I’m not going to pull any punches. I think Duquesne and Jordan Robinson got screwed last year. Based on everything I’ve read and heard, it sounds like the NCAA has had a chronic issue with the diploma factory known as Quality Education. Quality Education happens to be Robinson’s alma mater and I can understand their initial hesitation to rule Robinson eligible. What I cannot figure out is why it dragged on for so long especially after Robinson reportedly did well academically at Duquesne his first term. Quality Education may not have prepared other kids for college but it sounds like our 6’8” Canadian recruit was the exception rather than the norm. Not only did the saga disrupt the Duquesne season and Robinson’s career, but it also prevented a likely red shirt for Darius Lewis.
Thankfully the past is in the past. While Robinson may not have benefited from a season of practice like a red shirt freshman should, he’ll at least have four years of eligibility remaining and he’ll be a year older with a season of exposure under his belt. With the departure of Isaiah Watkins, his success has become even more important to the future of Duquesne program. Even if he didn’t get to play, he hopefully learned the theory of the system through osmosis.
Admittedly, I’ve never seen Robinson play against college level competition. Most of my opinion of him is based on summer league and high school game film. If you’re expecting Robinson to jump in and be an explosive force in the post, you’ll likely be disappointed. From what I’ve seen, he’s more of a player who will come to work, do his job and make opponents pay for overlooking him. He has strong hands that help with receiving passes in the post and hauling in rebounds. He has good touch around the backboard. He plays his game and knows his strengths. He doesn’t create a ton for himself but he’ll reward his teammates if they find him.
I don’t expect Robinson to fully replace Ovie Soko in year one, but I do think he’ll become a stabilizing factor that helps offset his loss. I wouldn’t expect a ton of scoring from Robinson, but I’d expect some efficient minutes without a ton of mistakes even as a freshman. A certain national pundit thinks the Dukes might get more.
Another under-the-radar red shirt freshman — Duquesne's Jordan Robinson. 6-8, 230 pound PF is a 12 and 8 guy. Should start for Dukes.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) May 1, 2014
I wouldn’t be shocked if Robinson gets to the incredibly useful 12 point : 8 rebound plateau in his career, but I wouldn’t expect it in year one. However, I feel good projecting him at 8 : 5 as a frosh. Robinson has a chance to be very solid but he’ll take some time to reach his ceiling. That said he should still be a useful contributor right from the jump even if he should have jumped already.