Stanford Robinson, a left-handed guard from Paul VI in Fairfax, Va., has committed to Indiana for the Class of 2013. He becomes the fourth member of the class. More on this later.
UPDATE: The story for tomorrow’s paper.
Newly hired assistant coach Kenny Johnson is apparently already helping Indiana build a pipeline to a Washington, D.C. area.
Stanford Robinson, a 6-foot-4, 185-pound left-handed shooting guard in the class of 2013, committed to the Hoosiers on Wednesday night. The No. 88 player in the class according to Rivals.com told recruiting websites earlier in the day that he had narrowed his list of schools to four in Indiana, Maryland, Texas and Villanova, then apparently made up his mind quickly. Robinson had taken an unofficial visit to Indiana on Monday.
Robinson plays at Paul VI in Fairfax, Va., which is where the newly hired Johnson coached as an assistant from 2007-2011 before spending a year at Towson.
Robinson confirmed his commitment via text message but was not available for further comment late Wednesday night. His coach at Paul VI, Glen Farello, said Robinson was mostly certain after his visit that he would commit to Indiana.
“He felt very strong about the opportunity he had to play for coach (Tom) Crean,” Farello said. “There was a lot of comfort level there with him and his staff and everything about Indiana basketball. There’s a lot to like obviously, and Stan just felt very comfortable. We’re excited for him. It might appear to have happened quick, but this has really been a process that has been going on for about a year with coach having the opportunity to see him and in addition, one of my former assistants joining his staff, that was extra benefit of the trust factor for the family.”
Farello said he cautioned Robinson not to commit to Indiana simply because Johnson was there, even though the two had known each other for some time. Johnson had actually recruited Robinson to play at Paul VI (recruiting to parochial schools is legal in the Washington D.C. area) and the two had been close since eighth grade.
“Between Kenny and Stan, there’s a bond there,” Farello said. “The important thing that I stressed to Stan and his family is that, it’s nice that Kenny’s there, but you’ve gotta feel comfortable with Coach Crean and the players and the environment and the distance and all of those factors. It’s an added benefit to have that relationship there. … But he was so thorougly impressed by Coach Crean and the entire set up that is IU basketball.”
Farello said Robinson was the “heart and soul” of a Paul VI team that went 35-3 this season and was rated the No. 12 team in the country at season’s end on ESPN’s Powerade Fab 50. Robinson was the team’s leading scorer with 14 points a game and also averaged six rebounds, four assists and three steals per game.
“He’s a playmaker, he’s not just a scorer,” Farello said. “He can create his own but he can also create for others. He shares the game. He’s emotional, kind of a blue collar, hard hat-wearing type kid. He has the skill set. He’s one of the best rebounding guards I’ve ever had. He’s an energy guy. He can defend. Last year Larry Brown had a workout that he was at. There was a pickup game at one of those, and Larry just commented about he was impressed by (Robinson’s) on-the-ball defense. That’s quite a compliment when he’s out there with a bunch of college kids.”
Robinson’s next step, Farello said, is to become a better shooter, especially from beyond the arc.
“The biggest thing he has done is improve his catch-and-shoot ability,” Farello said. “You can see it with his range. He shot the ball well from 3-point range this year. He was at about 34 percent. That’s OK from 3-point range, we just want to see that increase. We want to get those numbers up and see if he can’t be more of a sniper. He has a great first step, and he has a great mid-range game.”
Robinson becomes the fourth member of Indiana’s Class of 2013. He joins Warren Central forward Devin Davis, Cathedral swingman Collin Hartman and Germantown (Wis.) center Luke Fischer. The Hoosiers are still targeting BeeJay Anya a center from DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Md. Anya is a teammate of Robinson’s on Team Takeover, the Washington, D.C.-based summer travel team that Johnson once coached and that also counts Indiana guards Maurice Creek and Victor Oladipo as alums.
Robinson’s commitment makes for yet another interesting scholarship situation for the Hoosiers. Indiana currently has 15 players set to be on scholarship for the 2013-14 season, two over the NCAA limit. Of course, that presumes that coveted prospect Cody Zeller will stay until his junior year and not enter the NBA draft. It also presumes that guard Maurice Creek, who missed all of last season with a torn Achilles tendon and about half of each of the previous two seasons with fractured knees, will come back healthy and opt to stay for a fifth year.