Ford: Blazers Select Michigan F Mitch McGary In 2013 Mock Draft 1.0

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Chad Ford of ESPN.com has the Portland Trail Blazers selecting Michigan forward Mitch McGary at No. 12 in the first version of his 2013 NBA Mock Draft.

Chad Ford of ESPN.com (Insider) has the Portland Trail Blazers selecting Michigan forward Mitch McGary at No. 12 in the first version of his 2013 NBA Mock Draft.

Analysis: McGary mania is in full swing after a terrific run in the NCAA tourney, but NBA scouts still are getting their arms around his draft stock. They've really only been scouting this Mitch McGary for about eight games. However, on the surface, it appears that McGary has a lot of promise. He's got an incredible motor, is a good athlete, has great hands, rebounds, blocks shots and has shown a midrange game. It's possible he's a one-hit wonder, but I think more and more teams believe he's the same kid that ranked as one of the top five players in the country after his junior year of high school. He could be a great replacement for J.J. Hickson should he bolt in free agency this summer.

McGary, 20, is listed at 6-foot-10 and 250 with a 7-foot-0 wing span. His Wolverines lost to the Louisville Cardinals in the NCAA championship game on Monday night; he finished with six points (on three-for-six shooting), six rebounds, one block and one steal in 29 minutes.

Here's his DraftExpress.com page. Here's a rundown on McGary by Jonathan Givony from back in Nov. 2011.

McGary runs the floor extremely hard and plays with an unbelievable amount of energy, diving on the floor for loose balls and having no qualms about using his body to assert himself inside the paint. He clearly has a huge passion for the game, pounding his chest at any opportunity, firing up his teammates and being a very positive influence both on and off the floor. He boxes out opponents well and is a massive presence on the glass, often going out and grabbing rebounds well out of his area thanks to sheer desire.

Defensively, he can be a bit wild at times, but has more than enough bulk to hold his own in the paint and shows the willingness and awareness to rotate over and get stops. His lateral quickness is just average, though, which will likely relegate him to the center position long-term.

Offensively, McGary does not appear to be an overly skilled player at this point in time. His back to the basket game consists mostly of overpowering his opponents with brute force, as his footwork is fairly raw. He attempted to show off his perimeter game at this tournament, putting the ball on the floor somewhat wildly and pulling up for jump shots, but did not find much success. He did show some solid passing ability, though, again looking like an unselfish and committed teammate, which will surely be appreciated by John Beilein at Michigan.

More from ESPN.com's player page.

Positives
Physical, high energy big man
Excellent motor
Strong and imposing in the paint
Amazing hands
Good leaper and an aggressive dunker
Excellent rebounder and shot-blocker
Solid range on his jumper out to 18 feet

Negatives
Still needs to work on his post game
Can be overactive to the point of hyper

Last week, Kyle Meinke of MLive.com reported that McGary said he would return to Michigan for his sophomore season.

"I haven't even thought about (leaving)," he told MLive.com after practice Tuesday at the Crisler Center. "I don't have a decision to make -- I'm coming back."

Is he 100 percent sure?

"Yeah," he said with a laugh. "I'm coming back."

Then, a few days ago, Nick Baumgardner of MLive.com reported that McGary was hedging on that.

Michigan freshman Mitch McGary made headlines earlier this week when he declared he would be "100 percent" returning to school for his sophomore season.

On Friday at the Georgia Dome, when asked if he was surprised he had to make a statement like that last week, the 6-foot-10 freshman backed off his previous sentiment just a bit.

"I was misunderstood, I kind of got caught off guard," McGary said. "That's kind of a question that's ill-advised right now.

Here's an ESPN.com feature by Jason King on McGary's freshman year.

In some circles McGary has been tabbed as a "poor man's Kevin Love."

"Everybody says the college game is so much faster," McGary said, "but I always played at a high speed. My body was moving too fast for the game. I actually needed to slow down a little bit during the season.

"My balance wasn't as good because weight was a problem, and a lot of it was footwork. I know there are guys who are the same size as me who are going to knock me around. I learned how to stay balanced and keep my weight under me."

Andrew Sharp of SB Nation wrote that McGary should be "your new favorite basketball player."

Mitch McGary would be insane not to leave school this year. He's a lottery pick now, and depending on what happens Monday night, he could go as high as top 5. He's probably the most athletic big man in the country, it's a weak draft, and over the past four days he's been compared to David Lee and Kevin Love. (Because he's white, you see.)

Did you see him against Syracuse? Against the same murderous zone that made potential top-5 pick Cody Zeller look like the most overrated prospect in decades, McGary was the best player on the floor and nearly had a triple double.

Best case he's another Greg Monroe or Kevin Love, worst case he's Tyler Hansbrough. In a weak draft after dominating the NCAA tournament? It's kinda impossible to imagine Big Mitch going any lower than no. 10.

I attended the 2011 Elite 24 high school game at Venice Beach and McGary shattered one of the backboards with a dunk during pre-game warm-ups. He was unable to play after cutting his arm on the backboard's glass. Video via primepreps.

Thanks to thebiglg for getting there first in the FanShots.

-- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

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