Jeremiah Robinson-Earl To Sign With Agent, Enter NBA Draft


Courtesy of Villanova Athletics

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl To Sign With Agent, Enter NBA Draft

Colin Beazley, Co-Sports Editor

Sophomore forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl announced Friday that he would be forgoing his remaining two years of eligibility, signing an agent and entering the 2021 NBA Draft.

Robinson-Earl announced the decision on Twitter, tweeting “After meaningful conversation with Coach Wright, family, and my trusted circle, I have decided to sign with an agent and declare for the 2021 draft. That being said, the last two years at Villanova have allowed me to grow in so many ways, as both a person and a player. I am forever grateful to Coach Wright and the entire staff, my teammates/brothers, the faculty and all of Nova Nation. 

“I thank the GREAT Lord above for all things and for allowing Villanova to be a part of His plan for me!” Robinson-Earl continued. “I will continue to strive for greatness, not perfection and bring all the tools I have learned at Villanova to guide me in this next chapter of my life! Attitude! 29:11.”

Jay Wright was supportive and complimentary of Robinson-Earl’s decision, saying “I’m excited to watch him grow in the NBA, he’s got incredible potential.” He went on to say,  “All of these decisions are really difficult because they’re like your sons. You want to give them the best advice you can, and then you want them to make their own decision too. This one with JRE was really easy… we kind of knew at the end of last year, as long as he didn’t get hurt, this was probably going to be the year (he leaves), so this one was really clear and easy.”

In his two years at Villanova, Robinson-Earl started in 56 games, averaging 12.8 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. After winning Big East Freshman of the Year in 2020, Robinson-Earl briefly flirted with turning pro but decided to return for his sophomore season, in which he led the team in scoring with 15.7 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, good enough to be named Co-Big East Player of the Year along with Seton Hall’s Sandro Mamukelaishvili and his Villanova teammate Collin Gillespie. He was also a Sporting News Third Team All-American and a finalist for the Karl Malone Award, given to the top power forward in college basketball.

Robinson-Earl is ranked 34th on the CBS Sports NBA Draft Big Board, meaning that he is projected to be either a late first round or early second round selection. ESPN projected him to go slightly later, with Toronto taking him with the 46th pick in Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz’s latest mock draft. If he is drafted, this will be the fifth straight year that Villanova has had a player selected.

Robinson-Earl is not expected to be a game changing stretch five in the NBA, as he lacks some of the size and shot-blocking ability for the position, but if he continues developing his shooting from three point range he can be a solid player in the professional game.

He echoed this sentiment in a press conference after his decision, saying he would “[work] more on my guard skills. My whole life I’ve either been a big or forward, so just getting confident with that and expanding my game out to the perimeter. That’s what the game is, a lot of big guys in the league are big guys that can shoot the ball.”

As for the Wildcats, this confirms what had long been expected. With Robinson-Earl declaring, Cole Swider transferring, and Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree and Jermaine Samuels presumably graduating but eligible to return, Trey Patterson and Eric Dixon will be the two remaining big men for the Wildcats, joined by rising freshman Nnanna Njoku. Although it was expected, it is undoubtedly a blow to the team, as the Wildcats will have to replace their leading scorer and a leader in the locker room. 

Regardless of the effect on the team, Wright was confident in his star’s decision. “It’s the right time for him to enter the process.”

Robinson-Earl leaves the Main Line with 719 career points, 502 rebounds and 115 assists.