ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- One decision can alter a person's course of life depending on the significance or consequences that come along with each path the ride provides. And sometimes a life altering decision can actually be met with two very different avenues -- not really wrong either way.
For Michigan freshman Glenn Robinson III -- fresh off wrapping up his first season as a college basketball player for John Beilein and the Wolverines, the weight that came along with the decision to either leave for the 2013 NBA draft, becoming a millionaire as a nearly certified lock to be a lottery pick, or deciding to comeback to Ann Arbor for one more season, in part to improve his overall game but also for a chance at redemption after losing to Louisville in the national championship game just eight days ago -- he wrestled with the decision.
"It’s pretty difficult,” said Robinson III. “Especially when you don’t know if what you’re hearing is true or not. Evaluating that process is a difficult thing and I don’t think people understand how stressful that might be on someone especially when you’ve got all the tweets, people talking and everything like that.
“But I think we did a good job of staying away from all that and really having it come down to what we wanted to do and what the best decision was for us.”
The pressure wasn't lifted until hours leading up to Robinson III's public declaration at a Thursday press conference stating he would be back in the No. 1 jersey, throwing down alley oops and returning to be a key contributor for the 2013-14 Michigan basketball team.
"I don’t know how close I was to leaving,” said Robinson III. “I always wanted to come back here and stay. I just really needed to analyze my decision for myself and my family.
“I feel like I really haven’t shown everybody what I can really do on the basketball court. I made strides as the season went on but I’ve been working hard on my game and I’ll continue to work hard this summer. Hopefully I can come back and shock some people and make some people think about what I can do.”
With Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. each throwing their names into the list of draftable NBA prospects at their own press conferences in the past week, leaning on those veterans moving forward this summer and into the fall is no longer an option.
This is Glenn Robinson III's team. This is Mitch McGary's team. Both will be counted on to lead and produce night in and night out. Though the leadership role will be a new part of their repertoire, Robinson III is eager to exercise it.
"That’s one of my goals is to be a leader on this team,” said Robinson III. “They kind of had it this year and I believe next year is my year to step up and be a leader on this team. That’s something that I’m capable of.
“One thing I’ve been working on throughout the season is leading, not just by example, but by talking and I believe I got better as the season went on.”
Robinson III flashed glimpses of an improving dribble, drive game last season as he averaged 11.0 points per game, posting double figures in 22 of Michigan's 39 games, shooting 57.2 percent from the field. But consistency getting to the rim on his own or out of pick and roll situations, finishing, is a focus in his development he and the coaching staff intend to bring up to speed with the rest of his obvious physical ability.
"Ball skills are huge for him,” said Michigan assistant Jeff Meyer. “And once he develops the ability to have the ball on a string and to move directions and change speeds – a lot like we saw Timmy (Hardaway) do in his development.
“Just ball handling and the ability to change direction change speeds, and use ball screens effectively to create opportunities, not only for himself, but for his teammates.”
Last year at this time when Trey Burke decided to return for a second season, he laid out the goal, and it was a lofty one. This year, Robinson III isn’t shy about his intentions for the Wolverines.
“We want to get back to that national championship game,” he said. “And hopefully win it.”
To watch video of Robinson III speaking away from the podium, press play below.