FORT WORTH, Texas - University of Texas basketball coach Rick Barnes says that former Longhorns guard Cory Joseph has told him if could do it again he should have stayed in college rather than turn pro early. The same for P.J. Tucker.
Longhorns point guard Myck Kabongo would be wise to learn from Joseph and Tucker's decisions and stick around for one more year. All signs point to Kabongo leaving UT after this season for the NBA draft, but he would be so smart to give stick around a little bit longer.
Kabongo has now played three games in this his sophomore season. A stupid and pointless NCAA suspension has all but wiped out Kabongo's year, and as a result killed UT's season. Kabongo is a natural point guard with solid floor-director's skills. UT is 2-1 since he returned, and maybe can make a run at .500 now that he is back.
"Think about it - he's played three games and done pretty well," Barnes said after UT defeated TCU on Tuesday night in Fort Worth. "We were at Kansas and getting killed and I asked him if he wanted to come out of the game. He said, 'Coach, I want to play.' He told his teammates, 'We're not quitting.' That speaks volumes about him. (His team) knows there is a confidence level they feel. There is a difference with Myck out there and we see it."
Myck looks like a guy who lives to set up his teammates, and has the quickness to penetrate and kick. This is a not shoot-first point guard. But he is only 6-foot-1, and he needs to develop a consistent perimeter shot.
If you are going to be 6-1 in the NBA, you better be stupid quick and have the ability to knock down an open shot. Talent alone says he is going to get NBA money at some point, the question is how big that first check is.
If he genuinely thinks he is a top 10 pick, he has to leave. Anything other than that, he should stay.
Under Barnes UT has had a lot of players leave early. Players like LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Durant made the right call. Joseph and Tucker both have told Barnes they should not have left.
Selfishly, I hope Kabongo stays. He is fun to watch. If he does return, UT should be again be near the top of the Big 12 next season. If he doesn't, hopefully that check is a big one.
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