Earlier this week, the Michigan Wolverines got some big news as senior guard Michael Smith announced he would be declaring for the 2021 NBA Draft. After his productive play over the last few months, this felt like a likely outcome. However, it’s still notable to see him make the announcement official.
Mike Smith will not return to Michigan next season and instead enter the 2021 NBA Draft, per his Instagram page.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) April 7, 2021
During his single season in Ann Arbor, Smith averaged 9.0 points, 5.3 assists, and 2.8 rebounds per game. He was the team’s top option at point guard and displayed impressive consistency over the course of the season. There’s little debating Smith was a key reason Michigan won the Big Ten regular season title and advanced to the Elite Eight. Smith arrived at Michigan after playing four seasons with Columbia.
Replacing Smith won’t be easy, but Michigan does have a few options. Zeb Jackson should return and the Wolverines are also adding a great prospect in Frankie Collins. There’s also a reasonable chance Eli Brooks opts in for another year in Ann Arbor. All three would come with some associated question marks, but there are at least some choices for Juwan Howard and his staff.
There’s no telling where Smith could end up at the next level, but his departure will certainly disappoint Wolverines fans. We’ll stay tuned and see what happens.