Relationships key as Devin Robinson prepares for visits

083013cbxbxDevin Robinson’s rise from fringe top 100 to a five-star prospect nationally was one of the top recruiting stories of the spring and summer.

Now, the Christchurch School (Va.) senior forward is ready to begin the next step of his recruitment as he takes official visits to his finalists.

Indiana is third on his schedule, but the Hoosiers will have Robinson on campus for Hoosier Hysteria the weekend of Oct. 4, which is an ideal weekend to showcase the program.

“I think it was a good strategy by Indiana to get him (on the visit) where he can see what practice looks like and get a feel for the kind of excitement there is for Indiana basketball,” Christchurch coach Ben Thompson told Inside the Hall. “I’m pretty sure it was strategic on their part.”

Getting to a list of five schools was a process that Robinson and his family took seriously, as he’d amassed more than 20 scholarship offers by the end of summer.

Tony Squire, the director of the Richmond-based Squires basketball program, told Inside the Hall earlier this month that Robinson’s mom, Kim, kept a detailed list of the schools that watched her son closest during the three July evaluation periods.

Thompson believes that the programs who built the best relationships with Robinson and his family ultimately ended up on his list of finalists.

Besides Indiana, Robinson is also considering Connecticut, Florida, Notre Dame and Oklahoma State.

“Probably one of the biggest things is the relationships they’ve built with the coaches and which schools have made Devin a priority,” Thompson said. “I think relationships and the schools that really invested time into watching Devin’s development throughout the process with the Squires and the AAU circuit. I think they got good advice from Tony Squire and his group as far as schools that they thought Devin could fit in (at). I think all of that was combined into a thought process of where they got to right now.”

Thompson, who first met Robinson in the spring of 2012 as his family was considering a reclassification from the 2013 class to 2014 and a transfer from Manchester High School to Christchurch, said the family has a pretty good idea what it will look for during campus visits.

“What the campus looks like and what it feels like is going to be important. Devin is looking for a good relationship with the people who are going to be coaching him,” he said. “I think he wants to get a feel for what his potential teammates may look like and how they interact. He’s a team player, and he’s talked about being around people who are good people and teammates who are going to be good teammates where he feels like he has a good feel or good bond or he can develop some good chemistry with.

“What kind of atmosphere is there, what kind of support is there for the program. I think all of that is going to play a big role in what he’s looking for when he gets to campus.”

Like Squire, Thompson was complimentary of Indiana’s recruiting approach with Robinson, who he calls a “funny, well-mannered and just a real natural kid.”

“Coach (Tom) Crean and (assistant) coach (Kenny) Johnson have been in regular contact with the family, including Devin and his parents,” Thompson said. “I think they’ve been pretty aggressive in their approach as far as getting in Devin’s ear and making him feel like he’s a priority there. Coach Crean and coach Johnson are very active with the family.”

Robinson’s versatility and ball skills at 6-foot-8 and 170 pounds allows him to play a variety of positions, but he may ultimately project best at the three in college.

In June, Robinson told Inside the Hall that he grew three inches over the past year.

“A lot of people compare him to a younger Jeremy Lamb. He’s one person that comes to mind,” Thompson said. “He tries to model his game after Tracy McGrady a lot, too. I think he watches a lot of video of Jeremy Lamb, Tracy McGrady and guys that are built similarly to him. I think he’s got the shooting ability to play out on the wing and be a three-man.

“And I think he does a good enough job mixing it up to be a four-man because he rebounds very well for his position. He’s a great shot blocker and weak side defender. He does a good job of getting his hands on the ball, blocking shots and contesting shots with his length.”

(Photo credit: Kelly Kline/Under Armour)

  • HoosierTrav

    Yes please! Sign him up! I’ve seen some videos of him and Jeremy Lamb is a great comparison. Really athletic, smooth to the cup, and shoots it well off the dribble and beyond the arc……..He’s also good buddies with Stan Robinson.

  • GaHoosier

    Call me crazy…but this kid seems like a perfect fit @ IU

  • CreamandCrimson

    Devin Robinson is an interesting case. When people talk about their “ideal 2014 classes”, Robinson rarely gets mentioned despite his status as a 5-star 6’8″ forward and a guy who you would think would fit in very well with the style of ball we play. I’m guilty of this as well. I usually list Robert Johnson, Isaiah Whitehead and Goodluck Okonoboh and completely forget about Robinson. I don’t know why that is….I would be very happy if Robinson ended up a Hoosier and I think he would be a great get.

    Anyway, this is just another example of why we shouldn’t panic about decommitments from Blackmon Jr. and Lyles. Tom Crean and staff continue to work really hard and cast a wide net and IU is still very much in the chase for several elite players. I don’t know who we will end up with in the 2014 class but I’m confident we will be pleased with the caliber of player and the caliber of person who ends up wearing the candy stripes.

  • BC

    I think he will fit right in with the IU culture and the guys they have brought in. Seems like a good kid with good family. Bet he would get along with Goodluck and the SGs we are looking at who all seem like good kids also.

  • N71

    He has an interesting cross section of schools, all very different. We should have a very good chance unless there’s some idiosyncrasy like him being Irish Catholic having recently changed his name from O’Robinson to just Robinson.

  • Aiken_Hoosier

    Also refreshing to see a kid whose stock is steadily rising, yet remains “loyal” to the teams who have been in his corner for a while……..seems like we’ve had some recent examples where that can’t be said……

  • Sherronhasaheadache

    i don’t get excited until they sign

  • CreamandCrimson

    I don’t disagree with that line of thinking at all…not sure how it has anything to do with my post but, I agree with you. That doesn’t mean we can’t try to imagine how each player might work out at IU.

  • plane1972

    I don’t think it’s a matter of people not getting excited about Devin, as it is the fallout of the Blackmon decommit. With Blackmon on board, it appeared there was only 2 or 3 more spots to fill, at most. Those two spots appeared most likely to be another guard and a legit big. Now that it is wide open with Blackmon and Humphrey out of the picture, Devin is a much more attractive get.

  • SCHoosier

    VO was a late bloomer..just like Robinson and Johnson. I think IU will be perfect for their development at just the right time in their young careers. I hope their families feel that way too.

  • Snookafly

    I would love to see a player with that length and that finesse at the 3.

  • HoosierFan08

    I thought his final 5 was interesting. Oklahoma St, Florida, Connecticut, and Notre Dame. We aren’t usually battling with these schools over recruits with the exception of Notre Dame but that’s usually only with Indiana recruits. His mom mentioned making a good list of the schools that showed a lot of interest and built good relationships before they narrowed their list…sounds like a good quality get on top of his rediculous talent. no love for UK, Duke, NC, Or Kan…I like it

  • Rie

    I would say almost every recruit in 2014 on our board is also on Florida’s radar.
    Now that we are back to national relevance, we are competing with almost every top school for the top recruits.

  • ScoopGeoff

    If being around teammates that are “good guys” is important, I think we can cross UConn off the list. Interesting that there are 2 Indiana schools in the final cut… Can’t be a bad thing that he seems willing to head away from home and be in the Midwest. Only one school is even somewhat similar to VA in geographics, demographics and lifestyle, and that’s UF.

    Another great option who’ll be a tremendous asset if we are lucky enough to sign him. You get the feeling he’s a 5 star talent that will need at least 3 years to develop physically enough to turn pro… 3 years of a 5 star recruit is nice to think about.

  • HoosierFan08

    yeah, I was thinking more along the lines of their final 3 or 5. Just glad to see that its not down to us and Uk, NC, or Duke.

  • HoosierCruz

    Just watched some videos and DRobinson just shot up to the top of my favorite list for 2014 – closely followed by Robert Johnson & Okonoboh

  • marcusgresham

    There was mention that what the campus looks like is an important factor. I’d assume Florida looks pretty nice, too. Notre Dame has its asthetic benefits. Don’t know much about Storrs, CT, but I can’t fathom anything in Stillwater being overly picturesque—just the name alone conjures images of pond scum.

  • Andrew

    Trust me, Notre Dame does not have “its asthetic (sic) benefits.” Unless I guess if he wants to stare at the golden dome all day. It’s hard to imagine a worse college town, and the campus itself is far from special. ND’s campus is the very definition of blah/meh.

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