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James Robinson Almost Missed Out On Team USA Experience

Billy Donovan almost didn't select Pitt recruit James Robinson (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Billy Donovan almost didn't select Pitt recruit James Robinson (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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James Robinson had a great experience with Team USA's Under 18 squad in the FIBA Americas tournament. He not only got some great experience out of it, but the team won the gold medal.

Head coach Billy Donovan says Robinson almost wasn't selected, though.

Talking about the team afterwards, Donovan spoke about several players, including the new Pitt recruit:

"We weren't sure we were going to keep him. We cut the team from 25 to 14 and then kept guys around to 12. He was originally on the outside looking in. But once we started practicing we saw that he's a winner and a great role guy. He's a typical Pitt player. Jamie [Dixon] will love coaching him. I'm not sure of his impact on the team, but people will say, 'Where did this guy come from?' The kid is a winner. I liked coaching him. He was the same guy every day.''

Robinson didn't have huge numbers in the games, averaging only a handful of points, assists, and rebounds. Part of that was because of the immense talent around him, but part of it is because he's simply not that type of player.

The good news? Pitt has made a living out of beating teams with sound, hard-nosed players and Robinson sounds like just that. And because he's not a statistically-dominant player, there's a really good chance that he sticks around the program for four years.

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