Before the Combine, Mika was a solid projected 2nd round pick. Due to a poor
showing at the Combine his stock took a dive, and probably won't get
drafted. I don't know what the team dynamics at BYU are, but I
wouldn't be surprised if Mika has a bitter taste in his mouth after last
year's underachieving debacle. Waiting one more year would have given
him much more exposure at the college level and made him a lot more money going
into the NBA.But, alas, maybe going back to BYU just wasn't an option
for him as indicated by other posters.I don't think that opens up
another scholarship, though. Won't that scholarship go to Seljas who
returned a year early from his mission?As far as filling in the vacancy,
Childs will be fine as long as he improves his free-throw shooting and his mid
range jumper. I don't have much hope in Dastrup and Worthington.Fans
are going to see that the loss of Davis and Mika is going to make BYU basketball
even more painful to watch.
@Cougs4Life:I have to agree with you on Shawn Bradley. Shawn's
biggest goal was to take care of his family. He accomplished that goal quite
successfully. Waiting one more year would have put that goal at risk.
Best of luck to Mika. Go out and make some money!Tomorrow is
promised to no one.
I hate to see Mika go, but there was nothing he could have gained by returning
to BYU, even having a similar great season. He'd just be a year older.Does anyone think the Cougars would retool their offense so Mika can
work on his outside shot, hoping to improve his draft status for next year? Not
going to happen.Wherever he ends up, he will be using these critical
years making money while playing.
Mika could see no upside for next year's BYU team. His decision to leave
was as much about getting away from Haws and Emery as it is going to the NBA. I
wish him luck, but I have a feeling that he would have been better off standing
up to Rose and the LP2 and demanding changes in the program. Eric certainly
needs more seasoning.
One and done is the ruin of college basketball, and Mika gave 2 yrs. each to his
Church and to the Y, so let him go, and best wishes. Will the Cougs ever be in
a final 4? Maybe, but it will be when it is least expected. Seize the day, and
Wish him the best chasing his dream, not sure he would have left unless there
was a good chance of making round 2. However, several moch drafts I did not see
his name. Can't see him in the "D" league as there is no money so
on to Europe. Several of you have suggested he is leaving now due to a broken
team, possible, don't see that getting any better next year. Does he have
talent enough to make it in the NBA, hope I am wrong but just don't see him
tough enough to battle with the big boys in the NBA.
Giving up College camaraderie, unity, is a choice experience never to be
replaced in the pro's!
I can't help but think that those Cougar fans who want Mika to stay or who
are saying that he's making a mistake are just selfish. Mika and his wife
are "excited in this next step of their journey" I think the article
said......and it feels right for him to do this. Naysaying Cougar fans need to
think in terms of what is best for Eric, and not what is best for BYU. The
same with Ute fans and Kyle Kuzma.
He was probably worried about having to play Utah again
ConradGurch - Salt Lake City, UtahMay 17, 2017 8:04 a.m.Spokane Ute - It's THAN not then "You could do a lot worse things
then making a living playing hoops in Europe"--------Thank you
for the correction. I'm sure everyone struggled with the meaning of my
The NBA is not a career, its a company. Getting paid as a professional is
amazing - and Mika is simply starting his career. Just because he may not get
hired by one of the NBA's 30 franchises, or get hired and placed in the
D-League - does not mean his career is over or failed. The
decision is simply how much time do I have to earn a living and what can I do to
develop my talents and value. Most of us plan for 65. The peak for
professional athletics is 28. Mika is 22. It's a simple math equation in
terms of how early he wants to start contributing to his retirement - measured
against that day when he is over the hill. Time is money. Joe
Ingles started his professional career in 2006, not when he signed with the
Jazz in 2014. He spent 3 seasons in Australia, 4 in Spain, 1 in Israel - and
then in 2014 signed with the Clips, where he was waived after only 25 games. He
was picked up off waivers by the Jazz and I don't think there is a Jazz fan
would argue his career was a failure, because it took him 11 years to reach his
peak, as an invaluable contributor during this year. Congrats and
best wishes to Eric and his family.
Sanefan - Wellsville, UTMay 17, 2017 10:56 a.m.I see him being
a Tom Chambers kind of player and Chambers had a pretty solid career. I just
question the timing. The NBA can be fickle and a bad first year could doom a
career. I hope he is ready.-----------Your comparisons never cease
to amaze me. Tom Chambers was the 8th overall pick in the draft, and won the NBA
all star game most valuable player award. Mika is pale in comparison to
Chambers; as are most players. I will be shocked if Mika even plays in the NBA.
He's not even close to past players Fred Roberts, Greg Kite, Danny Vranes
or Chambers. Watch and see. I have yet to see an NBA mock draft that has Mika
Sad to see him leave - best wishes, Eric!
The naysayers spouting off here make no sense. Sure, we'd love to have
Mika around for another couple of years. But two things come to mind:1- You can't teach "height". He's got it, and it's a
commodity in short supply and high demand. He can get his "seasoning"
in the NBA.2- There are millions of dollars at risk every time an
NBA-bound player suits up for a college game. One torn ACL during a college
game or practice, and a lucrative pro-career can go up in smoke. Go
for it Eric, and good luck!
Everybody is missing the point! I don't think Mika himself thinks
he's getting drafted. He's a smart kid and his Dad is a VERY smart
guy (former Bain Capital partner with Mitt Romney). That's NOT why he is
leaving. Why is it so difficult for people to understand this?The
team is splintered. Old friendships are gone. Mike doesn't want to go
back and play with LP2. Ask anybody close to the program. Coach Rose has lost
the troops to selfishness, backbiting and dissension.
I would have loved to see him play one more season at BYU, but there's
absolutely no question that Eric has the talent and physical abilities to make
an NBA roster next season.
Just when BYU finally gets a decent big man who can mostly stay out of foul
trouble. He'll need some more development to make it in the NBA, but I
can't say I blame him for choosing the money. It doesn't matter where
he ends up playing he should be able to make a decent living for his family.
The Truth. I think Mika made the right decision if he truly wants to
develop into an NBA player. Unfortunately, any big man who decides to play for
BYU under the current offensive system will be faced with the same issues. They
just don't develop big men in a guard oriented offense. I think he will
have a great career but most likely it'll be overseas. Best of luck to you
and your family.
I see him being a Tom Chambers kind of player and Chambers had a pretty solid
career. I just question the timing. The NBA can be fickle and a bad first year
could doom a career. I hope he is ready.
Poor decision--if the player of the year in Fredette couldn't stick in the
NBA, why a big man with a poor performance at the combine? One more year of
seasoning and physical development would greatly improve his draft stock.
I'm guessing he doesn't get drafted, but will have a good career
Can't say as blame either Kuzma or Mika for deciding to move on. Neither of
their college programs gave either much reason to stay. Kuzma's talent and
potential is obvious. Mika's performance last season was impressive. Good
luck and well wishes to both.
Mika is pursuing his dream to make a good life and living for himself and his
family, just like he said. Meanwhile, haters and opposers are stuck at a
computer writing mean things. I'd take the former any day. He
is the epitome of sports - plays with passion, intensity, and brings it each
game. A true sport and man. It was an honor to see him play at BYU and
especially to get a W over a #1 team.
Regardless of changes in the D-league, this is a poor decision for Mika. He
would have been better positioned to stay in the league by far if he waited one
more year to come out. I still wish him the best and hope he'll be
successful, but this feels like it was a very short-sighted decision.
@steve24/7One thing that is changing for the NBA next season is two way
D-League contracts. It adds two extra roster spots for guys to play in the
D-League, and a small amount of time with the NBA team without the team giving
up one of their standard 15 roster spots. The team they sign with also has the
option to call them up full time and sign them to a real NBA roster. I suspect
this has something to do with Mika's decision to stay in the draft.
Europe, here we come!
With the NBA so focused on youth these days, this doesn't bode well for LDS
players, who may have professional talent, but also want to serve a mission. If you look at Mika, he could probably use another couple years at the
college level to refine his game. But if he does, he may be too old for the NBA.
Creates an unfortunate conundrum for kids who know the joys that come from
serving the church, yet have a dream to play big time basketball.
@Flashback -- Bradley made tens of millions of dollars, was the 2nd overall pick
and was on an NBA roster for several years. One more season at BYU wasn't
going to get any better of a deal for him.NBA teams are stocked with
primarily 1st round draft picks. Good luck to Eric, but most likely will need
to make the choice between an NBA D-league stint and a bigger paycheck overseas.
It will be interesting to see what he chooses as an undrafted free agent. Just
like Bradley, one more season probably doesn't change that choice for him.
First of all....Anyone who says Eric is making a big mistake and should stay at
BYU - I disagree - and I'm a BYU fan. Statistically, Eric had a
GREAT season last year! The risk of injury and age by going back to college
should not be ignored. As far as finishing his degree? I disagree.
No matter where he plays next year, he'll be earning at least $500K per
year. Most people I know with 2-3 degrees don't earn that much. And, if
they do, it took them 8 years to get there. Good (tier one) European
clubs will pay a guy like Mika about $500K per year, and those players only have
to endure a 30-game season. Think about it - even if Mika ends up in Italy or
Spain - great life experience, $17K per game, longer off-season. Or, he can go
back to school. Who says he can't finish his degree in the off-season?
Hopefully it works out for him. I guess the worst case scenario is that he
plays in a foreign league and makes some money.
Sad to see him go. He's a hard worker who carried the Cougars on his back
several times this past year. I wish him and his family well.Agreed, the
Gonzaga coaching staff are probably thrilled to not have to game plan for him
anymore.It will be interesting to see who steps up for the Cougars next
Eric Mika won't play one full season on an NBA roster. He left because his
LP2 buddies can't get along with him. Insiders tell me the situation is
dire. Shame. Jealousy and selfishness brought down the ship.
@Flashback Shawn Bradley made almost 70 Million Dollars. He got
He needed one more year. He got bad advice, just like Sean Bradley.
Eric Mika was my favorite college player last season....and I'm NOT a BYU
fan. But I know talent when I see it. He brought it every game and that I
could appreciate. Here's one Ute fan wishing him all the best in his pro
Spokane Ute - It's THAN not then "You could do a lot worse things then
making a living playing hoops in Europe"
Wow... bummed. But, as for Mika... he is a diamond in the rough. ( very rough)
But when the outside shot becomes part of his game he has a chance.He has the right work ethic to get as much out of his abilities as possible.
He actually reminds me of Gordon Heyward, except that Gordon had a better
outside shot. No one was certain about that Jazz pick, but wow has he become
great. I hope the same for Mika... But he better arm himself with a great
outside shot to make it in the NBA. I like him as a defender.
To: 'There You Go Again'...great post. Man, I like your style. It
is refreshing to read a comment from someone who can see the value in a life on
the move, someone reaching for the dream. I have no idea whether or not Mika
can make it all happen, but I do know that a great forward who played for the
Jazz was the same height. A guy we know as Malone. Karl did it with hustle and
work ethic, two things that Mika has in abundance. I think he will make it. As
with all of the players who move on, best of success. I believe you will open
some eyes when you get a team around you.
I coached college basketball at a small school for a few years and got to know
some of the local Division I players. I know a lot of them who made a ton of
money overseas. The worst case scenario for Kuzma and Mika is that they get paid
a lot of money to play next year. I love college basketball, and it would be
great if these guys stayed, but they have a relatively short window to make
money playing basketball. If they make the NBA, great. If not, they will make a
living overseas. If you have ever been around college basketball, you know
it's like a job. I cant blame them for wanting a paycheck.
His advisor must have been BlueCoug who guaranteed he would be a lottery pick
because of the way he played against Gonzaga.It just goes to show,
you need to be careful of who you take advice from. Good luck Mr. Mika. You
could do a lot worse things then making a living playing hoops in Europe.
Good for Mika. I think this will really give Childs a chance to flourish. In
my opinion, he has the most upside on the team, and felt that he could not show
his stuff as much with Mika there for obvious reasons. Excited to see what
Childs can do given the chance now. Childs shot a good percentage I believe and
can jump out of the gym.
Mika will be highly paid over seas. A good decision if he wants to make money.
NBA I think is a long shot. Maybe the Jazz pick him with a second round pick to
give the local guy a shot. If he is better than Bolomboy he could
stick, for a couple of years, but his future is over seas like Hawes, Jimmer,
Plaisted, Hansen and the many other BYU players who just weren't quite good
enough to make it big in the NBA. He could play NBA maybe, but if
he wants big money he will need to go elsewhere. Good luck to him on his
endeavors. Byu will now have a struggle making the NIT.
I am not a fan of college players being allowed to leave early and play in the
NBA but since my idea is not reality it doesn't matter. That said, I hope
Eric does well in the NBA and I think he will. He is a good young man and is
trying to look out for his family and magnify the obvious talents he's
blessed with. Good luck Eric, and oh good luck BYU, your going to need it
Disappointed but not real surprised. If your life has been basketball then this
opportunity is almost always too much to postpone. I wish him well
poy and fanin, the problem with comparing him to all the people you mentioned is
that none of them were as old as he is when they were making a decision. The NBA
drafts as much on potential development as they do on immediate impact. If they
feel he's as physically developed as he's going to get, there is
almost zero possibility of his stock rising further from playing another
year.And poy, regarding school, he doesn't have to be on an
athletic scholarship to continue his degree, a lot of athletes finish their
degrees while playing pro ball, it's not a mutually exclusive deal. Even
Cardale "I Ain't Come Here To Play School" Jones just graduated
from Ohio State this year after playing his rookie season in the NFL.
Given his age, it was smart for Mika to take the money and go sit on the pine.
Yes, the NBA stint will not be long or notable, I would guess, but what better
way to make big money for a while.
There is nothing I have heard that makes me think this is a good idea. Still, we
all get to choose our own path through life. Good Luck!
Smart move by a bright guy. Mika will have a nice career.
Smart move Mika. Age is becoming increasingly important in prospect analytics.
The newest models apply growth factors to each prospect and those growth factors
receive penalties as players get older. The SI Mock Draft has the
top 14 spots going to Freshmen or 18 year old foreign players. Bleacher Report
looks the same through the first 11 picks (the first player around Mika's
age is drafted at #27). Mika is not projected in the first 2 rounds
this year and that is unlikely to change in 2018 (unless he can develop a
consistent outside shot from thin air).NCAA player of the year,
Frank Mason III is projected at #44. Another year in college would just be
another year without pay for Mika. I wish him luck and hope he can make a
As much as I hate to see Mika go, I think it is in the best interest for the Y,
because obviously his heart wasn't with the Cougars any longer. Don't
know why..... maybe age. He might have to start on a forgien team or the
D-league, but I think he will eventually get to the NBA. Good luck to
Mika and thanks for the memories.Also, good luck to BYU, hope they find
one more good scholarship player to take his spot.
Jello is GoodApril 26, 2017 1:11 p.m.I said:"There
are a lot of rumors that Mika won't be back regardless of where he sees
himself getting selected in the draft (or if he has to go the free agent route).
We'll see if that ends up being true or not..."Jello
said:"When you say things like this it calls into question the
legitimacy of any other statements you may make.Hey Jello,
suggestion for you...think twice next time you find yourself doubting me.
I wish him the best, but this seems like a bad idea. Would the Jazz take him at
55? Is he better than Withey or Bolomboy? Then again, he can probably make a
good living overseas, and BYU isn't going anywhere if he wants to finish
Not sure if he'll make the NBA. But there's always Europe.... and
If he can consistently hit the outside shot he has a chance. However, he is
likely a 2nd round draft pick or none at all. Poor decision unless he plans on
playing overseas, which works out well for many pros.
Well, so much for the "Lone Peak Three" taking us to the Sweet 16 and
beyond. Good luck Eric, you're gonna need it. There are 30 NBA
teams with 15 players on each roster. That's a total of only 450 player
jobs in the entire country. Your position would most likely be power forward or
maybe small forward. The number of forwards on a team range from 5 to 7
players. The number of power forwards per team is about 3. So
you'll be trying to land one of about 90 jobs in the entire country. And
most of those slots are already filled so there are way fewer than 90 job
openings for you. If every team wanted to replace one of its
forwards there would be 30 possible job openings for you. There are going to be
a lot more than 30 guys trying to get one of those spots. So good luck to you. I
hope you make it and have a great NBA career. We'll miss you at BYU.
Congratulations to Mr. MIka. I think you will make a great pro and feed your
family playing round ball. Thanks for your time at BYU.
As a BYU fan, I am curious if he ends up being Haws Roommate in Poland, or
Jimmer's roommate in China. Bad decision. I will be shocked if he gets
drafted. Then again, Bolomboy got drafted, so I suppose you never really know.
It's a mistake.
Hopefully teams are telling him something different than broadcasters are
telling us. Broadcasters are saying he's not a first round pick, maybe
second round. During the combine, Roy Williams (NC coach) said he
encourages underclassmen who will be picked in the upper half of the first round
to take the NBA paycheck. He encourages late first rounders or later to stay
another year.Does Mika have potential to be a solid NBA player?
Sure. But my guess is that he'll have an experience like Trent Plaisted.
He'll probably be a star across the pond.Now back to BYU, he is
leaving a big whole to fill in the middle. I hope BYU uses the scholarship to
get a big man. I don't have a lot of confidence in any of the current
players. I have hope for Dastrup, and Andrus if he can add some weight. Shaw
has some skills, but is more of a reliever at the 4 spot. Never been impressed
with Worthington. Can Isaac Neilsen transfer back? Maybe Nate Austin has a
couple more years of eligibility, since he only played for what felt like eight
I don't think that Eric is very realistic as the combine has not been a
good experience for him. I wish him the best, but don't see him getting
drafted very high.
@kimmy,cjd1 and hoboGlad you're still interested in BYU, your
favorite team. Eric Mika has provided you with some very special memories and
will, no doubt, be your favorite NBA player.
This will be an interesting saga to observe. I really thought he would come
back for one more year. I hope he's ready as he didn't seem to get a
lot of love from the combine. But you can't blame a guy for chasing his
dream. I hope he catches it.
I hope he knows what he is doing, because from this angle it looks like a huge
mistake.If he were my son (not knowing what NBA teams are telling
him) I'd say that he should use Basketball as a tool for getting all
"degreed up" and if a solid break happens for him in Basketball along
the way, then jump on it... But not for a second round pick or an assignment to
the "D" League, or a career on the hardwood in Europe (even if he and
his wife are fluent in Italian)... He's a sprained ankle or a torn ligament
away from being unemployed and without a degree.Look at Peyton
Manning and Tim Duncan... Both were solid athletes in college with a guaranteed
future in the Pros and both decided to finish out their eligibility in college
before moving on. In fact, I think that it's safe to say that both had more
on the line that Eric... I don't argue that Eric isn't talented, he
is, but he would seem to be more valuable to himself, his family, and a future
Pro Team if he played at least one more year at the college level and maybe even
finish out his eligibility.But then maybe that's why he's
actually living it and I'm in my 60's writing posts on DN.
I am a UTAH Fan.There is no question about that fact.I
am also a fan of Utah High School Sports.I am excited when any High
School player from UTAH has a chance to go to the next level.I am an
Eric Mika fan.Why?I love his grit.I love his
hustle.If you took the time to watch the Combine you saw both of
those skills on display.I love his offensive/defensive skills.He needs to get better.With his work ethic, he will.Eric Mika will have a long NBA career.Good luck to Mika as
he goes forward with his life.Go UTES!
How can Mika give up the BYU experience so soon? Aren't the
Cougs slated to get to the final four this year?
Best of luck to Eric!! Loved watching him play in a BYU uniform, now hoping I
can continue to watch him play for another Utah team!!
Great job Mika! You'll be playing in Europe in no time!
Mika = Italy. Kuzma = NBA.
I have no doubt Mika will be fine in the NBA, but I am disappointed that he
didn't come back for one more year. I think his age may have had something
to do with his decision, but having a family to support probably had something
to do with it also. I think he could have had another good year, and been
drafted higher next year, but hey, Gonzaga is happy to see him go.
Good for Eric ... perhaps not great for next year's BYU team, but always
good for the future when an alum makes it good. Here's to a hopeful bright
future for Eric and the Cougs.