Winston Shepard is returning to San Diego State cuz he doesn’t want to live in Belgium

Posted: 04/23/2015 in college basketball
Tags: , , , , ,

Winston Shepard is smarter than any of us knew.

Yep, he realized that it would be better to live in San Diego next season than Belgium.

The San Diego State forward has decided to return for his senior season of college basketball and it is one of those decisions that prompt one of the following reactions:

–Duh. He’s nowhere close to being ready to play in the NBA.

–Duh. When you can’t even crack the mock drafts, you have no business applying for the NBA Draft.

–And duh. He probably found Belgium on the world map and had one of those ‘What was I about to do?’ moments.

Shepard did the right thing in returning for several reasons and you can imagine what NBA talent evaluators say in the safety of their own offices. (Hey, let’s go back to those dashes and duh comments since they were so fun).

–This Shepard kid doesn’t have a good enough outside shot to play for us. Duh, we’re not drafting him.

–This Shepard kid doesn’t have a good enough inside game to play for us. Duh, we’re not drafting him.

–This Shepard kid doesn’t have a good enough mid-range game to play for us. Duh, we’re not drafting him.

–This Shepard kid can’t handle the ball good enough to play for us. Duh, we’re not drafting him.

–This Shepard kid does a lot of silly things at the worst time possible. Duh, we’re not drafting him.

Who will ever forget the 2014 NCAA tournament when Shepard did one of those silly things. It wasn’t Brandon Heath bad (see 2006 NCAA meltdown against Indiana) but it changed the complexion of the game.

The Aztecs trailed Arizona by three points with less than three minutes to play in a Sweet 16 matchup when Shepard decided to become a ball-handler in a one-possession game. He turned the ball over, the Wildcats cashed it in for two points and dominated the rest of the contest to end San Diego State’s season.

That play defines Shepard’s career at the moment as he has never elevated his game over his first three seasons with the Aztecs.

He arrived as a self-proclaimed one-and-done player who felt the NBA was his destiny. But something about a 9.6 career scoring average over three seasons helps a college player learn that he’s not the star player he thinks he is.

Had to hurt Shepard’s ego a bit to see that freshman teammate Malik Pope (who has yet to even prove himself as a college player) is more coveted by NBA scouts. There’s also the current-day knock that a player only reaches his senior season if he isn’t good enough to play in the NBA.

Right now, that is Shepard’s reality. He isn’t good enough to play in the NBA and needs to make a lot of improvement over the next 12 months.

But the really, really good thing is he recognized it and didn’t make the bad decision that dozens of college players make each season.

And because of that, Shepard can postpone living in Belgium. Well, for at least one year.

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