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Question: You come in and there are a lot of expectations, Michigan hasn’t had a big man in a long time, freshman, you’re highly rated, what’s dealing with all that like? Has that been challenging?
Mitch McGary: “Yes and no. I mean, it’s been fun just coming in and being highly recruited was difficult from my parents standpoint to getting looked at and having all that pressure on top of you but my parents have helped me a lot and so have the coaches here with the media.”
Question: Can you talk about moving to college? Being a freshman in college is cool, can you talk about that?
Mitch McGary: “I mean, it’s a lot different atmosphere. I went to prep school, so it was similar, but just being on campus, and being recognized by fellow classmates is pretty cool, being recognizable by other classmates, but just being on campus is very neat and for us five freshmen, I just thought it was very cool for us.”
Question: What’s it like that you’re finally here? Is this like a relief to be here at this point?
Mitch McGary: “Yeah, it’s kind of surreal. When I got here, I mean, I went to prep school and felt like I was in high school forever. I kind of didn’t want to leave, but once I got here, it was kind of a relief that I made it and now I have to work on the next chapter in my life.”
Question: Living at prep school for two years, how has that helped your adjustment to college?
Mitch McGary: “Just being away from home. School was 18 hours away, I guess I kind of needed to come back to home a little bit, close to home, but it just made me more responsible, made me be able to make decisions on my own more easily, made it easier for my parents too.
Question: Do you feel like it made your transition to being a freshman easier than what most freshmen go through?
Mitch McGary: “Yeah, I think so. Living on my own, like I said, making more decisions on my own. School work is something where all college freshmen, it’s hard adjusting, so…
Question: Do you feel like you’re going to make the kind of impact that people expect right away with this group and your size and all that?
Mitch McGary: “I mean, I’m not sure. I’m not shooting on any expectations, but I’m just going to work hard each day, do as much as I can for the team.”
Question: The whole group of freshmen together – obviously there’s a lot of excitement about you guys, the impact that people feel you guys are going to bring to this team. Is that pressure, excitement, a little bit of both, do you guys like that?
Mitch McGary: “A little bit of both. People shoot out such high expectations, but we’re just going to take it one step at a time (and) work together as a team.”
Question: How much pressure is it to come onto a team that just won a Big Ten Championship, their first Big Ten Championship in awhile? Do you feel any added pressure with that or no?
Mitch McGary: “No, that’s last year, they had a great season last year and this year, we’re just going to take it step by step, day by day and try to get better and hopefully achieve the same goals.
Question: At the beginning, when you guys first came in, you guys were grouped together and got to take down upperclassmen a couple times.
Mitch McGary: “Yeah, that was pretty fun, but we don’t like to talk – it’s a sore subject.”
Question: They’re a little sore about it?
Mitch McGary: “Not so much, but I think, just at the time, somebody had something about how we beat them. It was fun.”
Question: Mitch, you guys have adjusted, each of you plays a different position, so it seems like you guys come in and help in lots of areas of the team. Is that something the coaches have talked to you about? That you guys can make different kinds of impacts?
Mitch McGary: “I think so. I think it also helps the veterans can help us individually. Caris and Nik are very similar, but me having such a great role model like Jordan Morgan, Jon Horford, it helps getting into the system quicker than it probably would if I went to like an all guards school.”
Question: Do you think your personality is helping you to this point?
Mitch McGary: “Yeah, I think so. I’m real energetic and always smiling, so I think the team enjoys it for the most part. I hope so. I think it’s just getting to know the guys better, having an open mind about everything, better attitude towards everything, just had that bond right away when we came in as a team.”
Question: Why are you diving into cold tubs?
Mitch McGary: “Diving into cold tubs? Who said that? You know, we have to, we get into cold tubs after to cool our body down and stuff but I guess it’s just my mentality. I’m enthusiastic about it. Most people don’t want to get into a freezing cold tub, so I just make some fun out of it.”
Question: Is that kind of how you are with everything?
Mitch McGary: “Yeah, I’ve got to have fun to be doing something. If it’s not fun, I’m probably not going to do it.”
Question: Is there anybody in particular who’s taken you under their wing? Has Josh Bartlestein done that?
Mitch McGary: “Yeah, Josh has done it on and off the court, had me over to his house and created a good friendship, and I knew him last year, so our friendship has grown even more, but on the court, I’d say Jon Horford, Jordan Morgan play a similar positions, so they’ve taken me under their wing and shown me a few tricks here and there and created that bond.”
“I feel a little bit closer to Jordan, we kind of have that bond, but lately I’ve been hanging out with Jon, trying to get that better bond, better friendship than we already have. They’re both trying to teach me a few things, little tricks here and there to get better.”
Mitch McGary: “Horford is the hardest to matchup against. I don’t know why, he just is. Between me and Jordan, it’s been going pretty well and me and Max has been pretty good. Max is kind of like a freight train on wheels, he’s pretty strong.”
Question: Did you miss bangin’ against Biefeldt (from their days as AAU teammates)?
Mitch McGary: “Yeah, Max and I are real good buddies. We’re from the same area and the same travel team, so I guess, reuniting with him is fun. We have some old jokes and old school friendship that we’ve reunited.”
Question: Is he as physical as you remembered?
Mitch McGary: “Yeah, even more so now.”
To view this feature in its entirety, our non-conference opponent previews, in-depth features on Trey Burke, TIm Hardaway Jr., and much much more, check out the next issue of GoBlueWolverine