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What Does Isaiah Philmore Mean to Jeff Robinson?

With the addition of Isaiah Philmore to the 2012-2013 roster, XU has added another skilled, athletic wing for the future. If you look forward to that year, you see a log jam of similar players at the forward positions. Philmore is 6'7" and has an inside-outside game that served him well at Towson (fun fact: X won more games in conference play last year than Towson has won in Philmore's entire career). Though he's not a great three-point shooter, his .355 career mark would have looked pretty good on this year's team. Also standing 6'7" is Justin Martin, but he's more of a 2/3 guy than a 3/4. It should also be noted that he is reputed to be a pretty good shooter himself.

Cool nickname = picture. Those are the rules.
Farther in towards the bucket "Takeoff" Travis Taylor - also a transfer - is 6'7" and something of a banger. He has grabbed 6.6 RPG on his career and only has five more career D-1 three-point attempts than I do. He's a little undersized, but that's not necessarily a new development at Xavier. Incoming freshman Jalen Reynolds will be a sophmore then and will probably be right around the 6'9" that he stands right now. Though he has a thin frame, recent reports seem to indicate that he's doing well filling it out. His game doesn't stretch to the arc, but he is a scoring threat from the post out to 12 feet or so.

Somewhere between those two set of players, James Farr and Griffin McKenzie - both also 6'9" - exist. Farr is headed to prep school next season, but his high school career is notable for the nine-inch growth spurt that landed him at Xavier rather than Campbellsville University. Though his growth spurt was late, Farr's length and evident skills give him potential to be a dynamic player. Farr and McKenzie are both purported to be good shooters with range out to and beyond the stripe. While I'm not as sure as Brad that McKenzie will be "lucky to get ten minutes per game as a senior," those who were hoping that he would be the second coming of Justin Doellman are almost sure to be disappointed. His freshman year showed almost no promise, but I'm willing to give him a pass considering the unfortunate circumstances of last summer. While injury is never a positive indicator, we are yet to see Griffin with a full year of health.

Jeff doing his thing.
The question then is, what of Jeff Robinson? He doesn't have the bulk to be an interior destroyer like Kenny Frease or (hopefully) Sim Bhullar. Taylor and Philmore have already shown themselves to be above-average (if slightly undersized) rebounders on the college level. Philmore, Farr, and McKenzie - in decreasing order of servicability in other facets of the game - are all good enough shooters to play pick-and-pop, and Robinson's jumper has seemed spotty at best.

Robinson's skill set - length, athleticism, et c. - would be very well-suited to a high-energy role off the bench. He has the leaping ability to be a formidable weakside/help defender in the paint that could erase teammate's defensive mistakes. He's too willowy to bang, but he could stop a post player - or at least make one's life miserable - with discipline and good timing. Offensively, even if he doesn't have any confidence in his jumper, he should be grabbing second chance points off of offensive rebounds. He has shown that he's very difficult to stop when moving towards the rim at pace.

 This year is going to be pivotal for Robinson. If he can institute the changes that Brad discussed yesterday, he may still blossom into a key player. If he can just show up and put his athleticism on the floor in high-energy bursts, he can be a dynamic factor off of the bench. If he instead drifts through his last two seasons like he has his first two, he'll become a sad tale of brilliant athleticism undermined by a complete inability to translate it into on-court success. At this point, only he can decide what comes next.
If you don't recognize that look of fear and confusion, you didn't watch Robinson much this year.