Mitchell Robinson, the 5-star recruit who flirted with transferring and sitting out the 2017-18 season to prepare for the NBA, will return to Western Kentucky.
Chad Bishop of WBKO reported Mitchell is expected to enroll in the university by Monday's 4 p.m. deadline. Because he did not transfer, he will be eligible to practice immediately and play with the Hilltoppers this season.
Robinson was the No. 9 overall recruit and top-ranked center in the 2017 class, per Scout.com. By far the best prospect to ever commit to Western Kentucky, he's largely expected to be a one-and-done.
Robinson unexpectedly left Western Kentucky in late July, and the school announced he would transfer. The 7-footer has not given much insight into his decision to leave campus, but the departure of assistant coach Shammond Williams is thought to have played a part. Williams is Robinson's godfather.
Hilltoppers coach Rick Stansbury, who had a pre-existing relationship with Robinson dating back to his time as a Texas A&M assistant, hired Williams as an assistant in June 2016. Robinson committed to the team a week later.
The machinations behind Williams' resignation are still unclear. However, Robinson left campus and sought a transfer less than a month afterward. He visited LSU, Kansas and New Orleans earlier this month but appeared to be leaning toward sitting out the 2017-18 season. Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports reported last week that Robinson had decided to spend the year preparing for the 2018 NBA draft, in which he'll likely be a lottery pick.
The change of heart will bring Western Kentucky back into the Conference USA championship picture and give Robinson a chance to show NBA scouts what he can do on the college stage. That said, NBA teams will monitor him closely after this month of uncertainty.