It was recently reported and confirmed that Mitchell Robinson, a 5-star recruit previously committed to Western Kentucky University, will forego playing college basketball to get prepare for the 2018 NBA Draft.
Robinson’s journey in (and now out) of college basketball has been an odd one. He first committed to Texas A&M before Western Kentucky despite neither being known as basketball powerhouses. Robinson’s decision to not play college basketball altogether to get ready for the NBA has left scouts and fans puzzled.
The question is pretty simple: how does not playing college basketball prepare a prospect more for the NBA? While Robinson definitely would not have faced the best competition while playing at WKU, it’s still an experience against better competition. The biggest adjustment that college players have to make when jumping to the NBA is the speed and physicality, so wouldn’t playing against 21 and 22 year old men help prepare Robinson more?
I may not completely understand his decision, let’s take a look at the positives from not playing college basketball. Obviously, he won’t have to worry about the “college” part of college basketball. I am an advocate for getting an education, but Robinson was a for sure one-and-done guy, so why bother? Another college aspect Robinson won’t have to worry about is the lifestyle that comes from being a stud, D1 basketball player. If I had to guess, I’d say hanging out at home for another year will at least keep him out of trouble.
At the end of the day, we won’t know whether Robinson made the right decision or not until his NBA debut. While it may hurt his stock (he’s currently projected to go late first/early second round) he may be a great grab for someone looking for a project. Robinson is a 7-footer with great athleticism and versatility, so someone will take a chance on him.
So it’s an iffy move for someone like Robinson, but what if other top prospects follow in his footsteps? What if someone like Ben Simmons, an automatic top 3 pick at least, did something of this nature? He basically wasted a year at LSU before being drafted anyway, so it’s possible that staying that staying home and solely focusing on basketball might have helped someone of that caliber?
Of course, obviously not playing college basketball can hurt a prospect chances in the draft too. A player will get less exposure and there is a chance he may regress in terms of talent. It’s a tough call, but hopefully it pays off for Robinson. If it does, we make see top prospects start the trend of not messing around with college basketball anymore.
Do you think skipping college to prepare for the NBA is a good idea? Tweet me @b_Freaky13 and let me know what you think!