That’s A Wrap: Stanford Robinson

  • 03/31/2015 9:16 am in

Welcome to “That’s A Wrap,” our player-by-player recap of the 2014-2015 Indiana Hoosiers. Today: Stanford Robinson.

Robinson (32 games): 3.0 points, 1.9 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 36.7 2PFG%, in 11.4 minutes per game.

Stanford Robinson’s sophomore season at Indiana began with hope, and at the same time, turmoil.

It ended in a decision to transfer.

Robinson’s up and down season started with an offseason decision to switch his shooting hand from left to right, one that was encouraged by former Hoosier Will Sheehey. And during Indiana’s preseason tour of Canada, that change was further encouraged by the fact that he led the team in free throw attempts and shot a 59.1 eFG% in that span.

That optimism, though, quickly faded when news broke on the Monday before Indiana’s first exhibition game that Robinson would be suspended for Indiana’s first four games of the season due to a failed drug test.

And when Robinson returned to the mix following that suspension, he never was able to find the consistent minutes he earned during his freshman season.

Throughout the 2014-2015 campaign, Robinson struggled to justify the shooting hand switch he made over the offseason. He went 0-for-10 behind the arc this season and again struggled to find consistency in scoring. He took some ill-advised shots. Some just didn’t go in.

stanrobanalytics

In fact, midway through the season Robinson chose to return to shooting left-handed — a decision he made with Indiana coach Tom Crean — thus ending the failed experiment.

“Switching to the right hand was just an experiment,” Robinson said. “(Crean) just wanted to see how it was because it kind of looked better than my left hand, he felt like. It’s still an experiment, but he said whatever you feel is comfortable is going to go to the basket, just do that.”

Following that decision, Robinson would find a bit more playing time.

Toward the end of this season, Robinson shot the ball less. He distributed more. And he continued to get to the line — finishing the season ranked fifth on the team in free throw attempts.

He also proved his worth on the defensive end.

During a season in which the Hoosiers struggled to defend the post, at 6-foot-4 Robinson held his own against much bigger players, using physicality to guard the paint to a degree of success. In that sense, Robinson provided a bright spot on a team that did not have many, defensively.

But ultimately, Robinson couldn’t find the playing consistency he desired. In 32 games played this season, he never eclipsed more than 17 minutes in a game — compared to 15 games past 17 minutes during his freshman season.

It led to a decision to transfer away from Bloomington, his IU career ending after just two seasons.

“I respect Stan’s desire to contribute more on the court and understand that the opportunity to play closer to your family is something he would like to have happen,” Crean said in a release. “I think he has grown a great deal and matured in the two years he has been a part of the program and I hope he takes his experiences at Indiana University to remind him of what he can accomplish not only as a basketball player, but as a human being.”

Bottom Line: After a freshman year in which Robinson saw his minutes increase as the season went on, such a pattern never emerged in his sophomore campaign at Indiana. His season got off to a rocky start, via a suspension and struggles with a change in shooting hand, and ultimately he gave up on the shooting experiment entirely. Offensively, Robinson failed to contribute much, but defensively he proved to hold value in guarding the post — something he can take pride in at just 6-foot-4. Ultimately, though, he could never find his way into the thick of the Hoosiers’ rotation. And just five days after the Hoosiers’ final game of the season, Robinson announced his intention to transfer at the end of the school year.

Quotable: “Sometimes, the ball’s just not going to fall your way. It’s not going to fall the way you want it to. But I mean, I’m proud of this team. We still battled even though shots weren’t falling. And I think it was just like a mental thing, getting that rhythm, that foot down into it, one-two-step, things like that. When you’re missing shots, you’ve got to just remind yourself, ‘Do what you do. Let it fly. No hesitation.'” — Robinson after Indiana’s loss to Maryland in the Big Ten tournament

Previously: Robert Johnson, Max Hoetzel, Emmitt Holt, James Blackmon Jr. 

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  • Kyl470

    He will forever be the poster child of why trying to change your shooting hand as a sophomore is silly. I can’t blame the kid on his decision to leave though. He was behind JBJ and RJ on the depth chart and with bigger players coming in it looks like IU might be able to get away from playing a three guard line up next year which would hurt his minutes even more.

  • Hoosierkamp

    Good Luck Stan

  • Gregory Spera

    That’s the saddest little shot chart I’ve ever seen.

  • ForeverIU

    Breaks my heart that his season went into a spiral due to someone else’s failed experiment. I had always envisioned for him a strong 4-year career at IU, a slasher to the rim and an impenetrable force on defense. But perhaps better things are in store for you dear Stan.

  • TomJameson

    That wasn’t anybody elses “failed experiment” other than Stans. Will thought of it and the two went to Crean who gave the okay to try. But, as Stan said, CTC told him to shoot the way that was more comfortable for him. Crean only approved Stans wish to try it out, it was always Stans decision.

  • inLinE6

    “due to someone else’s failed experiment”.

    OK for all the fairness, that at least worth a try and it seemed promising in Canada. Guess what? No one suggested JBJ to switch hands because he can shoot. From Stan’s freshman campaign, shooting (or lack of) hurt him a big deal and if he can’t play professionally one day, that was the reason. I wouldn’t vote for the idea again but at that time, it worth a try at least.

  • AssemblyBall

    I guarantee better things are in store for dear Stan. He might actually go somewhere and play for a coach that knows the game of basketball and develop his skills.

  • ForeverIU

    It was Crean’s suggestion. Did you read his quote above, Tom? I’m glad ITH included it, because Stan has become the butt of a joke on twitter and elsewhere.

  • SCHoosier

    I’d say that is the final wrap on Stan. Good luck SR!

  • BC Hoosier

    Going into the year I thought he would challenge for a starting spot or be our first one off the bench. Had a tough start to the season and never really recovered. At the end of the day, I understand the transfer because minutes would be hard to come by next year. Hope it works out for him at the next spot.

  • marcusgresham

    Really? Of all the players who have transferred from Indiana, name the ones who flourished in the new system far and above what they did at IU.
    Remy Abell has had better numbers at Xavier than at IU because he’s had more playing time but I don’t see where major flaws in his game have become strengths.
    Luke Fischer was injured a good portion of his time at IU, and was starting to get healthy and show what he could do when he left so I don’t really see where he’s your shining example.
    Austin Etherington couldn’t get off Butler’s bench.
    Maurice Creek became close to the player he had been before the injury, but he never would have left had he not gotten hurt.
    Bobby Capobianco didn’t even start at Valpo.
    If Jurkin becomes a player it’s because he’s finally healthy; Crean is not responsible for chronic shin splints.
    Bawa Muniru couldn’t even make it at Tennessee State, leaving for an NAIA school.
    Nick Williams actually had lower career stats from his three seasons at Mississippi than he did his freshman year at IU.
    The only possible person who can make your argument for you is Malik Story, and he showed promise at IU before making statistical strides at Nevada (with a better team than the undermanned roster he was on at IU, and against far weaker competition.)

  • marcusgresham

    I had a gut feeling he’d end up in Shaka Smart’s press at VCU, but now it looks like Smart is going to cash in at Texas.

  • Dr Dave

    All kinds of credit to Stan for finding a way to contribute this year, even if it ended up being as something of a ‘point center’, and it always seemed Stan was putting in his best effort. Yet another person I hope does well with his next team.

  • TomJameson

    There are 2 sections in the article where “the switch” was touched upon. The first section had the following quote “… offseason decision to switch his shooting hand from left to right, one that was encouraged by former Hoosier Will Sheehey…” This is corroborated by his quotes at the time when he switched.

    The second part had the quote “…chose to return to shooting left-handed — a decision he made with Indiana coach Tom Crean … ”

    I can see how one could take the sequencing in a different way, but by piecing all the parts together you would find that Will told Stan that his right handed shot looked better.

    They experimented with it and decided to go to the coach. He had them do shooting drills and subsequently decided to give Stan permission to try it out. With the caveat that (another quote from Stan) ” …It’s still an experiment, but he said whatever you feel is comfortable is going to go to the basket, just do that… ”
    I am positive that CTC had input in all of this and wouldn’t just let a player do something like that just on a whim. So, ultimate responsibility would be his I suppose. But, the idea originated between Stan and Will, CTC just gave permission to try, and empowered Stan to do what was most comfortable for him.
    Wow, that was too long … LOL

  • IU track Alumni

    I think we will all be very dissapointed once Stanford flurishes in another program. He has game and is a great defender. There is so much more to basketball than shooting ability and even though I think Crean is a good coach thats a flaw Crean may need to reavaluate moving forward with player developement and recruiting. I think we will miss him a lot! Good luck Stan! I hope we dont have to play him in the next couple of years.

  • Eric d

    Sorry it didn’t work out. I thought your freshman season was very promising.

    Best wishes Stan!

  • calbert40

    He did shoot a sizzling 44.8 percent from the floor as a freshman (never mind the fact that about 75 percent of his shots came from within 5 feet). He was an equally scintillating 18 percent from 3, which was a lot better than his 0-10 from behind the line this season.

    The coaches probably should have just sighed and realized that Stan would never become even a decent shooter. Given up. If they only knew how to develop players, who knows…he could have developed into a 50 percent shooter from point blank range and hit nearly 20 percent of his 3 point attempts all on a team filled to the brim with outside shooters.

    I’m ambidextrous. I do many things better with my off hand than with my dominate hand. I can write LH, shoot LH, throw a ball LH, etc. I happen to be a RH. Stan is obviously ambidextrous. Trying something and failing at it is not as bad as never trying it and accepting mediocrity. On his best day, Stan is a mediocre LH shooter. Might as well try something new and fail.

  • SilentBob

    I would call it a collective failed experiment, but I will always wonder what would have been if he had spent last offseason just trying to tighten his mechanics on lefty shot. He will probably never be a good shooter, but if he could even just be an average free throw shooter for his position he will be a real force for his new team.

  • SilentBob

    I wonder what his defensive shot chart would have been.

  • SilentBob

    Nate Britt at UNC did the same thing this year as a sophomore. His field goal percentage only got bumped 2% to 38%…. But his free throw percentage jumped from 79% to 88% and his three point shooting improved from 25% to 36%

  • Gregory Spera

    From the “What’ya got to lose?” school of thinking.

  • TomJameson

    I agree. I can certainly understand his reasoning, and follow the string of events, but I think I would have just got at it and worked my tail off taking shot after shot ….

    Sometimes a decision is made “in real time” that leads to more decisions “in real time”, etc… In retrospect (after the results are in) you can see that decision shouldn’t have been made. But without a time machine it becomes water under the bridge and you do what you can to recover.

  • Eugene Debs

    Really, bruh?

  • Brad

    I think we can all agree that Will Sheehey does not need to be giving shooting advice to our players. Crean should have known better.