Mitchell Robinson reportedly will not play a minute of college basketball.
According to Yahoo Sports' Pat Forde, Robinson "is not expected to play college basketball this season" and "is expected to focus his energies on preparing for the 2018 NBA draft."
Tuesday's report comes after the 5-star center prospect left Western Kentucky after previously enrolling there this summer. Ranked eighth nationally by Scout in the 2017 high school class, Robinson was the highest-touted recruit ever to sign with WKU when he announced his intentions last June.
Robinson left Western Kentucky abruptly in July after attending two weeks of classes and practicing with the team. Hilltoppers head coach Rick Stansbury suspended Robinson initially before granting him his release.
"WKU freshman center Mitchell Robinson has been granted his release to transfer from the Hilltopper program," Stansbury said in a statement (via ESPN's Jeff Borzello). "After discussing Mitchell’s future with him Monday evening, we agreed that it would be best for both sides to allow him to move in a different direction. As I’ve said before, Mitchell is a great kid, and we wish him well going forward."
While Robinson visited programs, it was far from certain that he'd ever play. Any school would have had to file for a waiver to make Robinson eligible for the 2017-18 season. Because he was enrolled at Western Kentucky and practiced with the team, the NCAA would have had to approve a hardship waiver for Robinson's transfer.
It will be difficult for Robinson to improve his stock away from the college basketball spotlight, but he is a borderline lock for the top 20 in next June's draft should he proceed as planned. He's an athletic 7-footer who was seemingly set on dominating Conference USA competition, and he should get a few chances to wow scouts before next June.