Stanford Robinson Archive

Hoosiers look forward to return to the “DMV”

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In recent years, the Indiana men’s basketball program has built a connection with the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia area.

The current pipeline between the “DMV” and Bloomington formed back in May 2008, when Oxon Hill, Md., native Maurice Creek committed to the Hoosiers. It solidified just over a year later in September 2009 with the commitment of Hyattsville, Md., native Victor Oladipo. Those two had a chance to play near home in the 2013 NCAA tournament Sweet Sixteen at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

The pipeline still remains strong. Current Hoosiers Robert Johnson and Troy Williams are from Virginia, and Stanford Robinson is from Maryland. And tonight presents their first opportunity to play close to home, as the Hoosiers (17-7, 7-4) take on No. 19 Maryland (19-5, 7-4) in College Park at 9 p.m.

“It’s always good when you’re away from home and you get to play in front of your friends and family,” Johnson said on Tuesday. “I’m definitely excited to see them.”

Indiana’s connection to the Washington area stems far beyond the basketball court.

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Video: Crean, IU players preview Rutgers

Tom Crean, Stanford Robinson and Nick Zeisloft met with the media on Friday afternoon at Assembly Hall to preview Saturday’s game with Rutgers.

Watch both press conferences below:

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Five takeaways from Indiana’s win over Penn State

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Indiana improved to 13-4 overall and 3-1 in the Big Ten on Tuesday night with a 79-76 win over Penn State that came down to the final possession.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from the narrow victory over the Nittany Lions:

· Indiana is winning close games, even if it isn’t pretty: The Hoosiers now have three conference wins and all of them have come by five points or less. In the last two, IU’s opponent had a chance to tie the game on the final possession. It’s a dangerous way to live, but so far it’s a change from last season where IU simply didn’t pull out many close games.

The concerning part on Tuesday was that Indiana built a double-digit lead on two occasions and was unable to pull away both times. Penn State deserves credit for battling back, but Indiana also had some empty possessions and mindless turnovers that fueled the Nittany Lions during their runs.

“Fortunately for us, we’re learning how to win close games, which is something we didn’t do a very good job of last year,” Tom Crean said. “We’ve got three wins. They’ve come down to two possessions and the other ones have come down to one possession. Those three wins that we had a year ago was the opposite for us. So our guys are learning how to win those games. We were 2-6, I believe, in one-possession games last year.”

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Notebook: Walk-on Ryan Burton sparks IU’s second half run

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Following an Indiana practice on Monday night, Indiana associate head coach Steve McClain told Tom Crean to not forget about 6-foot-7 walk-on Ryan Burton during Tuesday’s game against Penn State.

Yes, Burton — who had played a total 36 minutes all season heading into Indiana’s 17th game of the season.

“Don’t forget about Ryan,” McClain told Crean. “He has toughness. If we need something, don’t forget about Ryan.”

Crean didn’t forget.

After a seven-point Indiana lead vanished into a 51-51 tie and teams traded fouls and misses, the Hoosiers coach put Burton into the game with 12:03 left on the clock. It was his first action since he played four minutes in the closing moments of Indiana’s win over New Orleans in mid-December.

Penn State coach Patrick Chambers didn’t even have Burton in the scouting report.

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Video: IU players react to win over Penn State

Ryan Burton (three rebounds and one assist), Robert Johnson (20 points) and Stanford Robinson (12 points and four rebounds) met with the media following Indiana’s 76-73 win over Penn State on Tuesday at Assembly Hall.

Watch the full press conference below:

The Inside the Hall Mailbag: January 2

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The Inside the Hall Mailbag is a collection of questions tweeted to us via Twitter (@insidethehall), submitted on our premium forum and sent to us via our Facebook page. Submit your questions and we’ll answer as many as we can.

kmark22 in the premium forum writes: Alex, what do you think has really turned around Troy Williams game and has Stanford’s shooting right handed hurt him? He just doesn’t seem comfortable shooting the ball.

Williams was brilliant in Montreal over the summer, but I think the suspension to start the season set him back and there was definitely an adjustment period for him after returning to the lineup. I think his ball handling improved greatly in the offseason and while he still looks to be out of control sometimes when he gets going full steam ahead, his turnover percentage is down more than eight percent. I think his confidence has also grown from the fact that he’s getting the opportunity to act as the primary ball handler in some halfcourt sets.

As for Robinson, there are a couple of problems I see right now. First, he’s really struggling at the foul line, which just about makes it a certainty that he’s going to be on the bench in a close game late. His free throw rate (FTA/FGA) is 72.7 percent, which is excellent, but that’s negated by the fact that he’s hitting just 46.9 percent from the line. It’s tough to say how much of a factor the hand switch has been, but so far, it hasn’t helped the percentages at all. Second, his shot selection has been poor in many instances. He’s taken eight 3-point attempts (all misses), which isn’t his game at all, and he’s also shooting just 40 percent at the rim. On a team that is loaded with offensive options, his chance to see the floor is to play defense and finish at the rim. Unless he’s able to make a bigger impact defensively, he’s probably a fringe rotation guy. — Alex Bozich

@rbkl on Twitter writes: With B1G play full steam ahead, will we ever see Crean run sets with HMP and Holt on the floor together?

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Film Session: Savannah State

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As noted in Saturday night’s The Minute After, Stanford Robinson stopped trying to do too much against the Tigers and ended the contest with five assists in 13 minutes of action.

We’ll take a look at him forcing things early followed by three assists in the latest edition of Film Session:

I. Turnover 

Shortly after checking into the game, Robinson is being tightly guarded at the beginning of an Indiana possession:

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He’s able to work his way past the defender and has daylight ahead of him:

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When Emmitt Holt’s man comes over to ward off Robinson’s drive to the bucket, Holt is open and moving toward the basket into the paint:

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