LeBron: McGary Embracing Role as Heart & Soul

Mitch McGary turned in one of the best NCAA tournament performances in Michigan history a few months, but if he has his way the best is year to came. GoBlueWolverine sat down with the Maize & Blue star at the LeBron James Skills Academy in Las Vegas to discuss his elevated role on the team, his offseason growth, exciting changes to the offense, and more.

Sam Webb:  I saw you on full yesterday, it seems like you running a little bit like you’re running on mid-tank right now?

Mitch McGary:  “Yeah.  Just doing a little extra suicides.  Coach Luke is putting us through some good workouts.  It gets me a little extra tired.  I’m trying to do the best I can.  We only got one big on the team and no subs.  A couple of teams got some subs, so they can get a breather, but I’m doing all I can, just running on E right now.”

Sam Webb:  It looks like you are in terrific shape.  You are what about 265 now?

Mitch McGary:  “No.  I don’t know why they listed me at 266.  I’m like 253, 254.  I’m down from what I was at the end of the season.  At the end of the season I was about 255.  I’m right around there.  I’m still trying to lose a little baby fat and build some muscle and stay in shape.”

Sam Webb:  Take me through your summer thus far.  What has it entailed and what have you done up to this point?

Mitch McGary:  “As soon as we got home, Glenn (Robinson), Spike (Albrecht) we’re really close at home.  We live 20 minutes from each other.  Us three and also our teammate Max Bielfeldt, we all work out together and do morning workouts about three to four times a week and did skill workout.  Then we’ll go to a trainer and get stronger and we’re on certain diet plan.  Glenn is trying to bulk up.  Me on the other hand trying to lean up… same with Max and Spike trying to bulk up.  We just trying to get stronger and help the team in any way we can.”

Sam Webb:  You went to Amare.  I know when Trey (Burke) went to the Skills Academy last year, he met up with some pros and felt like that helped him advance his game.  Did you meet up with any pros that kind of helped you do the same thing?

Mitch McGary:  “I talked a little bit to Anthony Davis.  I played with him a little bit and I know Kyrie (Irving).  We all played on the same team at the Amare Camp.  Just running up and down and kind of getting to know him and getting to play with him a little bit.  Seeing what their level of game is like.  I know it brings out the best in me and it is always good for me to challenge myself playing up against them.”

Sam Webb:  A lot of people, including myself, say you are the heart and soul of the team next year.  You lost Trey and you lose Tim (Hardaway). That is a lot of leadership.  People are looking to you. Are you ready for that responsibility?

Mitch McGary:  “I think so.  Coming back Glenn and I have a lot of pressure on us.  We made a big deal about us coming back and being kind of the two high profile guys on the team.  I think this year we’re going to have a lot of guys that can contribute more than last year.  Last year it was mainly Trey and Tim who were our main guys.  I think this year we’re going to have it more spread out and more evenly scoring.  I’m willing to step up even though I’m only a sophomore, I’m the third oldest on the team.  I’m going to step up and take charge and hopefully become the captain of this team.”

Sam Webb:  When we look at your game from the tournament and look at your game out here, it seems like they can play through you.  Whether it is the high post, down in the post.  They can run offense through you, is that something the coaches have talked to you about?

Mitch McGary:  “Yeah, I would love to do that.  We’ve all talked about running the ball.  Running the offense through me in the high post, low post, and even on the wing.  This year we might go… Coach Beilein talked about taking care of the ball and maybe moving me out on the perimeter and running two bigs at the same time.  Also if I have a 6’6” forward on me taking him in the post and finishing down there.”

Sam Webb:  Often when you talk about playing a different spot it is not about what you can do (on offense), it is can you guard the position?  Did you feel like out here all summer guarding smaller guys that you feel like you are going to be able to do that?

Mitch McGary:  “Yeah.  It is difficult.  I’ve been working on my lateral speed a lot lately and that’s the one main thing.  I’ve got to be able to guard.  It doesn’t matter if I can score on offense.  I can use my strength to my advantage, but I’ve got to be able to guard.  I just got to have my quick feet and just be able to stop the defender whenever I can.”

Sam Webb:  Open gyms, what have they been like and have you gotten a chance to play with the freshman? What have they been like?

Mitch McGary:  “Yeah we’ve had a few open gyms.  Glenn and I have been a little absent due to these camps and we’re going to come back and still be a part of this team.  We’re just trying to get better as a team and help the team any way we can and our individual skills and contribute them to the team.  From what we’ve seen, I think the open gyms have been pretty good.  We’ve got a lot of good shooters come in, Zack Irvin, Derrick Walton is even a pretty good shooter.  Going up against Mark Donnal, he is a little hesitant right now trying to find his niche in the team right now because it is early, but he sure can shoot it.  We’ve got a couple of other walk-ons, (Andrew) Dakich and Cole McConnell, I feel like they are going to be great role players.”

Sam Webb:  Tell me this about this Meek Mill (i.e. Glenn Robinson III) fan over here.  Where has he taken his game? Where has he grown?

Mitch McGary:  “He has transformed his body.  I feel like this year everybody is going to actually see the real Glenn Robinson, III.  Last year, they only saw a glimpse of it, a sample size because – he really didn’t take a back seat, but he kind of just did what was needed for the team.  This year, I feel like him and I both going on all cylinders is going to provide the team with a lot of energy and a lot of leadership and hopefully people realize what the real Glenn Robinson looks like.”

The Michigan Insider Top Stories