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Michigan's Mitch McGary declares for NBA Draft in wake of marijuana suspension

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The talented forward had already sat out the majority of the 2013-14 season with back issues.

Gregory Shamus

Facing a one-year suspension for marijuana use, Michigan forward Mitch McGary has decided to enter the NBA Draftaccording to Yahoo! Sports.

One night in mid-March, with the NCAA tournament about to begin without him, McGary was hanging out with a group of friends at Michigan. He had a few drinks. Someone offered some marijuana - a common occurrence, he said, on campus.

"I always turned it down," McGary told Yahoo Sports. "But that night I didn't."

Less than two weeks later, McGary "dressed" for the Wolverines' Sweet 16 game against Tennessee. He was never going to play, but coach John Beilein thought the sight of him in maize and blue on the sideline, pumping up his teammates, would add some enthusiasm. Michigan eked out a 73-71 win.

Amid the post-victory celebration, an NCAA representative told McGary that he, of all people, had been selected to undergo a random drug test, even though he hadn't played in months.

McGary was already on the fence about whether to return to college or go pro this season. However, after an appeal from Michigan came up fruitless, leaving early made a lot more sense than sitting out another year.

He shot up draft boards after a stellar NCAA Tournament run last year, leading Michigan all the way to the national title game, but decided to return to school to get more experience. However, he missed the first two games due to a back injury and after eight games, he had back surgery that caused him to miss the remainder of the season.

At 6-foot-10, he projects as a late first round pick, according to DraftExpress. He is the third member of the vaunted Michigan 2012 recruiting class to go pro this season, following Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III.