So apparently Michigan hoops is going to look much different in 2014-2015. Glenn Robinson III is leaving for the NBA, according to reports. This after the Horford transfer news and the will he / won't he Stauskas ongoing saga.
My thoughts: This is a smart move. GR3 is a tremendous athlete, talented at finishing in transition and cleaning up garbage rebounds. He would have never been the focal point in the Beilein offense, an offense that easily revolves around penetrating guards and three point shooting. He would have never crept up to a 16 or 17 ppg scorer, thus boosting his NBA stock. If you're young and athletic and your potential is untapped, the NBA will pick you up. If your (less) young and questions still remain about your game, you might just be overlooked during the draft. Right now GR3 is the former.
GR3, as it stands, is probably a 2nd rounder. Like a poor man's Danny Granger.
A friend wrote me these thoughts:
It is hard to do anything but like Jon Horford. A good kid who tried hard is how I would classify him.
If he wants to go to a high major program and thinks he can play a major role, I hope he is right. At the beginning of this year, I thought he had turned the corner. His hands were better and he developed a decent 8-12 foot shot. When McGary went down, I thought that he and Jordan Morgan would split the time. But, Horford's game regressed and he continued to commit dumb fouls. By that time in his career, I think that Horford had enough experience that he should have been able to claim the time he deserved. In the end, Morgan was clearly better. I agree that Beilien's offense favors athletic shooters, but Jordan Morgan had significant success and would have had even more had he been able to hit 6-8 foot shots.
That being said, I hope for the best for Horford. Twenty year olds should have dreams and should have the opportunity to follow them. Rather than a high-major, I think Horford could do well at a traditionally strong program smaller program like Butler, a Mid-American school, or a Manhattan/Iona-type school.
This transfer will further lower the depth of the Michigan interior, which really has never been one of their strengths these past couple years.
Stauskas & McGary
Stauskas should go pro. His rise is so improbable and his stock is so high, I'm not sure why he would tempt the injury gods now. What else would he need to prove at the college level to show he's ready for the NBA? Improved defense? He won't get the chance to prove his 1 on 1 defensive ability in the Michigan scheme.
McGary should stay at Michigan. Scouts have only seen him play about 20 non-injury plagued games at the college level. Does he have an incredibly high ceiling? Absolutely. Could he be a forever-injured enigma? Yup. Imagine what a year at Michigan would do, 13 ppg and 9 boards, maybe show some glimpses of that smooth mid-range jumper. He would be a first rounder in 2015.