Freshman Focus: Stanford Robinson

  • 05/31/2013 9:03 am in


“Freshman Focus” is an Inside the Hall series on each of Indiana’s six incoming freshman. Over the next couple of weeks, we will examine what kind of an impact each player can have for the Hoosiers next season. Today: Stanford Robinson. (Photo via 247Sports)

On an average Saturday afternoon last month, Findlay Prep coach Todd Simon was giving some families a tour of the Nevada private high school. He walked past the weight room around 3 p.m., and there was Indiana commit Stanford Robinson lifting by himself.

That’s just one example of the work ethic Robinson has developed at Findlay. Robinson, a 6-foot-4 guard, will arrive on campus in less than two weeks.

“He came a long way,” Simon, who coached Robinson for one season, said. “Stan loves basketball. A lot of guys, once they get to a certain level, become almost mini celebrities and they end up loving that part of it more than the game. I don’t think that’s happened with Stan.

“He doesn’t need somebody to drag him up there [to the weight room]. I don’t think he’s a buddy workout guy. I think he’s got an idea in his head, ‘This is what coach wants, this is what I gotta do. Coach says I need to do this, this is what I gotta do.’ He’s driven.”

With the graduation of Jordan Hulls and Victor Oladipo’s decision to leave school early for the NBA, the Hoosiers have a bit of a void in the backcourt. Rising sophomore Yogi Ferrell figures to start at point guard for the second consecutive season, but the starting shooting guard position appears to be wide open.

Arizona State transfer Evan Gordon is one option, but Robinson may be an even better one. He’s bigger than Gordon at about 6-foot-4, which would keep Indiana from starting two small guards like it did a season ago, something that could especially help on the defensive end.

“He’s rangy, he gets his hands on a lot of balls,” Simon said. “He’s a strong guard. He can compete with guys bigger than him because he’s competitive. In a lot of ways, he’s going to be ready to help early.

“I think he’ll show up in pretty good shape and physically be pretty close to being able to help. He really worked hard on his strength here. Stan really figured out how to play hard, hard enough to match the NCAA level of intensity. He’s a very good transition player, very good slasher at attacking the basket. He came light years on the defensive end. He’s got a little work to do, but he’s probably closer than the average freshman at being able to help defensively early on.”

One serious area of need for the Hoosiers is perimeter shooting. Indiana lost a lot of production from Hulls, Oladipo and Christian Watford, and it may not immediately be able to replace it. But in the last couple of years, Robinson has improved dramatically as a shooter and may be able to help the Hoosiers in that area.

“He got a lot better here,” Simon said. “I think a lot of it for him was defining when and where his shot was and also shoring up his release a little bit. He kind of had a little bit of a drawn out release, but he did a nice job of tightening up his shot pocket. A lot of his balance and those things improved as his core and his strength training kicked in. That certainly made him a more consistent shooter.

“Would I put him in a great shooter category? You know, he’s still got work to do. But all of his mechanics are there and he shot a decent percentage for us this year.”

Whether or not Robinson lands the starting job at shooting guard, he will likely spend some time playing point guard in a backup role for Ferrell. Gordon and walk-on Jonny Marlin are other options.

Simon said he and his staff spent a good part of Robinson’s senior season getting him ready to play point guard, per Tom Crean’s request.

“That was our focus, especially the second half of the year with him, was getting him ready for that,” Simon said. “There were a couple of scrimmages where he played 32 minutes straight at the 1 and didn’t come off the ball. We tried to get him to understand that at that position, wins and losses are on you, the pressure’s on you to get everybody in right spots. He came a long way at it.”

Filed to:

  • Arch_Puddington

    I once visited a wise man on a distant mountain. I asked him what I could do to live a good life, and he said “Tighten up your shot pocket.” After years of meditation and practice, I’m still trying to unlock this secret wisdom. I wish Stan all the best on his path to enlightenment.

  • “Simon said..”, ha! Thanks for Freshman Focus, I am ready to be hyped. Sounds to me like Robinson will primarily be the backup PG, if it works out well with him there. I would hate to have the responsibility of dividing up playing time next season.

  • cdog

    With his near VO work ethic, he will develop nicely at IU. He gives IU a lot of different options to not have two small guards on the floor at the same time. He can spell Yogi and Evan can play the 2. He can also play the 2 when Yogi or Evan are at the point. I would also expect Troy to get minutes at the 2 and Marlin to get limited minutes at the 1. No disrespect to Will, but he is not a true SG. His skills are best suited for the 3 spot.

  • Caleb Moore

    My starting lineup would be Yogi, Will, Jeremy, Noah, Luke. Length there, some shooting with Will, size, and a lot of athleticism. Wish I could say I think Hanner and PJ will be ready to contribute more this year, but I’ll have to see it to believe it.

  • calbert40

    Vonleh, Williams and Fischer get all of the headlines for this class, understandably so. Then Davis and Hartman are at least more known quantities based solely on our familiarity with their games, since they are in-state recruits. Robinson seems to be the “forgotten man” of the 2013 class. I think that’s a big mistake.

    He’s athletic and big, and he can handle either guard spot well. If you watch any tape of him, he is a team oriented player who looks to setup others before looking for his own shot. For whatever reason, players who distribute seem to slide in national rankings. I think CTC found a gem in Robinson.

  • N71

    Are you certain he didn’t say, “lighten up on the hot pockets”?

  • Arch_Puddington

    Not that ratings matter, but I think both Robinson and William were held down by the fact that they played for teams dominated by scoring PG’s. I saw both play twice this year, and their offensive role was almost entirely limited to standing on the wing while someone else drove into the lane and tried to score at the rim. Both spent a LOT of time literally standing on the side waiting for a kick-out that rarely came, and both did most of their scoring in transition.

    Both also played for and against academy teams loaded with D1 talent. Had they played on a regular high school teams, they would have been the stars and would have filled up stat lines like other players of their caliber. Again, it doesn’t matter, but I do think it explains why they seemed to slip in the eyes of some. I am thrilled to have them both.

  • N71

    Point: Yogi – he’ll be the best point guard in the league

    Wing: Will – he can defend, score, and lead
    Wing: Jeremy – “sophomore leap”, shooting, long, can defend
    Frontline: Noah – in theory the best player of his type since DJ White
    Frontline: Luke – he’s healthy, pretty good, not a liability

    We know Stan and Troy will play a ton but we’re talking starting positions here.

  • Arch_Puddington

    I used to think he said “Shoot out the light sockets”, but that didn’t seem right. I am so confused.

  • Ole Man

    Nice lineup–and one that will still get pushed around in the paint, which in the B1G spells trouble at some times.
    So, I was really happy to hear that young, Mr. Robinson is hitting the weight room.
    I think the starting lineup will change constantly, depending on our opponent.
    Until the young studs gain some weight and strength (a couple of years, probably), we’re gonna have to either out-quick them, or crash everybody on the boards.
    If we do the latter, strong, rebounding guards like Mr. Robinson will be starting a lot of games.

    {Note: I left out rebounding postitioning because we all know how much that matters to the B1G refs.}

  • calbert40

    Right. Ratings are basically worthless once you get outside of the top 20. The top 20 are usually stars, but what is the difference between a recruit ranked #27 and one ranked #85? Probably not a much….other than attitude!!

    I think Robinson is going to be fantastic!

  • lolman

    WIth Robinson’s athleticism and ability to assist, rebound and defend I see a lot of similarities to Bracey Wright. I’m really excited to see what he can do this season. I think he’ll earn starts over Will occasionally.

  • Miamihoosier

    I think Stan and Jeremy probably have the largest range in possible minutes on the team. If coach Crean thinks WIll can guard opposing shooting guards, Stan will not see consistent minutes. If not, we could see a real battle between Evan and Stan for that starting spot. As a fan, I want the 5 most talented guys out there. I’ve seen Sheehey do well on Hardaway Jr., Gary Harris, and DJ Richardson in stretches over the last 2 years. I tend to think after our last loss, with lack of size being such a factor Will Sheehey will be our starting Shooting Guard. If we put Sheehey, Williams, Vonleh, and Fischer out there with Ferrell, we look a lot more like last years Georgetown team in terms of size, but with quite a bit more offensive firepower. The unknowns are probably the most exciting thing about this year’s team. Ranked somewhere in the 50’s Stan could end up being a stud, look at some of those kids from Michigan last year, you just never know.

  • lolman

    I agree with most everything you have stated but Will must improve his shooting and rebounding. Last season the offense seemed to weaken significantly when he was on the floor. If Williams, Robinson and Hollowell prove to be more reliable shooters Will’s playing time will significantly decrease.

  • skotchie

    I agree, Will is a 3

  • kennygeorge

    I like this young man a lot. IMO he will be a tremendously happy addition. Give him his second year and there will be no doubters whatsoever.

  • calbert40

    That is probably true also. I hadn’t really thought about it that way before, though.

  • skotchie

    Bracey Wright? There’s a guy who thought he was all that!
    I doubt he had a great work ethic. His high school teammate that went to Illinois is still in the NBA.

  • lolman

    I should have been more specific. Physically I think Robinson is very similar to Wright.
    I forgot to mention that Wright scored 1498 points in 3 seasons, First Team all B1G in 2004 and led the B1G in scoring his junior year. I’d like to think Robinson has similar abilities.
    Lastly, what does Deron Williams have to do with IU basketball?

  • Kenneth234

    I disagree, Will can be either a 2 or a 3.

  • Bryan

    With so many players moving in and out of the program this year, I half wondered if the gym rat mentality that guys like Hulls and Oladipo brought to the team was going to carry forward. From the sound of it, guys like Stan will be keeping that quality alive and well.

  • hoosierdaddy 1987

    Why does espn list stan as a small forward?

  • Shawn Congo


  • The only thing that I find disappointing IU next season is that it’s five months away. I’m so excited about this class, and especially look forward to seeing Robinson play. He has a winning pedigree, played with and against the best in the nation in high school, has potentially highlight reel athleticism, and a cool name to boot! He’s going to be a lot of fun to watch as a Hoosier

  • Jeremy Johnson