- Allison Farrand/Daily
By Neal Rothschild, Daily Sports Editor
Published April 14, 2014
For the second time in the last week, reports surfaced that a Michigan men’s basketball player will be fleeing Ann Arbor for the NBA. This time, it’s Glenn Robinson III.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Robinson plans to sign with an agent later in the week. That followed an initial report from Jake Fischer, a Boston Globe correspondent and Slam Magazine writer, that the sophomore forward has already signed with an agent and will declare for the NBA Draft this week. An ensuing CBS Sports report confirmed that Robinson would be leaving school and stated that Robinson had yet to inform the Michigan coaching staff of his decision.
Monday evening, the Athletic Department announced via e-mail a press conference to be held Tuesday afternoon. The e-mail did not provide further details, but ESPN’s Jeff Goodman later reported that Robinson and sophomore guard Nik Stauskas would both be revealing their decisions.
Robinson was Michigan’s second-leading scorer this season, averaging 13.1 points along with 4.4 rebounds per game. Though he had a propensity to disappear in the Wolverines’ offense at times this year — he scored in single digits nine times — he was assertive late in the season and became a feared scorer with his deadeye midrange jump shot.
He is projected as a late first-round or early second-round pick. His stock has fallen since last year, when he was projected to go as high as the lottery — a top-14 pick.
This follows an ESPN report last Thursday that Stauskas would be declaring for the draft, though Stauskas insisted through Twitter that he had not made his final decision.
A year ago this week, Robinson, along with forward Mitch McGary, both announced that they would return for their sophomore seasons. The two are best friends, and whereas last year’s decision was a collaboration between the two, Robinson said after Michigan’s Elite Eight loss that this year their decisions would be conducted more independently because of McGary’s back injury and extended absence.
The report leaves McGary as the only mystery remaining as far as who might be leaving for the pros. Following the announcement that redshirt junior Jon Horford would be transferring, there may be as many as five players leaving the program, with forward Jordan Morgan being the lone departure without eligibility left.
While Robinson wanted to play the ‘3’ at Michigan, on the wings and with more ball handling opportunities, personnel necessitated that Michigan coach John Beilein play him at the ‘4.’ When he announced he’d be returning for his sophomore season, Robinson declared his intention to play the ‘3,’ but Beilein was never able to fulfill his wish for any substantial period of time.
When he struggled early this season, Robinson admitted during the NCAA Tournament that he had second thoughts about his decision to come back to Ann Arbor, but that he gained comfort as the season went on.
Despite shooting troubles that plagued him during the bulk of the Big Ten season, Robinson hit a series of key 3-pointers in March. He shot 41 percent from behind the arc during the month after making 27 percent of his threes the rest of the season.
Robinson was also Michigan’s best athlete. He accounted for the lion’s share of the oohing and ahhing at Crisler Center the past two years with his highlight-reel dunks.
Feb. 26, Robinson, the team’s best leaper, was thrown a cross-court lob pass near the baseline in Mackey Arena with a couple ticks remaining and the Wolverines down one point.
Robinson caught it, took a dribble and banked the ball off the glass at the buzzer.
He made the shot in front of his father in Glenn Robinson Jr.’s college gym, and the play served as perhaps the highlight of Robinson’s two years.
Note: Stauskas announced on Twitter Monday night that he would make his NBA draft decision Tuesday.
And for those who have been asking, I will be holding a press conference tomorrow at school where I will announce my decision.
— Nik Stauskas (@NStauskas11) April 14, 2014