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Question: So far, is it harder or easier than you expected?
Mitch McGary: “School wise, harder. Basketball, it’s been a lot tougher, but I’ve been more disciplined, and the coaches have been stricter, so it’s been really good for both school and basketball.”
Question: Which part’s been tougher for you?
Mitch McGary: “Just defense, a lot of defense. Prep school was just up and down, but here, it’s just a whole different story.”
Question: Any personal significance, in particular for wearing #4?
Mitch McGary: “My high school number has always been #5 and #33 was prep school, AAU. #33 is retired and #5 was my teammate’s. I just decided I’d pick #4.”
Question: But you invite those comparisons?
Mitch McGary: “Yeah, I mean, it’s big shoes to fill, wearing Chris Webber’s number. Honestly, just going to wear the number and shoot for the best.”
Question: Is there anything about Coach Beilein’s program that makes it easy to transition from prep school to coming into college?
Mitch McGary: “I know with his system, four man, four or five man, they touch the ball a lot and they’re always intertwined in the system, so that’s going to help, just being able to be part of the system and put forth some effort into the team and help the team.”
Question: Do you feel like you’ve been able to do some of the things you’re used to doing in prep school on this team with this system?
Mitch McGary: “I think so. Coaches will let me, give me some freedom a little bit. With that freedom, I have to take care of the ball and not turn it over.”
Question: Mitch, being that you have a relationship already with some of the guys on the team, like Max…do you feel there’s a ready-made chemistry in a way?
Mitch McGary: “Yeah, I mean, I call it like a community pretty much. Right when we got here, I’ve always had chemistry with Spike and Max in the same program, but Glenn and I have this sort of telepathy type deal on the court where we always know where each other is at on the court even when we’re not looking, and that’s just how we’ve been playing the last three or four years together and I think that’s helped in the practices so far, but overall, meeting all the guys and creating that bond right away and all the guys are nice and cordial in welcoming the freshmen.”
Question: Do you sense Michigan is more of a basketball school, and there’s an excitement around Michigan basketball?
Mitch McGary: “Yeah, I think so. Michigan’s a football known school, but I have a great respect for all the football players and I know it’s been dominated by football for so many years, but basketball’s trying to get back on top and (be a) two-sport school, basketball and football.”
Question: Do people know who you are when you’re on campus?
Mitch McGary: “Yeah, a lot of my classmates ask me who I am, they’re shocked and they don’t understand that I’m just a normal kid too trying to go to school and have fun, but it’s kind of surreal when I got here.”
Question: What’s your role this year?
Mitch McGary: “To do whatever it takes to help the team. Whatever it takes.”
Question: Mitch, a lot of guys come in at the four or five, do you see either of those positions as one you’re more comfortable with?
Mitch McGary: “Either or, I’m very versatile. Four or five, back to the basket or face up, just do whatever I can to help the team.”
Question: Which part of your game do you think needs the most work and which is the strongest at this point?
Mitch McGary: “I think just my enthusiasm for the team and making all my teammates better is probably my best attribute right now and then, personally, probably just working on my footwork, cause all the guys in the post have really good footwork and I’m a freshman and never really got a chance to work on it.
Question: This is obviously an acclaimed group of freshmen coming in. The last time that happened, do you know much about the Fab Five? Did you watch that documentary?
Mitch McGary: “No I have not. I saw parts of it. I guess we’re coming in and rumors calling us the Fab Five.”
Question: Who’s called you that?
Mitch McGary: “I don’t know, I’ve just been asked questions about being called the Fab Five. We’re just five freshmen coming in and trying to make the program even better.”
Question: What do you call each other?
Mitch McGary: “Teammates.”
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