Michigan lost perhaps the best backcourt in the nation when Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. passed up their last years of eligibility for a shot at the NBA. The Wolverines got a boost, though, when freshmen Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III announced Thursday they'd return for their sophomore years.
Both players were considered first-rounders, according to several NBA experts. McGary was one of the best big men in the NCAA tournament after spending much of the season as a sixth man. Robinson, still a work in progress, had his highs and lows but is an outstanding athlete with great potential.
"After gathering all the information and sitting down with my family, I have decided to continue my career at the University of Michigan," McGary said. "There is still plenty for me to work on as both a player and person. Michigan is the right place for me to continue growing, and I am excited about what lies ahead."
The Wolverines return three starters from its NCAA Runner-up and add three talented freshmen.
Robinson III said it took plenty of careful thought and consideration before he made his decision, insisting his roommate's return was only part of the reason he came back.
"This past season was an unbelievable journey and a great learning experience for me," he said. "I still have a lot of areas to develop in my game and I am looking forward to doing that at Michigan with this coaching staff and my teammates."
Robinson has spent time recently practicing drills to play the wing, where he plans to see plenty of time next season.
McGary averaged 7.5 points and 6.3 rebounds this season before putting on a show in the tournament. He averaged 14.3 points and 10.7 rebounds, while Robinson averaged 11.0 points and 5.4 boards.
"It was important we gave Glenn and Mitch, and their families, as much time as they needed to make the best and most informed decision they could with all the information they gathered," head coach John Beilein said. "We are excited to see them coming back. Both are a joy to coach and their enthusiasm, work ethic and passion for Michigan is second to none. They improved throughout the season and have only scratched the surface of their potential as players and leaders.
Both McGary and Robinson played in all 39 games this season, setting the U-M all-time record for games played in a season along with sophomore Trey Burke and freshman Nik Stauskas. The Wolverine duo earned a combined four Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors, as each garnered two apiece during the season.
McGary said he wanted to enjoy college for at least one more year.
"In a short period of time, this university, this community and all the Wolverine fans have embraced me and I am truly thankful for that," he said. "I look forward to representing Michigan with my teammates and to becoming a leader of this team."
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