA Draft

michigan basketball

Michigan Basketball just capped off an outstanding season with a tough loss in the National Championship game. Now all eyes turn towards four Wolverines who are contemplating an early jump to the NBA.

Will they go or stay?

Trey Burke – sophomore – 6-foot, 190: The unanimous National Player of the Year and a consensus All-American, Burke had a season for the ages as he piloted the Wolverines to the national title game. He averaged 18.6 points, 6.7 assists, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.6 steals per game. Burke shot 46.3% from the field and led the nation with a 3.0 assist-to-turnover ratio.

[Updated: It’s official, Trey Burke is heading to the NBA]

What scouts love about him: He’s a smart player, who sees the court well. He knows when to shoot and when to set up a teammate. Burke is tough, disciplined and a true floor general.

What they don’t like: He is barely 6 feet tall. If he was 6-foot-4, he’d be the #1 pick in the draft.

Projected draft range: Top 10 pick

My guess: Burke will be playing in the NBA next season. He has nothing left to prove at the collegiate level and his stock will never be higher than it is now.

Tim Hardaway Jr – junior – 6-foot-6, 205: He was an All-Big Ten First-Team selection this year and averaged 14.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. Hardaway is a better defender than he generally gets credit for.

What scouts love about him: At 6-6, he has NBA length and he does a lot of things well. Hardaway can attack the basket, knock down three-balls, rebound and he is good in the open court.

What they don’t like: He can get ice cold shooting the ball and while he does a lot of things well, he doesn’t do any one thing great.

Projected draft range: Second round pick

My guess: I think Hardaway will make the jump to the NBA.

Mitch McGary – freshman – 6-foot-10, 250: He wasn’t on the draft radar prior to the NCAA Tournament. Then he got the starting assignment and became a tournament sensation. He posted three double-doubles and was a huge reason Michigan made it to the final game.

What scouts love about him: He is big, has a relentless motor and is a gifted athlete. McGary can run in the open court, is a great rebounder, can block shots and, as evidenced by his 6 assists against Syracuse in the Final Four, in the words of Boobie Miles Uncle LV in Friday Night Lights “and he can pass”.

What they don’t like: His game could use a little polishing and as mentioned above, he wasn’t even on the draft radar prior to the tournament.

Projected range: Lottery pick

My guess: I think it’s a toss up and if the next guy on this list, who is also McGary’s roommate,  comes back, I think he will return with him. However, it’s going to be awfully difficult to pass on being an almost surefire first round pick. With that being said, if McGary returns for his sophomore season he could end up being the #1 pick in the 2014 draft.

Glenn Robinson III – freshman – 6-foot-6, 210: Robinson III is a tremendous athlete and has an NBA pedigree. He averaged 11 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. Robinson shot 57.2% from the field and dazzled with his highlight reel dunks.

What scouts love about him: He has an NBA body and just looks like a future star. He has elite athleticism and can shoot the rock.

What they don’t like: He is a little raw and sometimes struggles to get his shot.

Projected range: Middle of the first round

My guess: Of the 4 players listed here, I think he is the most likely to return. However, he is in the same boat as McGary and it will be tough to pass on being a lock to go in the first round.

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  • http://isportsweb Russ Arthur

    Rob: It doesn’t make sense for Hardaway, Jr. to make the move if he’s only a second round pick. We who are familiar with that situation with the MSU point guard a few years ago see no guaranteed contract for second rounders. Greene may be the exception not that rule. So why not stay and improve, because he’s got the overall ability to be a whole heck of a lot better and more consistent?

    McGary: the first time I saw him against MSU, he was awful. I thought he was another slug. Couldn’t catch the ball, looked like he was trying to break the backboard with his shots. I’ve never seen a player improve as immensely in less than a full year than he did. But he still has a long way to go. Freethrows are terrible, must learn to shoot the 15 footer better. Finally, I don’t think he’s 6′ 10″ either, when they measure him out for the NBA, I think we’ll see about 6′ 8″ which doesn’t put him at the 5 in the pros. I think he needs to stay to get a feel for the 4 at least one year.

    III: He has just totally disappeared in games; that can’t happen. He, of all of them, must stay to be ready for the pros, Again, I see a height problem, I really don’t think he’s 6′ 6″ maybe 6′ 5″ if that. Next to Dawson of MSU, he seemed about equal and Dawson’s definitely not 6′ 6.”

    Here I am, an MSU fan, saying they all but Trey need to stay. For our benefit, they all can go, but I’d like to see them ready (since I’ll root for U – M when they’re not playing MSU).

    • Rob White

      Good points Russ, as a Michigan fan I of course want all 4 of them to stay. However, if they are being told they are first round picks, I can’t blame them for leaving.
      McGary is a legit 6-10, I’ve stood next to him for interviews – he is a big human.

  • http://n/a WOLVERINE
  • Ben Dover

    I think Blake McLimans and Matt Vogrich come out, too.

  • Craig

    Nice article Rob. I really hope McGary and Robinson come back. Their stock can only go up and they could use another season to fully prepare for the NBA. I fully expected Haraway to be a high first round pick when he came in as a freshman. His shooting is just too hot and cold.