Scout.com's #2 rated player in the class of 2012 is Brewster Academy's Mitch McGary. Now a household name in recruiting and among Michigan basketball fans, the excitement about his potential impact when he hits the Crisler Arena floor has reached a fevered pitch.
Long before the country found out McGary would be heading to Ann Arbor, GoBlueWolverine was already at work finding out more about how the 6'10, 250 pounder will fit in with the Maize & Blue through the eyes of an opponent.
"You've got to make sure you limit his second chance opportunities and find him in transition, because generally speaking he's going to play harder than most kids we'll face at this level," said New Hampton Academy head basketball coach Peter Hutchins whose team fell to Brewster last season 86-77. "He's physically gifted enough to do that ,and what I mean by that is his body is college ready — so he can really play, he's very comfortable playing hard, I think that's his best asset right now."
At 6'10 McGary has the size to battle underneath the basket but also the skill set that allows him to stretch the floor on the perimeter, something college basketball is seeing more and more of.
"I think that's just the direction the games going in right now," said Hutchins. "There's fewer times where programs or coaches put guys in the post, so anytime you have a guy who can step out and make shots that definitely puts a lot of pressure on the defense and makes your whole offensive attack that much more —there's a lot more you can do."
Growing up on a basketball court, I know coaches preach about rewarding the big men when they run the floor. For McGary that asset is part of what makes him so difficult to stop in high school.
"You've got to make sure you block him out and find him in transition so that all of the hustle plays he can make don't hurt you as much," said Hutchins. "He's going to have an impact on the game regardless, but you certainly want to keep him off the glass so he doesn't get those second chance opportunities. And he runs the floor very hard in transition."
Hutchins believes that in Beilein's offense McGary would provide an inside/outside threat similar to what former West Virginia star Kevin Pittsnogle used to provide, and then some.
"He would be a huge get for Michigan because of the physical nature of that league. It would give them a big guy that is more than capable of handling that, and he would be a compliment to that offense where he can step out and make shots and fit in well. There's two benefits to having Mitch, in addition to all the other things that he brings in terms of how hard he competes — the fact that he can score on the block and around the rim and defend with other bigs in that league. Couple that with the fact that he can really step out and make shots, create and pass, facilitate and set ball screens and all of the other things that Coach Beilein has going on within his offense."
As for a prediction of McGary's success at the next level, Hutchins kept things pretty simple.
"Mitch just plays harder than other people and he's incredibly tough. I have a ton of respect for him. I envision him being a great college basketball player."
Breaking Down McGary: Opponent Coach's View
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