NBAPA: Mitch McGary Extended Interview

One of the top post players in the country spoke with TDD at the NBAPA Event

Being considered one of the top rising big men in your class during the spring, talk about the experience of matching up against the nation's best post guys here at NBA Camp

Mitch McGary: Actually I really want to have a good matchup against Andre Drummond. We actually matchup up during our high school season and they ended up beating us that game. I don't know if he had his best game that day or not, I don't think I was as prepared to face him that game so I really want another shot at him at this camp. I was also hoping that Shabazz was going to be here, but he's not. I had played his team in the Jayhawk Invitational and I got to matchup against his teammate Robert Upshaw but they had beat us as well, so I was hoping to get a shot against him here to try and get a win.

How have you handled all the new recruiting attention that came about this spring?

It's been pretty crazy, and it's been blown way out of proportion. I didn't think it was going to happen this fast and this big, but you know, this is what I've been working for. It's every kid's dream to be considered a top player, and even though rankings are just numbers, I do appreciate being considered so highly. I just gotta keep at it if I want to keep the spot I've earned.

How do you think Brewster Academy has helped you as a person and a player?

It's been really good. Moving there has really helped me with my grades. When I got there I think my GPA was around a C Average or something and this past year I ended up averaging over a B Average. It's also helped me off the court a lot because at Brewster, there's a lot more people, I've learned to be more social with people I don't know by going there, and I've also learned to be more diverse in my friendships.

Basketball wise, it's like playing at a whole new level, we have a lot of guys on that team that are going Division One when they go to college, so for me getting to body up against guys like Markus Kennedy who's going to Villanova, and then I'd get out on the wing and matchup against guys like Jakarr Sampson who went to LeBron's high school in Ohio, it just made me a better player and it made me work even harder to earn my spot.

The recruiting world really exploded when it was reported that you may be re-classifying to 2011 after your visit to Connecticut. Can you elaborate on what it was like going through that?

Ok, here's the story. Ihad tweeted that my visit was done and it had went really good and somebody asked me, how did the visit go and I told him that they had offered me and had talked to me about coming in the class of 2011. But I didn't say anything like I was for sure going to reclassify, and then I think the writers just put it in a different perspective. My phone ended up blowing up because of that with people asking me was I going to reclassify.

I can say for absolutely sure that I am not going to be reclassifying; you have my word that I'm going to be graduating in 2012 and not any sooner. UCONN had said that they had a guy that was transferring out and so they asked me if the possibility was there and I told them no, there was no way I could do it.

Speaking of academics, what's the setup for you at Brewster Academy, how has it helped you?

It's really structured. I have a personal tutor that I meet with everyday who helps me with all my class work. He also helps me study for my ACT and SAT tests. Also, my roommate, Max Harper, he's going to Harvard, he helps me with my homework if I'm struggling to understand things, he takes the time to help me understand better what I need to learn.

What's it like being away from your family?

I wouldn't say that I got real homesick, but I am a big mama's boy in certain ways. I especially miss her home cooking a lot, and I miss a lot of my good friends, but I know they are going to be there for me, they are true friends and they understand that I'm just trying to do what needs to be done so I can make it.

In talking with your dad earlier in the day at camp, he indicated the excitement that comes from getting opportunities to visit college programs, do you feel the same excitement or something different?

Yeah, I mean, it's really cool, but I also feel really bad because I can't visit every school that's interested in me because of my school and travel school. I've got a lot of schools interested in me but it's pretty crazy how hard it is to line up visits.

Maryland is being billed recently by you as the school that is coming the hardest, can you share what that means from a recruiting attention perspective?

I don't mind that all the other schools aren't like Maryland in terms of how hard they are recruiting me, there's plenty of schools that are calling me or emailing me weekly or monthly, but Maryland just seems to call me or email me as much as they possibly can within the rules. Sometimes they are sending me multiple emails or letters or giving me a phone call when they can. They seem to be calling my coaches all the time, they are just pretty crazy, it's really obvious that they want me very badly.

You seem really knowledgeable about what's happening in recruiting, have you always done that or is it more recent?

When I was younger, all my friends we were considered to be one of the best teams in our area and I just kind of stuck with it because I knew I had an opportunity to get better as a player, so I just stayed focused and paid attention to what happens in the recruiting world.

What do you think helped you to maintain your focus when so many high school players never fully realize their potential?

You know, I don't even know for sure being honest. I've got ADD or ADHD, whatever you call it, so sometimes I struggled with focus, but I think Brewster really helped me a lot. It has helped me mature a lot on and off the court. Before that, I used to be the class clown, and I was kind of like the friendly neighborhood giant. I just got along with everybody, but moving to Brewster helped me get more serious about things.

With you being so knowledgeable about recruiting, what's it like knowing that schools are recruiting other talented bigs in your class, is that a big deal to you?

Not really to be honest. I'm not trying to sound cocky at all, hopefully the school I end up wanting to go to will still have a spot for me.

Do you have any schools that are pressuring you to get this recruitment done quickly?

Yeah, Maryland, they have made it very plain that they want me to wrap this up quick. If they could sign me today they said they would do that.

How do you feel about that approach?

I just told them that ‘No, I wasn't ready to commit to anybody yet'. That I wanted to wait it out, there's a lot of other schools involved and I need to see how things go with them.

What schools in your mind have given you a really good pitch?

I can't really say right now, I will say it in about a month or so or maybe by the end of summer, I'll have a full list that I'm comfortable with putting out there.

Going back to the Connecticut visit, what did the visit do you for in terms of your impression of the program?

It was real good, they just won a national championship so it was pretty big to be there to see how they felt about that, the coaches are nice and the facilities are great, but I don't know how long Coach Calhoun is going to be there.

is that something that Coach Calhoun indicated to you or did that come from other people?

He said that he's going to be at UCONN for as long as he has to or something like that, but I don't remember fully what he said.

Does that affect your decision at all?

Yeah, a little bit it does but I'm still going to consider them because he said that either his assistant coaches Miller or Ollie are going to take over when he leaves, so I'm probably still going to consider them.

Duke has mentioned as ramping up their interest in you. Can you share how the process has been going with them?

Coach K called me recently, and I gotta get back to him because I've been sick for a little while. Coach Wojo has been calling me and my dad a lot, they have been talking with me about coming down for an unofficial visit, we were talking about June as a possibility but I'm not 100 for sure what's going to happen, nothing's firmed up yet.

What are your impressions of Duke's recruiting you?

It feels really great because they are one of the biggest schools in the country. They are just like the Harvard of big time college basketball. They've got the best academics and they are also one of the best basketball programs ever. Coach K is one of the best coaches ever, he must be doing a lot of things right if they are winning that amount of games.

It's impressive and I know who Coach K is. He's a great person and a great coach.


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