Mitchell Robinson shocked the college basketball world last summer when he committed to Western Kentucky. Today, he almost shocked it again when ESPN’s Jeff Goodman reported that Robinson was considering decommitting from WKU following the resignation of assistant coach Shammond Williams.
Williams, who is Robinson’s godfather, was heavily involved in his recruitment, as well as the rest of the Hilltoppers’ monster 2017 class. The repercussions of Williams’ resignation have already been felt, as Montez Mathis, a 2018 ESPN top-100 recruit, announced that he was no longer considering WKU.
Due to the recent resignation of Assistant Coach Shammond Williams at the WKU, I've decided to remove them from my final list of schools.— tez (@MontezMathis) July 7, 2017
Hilltoppers’ fans held their breath Saturday as they waited for word on whether or not they would also lose Robinson. According to Robinson’s mother, WKU fans can now exhale.
Just spoke to Mitchell Robinson's mother, Lakeisha, who told ESPN that the plan remains for the talented forward to attend Western Kentucky.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) July 8, 2017
Robinson’s reaffirmed commitment means that, at least for now, Rick Stansbury has stopped the bleeding in Bowling Green. The timing of Williams’ hiring and resignation will undoubtedly raise a few eyebrows. He was hired by WKU on June 22, 2016 and Robinson committed to the program seven days later. Just over a year later, Williams resigned with no given explanation.
It is not uncommon for a program to hire someone with a family connection to a top recruit. Mario Chalmers, Ben Simmons, Dedric and K.J. Lawson, and, most recently, Michael Porter Jr. are just a few examples of a program reaping the benefits of hiring a player’s father or godfather.
Williams was the third WKU assistant to leave the program this offseason. Quannas White took a job at Houston, while Williams and Chris Cheeks left without other job offers.