Hoops Hello: Duncan Robinson
D-III Williams College sharpshooter Duncan Robinson announced on Twitter moments ago that, as expected, he's transferring to Michigan:
I am proud to announce that I'll be transferring to the University of Michigan. Proud to be a Wolverine! #GoBlue
— Duncan Robinson (@D_Bo20) August 6, 2014
Robinson will sit out this year, then have three years of eligibility remaining when he suits up for the 2015-16 season.
As you might expect of a D-III player, Robinson didn't even have recruiting profiles on any of the major sites, let alone actual rankings. That's not to say he wasn't a D-I caliber prospect, however, as the New England Recruiting Report ranked him as the #12 recruit in New Hampshire and #47 in the New England region—ahead of several D-I commits—when he came out of high school in the 2013 class.
So how did Robinson not land at a D-I school? By choice:
A year ago he was a relative unknown coming out of Governor’s Academy. One year, two inches, and 20 pounds of muscle later now he’s a NEPSAC finals MVP and a huge steal for Williams College. While the masses are wondering how a sharp-shooting six-foot-seven forward could have slipped through the scholarship cracks, the reality is that he jumped through, spurning scholarship offers for the top ranked liberal arts school and one of the most storied Division III basketball programs in the country.
Academics should not be a concern.
So, yeah, you just read "sharp-shooting six-foot-seven forward" and now know why John Beilein coveted a D-III transfer. Here's more from the NERR from when Robinson committed to Williams:
One of the best pure shooters in all of New England, Robinson has a feathery stroke with range well beyond the three point line, a high basketball I.Q., and a long six-foot-seven frame that is just starting to add muscle mass.
Excellent use of "feathery" there.
Other scouting reports from his recruitment, as you might expect, are scant. What the heck, here's one from something called BallasTV, which included this blurb when they published the above video:
Duncan Robinson is probably the most under recruited kid in the NATION that we have seen this year! At 6'6 Duncan meets all the criteria for a low - mid major d1 G/F, he is tall, long, athletic, has guard skills and a GREAT student. Some times kids develop later then others and we think that is the case for Robinson, even from this summer to spring he looks to have added 10+ pounds of muscle to his lean frame.
They seemed pretty excited about him, also noting that "there isn't ONE" AAU coach who faced Robinson who wouldn't say he was a D-I level prospect. Seeing his shooting stroke, as well as some solid drives to the rim, the excitement is quite understandable.
Talking to the Freep's Mark Snyder, Robinson's AAU coach added a couple details beyond "shooter":
A dead eye shooter, hitting 45% from three-pint range while averaging 17 points per game, Robinson is nearly 6-foot-8 and weighs 195 pounds. With the redshirt year he would have to take if he transferred, “who’s to say he’s not 215 and Big Ten-ready?”
“He’s not just a standstill shooter, he can put it on the floor, he’s a smart cutter,” Crotty said. “He knows how to have patience and use angles as well.”
His ability as a cutter could play very well in Beilein's system, especially if his shot is dangerous enough that defenders are predisposed to closing out hard on the perimeter.
UMHoops got an exclusive scouting report from Nothing But NESCAC, which noted that he was comfortable and effective as both a spot-up and pull-up shooter, then pointed out some areas in need of improvement if Robinson is going to succeed against a much higher level of competition:
The defensive and rebounding parts of his game are really where Robinson will need to work on if he wants to be a contributor at Michigan. He currently lacks both the lateral quickness and strength in order to consistently stay in front of quicker shorter defenders who could use their leverage against him. Rebounding he used his size to average 6.5 rebounds per game, but he wasn’t very active on the offensive glass or ever really dominated in the paint.
If you're thinking "this guy sounds like a D-III Nik Stauskas," you're not alone, as NBN made that exact comparison. Robinson may actually be a bit taller: he told UMHoops that he's 6'8" and up to around 200 pounds. Unless he adds a good deal of bulk and strength, he's probably ticketed for the three at Michigan; regardless of what position he plays, he should at the very least stretch the floor offensively.
They are impressive. Via MLive:
As a freshman at Williams in 2013-14, he averaged 17.1 points and 6.5 rebounds per game in a school-record 1,110 minutes played (34.7 mpg), all while making 81-of-179 3-pointers (45.3 percent)
Shooting 45% from distance on a high volume of shots while being the team's star player is quite the feat for a freshman at any level. Robinson won D-III Freshman of the Year honors and was a fourth-team All-American on D3Hoops.com; not only was Robinson the only freshman among the four AA teams and five players who earned honorable mention, no sophomores were selected and only three juniors made the cut.
I can't find a high school offer sheet for Robinson, but he had plenty of interest when he announced his plans to transfer, per UMHoops:
“A whole bunch of schools that reached out,” Robinson said. “No other Big Ten schools, but a couple of ACC schools, Big 12, and then a lot of lower-conference and mid-majors. I’ve kind of narrowed it down to two. I’m going to take a visit to Davidson (this weekend) and I’m going to take a visit to Michigan (Monday).”
While Davidson isn't a high major school, they're in or around the KenPom top 100 on a very consistent basis from year to year, and they did produce that Steph Curry guy. Dylan also noted that Creighton, the most DEATH FROM ABOVE team in college basketball last season, also showed interest in landing Robinson.
UMHoops helpfully compiled a video of Robinson's Williams highlights:
Yup, dude can shoot.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
Projected a D-III player to the Big Ten is a rather difficult endeavor, as a jump like that happens very rarely:
Matt Hart led Hamilton in scoring before transferring to George Washington as a walk on and Varun Ram left Trinity to walk on at Maryland and earned a scholarship, the 5-9 point guard played in 16 games last season.
Those were the two recent D-III to D-I examples UMHoops found; Hart is in the same boat as Robinson—sitting out 2014-15 after his transfer—so we don't know how the transition will go for him.
My best guess is Robinson works his way into being an off-the-bench gunner eventually; he does appear to be an ideal fit in Beilein's offense, and woe be upon the blogger who questions Beilein's talent evaluation. Beilein thought it was worth not just bringing in a D-III transfer, but using a scholarship spot on one, and just based on that I get the feeling Robinson will make an impact in his Michigan career, even if the constant influx of blue chip recruits* prevent him from grabbing a starting job.
*Man, was that sentence fun to write out.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
Adding to the intrigue of Robinson's transfer is the fact that it likely quite possibly closes the book on guard/wing recruiting for the 2015 class. Though this is likely to change, Michigan has only one open scholarship for 2015-16 at the moment, and the priority is going to be landing a big man: Sam Webb posited on The Victors Board that five-star IN C Caleb Swanigan is going to be the main priority moving forward ($).
Welcome and Congratulations!
(feel like I'm missing one here...no, not Dakich)
just waiting on:
He's going to sit out the year.
As a point of comparison, Dorial Green-Beckham will probably play this season at Oklahoma. Awesome!
He's gotta be a Spurs fan.
Great "get" and I don't mind him sitting out because he gets a year to develop and learn the offense.
Ginobili Parker with him?
Nope, but he's tight with Tim David.
How many starz?
Only 7? Well I suppose Beilein has earned our trust.
Is a great name for a BB player.
Darryl "Chocolate Thunder" Dawkins and World B. Free?
Probably best Michigan basketball name since Antoine Joubert.
Amadou Ba disagrees.
I think they're stilling going to hard after Jalen Coleman and just take a big in '16.
Depends on what happens with LeVert and Hatch. If they're on the roster in 2015-16, that's eight players for 2-3 positions, before adding another wing in the 2015 class. IMHO we need another big man in the 2015 class. Only Donnal and Doyle seem capable of playing center for us and neither has appeared in a college game. Ellenson or Swanigan plz.
lol at the very DIII charge attempt by the defender in the first highlight video.
Could he be a Reggie Cleveland All-Star?
Meh. Duncan's a little too Macbeth-y IMO for that.
At first glance i think there will he a substantial adjustment necessary pertaining to the speed and athleticism of the B1G. Duncan has a year to improve his athleticism and Camp Sanderson will likely help him immensely. As far a basketball player...he looks to have high IQ and a very natural stroke. You have to love 6ft7 at SG also. My only worry is the strength and athletic aspect. I think he will make gains in those areas in Ann Arbor. I don't see him as a replacement for a Jalen Coleman or any other elite SG. He is simply a good ball player that has fallen into coach B ' s lap and we and him are taking advantage of eachother. I think this works out for us nicely in the end.
I had trouble finding him at times.
It occurs to me that he essentially fills the Austin Hatch slot in the 2013 class. Not that it matters much, but it does balance out the roles they recruited for that year.
Normally I would question a D3 transfer, but I have the utmost faith in Beilein and staff. Also, Duncan looks like he can ball.
Conclusion based on way too flimsy evidence: I think his shot will get even better with Beilein. That might seem like stating the obvious after the last few years, but I think this kid has a huge upside. Would not be surprised at all to see him starting or even anchoring the offense in a few years.
I just hope he's not another Matt Vogrich....lanky, white guy sharpshooter that was
Way too unathletic for the Big Ten
Do not disparrage Gritty Vogrit!
Also, dat three off the screen at 1:40 in UMHoops video. Thats 100% Beilein.
I've watched a great deal of D-III ball in the last 4 years (I go to a school with a pretty successful D-III program), and I can tell you that it is just astonishing to me that someone from D-III can make the leap to Michigan. For some perspective, I've been to dozens of D-III b-ball games by now, and I can count on one hand the number of dunks I've seen. I've only seen one player who looked like he could play D-I (Catholic University's current point guard Bryson Fonville might be able to crack a low or mid-major roster). That this kid could even get Beilein to turn his head, much less extend a scholarship offer really says something to me. He's got to be seriously impressive on the court and off. Hope he pans out!
trey : spike :: stauskas : robinson
the complicating factor is the whole vague references to d1 offers he turned down.
i wish they would have named names.
i dont know how meaningful it is, we talking the likes of portland state and iupui or what?
Duncan Robinson, also the nickname of the last Robinson we had. I miss those duncs already.
make an impact here and really help the team. Obviously, he's quite a bit of an unknown. But, having a year to learn the system, get stronger, and hone his game will really help to get him ready to make an impact in 2015-2016.