Kansas junior Thomas Robinson will have a news conference with coach Bill Self at 11:30 a.m. today, presumably to announce whether he’ll forgo his last season of eligibility and enter the NBA Draft.
Robinson, a 6-foot-10 power forward, averaged 17.7 points and 11.9 rebounds per game while leading Kansas to the NCAA championship game in his junior season. He is projected to be a top-10 pick in this summer’s NBA Draft — with many draft experts suggesting that he could be selected in the top five.
Self told ESPN.com’s Andy Katz on Sunday that Robinson would leave for the NBA.
After Robinson had 18 points and 17 rebounds in KU’s loss to Kentucky in the NCAA title game last Monday, Self and other players acted as if Robinson’s departure was a foregone conclusion.
“I would be stupid to just think in my head, ‘Hey, Thomas will be back next year,’ ” junior guard Elijah Johnson said. “I’ve been facing reality. That’s my roommate. I’ve been feeling like he’s about to leave.
“I’ve been feeling like it’s about to end.”
Junior center Jeff Withey added, “I’ll miss playing with him.”
Robinson’s announcement will come just a few hours before Kansas has its team banquet tonight.
Because of new NCAA early-entry rules, if Robinson declares for the draft and doesn’t hire an agent, he has only until Tuesday to withdraw his name and retain his eligibility. Of course, NBA rules dictate that players have until April 29 to enter the draft. So players could technically wait until that date to make any decision.
If Robinson declares, he’ll become the ninth KU player to leave school early in the last six years, following three exits last season; first-round picks Marcus and Markieff Morris andsecond-round pick Josh Selby.
Robinson was a first team All-American and was named to the all-tournament team. He finished second in voting to Kentucky’s Anthony Davis for the Wooden Award and Associated Press Player of the Year and was also a finalist for Naismith Player of the Year.