University of Texas freshman point guard Myck Kabongo announced this morning that he will return for his sophomore season in 2012-2013 and will forgo the NBA, at least for now.
With the tradition of Texas point guards making a quick jump after a single season– most recently D.J. Augustin and Cory Joseph– many around the Forty Acres are somewhat surprised Kabongo made the decision to stay in Austin for another year.
One of the most highly recruited guards in the 2012 class, Kabongo struggled at times this season, finishing with averages of 9.8 points per game, 5.3 assists per game, and 3.0 rebounds per game.
Make no mistake, there were flashes of brilliance which highlighted Kabongo’s ability and potential, but there were just as many poor decisions made.
In short, the young Canadian guard is aware he has a great deal of refinement remaining to be able to be competitive in the NBA:
It’s about being ready, I want to be someone who is ready to play and contribute at the next level.
Being at Texas is really the best thing for me.
Kabongo’s decision is a positive development for Rick Barnes and his staff who struggled at times to earn buy-in from a young Texas team which relied heavily on production from six underclassmen.
As next year’s recruiting class arrives on campus, there will be much less pressure on their shoulders given an intact sophomore class which will include Kabongo, Shelden McClellan, Jaylen Bond, Julien Lewis, and Jonathan Holmes along with transfer Sterling Gibbs.
For the first time in several years, the Longhorns will return an entire class without any NBA departures.
This will not be the case in 2013– Kabongo and McClellan will both likely move on– but can be a foundation upon which the Longhorns can build in the short-term to become more competitive in the Big 12 Conference and make a much deeper NCAA Tournament run next March.