Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Mitchell Robinson changes mind again, will bypass college and prepare for NBA Draft
The ongoing saga of Mitchell Robinson has taken another turn.
After returning to campus at Western Kentucky last month, the 7-foot Robinson has now decided to forego college and prepare for the 2018 NBA Draft, where he is currently projected as a lottery pick by ESPN.com.
“I’ve decided to leave Western Kentucky and just focus on next year’s NBA Draft,” Robinson told Scout. “I want to thank Western Kentucky, the coaching staff, the fans and my teammates, but I decided to pursue a professional career.”
Robinson will move to Dallas with his mother Lakesha Robinson to prepare for the draft.
“The lifetime goal of mine is to play in the NBA and I feel like forgoing my year of college and going straight to work on a day to day basis will help prepare me, so I can focus just on basketball and maturing,” Robinson told Scout.
Robinson initially left campus in July, was then suspended by coach Rick Stansbury and ultimately received his release from Western Kentucky.
He visited LSU, New Orleans and Kansas, but opted to return to the school to which he initially committed. He would have had to sit the 2017-18 season had he transferred unless he obtained a waiver to play immediately.
NBA personnel thought it was a good move for him to return to school, so it remains unclear how sitting out a full season will impact his draft stock.
“I think he would have been better off playing in college but going with a good trainer and working very hard because he has size and talent will get him to his first-round goal,” one NBA scout said Monday.
“Playing well in Draft workouts and having good interviews will be important.”
Said ESPN’s Jay Bilas on Monday: “It all depends upon just how talented he really is. Talent will overcome almost any decision. Any time someone goes outside of the established norm, there will be skepticism. But, players have gone overseas after having eligibility questions and done well, this is just the next option for a player.
“No disrespect intended, but he was not going to a high profile program anyway, so there isn’t an ‘exposure’ argument. Scouts will still see him plenty and be able to evaluate his talent and progress.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.