When superstar high school recruit Mitchell Robinson committed to Western Kentucky, the unconventional decision to go low-profile brought both hope for a precedent for elite basketball prospects to approach their development paths in more various means and questions as to how to judge Robinson’s likely dominance in Conference-USA compared to other prospects in more rigorous conferences & whether Robinson intentionally avoided a tougher challenge.
Unfortunately, the months after Robinson’s commitment to Western Kentucky have only heightened the scrutiny around him as he has wavered back and forth over leaving the university in the preseason. With Robinson seemingly trying to prioritize his NBA dreams now and leave Western Kentucky behind, an option he should strongly consider is to enter the G League instead as a way to continue as a trailblazer and answer critics.
With the G League, Robinson can spend his season making a livable salary while proving himself against much stiffer competition than the NCAA can provide. Robinson will have a much easier time adjusting to pro basketball life in the G League than he would playing in Europe, Australia, or Asia and will be better suited for guaranteed playing time on a G League team due to the G League’s propensity for reshuffling rosters every season. All the while, Robinson would be the first star prospect to eschew the NCAA as an 18 year old for the G League.
Robinson could thrive in the highly paced G League by causing havoc with his mobility and length as a center. A legitimate 7 footer with foot speed and shot-blocking instincts, Robinson can learn among veteran players and experienced coaches on how to improve his awareness on the court and add much-needed strength.
One could look at G League All-Star Keith Benson as an example of the type of player Robinson could and should emulate to succeed in such a setting. Plus, the increase in NBA team affiliates in the G League makes a strong likelihood of Robinson fitting under the watchful guidance of an NBA organization to get closer hints as to how to prepare for his ultimate draft dream.