Mitchell Robinson leaving Western Kentucky again (Don't worry, not for Kansas)


Big East's Mitchell Robinson (22) blocks the shot of Big West's Brandon L. McCoy (44) as Jaren Jackson Jr., left, and Brian "Tugs" Bowen II, watch during the second half of the McDonald's All-American boys basketball game Wednesday, March 29, 2017, in Chicago. The West team won 109-107. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Big East's Mitchell Robinson (22) blocks the shot of Big West's Brandon L. McCoy (44) as Jaren Jackson Jr., left, and Brian "Tugs" Bowen II, watch during the second half of the McDonald's All-American boys basketball game Wednesday, March 29, 2017, in Chicago. The West team won 109-107. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) by Matt Tait

I know no one really cares at this point. And I’m not sure anyone should.

But since I wrote roughly 3,543,267 words about him this summer and most of you read every one, I felt compelled to put a neat and tidy bow on the mess that is Mitchell Robinson.

Surely, you remember the name.

If not, here’s a brief recap: McDonald’s All-American and Top 10 player in the 2017 class who committed to Western Kentucky only to leave Western Kentucky after his godfather left the coaching staff. He had already committed to Texas A&M before that but followed A&M assistant Rick Stansbury to WKU when Stansbury got the job.

After asking for his release after his godfather left, Robinson visited LSU only to have them back off. Then visited Kansas only to have them back off. And also visited the University of New Orleans during that time. Two of the three were close to his hometown in Louisiana so that made sense and, well, Kansas is Kansas.

But after all of that, after dragging out his visits and his decision and flirting with the idea of going overseas or sitting out the season entirely to prepare for the 2018 NBA Draft, Robinson went back to Western Kentucky, where he knew with 100 percent certainty that he would be eligible to play.

That is, until he didn’t.

Sunday afternoon, the 7-foot projected lottery pick told Evan Daniels of that he was starting the whole thing over again.

OK. That might not be exactly what he said. And, hopefully for everyone’s sake, he’s not going to go through something as wild and crazy as his wishy washy summer. But he is leaving WKU for the second time.

“I’ve decided to leave Western Kentucky and just focus on next year’s NBA Draft,” Robinson told Daniels. “I want to thank Western Kentucky, the coaching staff, the fans and my teammates, but I decided to pursue a professional career.”

Added Robinson’s mother: “He’s strictly focusing on training in Dallas. He has another plan and it’s training.”

I won’t bore you with the why or the how or even the huh? of all of this.

It just seemed like a travesty for those of you who wasted so much time reading up on Robinson’s decision(s) to not know how things ended up.

For now.

“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 Daniels. “I just want to get better and just grow as a person.”


John Fitzgerald 1 year ago

Poor WKU. I never want anyone to fail but it's sure going to be hard for a guy in his position to increase his draft stock over guys that are in college proving their abilities on film.

Steve Jacob 1 year ago

I like one suggestion that players can be drafted out of high school, but have to sit out a year and play in the D-League. You learn a lot on a bus to Maine or South Dakota.

Dale Rogers 1 year ago

If Kansas truly backed off of him rather than the other way around, then there must be something to my gut feel that this guy is an "it's all about me" guy who would not gel with team-oriented players like we have here. For his sake I hope he's better at decision making in his future than he has been this year.

Bryce Landon 1 year ago

Considering all the drama surrounding him and the way he has screwed WKU over, I'm glad he won't be donning crimson and blue.

Joe Joseph 1 year ago

I'm very interested to see how this plays out.

Many freshmen initially harm their draft status by underwhelming during their one season in college. Doubt starts to creep into the minds of scouts and NBA executives as to whether or not these athletes can really develop into franchise players. Athletes then have essentially two options: (a) return to school and improve one's stock by proving he is worthy of the pre-college hype, at the risk of showing little-to-now improvement (or even regression) OR (b) cutting one's losses and entering the draft anyways because one year of college typically isn't enough time to solidify one as a bust. That is, the "potential" is still there.

If Robinson chooses not to play internationally and just "works out" for a year, he, in theory, should still maintain the allure of a raw player with endless potential. In other words, he won't have to run the risk of exposing himself as relatively unskilled, as others who go to college often do.

How will NBA executives and scouts react to this? Seems like a fairly trailblazing approach (not playing any real organized ball for a year).

Kent Richardson 12 months ago

Pretty sharp observations. I don't think many really understand how much dedication is required to get any meaningful playing time in the NBA. As much moving around, or talking about it, that Robinson is doing makes me "think" he really doesn't want to meet the requirements even for college players. He may just now be showing his true beliefs that he has been rated highly as a seven foot recruit so I'm NBA ready and I will sit out a year and work on my game in Dallas instead of going to class and the hassle of all the rah-rah team stuff that he may not believe in. I may be missing some insight but unless he is Embiid or Anthony Davis talented he has a reality check coming in a year. Good luck Mr. Robinson.

Jonathan Allison 12 months ago

This is effectively what Dante Exum did in Australia a couple years back. Flirted with college, but essentially decided to sit out and wait till the NBA Draft. It's a little different because Exum is an international player, but both were highly rated prep players who had performed in front of scouts and were known in NBA scouting circles.

If I were an NBA exec this move would make me pause if I were looking at this guy in the 2018 draft, but you have to do your due diligence anyway and bring him in for individual workouts, see how he measures up at the combine (if he decides to participate), and vet his background as best you can. But I would think that sitting out a year would at least be a strike against the guy.

Henry Joseph Hofmeister 12 months ago

He should go work out with the Ball family. They have it figured out if you don't want to play professionally or ncaa for a year.

Jonathan Allison 12 months ago

It's a perfect match made in Bball purgatory.

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