High School Stat Line (Senior Year): 25.7 points, 12.6 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 1.8 steals, 6.0 blocks
Standing Reach: 9’3”
Mitchell Robinson stands as a mystery as he failed to play a single game at the collegiate level due to an indefinite suspension for violating team rules. He had a very successful high school career however as he made the all-district, all-metro, and all-state teams in Louisiana in his Junior and Senior years at Chalmette High School. Other accolades include a Naismith Trophy All-America honorable mention, a MaxPreps All-America honorable mention, and USA Today All-USA Louisiana 1st Team honors. This is on top of being named a McDonald’s All-American. Unfortunately for Robinson, the suspension at Western Kentucky University cost him a year of development at the collegiate level and also prevented him from participating in the NBA G-League.
Robinson has been blessed with natural height, length, and athleticism. At the high school level, it is no surprise that he was putting up big numbers due to his physical attributes alone.
Shot blocking is another reason why Robinson will be highly touted as a potential first-round pick. He averaged 6.0 blocks per game in high school and although those numbers might not translate to the NBA, it is a stat that cannot be ignored even at the high school level.
Add rebounding to the list of reasons of why Robinson is being mentioned as a mid to late 1st round pick. Double digit rebounding at the high school level is notable but not impossible as many high schoolers aren’t 7-footers. Grabbing boards at the NBA level however is a different story but you can’t rule out someone with the height and length that Robinson has.
Robinson also has shown to be able to spread the floor and knock down threes as he shot 27.7% from downtown his Senior year. Although that percentage is pretty bad, at least it shows that he was willing to take the shot. It was an improvement from shooting 23.5% from three-point range his Junior year as he took 100 more threes his senior year in comparison to his Junior year. This shows a desire to expand his range and his game further.
Robinson’s weight leaves a lot to be desired. He has a similar frame to John Henson and Thon Maker. Due to the lack of size as far as weight and muscle is concerned, he might be bullied in the paint by bigger, stronger, and post-offense-orientated big men at the NBA level. The weight differential will also have an effect on his ability to rebound the ball efficiently, especially if he is bullied by those same NBA big men.
A major question mark is how his game will fare at the NBA level. The stats mentioned above were against high school level students. As impressive as they are, it is hard to count on those numbers alone and since there is no real tape of Robinson playing against other NBA prospects at the collegiate level on a consistent basis, he remains a speculative pick, regardless of who decides to take him. He is a gamble at best and a gamble in which a team would be banking on him on being able to harness his physical gifts and be molded into a productive player over the course of his first few years. He seems more like a project and is probably not ready for immediate NBA exposure.
Role on Bucks:
The Center position is a bit crowded with John Henson, Tyler Zeller, and Thon Maker all commanding minutes. The Bucks still need a true answer for the five spot and rebounding remains a weakness as they finished dead last this year in rebounding and second-to-last the year before. Is Robinson the answer? Who’s to say? The man is a mystery and there really isn’t enough tape on him to know whether or not he will pan out for the Bucks or any team for that matter. Inflated statistics against high schoolers don’t typically translate well unless those numbers have been proven at a second or third level. Robinson is attempting to skip some levels. D.J. Wilson is also another project prospect that the Bucks gambled on last year and it doesn’t make much sense to be developing players with the type of talent the Bucks have as of right now. That being said, Robinson is likely a risk that the Bucks cannot afford to take on as expectations are much higher with Coach Budenholzer at the helm this upcoming year as the Bucks attempt to win their first playoff series since the 2000-01 season.