That’s not exactly the ideal mindset for a sophomore guard like Robinson, who before Tuesday’s 76-73 win against Penn State hadn’t managed to make much of an impact for IU this season.
Since switching his shooting hand in the offseason from his left to his right, Robinson hasn’t been able to return to his 2013-14 form where he was regularly the first off the bench.
The 6-foot-4 guard averaged just 3.6 points on 32.1 percent shooting in his first 14 games since coming off a four-game suspension to start the year. He had missed all eight of his 3-point attempts and shot only 45.7 percent from the free-throw line.
His struggles have tested his patience as he spent more and more hours putting in work at Cook Hall looking for a solution to his shooting woes.
“Stan wants to do well,” Crean said. “Stan is in that gym so much, and he wants to be so good.”
On Tuesday, there was progress. It was a return of the Robinson that IU Coach Tom Crean relied on so often to provide a much-needed spark.
For the first time in more than 10 months, Robinson scored in double-figures with 12 points and four rebounds in 17 minutes. He was 6-for-6 from the line and had no turnovers.
“I don’t think it was the hand,” Robinson said. “Because I think the hand is just all in the mind, which hand I’m going to shoot with. I think it was my teammates ... they all found me in great scoring areas that I can excel at, and that’s what I did.”
Historically, where Robinson excels at is attacking the rim.
He’s never been a jump shooter and he doesn’t claim to be. Eighty-four percent of Robinson’s shot attempts come from within the 3-point arc, according to shotanalytics.com. Last season, 90 percent of Robinson’s shots came from within the 3-point line.
The difference between last year’s successes and this year’s struggles has been at the capacity and frequency of the makes.
Robinson’s mid-range game has been down. He’s taking 10 percent fewer mid-range jump shots and making far fewer attempts. At the rim, where 58 percent of his shots are taken, his shooting percentage has dropped 12 percentage points from last year.
For now he’s concentrating on getting the higher percentage looks around the rim, which the numbers imply is a good idea.
“He’s got to go in and finish,” Crean said. “He’s got a lot. He’s got some momentum to him. He’s got a unique way to get to that rim.”
After Tuesday, it appears Robinson is back on track. His season-high 17 minutes were his most effective all year.
But it was only one game. It was at home and it was against a not-particularly impressive Penn State team that’s 0-4 in the Big Ten.
But for Robinson, it’s a start. It’s something to build on.
The next step is carrying it with him when IU (13-4, 3-1) travels to play Illinois (12-6 2-3) 1 p.m. Sunday.
“We’ve got to get into that bonus so we can get to the foul line, and Stan helps things like that,” Crean said. “The defending, really relishing that role, and getting to the glass, playing with strength and force. That’s what he does for us. If he continues to do that, he’ll continue to play.”