Film Session: The Case for Stanford Robinson

When freshman Stanford Robinson entered Tuesday afternoon’s loss to the Illini at the 11:19 mark, he quickly turned the ball over with a travel. His stint lasted less than two minutes, as was subbed out at the 9:36 mark.

But Robinson would see more time as the game went along. Tom Crean called upon the Maryland native to cover the Illini’s best player, Rayvonte Rice. In 22 possessions matched up against him, Robinson held Rice to just 1-of-6 shooting, though Rice did also make two free throws off a Robinson foul. Twice Robinson stayed with Rice all the way to the hoop and Noah Vonleh assisted with a block on the backline behind him. That second block came on the Illini’s last possession in regulation with the game tied. Robinson also did a nice job of recognizing ball screens and working his way around and through them to keep a body in front of Rice.

Both Dan Dakich on the call and Crean after the game praised Robinson’s defense.

“The key with people like Rice is you got to keep your chest in front of them because they want angles and they overpower you and they’re going to put a lot of pressure on the whistle every time they catch it,” Crean said after the game. “Stan is strong enough to deal with that forearm push-off that he uses. Stan did a pretty good job of trying to keep him in front of him the whole way. Stan’s a tough guy. Last seven games, he’s got our highest plus-minus. He’s been moving up the ladder for us and we’re very confident in him moving forward.”

If Crean trust Robinson’s defensive this much going forward, it might lighten the load for Will Sheehey on that side of the ball, leaving him to focus more on scoring and being an on-court coach instead of marking the opposing team’s best player.

As the above supercut of Robinson on both sides of the ball shows, his jumper and free throw shooting have a ways to go. But Robinson’s ability to use his bounce to get into the lane off the perimeter — though not always successful on Tuesday — gives Indiana another creator on offense who can break down the defense and either get to the line or dish to an open teammate.

If Robinson continues to gain favor with Crean and the staff, it’s also possible he could supplant either Troy Williams or Jeremy Hollowell in the starting lineup at some point in the Big Ten season. Either way, he seems poised to be a solid rotation player in the new year.

  • HoosierGrampy

    Add Devin Davis for the 8th player and let everyone else get “real comfortable” watching the guys with heart and desire play.

  • Earl Scheib

    That stat says it all. I have been reluctant to jump on the ‘bash Hollowell’ wagon, because I always think “this is the game he’ll go off’ and he’s suddenly going to start hitting everything. But that stat is very revealing. And against the teams we’re facing now, somewhat terrifying. Thanks for the elucidation. And for pulling the wagon over so I can have take yet another look at it and ponder whether I should get on board or not.

  • oregoniu

    Agreed, put him in at 4, he jumps like a deer, would be quicker than most 4′s, he can rebound, and it would make him work harder… and, as you wrote, gets him closer to the basket for easier shots.

  • calbert40

    Agreed. I thought he’d be a scorer for us for certain. Again, I don’t say that to grumble about him. I’m sure he is working hard and is frustrated by his own play too.

    I’m happy that CTC hasn’t given up on him, yet, but I do wonder how much longer he will be given before players like Stan start earning more minutes, and whether they will come at his expense. It will be interesting to watch.

  • Earl Scheib

    Probably why Luke bailed. He wasn’t the open court big that could run like Cody was. Or, in other words, someone who could “drive to the hoop” as you say. I’m sorry, but aside from easy transition dunks, that’s all I ever saw Cody do was truck into someone down low and plow towards the basket. How many commentators said that he was “playing small” when he made that same exact move? It’s a shame because I thought Luke could have been even better than Cody. Perhaps not as flashy, quick or agile, but more well-rounded in terms of defense and traditional half court style play sets which I think we need more of. Crean’s obviously going the high octane, driving to the basket approach here, so losing a 7-footer who can’t run or doesn’t want to makes total sense. (Not saying that is what happened — he could have, as some have said, gotten homesick, but that’s my guess.) Anyway, hoping for a massive upset at Assembly this weekend. That would fix everything.

  • SCHoosier

    Project the B-10 match-ups for IU without a 6-8 JH in the lineup.

  • dssnyder1

    what I like about this discussion is the positive attitude most are taking instead of bashing CTC and his staff. this team has the potential to turn it around at any time and maybe SR can help.

  • IUeconAlum

    Jeff Howard starts why not Stan.

  • http://insidethehall.com Ben_M

    I’ve been a big supporter of Stan. There is a lot of untapped potential with him. He should of got more PT through the preseason, but at least he is being acknowledged now. Yogi, Blackmon, Johnson, and Robinson will be a solid back court. Luke Fischer’s departure is frustrating because now we have to find a front court again especially if Noah goes pro. Just seems as if Iu can’t get that inside and outside game to jive. One side or the other is lacking experience or playing out of position (ex: Eric Gordon / dj white). Thats the thing I liked about Noah, Yogi, and Fischer ….next year would of been a good blend of talent, experience (in and out), and every player could of played their true position.

  • banarish

    As for positive attitude, I’m personally clinging to the hope that one of these days it’s all going to ‘click’ and CTC’s vision (whatever it is) will materialize on the court. Like when you’re building furniture and you put one thing in place but that causes the rest of the piece to fall apart, so you have to hold it all together with your knees & elbows, propped up against the dog, until you can get it all lined up at the same time…. then ‘pop.’ Nevertheless, some basic structural integrity sure would be encouraging at this point.

  • marcusgresham

    ….and hit his free throws.

    This kid gets damn near anywhere he wants to go so it’s imperative that he be able to cash in on all the fouls he’s going to draw.
    I see so many similarities in both Robinson and Williams to Oladipo’s freshman year. If they both work as hard as Vic good things will happen.

  • marcusgresham

    If you start Gordon you’ve taken away your only reliable points off the bench.

  • JMAC

    Stan has been my man every since he got here. I have even liked him better than Evan, but after last game, as good as he is on defense at times, I worry about him on the offensive end. My lineup for awhile now has been Yogi,Stan, Will, Troy and Noah. I think Stan has the potential to be a really good IU player. Right now, I worry about MSU and their D. I’m glad we are at home though, maybe Stan can get some confidence on his shot, cause we are going to need him to knock them down if he’s going to go to the line. I also hope Hollowell shows up against his old friend Harris in Btown, cause Yogi isn’t going for 30 two games in a row.

  • http://insidethehall.com Ben_M

    One thing some people fail to realize is Evan Gordon is at Iu because Remmy is not. Now granted adding Gordon was a good move on several levels due to the situation. The experience helps and having a brother who is a 5 star recruit doesn’t hurt. At times I think that is a big reason why Gordon gets the playing time. Now Gordon isn’t a bad player but it almost seems like it’s a give my kid the exposure and maybe Eron will have more interest type deal. That’s all my personal speculation. 5 year guys are a lot like band aids for a year especially with a young team like this. I personally would like for Stanfod to get more of his minutes because he could be huge for this team with some confidence. He was the leading scorer in the haunted hall of hoops….so the kid can put points on the board. We don’t want to loose kids like Robinson due to lack of minutes or we will be rebuilding every year of creans time at IU.

  • CreanFaithful

    Remy/Oladipo/Creek are the reason Gordon is here. We lost all of our 2 guard options and backup minutes to Yogi after the 2014 class had already been solidified. Gordon was a perfect fit… Experience and combo guard skills. Yes, he has Indiana ties, but him getting more playing time to sign younger Gordon is complete BS! We need Evan for the exact reason you stated… a bandaid for a team full of inexperience. We simply need him to play mistake free basketball, hit open shots/FTs and drive the ball when opportunities arrive through ball movement. He has done just that and deserves every minute he gets!

    ***Edit – Evan not Eric

  • Dave Carnes

    City Basketball in Indiana has always been more school yard that the rest of Indiana Basketball.What has happened recently is the reffing.If you are considered a big time basketball player in the city the refs have you covered all the time. Kids get through with out learning to shoot pass or recognize the court.And of course AAU is a layup drill.

  • Dave Carnes

    U r exactly right SCH.The other side is, we can’t win in the big ten if we lose when Yogi scores 30 so we might as well let a kid who could be part of a decent team get some floor time.

  • Victorbear

    Yep kept waiting for Charlie Miller, Derek Elston, AJ Ratliff too and guess what it never happened, time to move on.

  • JAY R WILLIAMS,SR

    Indiana did not play that bad,,, the turn overs were tremendous. Ill did not play that well , or they would have been ahoad by twenty at the half,,,, so I feel Indiana played pretty good considering the turn over ration. Indiana must take better care of the basketball to win any thing GO IU

  • Nathan

    This was a great write up. Thanks!

  • Raynger

    I agree with you about Stanford and I think some of the many of the freshman I see on other teams can’t shoot a jump shot.

  • Raynger

    I dont criticize the players as they are young and need to work on basic basketball skills and hope they are coached to improve. But from the first game I saw Stanford I thought he was one of the better new players.

  • ScoopGeoff

    And if he were a shooter he would have been the #12 recruit in the class instead of #98 (which was way too low anyway)… Kid is a Swiss Army knife and a winner from a great program. He played with and against elite talent the last couple of years, which offsets his relatively mediocre statistical production. He has a lot of good moments to come at IU.

  • Paul

    That would be a a pretty ridiculous thing to argue.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Look, I totally understand the height difference between the two. Jeremy Hollowell’s height should (SHOULD) get him the nod because of his ability to guard larger wing players. However, that height advantage is kind of negated when the production just isn’t there. I could be totally wrong about that and lineups with Stan might be completely overwhelmed in the Big Ten but right now, Hollowell’s not getting it done in the starting lineup and Stanford has the highest +/- on the team (past seven games) so I wouldn’t mind seeing that change tried out.

  • Kenneth234

    I sort of had not considered this, and had not seen it suggested anywhere as of yet (possible oversight, idk) but, think about switching out Troy from a perimeter player into a post oriented player. Not so much a true 4, but sort of a hybrid. With our current roster, putting Williams on the defensive post will simplify his duties because the majority of the guys he will guard will be down in the post and we have all seen him continuously get lost out on the defensive perimeter. You are probably thinking he will get posted up all the time and get dominated. However, he could front his man, and use his wingspan and athleticism to make any entry pass a difficult task. He is quick enough to recover from the fronting on defense to good enough rebounding position that with his physical tools could make up the difference. He would also be a guy who can get into position against a driver from the perimeter in help defense, or come from the side and get a block near the rim.

    On the offensive side of the ball, it would limit the amount of times that he is on the perimeter catching and traveling (just another one of many guys who love to take off before dribbling). He has already shown that he can score down low (at least I don’t recall him getting his shot blocked too much if any) and makes the difficult shots quite a bit (more so the contested shots rather than open dunks).
    Sure it puts Noah back to the main interior threat, but if we don’t realize that Noah is regardless of who else is on the floor, than we aren’t very observant anyway. But Noah seems to have a green light to step out and take a defensive post player out as he wants, so why would that need to change?

    So currently, I would be advocating for a starting lineup of Noah, Troy, Will, Stan, and Yogi. Bringing Hanner, Jeremy, Evan, and Devin in as the primary subs.

  • Candy Striped Kid

    I suppose you are right but honestly I don’t care where the points come from. This year Indiana doesn’t have a solid 6th man that Will was last year who is going to come in, provide energy and buckets. So when CTC talks about matchups, he doesn’t put much emphasis on who starts and who comes off the bench, I think he is just looking to maximize opportunities through different combinations.

  • oregoniu

    I agree with you, I made this mostly same post about a day and half ago about 10 post down from this one.

  • HoosierBob

    The biggest problem with Robinson right now, is that he wants to drive and shoot EVERYTIME he has the ball whether he is open or not. His offensive aggressiveness can be an asset but has to be harnessed by the coaching staff.i still do not understand why he was still on the floor with the game on the line when he only shoots 50% from the FT line. That has to get better or he has to be subbed out at the end of the game.

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