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James Robinson steps up as scorer for Pitt basketball

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

For the past two seasons, James Robinson has been Pitt's steady point guard. The fact that he has never been a dominant scorer has often been overshadowed by the fact that he passes the ball well while not turning it over. On occasion, he's also knocked down some key buckets.

But this year, Pitt has had to deal with the absence of the team's top four scorers from last season. Lamar Patterson and Talib Zanna have graduated. Cameron Wright is out recovering from surgery and Durand Johnson is suspended for the season.

That's left Robinson and others to pick up the slack, and so far, the point guard is giving the team more offense.

During the team's trip to Hawaii over the last four games, Robinson is averaging twice as much as he did last season, despite playing only a few more minutes per game. Since the team left for Hawaii/Maui, the point guard has averaged 15 points per game compared to only 7.6 last season. What's more is that Robinson has been more efficient as a scorer than he was last year. On the Hawaii trip, Robinson shot nearly 44% from the field compared to knocking down only 40% last year.

With the added scoring, though, there's been a trade off. Robinson is being asked to do more on offense with the ball and, as a result, is becoming more prone to turnovers. He's averaged only 1.1 turnovers the past two seasons but this year, that number has soared to 2.7. On the Hawaii trip, he averaged more than three per game.

It's early on but this is probably a trend you can expect to continue. Any player scoring as much as Robinson has is going to have some trouble with turnovers. The question is if the trade off is worth it. With Pitt's offense needing someone to step up, the short answer is that they can't afford not to have Robinson score more for the time being. Other players like Cam Johnson may get a little more consistent and prove they can handle the workload on offense. But until then, Robinson's scoring is exactly what the team needs.

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