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Mike Smith announces he’ll pass on return to Michigan, enter NBA Draft

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NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-UCLA vs Michigan Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The Michigan Wolverines will have a new starting point guard next season with Mike Smith announcing he will leave the program and enter the 2021 NBA Draft. Smith, like all seniors, had the opportunity to return to Michigan for another season given the NCAA’s paused eligibility rules this past year.

“I’ve always been the underdog so it’s only right that I bet on myself and double down! I will always be a wolverine! GoBlue,” He posted on Wednesday afternoon.

Smith has not been mentioned many places as a potential NBA prospect, but he speaks about continuing to bet on himself in his farewell post and is preparing himself for professional opportunities.

Smith, who transferred to Michigan after four seasons at Columbia, completely transformed his game under head coach Juwan Howard and the Wolverines. Known for his scoring knack in the Ivy League, he was asked instead to be a facilitator and coach on the floor for the Wolverines. It was a role that he nailed as he adjusted to life in the rough-and-tumble Big Ten Conference.

He averaged 9 points, 5.3 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game this season and started every night for the Wolverines.

There remains optimism that Michigan may bring back players like Eli Brooks and Chaundee Brown if they choose to return. Clarity on that should come in the weeks to follow.