We continue our review session with junior point guard, James Robinson. we will be talking about point guard, James Robinson. I have Chris here again with me to help break down Robinson's past season and a brief look into his future into next season.
Final Stat line - 8.9 Points. 5.1 Assists. 3.6 Rebounds. 36% Field Goal. 29% 3 Point 83% Free Throw.
Best Game - 15 points, 10 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 steals in a 76-72 upset win over Notre Dame.
Worst Game - 2 points, 1 assist. 3 rebounds in a 61-49 road loss to #2 Virginia
Chris, one of the big story lines around James Robinson is his outside shooting. What do you make of it? Is I there hope it can be better next season?
I think there is always hope. Players traditionally have progressed every year under the Dixon led coaching staffs and I don't see why this can't be any different. Now, if you are thinking Robinson is going to improve dramatically in the off-season, you are just kidding yourself. There won't be that big of a leap for him. He is who he is at this point.
We all had hope when he came in as a true freshman, that he would be the next in a long line of Pitt point guards who were just studs by their junior and senior years. Krauser, Knight, Fields etc. All those guys were able to contribute with outside shooting. Can Robinson reach that level? I don't believe he can, but I do think it can improve slightly and really how much does it have to improve for him to be a decent threat? He shot 29% last year. If he gets it up to 34%, is that good enough to be a threat? Not ideal, but it would certainly help.
James Robinson had some pretty monster performances this season outplaying the likes of Jerian Grant and Marcus Paige. Obviously, he has that big game potential, what did you see from him in those games as opposed to the ones he struggled in?
You know, it's funny, for those of us that pay attention to Twitter during the games. It seemed when James Robinson took matters into his own hands a little more, twitter would explode with people stating some variation of "J-Rob is in screw it, I'm shooting it no matter what mode". I think when he had success wasn't really when he shot more, but when he drove the lane more. Robinson is an 80%+ free throw shooter, so why not get to the line more often?
If you go back and look at his really good games. You'll see that when he put up more points, he got to the line. When you see a little number next to the "points" category, you are typically going to see him with very few attempts. You see a big number and you see more charity stripe appearances. So that is my opinion....get to the line early and often for him and he will have a big game.
Heading into next season, James Robinson will be a four-year starting point guard, very few players in the country will be able to make that claim. Are you excited about what he can do next season? Do you think all the experience will pay off for the Panthers?
Excited? No. Do I think his experience will pay off for the Panthers? Yes. As I mentioned before, he is who he is right now. He's not going to improve greatly, but Pitt does have an experienced point guard, who takes care of the ball and can find the open man and manage the game. He is not a weak link out there.
If you talk to the fan base, you will find two groups: 1. Robinson is underrated and under-appreciated or he is terrible and would be a back up, at best, on most top-tier teams. As with all players that are viewed very differently among their fan base, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. I think he's a solid point guard, who could stand to improve and probably has not reach expectations he had when he was coming into the program.
Lastly, what areas do you think Robinson needs to improve upon, and what are some reasonable expectations for Robinson going into 2015-16?
I see three areas where Robinson can improve and be a better player next season. One we have tackled already, and that is to be more aggressive and drive the lane to get to the line. We don't have to rehash that again.
The second thing we already tackled a little bit in the first question and that is his accuracy from beyond the arc. Again, we won't rehash. The last thing we have not mentioned yet, but it seems to be a problem for a lot of Panthers this season and that is his defense. Did you watch the NC State game in the ACC tournament? Wow, did Pitt have a ton of trouble with those fast and athletic guards. I'm not expecting him (or any current Panther) to be the second coming defensively of Julius Page next season, but Robinson has to be better at that aspect. Pitt struggled all over the floor on the defensive side of the ball. They will all have to get better and it has to start with the senior point guard.