Every underclassman basketball player who excels at the college level is faced with the question of whether to jump to the pros or hone their skills at school in order to ensure a better draft position.
Such is the case for Texas Longhorns sophomore guard Myck Kabongo, who scouts see as having very few negatives, as far as being a potential pro prospect goes. Kabongo even toiled with the idea of jumping ship after his freshman season but ultimately decided to improve his craft by staying in Austin.
Heap lot of good that did.
The NCAA hit Kabongo with sanctions stemming from potential impermissible benefits that barred the Canadian from playing for UT up until seven games ago. Yet, in those seven games, Kabongo averaged 17 points per-contest. Even more impressive than his scoring, though, is Kabongo’s 5.4 assists per-game, especially for someone with just over a half-dozen games of his sophomore season under his belt.
Kabongo has three games of at least four turnovers in his shortened season, which can be attributed to his willingness to attack the basket and get to the free-throw line, but if he can’t take care of the ball at the collegiate level, what’s to say he’ll do much better with a trial-by-fire in the NBA?
The fact of the matter is, pro prospects have become more difficult than ever to judge, particularly because the quality of the college game hasn’t seen much improvement lately. The reason for that is because of all of the high-quality underclassmen taking the one-and-done route.
However, with change comes adaptation. The mistakes once made by college underclassmen are now more of a factor at even the high school level.
That being said, these are still just kids, and kids make mistakes, and the NBA is a harsh place to learn right from wrong. As far as Kabongo goes, he’s a bright kid with a solid work ethic who has already had his fair share of trials and tribulations off the court without even being labeled with any red flags.
However, another full year at Texas could very well boost him into sure-fire top-5 selection material.
Mike Gillmeister can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter:@mgillmeiRantCBB. Like his Facebook page here for on Big 12/A-10 men’s basketball.