LAS VEGAS — While everyone else debated Rawle Alkins’ readiness for the NBA and predicted what he might do, the Arizona sophomore wing had already made up his mind.
“I knew since after the summer,” he said following Arizona’s 83-67 victory over Colorado at the Pac-12 tournament on Thursday.
Alkins knew, and coach Sean Miller knew, and the rest of us found up after Arizona’s regular-season finale when the program honored Alkins, junior guard Allonzo Trier and freshman big man Deandre Ayton during Senior Day festivities.
Alkins attended the NBA Combine last May after his freshman season before deciding to return to school.
“I got the information I needed to get and learned everything I needed to do, and I think I fixed it,” he said.
And what was that he learned from scouts last May?
“That stuff I’ll stick to myself. I’m going to keep that to me and the scouts that see me,” he said. “I really don’t want say things out loud to look for. It’s all good though.”
Alkins is averaging 13.7 points and 4.6 rebounds in 20 games (18 starts) in a season that got delayed and later interrupted by a foot injury. Asked if that injury gave him any second thoughts about turning professional, he simply answered, “No.”
He added: “I just have confidence in myself.”
Rawle Alkins on what he advice he's had for the Arizona freshmen this season… pic.twitter.com/Jmy44veL7Y
Alkins averaged 10.9 points and 4.9 rebounds last season. He has made 37.5 percent of his career 3-point attempts.
In a Big Board ranking of prospects on the Sporting News updated Thursday, Alkins was listed at No. 53, putting him late in the second round. That said, Sporting News ranked Deandre Ayton fifth, so these might not be the most credible rankings, one way or another.
With Arizona’s entire starting lineup leaving after this season — and the program still under a cloud due to the FBI investigation into corruption and bribery in college basketball — there is a sense of a win-now mentality for the Wildcats.
Alkins said Miller’s advice to him has been to not be concerned with all that.
“Take things day by day,” Alkins said. “He doesn’t want me worried about the NBA. I’m in college. I’m a college basketball player and I’m just focused on the season and focused on winning a championship and just becoming a better person every day. The future stuff, I don’t worry about that.”