Michigan senior guard Mike Smith said Wednesday he will bypass an extra season of eligibility and enter the NBA Draft.
The NCAA granted another year of eligibility to all winter-sport athletes because of disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, the Wolverines’ 5-foot-11 sparkplug will test himself at the next level.
Smith, who played parts of four seasons at Columbia before he transferred to Michigan, averaged 9.0 points this past season with 5.3 assists, while shooting 41.8 percent from 3-point range and 41.2 percent from the field total.
“All my life I dreamed of playing in the NBA, but I have always been the underdog,” Smith wrote in an Instagram post. “I have always been told I was too small or that I wasn’t good enough to play at the next level. I never listened to them and I still don’t.
“No matter what anybody said, I kept working and betting on myself. I believe that we all have our own paths in life. … It’s only right to continue to bet on myself and take that path and follow my dreams of playing in the NBA. Next stop for me is the NBA draft!”
Smith scored a season-high 18 points in a March 12 Big Ten Conference Tournament game against Maryland.
The Wolverines were a No. 1 seed in the East Region of the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the Elite Eight where they were defeated by UCLA. Smith scored just three points in the defeat and was just 1 of 7 from the field.