Michigan sophomore Mitch McGary is entering the NBA draft, saying he had little choice after testing positive for marijuana during the NCAA tournament.
"I am ready to move on to the next stage in my life and enter the NBA draft," the 6-foot-10 McGary said in a statement released by the school Friday. "Being a part of a program that values integrity, it is important to let everyone know of a poor decision I recently made. I tested positive for marijuana during the NCAA tournament. We were notified of that result after the Final Four. I regret thoroughly disappointing my family, coaches and administration."
McGary told Yahoo Sports he was facing a one-year suspension for the failed drug test.
McGary was terrific in the 2013 tournament as a freshman, helping Michigan reach the national title game, where the Wolverines lost to Louisville. He considered jumping to the NBA then, but instead came back for his sophomore year and was a preseason All-American.
But McGary played only eight games this season. He was bothered from the start by a back problem and eventually had surgery. He was shut down shortly after a Dec. 14 matchup with Arizona.
It was unclear how his future would be impacted by the injury. Was his draft stock still high enough for him to leave, or would he need to come back to Michigan in 2014-15? McGary is old for his class, turning 22 in June, but his injury made his decision a difficult one — until the flunked drug test.
"I feel I'm ready, but this pushed it overboard," McGary told Yahoo.
Although he was injured most of this season, he remained a fan favorite and an energetic presence on the Michigan bench.
"Mitch has had a tremendous impact on our program from the moment he committed to us," coach John Beilein said. "The progress he has made on and off the court has been outstanding. His willingness to face a personal issue head on and his positive work ethic during his recent injury have helped him to grow in many ways."
Read more of this story in Saturday's print and e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.