Kabongo, Texas smart to part ways

Kabongo, Texas smart to part ways
April 14, 2013, 3:30 pm
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The decision by Myck Kabongo to forfeit his final two years of eligibility and turn pro is one that many expected for quite some time.

It is also something that makes the most sense for both Texas and Kabongo.

When Kabongo arrived on campus two years ago he was the premier point guard in his high school recruiting class. His talent unquestioned, his potential had him as a lock for the first round in the NBA draft. After a freshman year in which he flashed that potential, but not consistently enough, Kabongo decided to return for his sophomore year at Texas.

Kabongo’s sophomore season was essentially lost altogether when the NCAA deemed him ineligible after lying to investigators about benefits he may or may not have received. He sat out the Longhorns first 23 games as a result of the suspension, returning for the final 11 after Texas had already fallen out of the serious postseason contention in his absence.

What Kabongo showed in those 11 games is essentially what many knew about him when he came to Texas from high school powerhouse Findlay Prep… he struggles significantly with his shooting and decision-making.

He shot only 40 percent for his career as a Longhorn, and turned it over at a clip of more than three times per game. Kabongo’s speed is what will define his game at the next level, but his draft stock has dropped.

He’s now considered a fringe first round pick, with the more likely scenario of him dropping somewhere into the second round.

The past five months certainly did not unfold how Kabongo or the Longhorns would have expected, but it is time for the two to go their separate ways.  

The transfers of Sheldon McClellan and Jaylen Bond have now fully put Texas in rebuilding mode.

Javan Felix filled in admirably for Kabongo at the point for most of the season, and next season the job will be his to lose. Kabongo’s presence on next year’s squad would likely only stunt the development of Felix and incoming recruit Kendall Yancy-Harris, a highly regarded point guard whose presence will be felt immediately.

For Kabongo, it is time to try his hand at the NBA. Coaches can alter and improve a player’s shot, which is clearly his greatest weakness. Staying in college would only allow more time and tape to expose that weakness, as well as his tendency to be loose with the basketball.

He will need to show in individual workouts against other prospects that his speed is what sets him apart from his peers.
This type of departure from Texas, with so much unsettled and the program in such flux, is clearly not what Kabongo or Longhorn fans expected when they envisioned his time in Austin coming to a close.

However, in a situation like this, sometimes it is just better to move on and look to the future.