Glenn Robinson III hit a leaner over two Purdue defenders to give No. 16 Michigan a 77-76 overtime win over Purdue in West Lafayette on Wednesday night.
That shot is going to get him headlines, if for no reason other than the fact that his father — the Big Dog, Glenn Robinson — is one of Purdue’s most famous alumni. So while the bucket gave the Wolverines a win, and the win kept Michigan a game in front of Michigan State in the Big Ten standings, the bigger story here is that Robinson was, you know, the best player on the floor for the Wolverines.
Robinson finished with 17 points, eight boards and three assists on 7-for-11 shooting on a night when John Beilein’s two big-dogs — Nik Stauskas and Caris LeVert — combined to shoot 9-for-30 from the field.
That’s big for Michigan.
Robinson has all the talent in the world. He’s got the physical tools of a first round pick and the kind of range that will make intrigue many-a-GM with a lottery pick. But he’s got a bad habit of disappearing. He’s not all that aggressive and he has a bad habit of disappearing during big games, happy to pigeon-hole himself as a perimeter jump-shooter.
He can be more, and Michigan needs him to be more, especially on the nights where Stauskas and LeVert struggle with the amount of defensive attention that they are going to get. In the last two games, Robinson is averaging 16.0 points and 6.5 boards while shooting 13-for-23 from the floor with just four of those shot attempts coming from beyond the arc.
Michigan fans won’t complain if he stays hot.
Rutgers has struggled to achieve success on the floor the last few years and head coach Eddie Jordan is hoping that some talented newcomers can help start a turnaround. With the start of practice, local media saw some of the Scarlet Knights’ early practice and Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press noted that the duo of freshman point guard Corey Sanders and junior college forward Deshawn Freeman were getting a lot of burn together.
With both incoming players being four-star prospects, it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan would see what the two were capable of. According to Carino, it meant a lot of Sanders driving and forcing the defense to collapse before finding Freeman.
“It seems like coach always has us on the same team,” Freeman said to Carino. “Ever since we’ve gotten here, he’s trying to get us to play together.”
Carino also notes that since Rutgers is deeper, longer and more athletic in general this season, the team could do more with a pressing defense to help create turnovers.
While Rutgers still faces an uphill climb in the Big Ten, they at least have some exciting pieces that will be in place for a few seasons.
LSU football and Leonard Fournette are off to a strong start this fall, but the beginning of October also means that college hoops is right around the corner. If you’re a Tigers basketball fan, you also have plenty to be excited about on the hardwood this season with the arrival of a loaded freshman class headlined by forward Ben Simmons.
While the versatile Simmons has solidified a spot in the starting lineup for next season, it’ll be interesting to see how head coach Johnny Jones uses the rest of his talented freshmen. In a story from Sheldon Mickles of the New Orleans Advocate, he looks into some potential LSU starting lineups.
Freshman guard Antonio Blakeney, a McDonald’s All-American with Simmons, is also expected to start, but does another talented freshman guard, Brandon Sampson get a shot to start? And what of Arizona transfer Craig Victor when he’s eligible to play in December?
Mickles believes the early favorite for starting lineup is guards Tim Quarterman, Keith Hornsby, Blakeney, Simmons and center Darcy Malone. When Victor returns, Mickles said Victor could push Simmons into the “center” position, which would be a matchup nightmare on the opposition because Simmons would be very tough for many college centers to defend.
Sampson also gets a mention from Mickles of having the potential to start down the line. Overall, a good problem to have for Jones and he’ll have to experiment to see which lineups are giving him the most. Having a productive starting five is nice, but I’m sure Jones would love to find the five players he wants to close with.