Indiana Daily Student

Robinson adjusting to new role

Sophomore guard Stan Robinson goes for a basket against Savannah State on Saturday at Assembly Hall.
Sophomore guard Stan Robinson goes for a basket against Savannah State on Saturday at Assembly Hall.

The 2014-15 season has been one of change for Stanford Robinson. Not only did the sophomore guard switch shooting hands in the offseason, he returned to an almost entirely different role in IU’s rotation.

At first, Robinson struggled to adjust to the ?changes.

Robinson missed IU’s two exhibition games and the first two games of the regular season after a suspension for reported failed drug tests. He returned Nov. 20 but had yet to display what made him a spot starter last season.

Robinson’s numbers were down in almost every category through his first five games: his minutes, points, rebounds per game and every shooting percentage were well below last season’s averages. He had made just one shot with his new right-handed jumper.

A two-minute stretch in the first half of Saturday’s game against Savannah State may have sparked his return to form.

With 11 minutes and four seconds to play in the half, Robinson found junior guard Nick Zeisloft on the right wing. Zeisloft buried the 3-pointer, and Robinson picked up an assist.

On IU’s next possession, Robinson beat his man off the dribble and rose for a layup. Before releasing the shot, he found freshman forward Emmitt Holt on the baseline. Holt finished in traffic to give Robinson ?another assist.

Two possessions later, Robinson drove past his man again, this time finishing through a foul at the rim. He hit the free throw to complete the 3-point play.

The sequence seemed to signal a rebirth of Robinson’s confidence. From that point on, the slasher from last season was back.

He finished with seven points, three rebounds and a career-high five assists in 13 minutes. He also picked up two steals.

Junior guard Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell said Robinson becomes a different player when his confidence is high.

“When Stan just goes downhill, doesn’t slow down, goes full speed, makes a simple pass, great things happen for our team,” Ferrell said.

IU Coach Tom Crean echoed Ferrell’s thoughts and said Robinson is more effective when he’s focused on his strengths.

“Just do what his strengths entail,” Crean said. “Just go as hard as you can, attack the rim, make simple plays and be just a defensive hawk. I thought tonight was a big step for him. The statistics showed it, but most importantly, the spirit and the mentality showed it.”

Crean said part of the reason for Robinson’s early-season issues could be his new role in the team.

No longer is he a starter or the first man off the bench. This season, he’s part of a jumbled collection of bench players. He’s played as many as 16 and as few as five minutes in a game as he’s worked to adapt. IU doesn’t yet have a set rotation, Crean said.

“We’ve got so many guys that you really couldn’t define them with a position,” Crean said. “They just need to be basketball players and play the game.”

Crean said Robinson has struggled to fit into his new role but that his dedication to getting better will allow him to thrive in any situation. He said the sophomore routinely stays after practice and works on that new-look jump shot.

“He’s worked very hard, and it’s not easy for him,” Crean said. “Stan works extremely hard. Since he’s been back, he doesn’t go home after the walk-through. He eats, he sits around for a little bit, then he goes back in the gym and shoots.

“I worried, ‘OK, are you working too hard?’ He just wants it so bad.”

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