Mississippi State basketball: Robert Woodard II entering NBA draft leaves big hole

Robert Woodard II of the Mississippi State Bulldogs (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Robert Woodard II of the Mississippi State Bulldogs (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

Mississippi State basketball fans probably saw this one coming, as Robert Woodard II has decided to enter the 2020 NBA Draft.

One of the best players on the Mississippi State basketball team, Robert Woodard II will be sorely missed in Starkville. He had a breakout season last year, and many fans were hoping he’d extend his time with the Bulldogs by at least one more year.

Woodard came into his own during his sophomore season, one of only three players in the Power-5 conferences to average more than 10 points, six rebounds and one each assist and block last season.

He finished the year averaging 11.4 points and 6.5 rebounds per game, as well as an impressive 42.9 percent clip from behind the arc.

Woodard said in a statement, via UPI Sports,

“I would like to thank God for this wonderful opportunity to play the game of basketball,” Woodard said on social media. “Without Him, none of this would be possible. Playing in the NBA has been an aspiration of mine since I was a child. I have sacrificed a lot and worked relentlessly to get where I am today.

“Thank you Mississippi State University, coaches, teammates, trainers and staff for investing and supporting me throughout my Bulldog career. … After much prayer, I have decided to enter the NBA Draft process while maintaining my eligibility.”

Mississippi State basketball will miss Woodard

The Bulldogs will not only miss his stats, but his leadership on the court. The 6-foot-7 guard out of Columbus, Ms. asserted himself on the court and in the locker room during the 2019 season. It would have been fun to see what he was able to do during March Madness this year had it happened.

A player with Woodard’s size, speed and catch-and-throw ability will be highly coveted by many NBA teams. According to the Clarion-Ledger, he’s now expected to be drafted higher than teammate Reggie Perry, who was the 2020 SEC co-player of the year, averaging 17.4 points and 10.1 rebounds per game.

Robert Woodard’s departure, along with Perry, leaves a big hole in a Bulldogs team that has been on a slow but steady climb up the SEC ladder in the past few seasons.