Updates from Tuesday, April 15
Glen Robinson III has officially declared for the NBA draft confirms the Michigan basketball Twitter feed:
The sophomore explained his decision via mgoblue.com:
"I have thought a lot about the next step in my career over this past year," said Robinson. "After talking with my mom, my dad, my grandma, Coach Beilein and the coaching staff, I feel the time is right for me to begin my professional career and declare for the NBA Draft. I am confident I have the work ethic, the talent and maturity to pursue this path successfully.
"It has truly been a blessing to have had the opportunity to attend to the University of Michigan and be part of this basketball program," added Robinson. "The Wolverine fans and U-M alumni are the best in the world. I have developed many relationships and created so many positive memories that I know will last a lifetime. As excited as I am about my future, I will always be grateful for this wonderful two year experience at the University of Michigan."
There are conflicting reports as to whether sophomore Michigan Wolverines forward Glenn Robinson III will forgo his final two seasons in Ann Arbor and enter the 2014 NBA draft.
Jake Fischer of the Boston Globe reported the news on Monday, citing a source with knowledge of the situation who indicated that Robinson had signed with an agent:
However, CBS Sports' Gary Parrish has sources who say Robinson hasn't informed Michigan of his intentions just yet:
Robinson is a versatile frontcourt player who brings a lot of athleticism and has upside to continue developing his offensive arsenal, particularly from the perimeter. He filled in at power forward at times for the Wolverines and created mismatches with his quickness, but he projects better at the 3 position given his 6'6" height.
An injury to standout big man Mitch McGary thrust Robinson into a bigger role as a sophomore, but he had a rocky start to the 2013-14 campaign. That had him questioning his decision to stay in school after mulling the draft following his freshman season, per Dylan Burkhardt of UMHoops.com:
It was probably not until a fourth of the season [that I accepted it]. And I just kind of let it go and decided to play my basketball. I had a great run actually for quite a few games there. I was like, "there’s nothing I can do about Mitch getting hurt, or playing the three." Now I’m switching it up playing the four and three when Nik [Stauskas] needs time out.
The momentum of a strong 2014 NCAA tournament performance should give Robinson confidence to take his game to the professional level. Criticized in the past for coming up small in big games, Robinson answered his doubters during Michigan's run to the Elite Eight, scoring in double figures in every contest and averaging just under 14 points and over five rebounds per game.
In the midst of March Madness, Yahoo Sports' Marc J. Spears felt that Robinson deserved more NBA hype. Spears spoke to a scout who felt the youngster would be a first-round pick even in a draft class that's expected to be deep:
Although he's had mixed results in his college career, struggling to live up to the hype since being heavily recruited out of high school, some team should indeed take a chance on Robinson in the first round if he declares himself eligible, though. His father was the first overall pick in the 1994 draft, which should help prepare Robinson for the draft process and his time in the NBA.
Staying in college for at least one more year to hone his skills could work well and enhance Robinson's chances of being a lottery pick in 2015, but it's a win-win situation regardless of what he decides. Leaving Michigan now has immediate benefits too.
Robinson will need a year or two to develop regardless, but he should be able to contribute off the bench in the right NBA situation. If he does fall toward the latter half of Round 1 in the 2014 draft, he will likely land on a playoff-caliber squad that should have a solid infrastructure and some experienced veterans to foster his development.
As long as Robinson continues to work hard, remains aggressive as he makes his transition to the NBA and adds a bit more muscle to his 220-pound frame, he has all the makings of enjoying a successful career in the Association.